Feb 06 2016

Make Healthy Nutritional Choices For Your Superbowl Party!

A report from the NIH: We make dozens of decisions every day. When it comes to deciding what to eat and feed our families, it can be a lot easier than you might think to make smart, healthy choices. It takes just a little planning. The food we put into our bodies is our fuel. It provides us with nutrients—the vitamins, minerals, and other compounds our bodies need to function and thrive. Research shows that good food choices are especially important for children’s growing bodies and minds. Smart choices have both immediate and long-lasting benefits for you and your family.   “My best advice is for parents to be good role models by eating healthy and being physically active with their children,” says Janet de Jesus, a nutritionist at NIH. “Keep healthy foods around the house for meals and snacks. If you save desserts and treats for special occasions, it will be more special. Involve children in the meal planning and cooking, and they will be more likely to eat the meals.”   “Parents can begin teaching their children about healthy eating from the day they are born,” says Dr. Donna Spruijt–Metz, whose research at the University of Southern California focuses on preventing and treating obesity in minority youth. “Setting a good example is very important.”   Try the GO, SLOW, WHOA approach to food. GO foods are great to eat anytime. They have lots of nutrients and ...

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Jan 16 2016

The ZIKA Virus: You Need To Be Aware of This Virus !!!

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC): Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case. Locally transmitted Zika has not been reported elsewhere in the United States, but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. When traveling to countries where Zika virus (see map) or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens Prevention No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika). Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below). Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. Protect yourself from ...

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Jan 07 2016

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 Released!!!!

The Dietary Guidelines provides a clear path to help Americans eat healthfully, informed by a critical, and transparent review of the scientific evidence on nutrition. A lifetime of healthy eating helps to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. Healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the onset of disease.… The Guidelines Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in ...

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Jan 02 2016

You Need More Brown Fat!

A report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Scientists have uncovered a pathway in mice that allows white fat — a contributor to obesity and type 2 diabetes — to burn calories as if it were brown fat or muscle. The body uses white fat to store extra energy. Too much white fat (obesity) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and other diseases. Brown fat, in contrast, generates heat to maintain body temperature and, like muscle, has lots of calorie-burning mitochondria. Brown fat is found in small mammals like rodents throughout their lives. Humans have it at birth, but we lose it as we age. Researchers once thought that our brown fat was essentially nonexistent by adulthood. Recent studies found that not only do adults have brown fat but it also may play an important role in weight control. Boosting the activity of brown fat, or converting white fat to brown fat, could be potential strategies for fighting obesity. A team of NIH researchers led by Dr. Sushil G. Rane of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) were studying a protein called TGF-beta. TGF-beta and its related factors are known to control the development, growth and function of many different cell types. Blood levels of TGF-beta have been linked to obesity in both mice and humans. In previous work, the team found that the TGF-beta pathway plays ...

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Dec 19 2015

What’s Your Micronutrient IQ?

An important report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) Micronutrients are dietary components, often referred to as vitamins and minerals, which although only required by the body in small amounts, are vital to development, disease prevention, and well being. Micronutrients are not produced in the body and must be derived from the diet. Deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate and zinc can have devastating consequences. At least half of children worldwide ages 6 months to 5 years suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiency, and globally more than 2 billion people are affected. The International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt)* project, part of the CDC,  focuses primarily on helping to eliminate deficiencies in iron, vitamin A, iodine, folate and zinc. Iron Iron is an essential mineral critical for motor and cognitive development. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the consequences of iron deficiency. Low hemoglobin concentration (anemia) affects 43% of children 5 years of age and 38% of pregnant women globally Anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of maternal and perinatal mortality and low birth weight. Maternal and neonatal deaths are a major cause of mortality, together causing between 2.5 million and 3.4 million deaths worldwide WHO recommends iron and folic acid supplements for reducing anemia and improving iron status among women of reproductive age. Flour fortification with iron and folic acid is globally recognized as one of the most ...

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Nov 29 2015

Remember The Obesity Epidemic? Still Here!

Overweight and obesity: the basics, just the facts..... Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. Obesity is preventable. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.   Overweight and obesity: definitions Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2). The WHO definition is: a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity. BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight ...

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Nov 25 2015

‘Tis The Season…For Good Nutrition!

Nutrition tips from the NIH We make dozens of decisions every day. When it comes to deciding what to eat and feed our families, it can be a lot easier than you might think to make smart, healthy choices. It takes just a little planning. The food we put into our bodies is our fuel. It provides us with nutrients—the vitamins, minerals, and other compounds our bodies need to function and thrive. Research shows that good food choices are especially important for children’s growing bodies and minds. Smart choices have both immediate and long-lasting benefits for you and your family. “My best advice is for parents to be good role models by eating healthy and being physically active with their children,” says Janet de Jesus, a nutritionist at NIH. “Keep healthy foods around the house for meals and snacks. If you save desserts and treats for special occasions, it will be more special. Involve children in the meal planning and cooking, and they will be more likely to eat the meals.” “Parents can begin teaching their children about healthy eating from the day they are born,” says Dr. Donna Spruijt–Metz, whose research at the University of Southern California focuses on preventing and treating obesity in minority youth. “Setting a good example is very important.” Try the GO, SLOW, WHOA approach to food. GO foods are great to eat anytime. They have lots of nutrients and ...

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Jul 31 2015

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans FAQs

Q: What is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy? A: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) provides advice for making food and physical activity choices that promote good health, a healthy weight, and help prevent disease for Americans ages 2 years and over, including Americans at increased risk of chronic disease. The recommendations are based on a rigorous review of relevant scientific evidence that occurs through a transparent process. The Dietary Guidelines serves as the cornerstone for all federal nutrition education and program activities. Q: Why is the Dietary Guidelines important? A: The Dietary Guidelines forms the basis of federal nutrition policy, education, outreach, and food assistance programs used by consumers, industry, nutrition educators, and health professionals. All federal dietary guidance for the public is required to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, which provides scientific basis for the government to speak in a consistent and uniform manner. The Dietary Guidelines is used in the development of print and web-based educational materials, messages, tools, and programs to communicate healthy eating and physical activity information to the public. Q: Why does the government create the Dietary Guidelines and when is it updated? A: The Dietary Guidelines is congressionally mandated under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (Public Law 101-445, Section 301, Title III). This law requires that the Dietary Guidelines are based on the preponderance of current scientific and medical knowledge, ...

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Jun 02 2015

Happy Birthday to MyPlate!!!!

Celebrate MyPlate’s 4th Birthday All Week Long! //   Today is MyPlate's birthday and we want to celebrate this milestone with you! It was exactly 4 years ago today, on June 2, 2011, that MyPlate was first introduced, replacing the food guide pyramids with which many of us grew up. MyPlate has been inspiring healthy plates for 4 years! And now we have a library of MyPlates in multiple languages for you to use and share.  Adding to the English version and the Spanish MiPlato, this suite of MyPlate icons in 20 languages is accompanied by a translated tip sheet. The translated resources can be used by educators, public health groups, and others to reach more Americans with healthy eating messages based on the Dietary Guidelines. Find tips for enjoying foods from many cultures here. Join our celebration all week long on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what MyPlate means to you!

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May 04 2015

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2015: A Presidential Proclamation!

A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA     Sports are a fundamental part of American culture.  They foster our country's competitive drive, help us stay healthy, and teach us what it takes to succeed -- not only on the softball diamond or the basketball court, but also in life. Sports and fitness reflect our national character, and they help us unlock our full potential.  During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we recognize parents, coaches, educators, and all those who instill in our children the importance of regular exercise, and we invite all people to invest in their own wellbeing by finding a way to be active each day. Physical fitness is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.  Regular exercise can produce long-term health benefits; it can help prevent chronic diseases, combat obesity, relieve stress, and increase the chances of living longer.  By making physical activity part of your daily routine -- at least 30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children -- you can put yourself on the path to better physical and mental health. This year marks the fifth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, which has helped increase opportunities for physical activity and inspire Americans of all ages to lead healthy, active lives.  To celebrate, the First Lady is challenging everyone to #GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and ...

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