May 21 2012

While You’ve Been Schnoozin, Get Caught Up On The Latest Health News:

Our Overweight Teenagers Are At Risk For Serious Health Problems Okay, so this does not come as a surprise. More than half of the overweight teens (ages 12 through 19) in the United States (and probably the world) have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar and this places them at a very high risk for heart attacks and many other serious heart problems. In fact, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics (May 21, 2012), “the percentage of adolescents who were diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, went from 9% to 21%.” Much more needs to be done to get our kids back on the healthy track. Even more needs to be done to identify teens with potential health risks. Bottom line: have your kids get a check up at your medical provider. If they are obese, overweight or even just a bit over their BMI, make sure you get the blood sugar (glucose), cholesterol and blood pressure checked also. Regular Eating Times Are Important In A Healthy Diet    It seems that eating at a regular interval is very important to maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found that “regular eating times and extending the daily fasting period may override the adverse health effects of a high-fat diet and prevent obesity, diabetes and liver disease in mice.”  According to senior author Satchidananda ...

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Jul 06 2010

Graehm Gray: The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010-Part One.

I can’t believe how quick five years has been. The last Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 (DGA 2005) came out five years ago. And now here comes the 2010 report. Does everyone reading this article know what I am talking about? Okay-let’s review. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a joint project between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to provide advice for people (two years and older), on how and what to eat, and how good nutrition and fitness (physical activity) can help promote good health and reduce the risk of major diseases. Information about choosing a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, achieving adequate exercise (part of the Physical Activity Guidelies for Americans), and food safety were all included in the 2005 report. The committee that makes these recommendations is composed of experts in the fields of nutrition, exercise, medicine and science. The committee takes into consideration many factors including the current status of chronic diseases in our society like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and bones loss. The current levels of physical activity, obesity, food insecurity and nutrient ...

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May 27 2010

Graehm Gray: A Junk Food Tax-OMG!

You have all read in my columns over the past few months about the impending government intervention into the adult and childhood obesity epidemics. Well my friends, here is another in the scenarios: a junk food tax. That’s right, a special tax on food items classified as “junk food.”  So which items exactly are they referring to? Let’s start with soda. As you already know from reading the Graehm Gray blog, taxation and restrictions legislation for various types of food items are popping up all over this country (and the world). Sodas, with high fructose corn syrups (HFCS) and high sugar contents have been a target for many years. Several studies have associated HFCS with increased hunger, obesity, diabetes and even pancreatic cancer. So armed with that evidence, a “soda tax” has been proposed in several northeastern cities. In a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, authors Duffey, Gordon-Larsen, Shikany, Guilkey, Jacobs and Popkin determined the following details: The researchers found that changes in the price of soda and pizza were associated with changes in the probability of consuming those foods, as well as in the amounts consumed. A $1.00 increase in soda prices, for example, was tied to a mean of 124 fewer total daily calories (P=0.001), which amounted to an average weight loss of 2.34 pounds The researchers noted that similar trends were seen for pizza, adding ...

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Apr 29 2010

Graehm Gray: Governmental Penalties for Obese Citizens-Part Two

After reading the last feedback mail from my most recent posting on the potential of governmental penalties or restrictions for those individuals that may be over a certain weight limit (body size limit), I realized that this is a very hot topic for debate. I was surprised that so many people agreed about levying extra taxes and increasing the cost of health care for those citizens that are classified as obese. In addition, suggestions came in regarding extra taxes on artificially sweetened sodas(specifically with high fructose corn syrup), candy and donuts, and of course fast foods. Someone mentioned the recent laws that Mexico passed about requiring daily exercise for school children and a law that would restrict schools from selling junk food to students. I looked in to this and found out the following details: The lower house of the Mexican Congress passed a law against childhood obesity. This law will try to limit the selling of junk food in primary and secondary schools and also require daily half hour exercise periods. The new law will also try to stop children from eating and drinking foods with high fat, high sugar and preservatives and to encourage shops near schools to sell fruit and “healthy juice.” According to Mexican data, almost 52 percent of the 5 to 11 year olds in Mexico are either obese or overweight and that Mexico has one of the ...

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Sep 08 2009

Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN : Nutrition Bars

Nutrition bars go by many names including "protein bars," "energy bars," and "meal-replacement bars." Nutrition bars are generally much larger by weight than snack bars (such as granola bars) or candy bars (such as chocolate bars) and have a much higher protein content --generally 10 grams to 30 grams of protein in a nutrition bar versus little or no protein in a snack bar or candy bar. Many bars have now added a fiber category and add that on as a benefit to the bar. Those with 2.5 mg of fiber are claiming to be good sources of fiber, while others containing 5mg. or more can claim to be an excellent source. The recommendation for fiber is at least 20grams per day. Many of the fats in some bars are saturated, and some bars also contain hydrogenated oils as well as high fructose corn syrup. Another concern in the area of nutrition bars is the protein it contains. Most use soy, whey, or casein isolates. These protein isolates are usually obtained by a high temperature process that over denatures the protein therefore making it almost useless. This process also can create nitrates and other carcinogens. Soy protein isolates also are high in mineral blocking phytates and potent enzyme inhibitors that can lead to abnormal cell growth. Sugar Alcohols are used in some bars to reduce the calorie content of the bar. Sugar alcohols are ...

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