Be honest, do you read nutrition labels? I have to admit I read them more and more in a quest for better health. I try to pay attention to sodium, sugar, fat and calories and I’m especially focused on the ingredient list. These labels hold the key to the ingredients within the foods we eat and are often more telling of the quality of food than the often confusing nutrition facts.
As Americans we don’t follow the metric system, so understanding the number of grams of various elements in our food can prove difficult; for some it can make the information downright useless. To make that label even more relevant, there is a petition circulating at Change.org requesting that the FDA add the number of teaspoons of sugar to the “per serving” section on nutrition labels. They currently have 117 of 18,000 desired signatures.
Implementing this idea can help greatly with understanding just how much sugar is in the foods you are considering. Added sugar is one of many catalysts in the current levels of obesity we see throughout the country.
To see how helpful this change might be, I asked our resident registered dietician Mary Hartley if reflecting sugar measurements in teaspoons would be beneficial. “Yes it would be helpful if added sugar were separated from naturally occurring sugars in fruit, milk and some vegetables,” Mary said. When asked if seeing the sugar content in grams can make a difference in curbing obesity, Mary stated, “Obesity is a multifaceted, complex problem. I would not expect any single intervention to make a big difference, although many small actions do add up. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.” (more…)
Many people who undergo bariatric procedures for weight loss like gastric bypass surgery, LAP band surgery, or gastric sleeve surgery enjoy drastic weight loss along with the elimination of many weight related diseases. Having a form of bariatric surgery happens to be one of the top ways to cure type 2 diabetes.
As many as 95 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes were cured of the disease through weight loss achieved as a result of their surgery. A new study done by the Mayo Clinic Arizona has recently shown that more than one-fifth of those who were cured have had their diabetes return within five years, even if the patient hadn’t gained any weight. Those who were most susceptible to this were those who had diabetes the longest prior to surgery.
In this study, 72 obese patients were monitored during the years 2000 to 2007 with all patients having had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Of those studied, a total of 66 patients had a diabetes reversal at some time, and then 14 of those patients had their diabetes return between three and five years after their surgery. Those who had diabetes for more than five years had almost four times the risk of it coming back than those who had it less than five years before surgery. (more…)
It’s common knowledge that exercise is good for your health and new studies are emerging every day that further validate this. One new study recently published in the journal Cancer examined more than 3,000 women, some with breast cancer and some not. Of the 3,000 women studied, those that exercised throughout their childbearing years were less likely to have breast cancer after menopause. Women who started exercising after menopause saw the same results of lower instances of breast cancer.
The lead researcher on this project was Lauren McCullough of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. When speaking about the results, she stated, “What we can say is exercise is good for you. It’s never too late to start. Our evidence suggests that if you start after menopause you can still help yourself.”
This study revealed that women who exercised between 10 and 19 hours per week during the years between having their first child and entering menopause reduced their likeliness of breast cancer by one third over those who didn’t exercise during that time. Those women that exercised nine to 17 hours per week and started after going through menopause were also 30 percent less likely to have breast cancer than those who were sedentary. Things like education, smoking and income were also accounted for in the study. (more…)
When Alberto Perez started teaching aerobics in his hometown of Cali, Columbia, he was doing it to earn extra cash. Those aerobics classes blossomed into the fitness phenomenon that is known worldwide as Zumba. Zumba Fitness is a privately held company, but it has grown from just classes to a fitness empire that has attracted some big time investors.
Now you can get Zumba DVDs, video games, clothes or take the classes in more than 125 countries. Zumba, a Latin dance-inspired aerobic workout, started in a Miami garage almost 11 years ago. The fun dance classes have attracted not only the attention of investors, but also hip-hop stars that want their music featured in classes and on the videos. When teaching his first classes in Miami, Alberto, also known as Beto, was teaching the mother of Alberto Perlman. Perlman partnered with Beto and had the idea to take the classes to video for infomercial sale. (more…)
The Walt Disney Company made an announcement today concerning the type of advertising they will allow on their kid-friendly web sites, radio and television stations. The move by Disney is designed to curb childhood obesity and requires advertisers to meet a strict set of nutritional rules. These standards will also be enforced on the Saturday morning cartoons that are run on stations owned by Disney, like ABC.
Disney’s decision will obviously result in some lost advertising revenue, but the company believes that the end outcome is more important. Due to current contracts that are in place, these changes will not take place until 2015. At that time the new standards will apply to programming targeted at children 12 and younger.
Some of the products that will be excluded under the new restrictions include Capri Sun drinks, Kraft Lunchables, candy, sugared cereal and fast food. Disney isn’t just enforcing higher nutrition standards, they are also changing the food served in their parks. They plan to reduce the sodium on all of the children’s meals served at their theme parks by 25 percent. (more…)