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HEALTH & WELLNESS/Body/Dieting & Weight Control or HEALTH & WELLNESS/Conditions/Obesity
Period: October 1, 2013 to October 15, 2013
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

DNA Testing Finds Contamination Of Many Herbal Dietary Products

A study using DNA barcoding to analyze the plant species found in samples of herbal supplements found that 59 percent were contaminated with plant species not listed on product labels. Worse, more than two thirds of the products tested contained plant species that were substituted for the plants listed on label. A third of the products also contained other species that may be filler or simply contamination. The U.S. study also found in some products plant species that were toxic, had side effects or had negative interactions with other herbs, supplements, or medications. The researchers suggested that the herbal industry use molecular diagnostic tools such as DNA barcoding to authenticate herbal products by testing of raw materials.

" DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products", BMC Medicine, October 10, 2013

Forty Years Of National Nutrition Survey Data Are “Implausible” – Study

U.S. researchers have found that the measurement protocols used in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) have significant limitations, rendering the nutrition data collected via the survey flawed and “implausible”. The NHANES survey, conducted by the CDC and USDA, combines interviews of self-reported food and beverage consumption over 24 hours and physical examinations to assess the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. The researchers said data collected in the survey from 1971 through 2009 are not “physiologically credible”, because the "calories in" and the "calories out" reported by the 63,000 adult men and women don't add up. In fact, it would be impossible to survive on most of the reported energy intakes. ”It is time to stop spending tens of millions of health research dollars collecting invalid data and find more accurate measures," the researchers concluded.

"Validity of U.S. Nutritional Surveillance: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Caloric Energy Intake Data, 1971–2010", PLoS ONE, October 09, 2013

Most Mobile Weight-Loss Apps Lack Proven Behavioral Change Strategies

A U.S. study that evaluated 30 popular mobile weight-loss apps lack effective behavioral diet strategies, such as stimulus willpower control, problem solving, stress reduction and relapse prevention. Lacking these so-called evidence-based – i.e., scientifically proven to be effective – strategies, means the apps go only so far in helping people lose weight because they do not provide strategies for staying on track when motivation flags. Twenty-eight out of 30 of the apps included only five of the 20 proven behavioral strategies. The top two apps include only 65 percent of the 20 strategies.

"Evidence-based strategies in weight-loss mobile apps", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, October 08, 2013

Treatment Of Heart Patients Should Expand Beyond Measuring Physical Risk Factors

Doctors and other healthcare providers should move beyond treating only the physical indicators of heart disease risk to helping people change unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, unhealthy body weight, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Physicians today tend to treat physical risk factors, known as biomarkers, that are easily measured through a blood sample or a blood pressure reading, but should be helping patients change these detrimental behaviors. The researchers suggested implementing the five “A’s” when dealing with patients: assess the risk behaviors for heart disease, advise change (e.g., weight loss, exercise etc.), agree on an action plan, assist with treatment, arrange for follow-up care.

"Better Population Health Through Behavior Change in Adults: A Call to Action", Circulation, October 07, 2013

School Districts And States With Policies On Sugary Party Treats Prove Effective

Classroom parties can mean a lot of calorie intake for children over a school year, contributing to the childhood obesity problem. But a new U.S. study finds that school districts and states with policies/laws that discourage sugary foods and beverages are 2.5 times more likely to restrict those foods at school parties than schools without such policies or laws. Even though most policies were stated as recommendations, rather than requirements, policy and law were associated with increased school-level restrictions, which demonstrates the value of policy, the researchers concluded.

"Classroom Parties in United States Elementary Schools: The Potential for Policies to Reduce Student Exposure to Sugary Foods and Beverages", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, October 02, 2013

Research, Studies, Advice  

Adolescents Who Eat Five Regular Meals A Day Have Reduced Risk Of Obesity

A Finnish study has found an association between the number of meals adolescents eat in a day and the risk of obesity. The study, which followed 4,000 children prenatally to age 16, showed  that eating five meals a day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks – was associated with a reduced risk of overweight and obesity in both boys and girls, and a reduced risk of abdominal obesity in boys. Skipping breakfast was associated with greater body mass index and a bigger waistline. The researcher said the effects of “predisposing genotypes” (linked to obesity) can be modified by lifestyle habits, such as regular meal frequency.

"Five Regular Meals a Day Reduce Obesity Risk Among Adolescents", News release, Ph.D. thesis of Anne Jääskeläinen, October 03, 2013

The Right Amount Of Sleep Is Critical To Disease Prevention

Most people understand that getting too little sleep can be harmful to health. But now scientists are saying that too much sleep can be just as dangerous. Getting six hours or less of sleep a night – or 10 hours or more – have both been associated with a higher risk of chronic disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Short sleepers age 45 and older in the study experienced a higher prevalence of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes, in addition to obesity and frequent mental distress compared with those who slept seven to nine hours a night (optimal). Associations with coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes were even more pronounced among those with more sleep.

"Sleep Duration and Chronic Diseases among US Adults Age 45 Years and Older: Evidence From the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System", Sleep, October 01, 2013

Sweetener Industry Blogger Blasts Dr. Oz’s Claims About Artificial Sweeteners

On a recent TV show, Dr. Oz cited studies showing that consuming artificial sweeteners actually increases the risk of weight gain and the risk of heart disease and diabetes. But a blogger refuted the claims, noting that numerous studies – and several  leading health advocates like the American Heart Association – say artificial sweeteners are not only safe, they do help people lose weight, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The blogger – Katie C. – writes for the Calorie Control Council, an “international association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry”.

"The Dr. Oz Show Wrong About Low Calorie Sweeteners & Weight Gain", Blog,, September 30, 2013

Research Confirms That Melatonin Helps The Body Burn Fat

Spanish and U.S. scientists have found that regular melatonin consumption induces the appearance of “beige fat” that burns calories rather than storing them. The discovery answers questions about why melatonin has metabolic benefits in treating diabetes and excess lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia). The study in diabetic lab animal models showed that continual administration of melatonin sensitizes the thermogenic (heat creation through fat burning) effect of exposure to cold, heightens the thermogenic effect of exercise “and, therefore, constitutes excellent therapy against obesity”.

"Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats", Journal of Pineal Research, September 25, 2013

Diet Plus Exercise Reduces Weight, Improves Symptoms Of Knee Osteoarthritis

A U.S. clinical study involving 454 overweight people age 55 and older with chronic knee osteoarthritis finds that diet and exercise together led to greater weight loss and reduced knee pain. The intensive diet and exercise regiment was compared to diet alone and exercise alone. Researchers found that diet exercise led to greater weight loss, better knee function, faster walking speed and better physical health-related quality of life. The researchers concluded that patients can safely lose 10 percent of their weight and improve osteoarthritis symptoms with the combined regimen.

"Effects of Intensive Diet and Exercise on Knee Joint Loads, Inflammation, and Clinical Outcomes Among Overweight and Obese Adults With Knee Osteoarthritis", JAMA, September 24, 2013

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