|Diet and Exercise
|Food Pyramid Multiplies: MyPyramids
One size doesn't fit all. MyPyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov/) Plan can
help you choose the foods and amounts that are right for you. For a quick
estimate of what and how much you need to eat, enter your age, sex, and activity
level in the MyPyramid Plan box. The U.S. Department of Agriculture
is replacing its 23-year-old food pyramid with a dozen new ones. Exercise
is key to the new system. The 12 new, more individualized food pyramids
offer recommendations based on the lifestyle factors and nutritional needs
of different groups, such as older adults, children and special populations.
The new guidelines aim to help people better control portion sizes by putting
recommendations in cups, ounces and other recognizable everyday measures,
rather than the very confusing "serving sizes." The guidelines now emphasize
exercise, urging a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise to prevent disease,
and more for those trying to lose or maintain weight.
Meat Consumption and Cancer
Heavy consumption of processed meats such as hot dogs and sausages increases
the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a study of nearly 200,000
men and women in Hawaii and Southern California, conducted by scientists from
the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center and the University of Southern
California. Those who consumed the processed meats the highest had
a 67 percent increase in risk over those with the lowest consumption. A diet
rich in pork and red meat also increased pancreatic cancer by about 50 percent.
Results of the study were presented in April at the annual meeting of
the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, Calif. Processing
of the meats causes chemical reactions, which could produce carcinogens such
as heterocyclic amines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, scientists said.
There were roughly 32,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the United States
Exercise Wards of Dementia
The variety of exercise may help ward off dementia, suggests a new study
that found a lower risk of that condition among older people with many pastimes,
ranging from gardening to aerobics, according to a Johns Hopkins University
study. Dementia encompasses a group of diseases, including Alzheimer's
disease, that gradually destroy brain cells and lower mental function, according
to the Alzheimer's Association. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's
disease, a number that has doubled since 1980 and is expected to reach as
much as 16 million by 2050. Perry Bartlett, a professor at the University
of Queensland's Brain Institute, said mental and physical exercise helped
create and nurture new nerve cells in the brain, keeping it functional and
warding off diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Sex, cryptic
crosswords and a good run could help ward off dementia and other degenerative
conditions by stimulating new brain cells. Prolactin appeared to promote
new cells in the brain and could be found in high levels in pregnant women
and prolactin levels also go up during sex, the Australian says. See also Fight Fat below.
Harsh Dietary Measures Backfire
Using extreme measures such as vomiting, skipping meals, or taking laxatives
may backfire according to a study published in the American Psychological
Association's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. The study found
that adolescent girls who are who used harsh dieting methods were more likely
to end up obese than those didn't. The study involved 496 girls ages 11 to
15. The researchers found that eating high-fat foods, binge eating or getting
infrequent exercise did not predict future obesity. Good predictors of future
obesity included radical dieting, which slows down the metabolism; depression,
which may lead to overeating, particularly of carbohydrates; and having obese
parents, which could point to both genetic and environmental factors.
The message for young girls from the study is to exercise and avoid consuming
more calories than they can burn off.
See also: How
to Maintain a Healthy Weight
To be well hydrated, the average sedentary adult man must consume at least
2,900 mL (12 c) fluid per day, and the average sedentary adult woman at least
2,200 mL (9 c) fluid per day, in the form of non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic
beverages, soups, and foods. Solid foods contribute approximately 1,000 mL
(4 c) water, with an additional 250 mL (1 c) coming from the water of oxidation.”
Journal of the American Dietetics Association,
Volume 99, number 2, pages 200-206, 1999. Too much of anything is deadly,
including water. Endurance athletes have long been warned about getting
dehydrated, and many tend to drink more on race day than they do during training.
Runners, hikers, bikers, even soldiers on long maneuvers should not drink
too much water:: A study confirms that drinking too much can be dangerous,
even deadly, for endurance athletes, according to a study reported in New
England Journal of Medicine in April 2005.
There is food, and then there is superfood. Olive oil, almonds, walnuts,
Cheerios and Boca Burgers. These foods, which go beyond basic nutrition
and help fight disease or make you healthier, are what shoppers increasingly
want. Whole-grain bread, brown rice, beans and green leaf lettuce
are all labeled as "superfoods" in some food stores. Wild Oats, a chain
of health food stores, is promoting 20 different "superfoods," from berries
to seeds and yogurt. Not only are they healthier because of fewer calories,
they add vitamins and minerals, cancer-fighting antioxidants and other healthy
components. Last year, the FDA approved new health claims for the monounsaturated
fat in olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids found in flax, urad etc., saying
both have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. The claims are qualified;
labels must say research is not conclusive. Under review is whether products
containing lycopene, found in tomatoes and watermelon, can claim the potential
to reduce the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
Strength training helps
If you're frustrated with the progress you're making toward your weight-loss
goals, don't lose hope. Just by adding some strength training exercises to
your current routine, you could be well on your way to shedding those extra
pounds easily. http://www.humana.com/visitors/article1_2.asp
fat for life and avoid Dementia
Are you big, but healthy? Experts say that being overweight is a serious
threat to you, even if you're currently healthy. Being overweight has a way
of catching up with you. Take a quick look at the benefits and drawbacks of
dealing with being overweight ( http://www.humana.com/visitors/article2_2.asp).
Obesity in adults and
children is being increasingly linked to several chronic diseases
including hypertension, coronary artery disease, non insulin
dependent diabetes mellitus and dementia. Recent evidence indicates
a disturbing trend of increasing adiposity in developed and
developing countries including in India. The
epidemic of ‘obesity’ in India is not appreciated because BMI underestimates
the adiposity of Indians. Specific adiposity measurements are necessary for
recognition of the adiposity of ‘thin’ Indians (Proceedings of the Nutrition
Society, August 2004).
The most convincing research so far suggests that being fat in your 40s might
raise your risk of developing dementia later in life. In a study that followed
more than 10,000 Californians for almost 30 years, researchers found that
the fatter people were, the greater their risk for Alzheimer's disease or
other forms of dementia. The results were published online in April 2005
by the British Medical Journal. Adjusting for conditions such
as diabetes, heart disease and other factors, the study found a higher risk
of dementia for heavy people. Using the body-mass index, which measures height
and weight to classify how fat people are, obese people were 74 percent more
likely to develop mind-robbing dementia than normal weight people. Overweight
people were 35 percent more likely to develop it. The effect was more
profound for women than men. Obese women were twice as likely as women of
normal weight to develop Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia,
while for men the risk increased by 30 percent. However, when the researchers
used skin-fold thickness, instead of the body-mass index, to measure obesity,
there was no difference between the men and women; both were up to 70 percent
more likely to develop dementia if they had a thick fold between the tweezers
than if they had a thin fold of skin on the test. And the thicker the skin
fold, the higher the chance of later dementia, the study found.
No matter what the cause, early diagnosis is the key to regaining or maintaining
cognitive function. Catching dementia in its early stages allows time for
support systems to be established and for all treatment options to be considered.
Because of the nature of dementia, you may not be the best judge of your
condition. Talk to friends and/or family members that you trust.
One study suggests grown-up food habits could be depriving young children
of vitamins they need. Nutritionists recommend young children regularly have
whole milk, nuts and seeds, regular salad dressings, and whole-grain cereals
fortified with vitamins to get vitamin E. They also recommend regular consumption
of fresh fruits and vegetables and 3 to 6 ounces of citrus juice. The University
of Nebraska-Lincoln study of preschool children living in Lincoln
found two-thirds of them lacking the recommended levels of vitamin E and
one-third short on vitamin C, a finding attributed mainly to parents sharing
their eating habits with their children.
Flawed Alcohol Studies
Touting Health Benefits
The government warned that a few drinks a day might not protect against
strokes and heart attacks after all. Some studies in recent years have
touted the health benefits of moderate drinking. Some have even said that
up to four drinks a day can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease
in people 40 and older. But researchers at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention analyzed data from 250,000 Americans who participated
in a 2003 telephone survey. They found that the nondrinkers had many more
risks for heart disease, such as being overweight, inactive, high blood pressure
and diabetes, than the moderate drinkers. Based on those results, the
agency could not say that moderate drinking actually was a factor in reducing
the risk of heart disease. The findings were published in the May 2005
issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Moderate
drinkers who participated in the study were in better health, better educated,
wealthier and more active than their nondrinking counterparts, and that likely
influenced their lower risk of heart disease, but not moderate drinking.
The American Heart Association says drinking alcohol increases the dangers
of alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide
and accidents. Alcohol is the nation's third leading cause of death, killing
75,000 Americans each year through related injuries or diseases, the CDC
Childhood obesity has become such a threat to public health that it could
reverse the last half-century's gains in reducing cardiovascular disease and
death, the American Heart Association said in the journal Circulation
in April. Warning that the path to obesity can start during toddler-hood,
pediatric experts say parents should make sure 3- and 4-year-olds get an
hour of active play each day along with five fruits and vegetables. Toddler-hood
is also a time when dietary patterns may become more like those of adults,
and also when many children develop physical activity patterns both good
and bad from parents. The prevalence of overweight children and adolescents
has almost quadrupled from less than 5 percent in the 1980s to about 16 percent
today. An overweight child is at increased risk for problems including diabetes,
high blood pressure, sleep apnea and high cholesterol.
Clothes, not Sunscreen
Slathering sunscreen on children does not keep them from developing moles,
but putting a T-shirt on over their bathing suits may, a new study suggests
in American Journal of Epidemiology, April 1, 2005. The
issue of sun exposure and moles is not one of cosmetics. Moles or melanocytic
nevi can eventually develop into melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Based on the present findings, seeking shade and adding clothes are the best
ways to protect children's skin. Using sunscreen is still important, especially
on exposed areas like the face and hands. Parents should be advised to not
rely solely on sunscreen for sun protection.
Myth of the First Time
Researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
online early edition the week of April 18-22, that happiness may be related
to the functioning of the body in key processes, such as those of the cardiovascular
system and those controlling hormone levels. Previous studies have
shown that depressed people often have more health problems, while happier
people tend to live longer. Yet the mechanism of these effects has been unclear.
To look more closely at this psychobiological connection, Andrew Steptoe
and colleagues studied emotions and health of more than 200 middle-aged Londoners
in their daily lives. The authors found that those who reported more everyday
happiness had healthier biological functions in a few key systems. The happier
subjects had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone related to conditions
such as type II diabetes and hypertension. Happier individuals also showed
lower responses to stress in plasma fibrinogen levels, a protein that in
high concentrations often signals future problems with coronary heart disease.
Finally, happy men had lower heart rates over the day and evening, which
suggests good cardiovascular health. These results were independent
of psychological distress, which implies that positive well-being is directly
related to the biological processes relevant to health.
Eleven Million Children
Die Every Year
Almost 11 million children in developing countries die each year before
the age of 5, most of them from causes that are preventable in wealthier
countries, the World Bank said in a report released in April
2005. The causes include acute respiratory infection, diarrhea, measles
and malaria, which together account for 48 percent of child deaths in the
developing world, according to the report _called World Development Indicators.
Five years ago world leaders outlined a number of development objectives,
formally known as the Millennium Development Goals, to achieve by 2015. They
include boosting primary school enrollments, removing obstacles to greater
numbers of girls going to school and improving health care.
Many countries have made progress toward achieving the goals, but many countries
are off track and a huge effort is needed. For example, in India school attendance
rates for the richest 20 percent of the population are twice as high as for
the poorest and in Mali the mortality rate of children from poor, rural families
is twice as high as those from rich urban ones.
Red Cabbage with
Ingredients: 2 cups apple juice or cider, 2-4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar,
1/2 tsp. allspice
3 cups shredded red cabbage, 1 cup grated red apple, pinch of salt.
In medium saucepan, bring apple juice or cider, vinegar and allspice to
a boil. Add cabbage, apple and salt. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Serve warm or cold.
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The primary sources cited above,
New York Times (NYT), Washington Post
(WP), Mercury News, Bayarea.com,
USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle
(DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times
of India, AP, Reuters, AFP, womenfitness.net