The FDA is finally stepping up to remove trans fat from a list of chemicals known as GRAS – or generally recognized as safe. This morning, the Food and Drug Administration opened up a 60-day public call for comments, scientific data, and other information they can use to help guide their decision to issue an all-out ban on trans fat, also known as partially hydrogenated oil.
“Based on new scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels, the [FDA] has tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids, or trans fat, are not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in food based on current scientific evidence establishing the health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat, and therefore that PHOs are food additives,” says the formal announcement made by the agency.
If this is finalized, the FDA says “food manufacturers would no longer be permitted to sell PHOs.”
That’s news that has the dietetic community happy as heart-healthy clams. We reached out to several thought leaders from the dietetic community to hear their reactions to the trans fat ban news first.
Those foods are suspect, not only because of the link between trans fats and cardiovascular disease, but because of wide-reaching inflammation from a host of artificial products. This could give people a reminder to eat real food. — Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert and a NYC-based dietitian (more…)
By Team Best Life
Why are so many Americans—69.2 percent to be exact—overweight or obese? The answer seems obvious: We’re taking in more calories than we expend. But why is that? Check out these seven common weight gain triggers.
We slurp down sugary drinks.
This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea and other beverages that cost about 140 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. They are a major source of added sugar in our diet. Guzzle just one can daily on top of your actual calorie needs and you could gain 15 pounds a year. A Canadian study that tracked toddlers found that those who drank more sugary beverages were 2.5 times more likely to be overweight compared to those who didn’t.
We consume too little fiber.
This comes from not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aside from making you feel fuller on fewer calories (and thus, satisfying appetite), fiber may also promote a slimming gut flora, the population of trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut that are thought to influence everything from immunity to anxiety to obesity risk. (more…)
Last night on the The Biggest Loser, an unlucky roll of the die put Jillian’s White Team in jeopardy for the second week in a row, and Fernanda took the fall. We spoke to her about her short time on the ranch, what Dr. H. had to say about her overall health, and how much weight she’s lost since the elimination.
Nobody likes week 2 on The Biggest Loser ranch. Some even talk about the week 2 curse. Fernanda isn’t superstitious but wishes she’d had one more week to show what she could do. “Now that I’ve been home, my weight loss fluctuates high one week, then low the next,” she explained. “One week I’ll lose 10 pounds, the next week I’ll lose 2. Everybody’s body is different.”
During the first week, Fernanda lost an encouraging 12 pounds but at last night’s weigh-in, the scale only budged by two pounds.
This may be the second episode of Season 15, but Fernanda is actually the first contestant eliminated. In a new season twist, trainers are allowed to save one eliminated contestant and Jillian used hers right out of the gate on Craig, the warehouse supervisor from North Carolina. We asked Fernanda how she felt about Craig receiving the save. “I was totally fine with it,” she replied. “I was so concerned about working hard to save the team in case my number came up that I didn’t think about it. He deserves to be here. I was happy for him.”
As Americans, we’re competitive people. It’s in our blood. Speaking of blood and competition, a recently released infographic breaks down state by state statistics in categories like obesity, dental health, STDs, cancer rates, and several other quaint reminders of life’s frailty. Thanks to the Top Masters in Health Care—who meticulously compiled the data—you can now see how much better your state is compared to the other union territories! Naturally, we are most concerned with the obesity and health related numbers, and after a quick look, we noticed a disturbing trend. The statistical data suggested that obesity, loss of teeth and cancer were all closely correlated. How could this be? (more…)
The National Football League, the most profitable and popular professional sports league in America, kicks off regular season play in less than a week. Six years ago, the NFL put its massive appeal to good use, founding the Play 60 program to tackle childhood obesity and encourage a more active generation of children. Most NFL media coverage is centered around head injuries, Fantasy Football, murder charges and twitter rants, but the league continues to make strides fighting the obesity epidemic with national activities for kids. However, when a few members of the Green Bay Packers had the opportunity to design their own hamburger recipes to be sold at Curly’s Pub in Lambeau field on game days, they did not have health on the brain and undermined the efforts of Play 60.
While Play 60 aims to get children to play for 60 minutes a day, anyone who eats the Aaron Rodgers burger will need to play for 120 minutes after they wake up from their food coma. The Aaron Rodgers burger does not come with an artery brush, but it should. Here’s what you get: bacon, swiss and havarti cheese, avocado, pickles, jalapeno, onion rings, mayo, ranch, and PEANUT BUTTER—all with a side of fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. Just like mom used to make—if she hated you. Peanut butter is a trending burger topping, but next to ranch, mayo, and avocado, it seems like a flavor rainbow from hell. (more…)
Children born today enter a world where more than one-third of all adults in the United States are obese. They also face the prospect of being part of the one-fifth of American children who are obese. These risks of obesity significantly increase mortality rates. According to a new study by researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Columbia University, obesity is responsible for 18 percent of deaths in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s possible that number will continue to grow if obesity rates follow the trend they’re on now. They have more than doubled since 1980.
The study found that the problem isn’t exclusive to older individuals, but rather people from younger generations who, as they age, have a greater chance of developing obesity-related health problems. “Obesity is unhealthy at any age, but as obese individuals grow older, they are more likely to experience serious health complications of obesity, including premature death,” said Ryan Masters, Ph.D, study author and researcher at Columbia in an interview with HealthlineNews. Masters fears that while the results of the study are worrying, they could actually be worse than they appear. He feels as obese individuals age and encounter health problems; they are less likely to participate in studies like the one conducted at Columbia. This can make the results skew healthier, an error he tried to correct in the results to allow for the discrepancy.
We are no longer number one, in obesity rankings that is. Mexico is now the most obese populous nation, with about 33 percent of Mexican adults being overweight, compared to the United States at nearly 32 percent. Both figures are alarming as both nations are battling growing obesity rates every year. According to experts, in the last ten years childhood obesity rates have tripled in Mexico. The same experts warn that four out of every five of obese children will remain overweight into adulthood.
The cause of the growing obesity rates isn’t all that surprising. “As more Mexicans move from rural to urban communities they become more sedentary and they eat a steady diet of unhealthy, highly caloric foods,” said Martin Binks, an obesity researcher and spokesperson for the Obesity Society in an interview with ABC News. This shift to a more sedentary lifestyle is affecting much of the world’s population.
World Health Organization statistics show that more than 20 percent of the world’s population is overweight, with 65 percent of the global population living in countries where being overweight or obese kills more people than being underweight. Though Mexico ranks highest of the populous countries, there are several small Pacific Island countries with obesity rates well over those of Mexico and the U.S. combined. American Samoa is the heaviest country in the world with 75 percent of its population considered obese and 20 percent considered overweight.
As seen at Number 1 on Visual.ly! Embed This Graphic!
Are people who use marijuana thinner than those who don’t? Though scientists can’t say conclusively that smoking pot makes you thin, a recent study shows a correlation between smaller waist circumference and marijuana use. Users not only seem to be thinner, but also somewhat healthier than their non-using counterparts. An exact reason for the trend hasn’t been discovered, but scientists are still intrigued by the results of the study.
More than 4,600 people participated in the study. Waist circumference and other weight-related factors were assessed in those who currently are marijuana users, those who used but don’t anymore, and those who never used. Other studies had found lower prevalence for obesity and diabetes in marijuana users, but this was the first study to also include tests for insulin, glucose and insulin resistance. (more…)
By Team Best Life
Think about it: Your choice of beverages 100 years ago was pretty much limited to milk, water, coffee and tea. The same goes for the span of human history prior to that. Sugary drinks are a 20th-century phenomenon, and the very modern toll they take on our bodies encompasses more than just obesity.
Here are a few facts to help keep the sugar you drink in check.
Sugar’s effects are multifaceted. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and disorders that affect our metabolism can all be attributed to over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB).
It starts early. The SSBs and fruit juice children consume are responsible for up to 15 percent of their daily caloric intake. (more…)