March 2, 2010

Trans Fat Claims Distrusted

1 More Consumers Reading Food Labels

54 percent of consumers reported that they often read the Nutrition Facts information on food labels, according to data collected in 2008 and analyzed in a new study from the Food and Drug Administration. Only 44 percent of consumers reported frequently reading food labels in 2002. The most common goal of consumers in reading the labels was to determine the amount of harmful nutrients like calories, salt and fat. Two out of five consumers reported skepticism about claims of 0 grams of trans fat on labels. Since food manufacturers can indeed make this claim even if there are 0.49 grams or less per serving, because of rounding, the survey results seem to show that consumers are more knowledgeable about nutrition claims than many have thought.

More at Food and Drug Administration | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Previously: Serving Sizes on Labels Unrealistic

Tags: Calories, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, Salt, Sodium, Trans Fatty Acids, Food Labels, Nutrition Facts Labels, Trans Fat

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Approaching Constant Eating

2 Kids Eating 6 or More Times a Day

U.S. children are eating an average of six times per day, including three regular meals and three snacks, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. Researchers Carmen Piernas and Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina characterized their findings as a move towards "constant eating" by children, and they attribute this to the "deregulation" of the psychological basis for eating. They found that more than a quarter of children's daily calories come from snacks, including desserts, sugary drinks, salty snacks and candy. The average food intake by a child increased by 113 calories in the decade up to 2006.

More at Reuters | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

Are We Too Stressed Out?

3 Dentists Report Teeth Grinding Epidemic

Dentists in the U.K. are reporting an increase in teeth grinding, otherwise known by its medical name of bruxism. Teeth grinders not only fracture their teeth, wear away teeth enamel, and expose dentine and tooth nerve chambers, but they also suffer from headaches and shooting pains in their jaws. And their bed partners are subjected to "horrendous noise," described by dentist Andre Hedger as sounding "like a concrete mixer running down a blackboard." Why the increase in bruxism? Dentists speculate that the economic recession is creating more stress. One dentist estimated a 30 percent increase in bruxism cases in his practice since the start of the recession. Another cause may be the gradual weakening of modern man's jaw and tooth system, caused by a diet of increasingly soft foods.

More at BBC | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

Previously: Front Teeth Gaps are Trendy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (57%) / No! (43%)

Body Adapts to Diet Alterations

4 Little Changes Don't Make Big Difference

If you pay any attention to dieting advice you've heard the theory that little changes can add up to a big difference when it comes to weight loss. Cutting out soda or skipping a snack is supposed to be able to lead to slow but steady weight loss over time. But the trouble is, science doesn't really back up that completely logical idea. A commentary in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association said that the "small changes" theory is flawed because little differences make just a tiny dent in the extreme excess number of calories kids and adults alike are consuming. That's not to say that we should skip the small changes, but we shouldn't expect them to make a difference indefinitely, as the body will readjust to whatever change has been made.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

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Many Patients Are Unaware

5 Prediabetes Precautions Needed to Avoid Disease

Recent data indicates that almost 30 percent of adult Americans have prediabetes, which could lead to diabetes in the absence of lifestyle changes such as losing weight. Plus, more than 90 percent of prediabetic patients were unaware of their health risks says a new study published in the April 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The research, conducted by the Division of Diabetes Translation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, found that only seven percent of patients with prediabetes were told by their doctors of their conditions. In addition, about half of patients who do know they’re prediabetic don’t make necessary lifestyle changes to prevent the disease.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

An Apple A Day

6 Immune System Improved by Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber from apples, oats and nuts strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation from obesity-related diseases including diabetes, says a new University of Illinois study. According to scientists, soluble fiber increases production of interleukin-4, a protein that changes immune cells into healing cells that protect the body from infection. Scientists will next tackle the issue of whether soluble fiber could protect obese people from the negative effects of a high fat diet. "Now we'd like to find a way to keep some of the anti-inflammatory, positive effects that develop over time with a high-fat diet while reducing that diet's negative effects, such as high blood glucose and high triglycerides," said Gregory Freund, a professor in the U of I's College of Medicine.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Decreases Shelf Life

7 Humidity Degrades Vitamin Shelf Life

The shelf life and quality of vitamins and supplements stored in kitchens and bathrooms can be compromised by these rooms’ humidity, according to a new Purdue University study. We’ve all experienced changes in foods such as brown sugar or salt that cakes due to humidity. But chemical changes in vitamins and supplements can render them ineffective, even if the jars are tightly capped. Said Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science who conducted the study, "If you get some moisture present or ingredients dissolve, they'll decrease the quality and shelf life of the product and decrease the nutrient delivery. You can get complete loss of the ingredients.” The changes don’t necessarily render the product unsafe, but storing it in a cool, dry place will help to ensure its integrity.

More at EurekAlert.org | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

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