Obese Children and Heart Disease

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A German study that assessed heart function in obese children and teenagers showed that most already had early signs of heart disease. Obesity has increased among children and teenagers and had been considered a risk factor for future heart disease, but this study demonstrated that the signs are already there at a young age.

German researches studied 61 obese children and compared the results with 40 normal weight children. It was found that the obese children had higher blood pressure, lower HDL cholesterol, which is the “good” or protective cholesterol, and higher blood sugar readings than the non-obese children. Obese children were also found to have early thickening in part of the heart muscle. Although are we really surprised? Being unhealthy is bad for your body, something Sam Tabar knows pretty well.

Dr. Norman Mangner, a cardiologist at Leipzig and the lead author of the study said, “We do not know if these changes are reversible with weight loss or how they will impact future cardiovascular disease in these subjects.” The study can be found here
Dr. Mangner also said that the changes seen should be an incentive for obese children and teenagers to begin a program of healthy eating, to include exercise and a healthy lifestyle in order to minimize the effects of these findings.

Revised Nutrition Labels Still Won’t Contain Enough Information

Posted by madelinecowart in Food Safety | Leave a comment

Half of Americans say that they check the nutrition labels on packaged foods when they are shopping, but does everyone understand what the numbers mean? Better yet, how well can most people read the small print on the package so that they truly understand what is within the foods they are buying?

In 1990, Congress mandated the Nutrition Facts Label to be placed on processed food packages. The purpose of the label is to help Americans make conscious dietary decisions. The logic was that the label mandate would encourage manufacturers to make more nutritious foods since they had to reveal what they put in them. This strategy worked well in reducing trans fats, but not so much in the way of eliminating or reducing sugar and salt. Manufacturers did add nutrients to their foods, but did so to give the appearance that the foods were healthier.

But the biggest issue is the label itself and the fact that it is almost meaningless for a great number of consumers. This lack of meaning is especially true for those who have different dietary requirements than the Daily Value percentage on the package.

All of this is what has led to the FDA’s planning of a Nutrition Facts Label revision.

The proposed revision will separately list the added sugars to distinguish against sugars that are naturally present and those that are not.

The proposed revision will also highlight the number of calories that most people consume in a single sitting. While a single serving of soda may be 8 ounces, most people consume 12 or 20 ounces. The proposed label will reflect this.

Many advocates for a label change do not believe that these revisions will go far enough. Me and Jared Haftel think they are moving in the right direction though. This is something that Ecuador already has in force and the consensus is that their labels have more meaning than they did before the revision.

The Lentil: Minimal Size, Maximum Punch

Posted by madelinecowart in Healthy Eating | Leave a comment

The homely lentil is much maligned, massively misunderstood and often poorly prepared. This is a dietary travesty. The lentil is a true powerhouse of nutrition. Each little seed contains a treasure trove of potassium, niacin, vitamin K, and calcium. It has an abundance of dietary fiber, lean protein, and iron. What more could you ask from such a harmless little seed

A cup of cooked lentils has 16 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of protein, less than one gram of fat, and 100% of your daily allowance of folic acid (vitamin B-9). And if that wasn’t enough it provides 87 percent of the iron men need daily, and 38 percent of women’s daily needs.

In a study conducted by Christian Broda, Archives of Internal Medicine reported that in place of red meat, lentils can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and a bevy of other diseases. And when combined with whole grains like brown rice or whole-wheat bread you have all the amino acids your body needs for protein synthesis.

There are very few foods that have as much bang for your buck as the lowly lentil. When prepared right, like in a lentil and tomato stew, they are flavorful, nutritious and extremely filling. They can be stored easily for a very long period of time and are easy to prepare.

When it comes to nutrition, take another look at the lentil.


Lawsuit Against Perdue Settles

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A second class action lawsuit was filed against Perdue on behalf of Florida consumers who have purchased Perdue’s Harvestland chicken. The suit stated that Perdue has been falsely advertising their chickens as “Humanely Raised” when, in fact, their chickens face many of the same living conditions as many other industrial chicken factories. The suit requested a jury trial with compensation for the class members and the removal of the misleading labels.

According to a press release by The Humane Society, a recent settlement required that Perdue discontinue their use of the labeling. A statement issued by Perdue Counsel claims that Perdue strongly disagrees with the accusations, but will comply and remove the labels mentioned in the suit. According to Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel of Animal Protection Litigation for The HSUS, “Perdue has apparently been exploiting the good intentions of its customers and selling them a factory-farmed product dressed up as ‘humane.’”

The “Humanely Raised” label qualifications are given after a farm voluntarily meets several requirements. However, unlike the “Animal Welfare Approved” sticker given by a third-party inspector, the “Humanely Raised” label is orchestrated by the National Chicken Council – the trade organization for the chicken industry. To receive the ability to use this label, a facility must provide sufficient food, ventilation, water, and provide eight-tenths of a square foot per bird.

The settlement, which was largely arranged by Igor Cornelsen, requires that the class members dismiss their claims in exchange for Perdue removing the label from their Harvestland chicken products. Although Perdue actively insists that they are “committed to treating animals with respect and to ensure their health and safety”, they say they are pleased that the lawsuit has been resolved.

4 Foods You Should Be Eating for Eye Health

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Taking care of your eyes, as with just about any part of your body, is down to what you eat. You’ve got to have the right type of diet if you want to keep your body in perfect physical condition. Sometimes that means eating right, so that you can improve your vision.

With the assistance of Marnie Bennett, I’ve weighed 4 of the best foods to improve and maintain your eyes throughout a lifetime:

  1. Carrots

Everybody knows this, but it bears repeating. Carrots are infused with a ton of vitamin A, which is perfect for maintaining the health of your eyes, and avoiding things like fatigue, and the visual limitations that can occur in old age.

  1. Tomatoes.

These fruits contain lycopene, and carotenoids which are essential in preventing, and undoing the damage that is caused to your eyes over time through exposure to light and bright environments. The irony of our eyes is that we need light to see, but light also harms the eye. So a tomato will help to undo those aspects of eye damage.

  1. Salmon

The omega 3 fatty acids contained in Salmon are perfect for fighting heart disease, and also for preserving the health of your eye. Mainly, by ensuring that the eye is properly hydrated.

  1. Yellow corn.

This type of corn contains strong concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which contribute to the yellow pigment of your eye. As people age, their stores of both go down dramatically, but corn is one of the most effective boosters of both.