#1 Increased Cancer Risk..Obesity

The number one increased risk for cancer is obesity.. yes you heard that right!

Having lean muscle and less fat tissue is the goal to decreasing your risk for cancer. Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat and make most of your meals revolve around vegetables! When it comes to exercising, make sure you regularly work out– at least 3 times a week to reduce your risk.

Obesity is associated with increased risks of esophagus, pancreas, colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, thyroid, gallbladder, as well as other cancers. Obese people most likely have increased levels of insulin in their blood which may promote tumor growth. Fat tissue also produces excess amounts of estrogen. One study estimated that if current trends continue, obesity will lead to approximately 500,000 additional cases of cancer by 2030.

What does this mean to you and your family? What kind messages can dietitians, nutritionists, and those in the health industry do to prevent this?

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Photo credit: janderson99.hubpages.com

How Much Sugar Are You Consuming?

The average American consumes, 18-23 teaspoons a day, or 2 pounds of sugar a week, about 2.5 times the recommended daily limit. That is equal to 100-156 pounds of sugar in a year! In the last 20 years we have increased sugar consumption in the United States from 26lbs. of sugar to 135lbs. of sugar per person every year. Sugar is the most widespread form of carbohydrate and the most common ingredient in processed foods. Half of our sugar intake come from “invisible” sugars (foods you don’t think would have sugar in them)

Even if you don’t feel like you are consuming a lot of sugar, you are most likely eating more sugar than your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Added sugar is found in many unexpected food items, including sliced bread, wheat crackers, salad dressing, ketchup and energy bars. Soft drinks are largest source refined sugar in children’s diet. Clinical studies show that sugar-free diets are more difficult to follow in the long-term. Sugar-free eating can trigger cravings for sweet foods and disordered eating. Being able to enjoy occasional sugary foods is important (remember moderation is KEY!)

There are many different names for sugar that are on food labels. The trick is if it ends in “ose” it is sugar. Just to name a few: honey, lactose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener, juice concentrate, natural sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. Remember to always read food labels and choose brands with lower sugar content. Also, keep in mind that artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, are two hundred times sweeter than sugar! It’s not ideal to consume artificial sweeteners if you want to reduce a sweet tooth.

If you are craving a sugary food, try reaching for a food that is naturally sweetened like fresh fruit. But remember,  just because it is a fresh fruit, doesn’t mean you can eat the whole bowl and not expect your blood sugar to rise. A lot of sugar into the bloodstream upsets body’s blood sugar balance, triggers release of insulin which the body uses to keep blood sugar at a safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat (linked to weight gain and cardiovascular disease). High fiber content foods slows down process of digestion which results in slow release of glucose.

Sugar-quantity-in-common-foods

For more information: http://www.northjersey.com/news/196728311_Know_how_much_added_sugar_you_re_consuming__content_is_no_sweet_surprise.html?c=y&page=1

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/the-sweet-life-and-what-it-costs-us/

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DPHS/nhp/adults/documents/sugar.pdf

Way to Go Coca-Cola!

The Coca-Cola industry is taking initiative in raising public awareness on the obesity issue in their new advertisements on television. They will begin airing commercials of Coca-Cola’s record of providing drinks with fewer calories over the years but will note that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind — not just soda. Later this year, New York City is said to be the first in the nation to put a cap on the size of soft drinks sold in public areas. Also, under consideration is putting the amount of activity needed to burn off the calories in a drink on cans and bottles. I think this would be a great idea in order to gain public recognition of how much time would have to be spent exercising in order to burn the amount of calories consumed just from a bottle or can of soda.

Also, when PepsiCo Inc., the No. 2 soda maker, recently signed a wide-ranging endorsement deal with pop singer Beyonce, critics called for the singer to drop the contract or donate the funds to groups that fund health initiatives.

What are your thoughts/comments on this?

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Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/14/coca-cola-to-address-obesity-for-first-time-in-ads/#ixzz2I3wRNXmn

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-coca-cola-obesity-20130115,0,7945990.story

Obesity Health Crisis

“Obesity is a bigger health crisis globally than hunger, and the leading cause of disabilities around the world, according to a new report published Thursday in the British medical journal The Lancet.

The report revealed that every country, with the exception of those in sub-Saharan Africa, faces alarming obesity rates — an increase of 82% globally in the past two decades. Middle Eastern countries are more obese than ever, seeing a 100% increase since 1990.

And for the first time, noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, stroke and heart disease top the list of leading causes of years spent sick or injured. On average, people are plagued by illness or pain during the last 14 years of life.”

All of these problems are all tied to obesity. We need to change this! It’s all about awareness and education– we can stop this together!

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For more information: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/13/health/global-burden-report/index.html?hpt=he_c2 Danielle Dellorto, CNN

Integrative Nutrition, Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness

A few quotes from Integrative Nutrition, Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness. These are great, and so true!

“We live in an era of “time poverty,” where we’re caught in a constant state of “hurry sickness.” We consume massive amounts of caffeine to speed us up, eat fast foods to save time, work while eating to stay productive, but we never catch up. It is possible to shift these behaviors.” 

“America is a great country. We have the security, freedom and lifestyle desired by many people around the world. But Americans are overweight, unhappy and unhealthy. Every year healthcare costs increase while overall health decreases; people continue to eat poorly, gain weight and depend on medications and operations to maintain their health.”

“Every day, 2,500 Americans die from cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease,
heart attacks and stroke.”

“We get more prescriptions and less guidance on how to create long-term health. We spend an exorbitant amount of money on medications and operations while virtually nothing is spent on prevention, education and holistic health.  Medical experts are basically saying, “Live it up, do what you want and when you get sick, we’ll give you a magic pill that will make it all go away.”

“The disparity in government funding points out an awkward truth about the USDA: what it urges people to eat does not match what it pays farmers to grow.”

“What I find so curious is that with all the money we spend on medical bills and pharmaceuticals each year, our life expectancy is nearly the same as Cuba’s. To be exact, life expectancy in the United States is 78.0 and in Cuba it is 77.1. How is it possible that with all the money we spend on doctors’ visits and medications our life expectancy isn’t decades beyond Cuba’s, which spends next to nothing on healthcare?”

“American fast-food restaurants are sprouting up worldwide. McDonald’s announced its plan to open 700 new restaurants in China by 2013.”

“In one way or another, almost all the sources of information we would expect to support our quest for overall health are contaminated for reasons of financial gain.”

“The success of stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and the incorporation of organic sections at Wal-Mart illustrate that consumers are concerned about their health and the quality of their food. When individuals, like you and me, stand up for improving our own health, things do change.”

For more information: https://s3.amazonaws.com/integrativenutrition/Publishing/IntegrativeNutrition2ndEdUpdate_PDF.pdf

Tip of the day: “Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight”

Obesity is clearly linked to breast cancer in postmenopausal women, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and cancers of the colon, rectum, uterus, kidney, and pancreas. Evidence is also showing that obesity is linked to cancers of the gallbladder, liver, cervix, and ovary.

Main ways to reduce your risks of developing cancer are maintaining healthy body weight through physical activity and diet as well as obviously holding back from tobacco. People who maintain a healthy weight have a lower risk of cancer than those who have gained and then lost weight.. this is why children need to be educated of healthy eating at a young age! However if you are already overweight, it’s still worth it to lose that weight because your chances of developing cancer still are lowered.

So keep all of these helpful tips in mind the next time you reach for fried foods or sweets.. it pays to eat healthy!

Source: Nutrition Action; Still Not Getting It? 10 Messages That Don’t Seem To Stick; June 2012

Think Smart, Think Water!

A conclusion of new research by T. Bettina Cornwell of the University of Oregon and Anna R. McAlister of Michigan State University have found that water could change the way we eat.

60 US young adults and 75 US children were surveyed about their food and beverage intake in this study. Older participants favored the combination of soda served with salty, calorie-dense foods rather than soda and vegetables. Preschoolers ate more raw vegetables, either carrots or red peppers, when accompanied with water rather than when accompanied by a sweetened beverage.

“Serving water, McAlister said, could be a simple and effective dietary change to help address the nation’s growing obesity problem, which has seen increasing number of diabetes cases in young adults and a rise in health-care costs in general.”

It’s important to start teaching children to drink more water instead of tasty, high calorie drinks. The earlier children start learning to drink more water with their meals, the more they associate this habit into their lifestyle rather than high-caloric beverages.

For more information visit: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514122844.htm

“You Don’t Crave Broccoli, our generation has grown up craving a big mac”

Everybody take the time to watch this HBO film: The Weight of the Nation film confronting America’s obesity epidemic. We have to learn how to fight back and lower the rates of overweight and obese Americans in this country. There are 18% of children in the United States that are obese and 2/3 of Americans that are obese. The kind of food we eat, is the food that is the most profitable from what we see and crave on television. The CDC has discovered that 68.8% of American adults are overweight or obese.

Please take the time to watch this film and realize that it’s important to fight back and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.. don’t wait until tomorrow, start now!

http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/films <– click here to watch!

Unborn Babies Treated for Obesity

Babies are being medicated in the womb in order to prevent them from being obese. Dangerously overweight moms-to-be in four British cities have started taking a diabetes drug during pregnancy to trim their risk for giving birth to an overweight child. If this strategy succeeds, it’s worrisome that the treatment could become widespread within five years and cause tens of thousands of overweight, but otherwise healthy, moms-to-be around the world to want the treatment.

“A British study recently reported that maternal obesity has doubled during the past 20 years, with one in six pregnant women in the UK facing extra health hazards, including heart disease and increased risk for birth defects and stillbirths. In the U.S., where one in three women is obese, there are now medical centers specializing in caring for morbidly obese pregnant women, with such equipment as larger, sturdier operating tables. These patients are more likely to require a C-section, often due to large babies, who can face a wide range of health risks, including nerve damage, broken bones, or even brain damage during a difficult vaginal birth.”

I don’t believe taking medication in order to prevent a child from being obese is the healthiest way to take on this approach. Moderate aerobic exercise during pregnancy can reduce the birth weight of a baby without medication. Pumping up fiber intake also helps reduce risk for gestational diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

What does everyone think about this? — Is it right to take the easy way out, not exercise and pop a pill to prevent an unborn child to come out thinner? Or is it healthier to start living a healthy lifestyle once you realize the risk your child can be at by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy  as well as exercise?

Source: http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/should-unborn-babies-be-treated-obesity

Diet Drug–Qnexa

An independent panel of medical experts voted Wednesday that Qnexa’s (a new diet drug) significant weight-loss benefit outweighed its potential risks. The approval moves the decision on Qnexa to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their final approval later this year. If approved, as it seems to be headed in that direction, Qnexa would be the first prescription diet drug to reach the market since 1999. It is a combination of the anticonvulsant topiramate and the appetite suppressant phentermine. Studies show the medications produced an average of about 10% loss of body weight in the first two years of use. However, last year, the FDA reclassified topiramate as a class D drug, meaning it carries risks to a fetus but may still be acceptable for use in pregnant women despite the risks. Clinical trials on Qnexa also showed an increased risk of birth defects — typically cleft lip — in women who became pregnant on the drug. The study also found that users have an increase in heart rate.

Officials have agreed that they will have a tightly controlled system for those prescribing Qnexa in order to prevent birth defects such as healthcare providing training, monthly pregnancy tests, and a patient and medication guide.

What are your thoughts or comments on this drug? Should it be approved to prevent obesity, do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Source: http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-qnexa-fda-20120222,0,2707696.story