A publication in the British Medical Journal is initiating an interesting discussion – are meals prepared by famous TV chefs healthier than those purchased in a supermarket? The researchers looked at the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt as they compared the recipes. The article suggests that ready meals might contain lower amounts of these ingredients. Do you feel that the findings are evaluating the full picture – discussing “healthy” foods (rather than simply ingredients), reminding patients of importance of cooking and eating better, looking at consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, evaluating the presence of additives/preservatives that go into ready made meals and much more? What are your thoughts on this research findings?
According to a new report in the Lancet, the Global Burden of Disease Study, global rate of obesity has increased by 82% from 1990 to 2010. Now, obesity has become a more dangerous threat to global health than hunger. Non communicable chronic diseases related to obesity (e.g., diabetes, stroke and heart disease) ranked at the top of the list of leading causes of time spent sick. What encouragement do you provide to your patients in terms of their weight management?
For more information, please see the article in CNN.
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100% orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy and decreased risk for obesity in adults.
A study published in the Nutrition Journal has shown that consuming 100% orange juice is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy and decreased risk for obesity in adults. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006 was used in this study which involved more than 8,800 adults aged 19 and older. Adults who drank orange juice consumed around 210 ml daily and had higher levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium compared to non-consumers. Those who drank orange juice also had a 21% decreased risk of obesity. What are your thoughts on this study?
For more information, please read the abstract in the Nutrition Journal.
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In a prospective US cohort study, researchers examined the association of caffeinated, decaffeinated coffee, and tea intake with fatal oral/pharyngeal cancer taking into account the effects of confounders. A total of 968,432 men and women were eligible for analysis including 868 oral/pharyngeal cancer deaths. At baseline, current daily intake, that is, cups/ glasses/ drinks per day, of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea was ascertained. Daily intake of these beverages was categorized as <1 cup/day, 1–2 cups/day, 3–4 cups/day, >4 cups/day. The study results found that 49% lower relative risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death associated with >4 cups/day compared to those who reported not drinking coffee at all or only an occasional cup. What are your typical recommendations to your patients in terms of coffee/caffeine consumption?
For more information about the study, please find the abstract in American Journal of Epidemiology
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High intake of salt and sugar-sweetened beverages in children associated with increased risk of obesity
A study published in Pediatrics has shown that a high intake of salt and sugar-sweetened beverages in children is associated with an increased risk of obesity. Data from the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey was used in this study which involved over 4,200 children aged 2-16. Children who drank over 1 serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day had a 26% increased risk of being overweight or obese. Kids who drank sugar-sweetened beverages also consumed around 6.5 g of salt daily whereas those who did not, consumed 5.8 g of salt daily. What are your thoughts on this study? How do you encourage your children to maintain a good diet?
A new study published inthe journal Pediatricsevaluated the effect of iron supplementation on the cognitive function and behavioral problems of low birth weight infants (LBW).Two hundred eighty five marginally LBW (2000–2500 g) infants received 0, 1, or 2 mg/kg/day of iron supplements from 6 weeks to 6 months of age. At 3.5 years of age, these children and 95 normal birth weight controls were assessed with a psychometric test. The studyfound that there were no significant differences inIntelligence questionnaire (IQ) between the LBW groupsand controls. However, infants that received iron had significantly fewerbehavioral problems than those that did not. What supplements do you find effective in your pediatric practice for the treatment of behavioral problems?
For more information about the study, please find the abstract in Pediatrics
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A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has shown that carotenoids may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Carotenoids are micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Data was pooled from 8 cohort studies that measured the level of carotenoids in the blood of over 3,000 women with breast cancer and nearly 4,000 women without breast cancer. Women with the highest levels of carotenoids had a lower risk of breast cancer, especially estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer which usually has a poorer prognosis. What are your favorite dietary sources of carotenoids to recommend to the patients?
A prospective cohort study published in Circulation has shown that a heart- healthy diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, or death in high risk individuals receiving medication therapy. This international study followed 31,546 people aged 55 years or older with a history of coronary, peripheral, or cerebrovascular disease, or diabetes with end-organ damage who were enrolled in 2 clinical trials. Participants were followed for 5 years and completed food frequency questionnaires asking how often they consumed 20 food items in the past 12 months. Those who ate a heart-healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts were found to have a 35% lower risk of cardiovascular death, a 14% lower risk of MI, a 28% lower risk of heart failure, and a 19% lower risk of stroke. How will this research help you to promote already well accepted notions about healthy food with your patients?
A study published in the journal Stress and Health has shown that meditation and art therapy may reduce stress and anxiety in breast cancer patients. Eighteen participants were assigned to an education course or Mindfulness-based Art Therapy (MBAT) consisting of mindful yoga, awareness of breathing, awareness of emotion, and expressive art for 8 weeks. The patients enrolled in this study had been diagnosed with breast cancer 6 months- 3 years before the study and were not in active treatment. Participants completed a 90 item symptom checklist at the beginning and end of the study and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine changes in cerebral blood flow. Patients in the MBAT group had cerebral blood flow changes in the left insula, amygdala, and hippocampus which deal with emotions and stress and experienced less stress and anxiety. How often do you recommend Mindfulness-based Art Therapy? What other recommendations do you make to your patients to decrease stress?