Archive | HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Study: 50% of Children will be Obese by the Age 35

Childhood obesity has been a major issue in the United States for many years, and now it’s about to become more apparent than ever. Currently, the national childhood obesity rate is 18.5%. However, the LA Times says that by the time today’s children turn 35, 57% of them will be obese.

A study by Harvard researchers says most of the children that are bound to become obese are not currently obese. The study claims that health experts dropped the ball in terms of childhood obesity.

“Our findings highlight the importance of promoting a healthy weight throughout childhood and adulthood,” the researchers said in the study. “A narrow focus solely on preventing childhood obesity will not avert potential future health damage that may be induced by the ongoing obesity epidemic.”

The team of researchers had one specific question they were focusing on in this study. Zachary Ward, the leader of the team, commented on the question.

“We wanted to predict for children now at a certain weight and certain age, what’s the probability that they will have obesity at the age of 35?” Ward said.

The researchers say they picked the age 35 because that’s when many health issues related to weight, including obesity and diabetes, begin.

Along with the study from Harvard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 20% of children ages six to 19 are already obese.

The study from Harvard that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that children who are currently not obese are the only ones that have a better chance of not becoming obese in the future. On the other side, heavier children have more of a chance of being an obese adult. The study says that an obese two-year-old has a 79% chance of being obese as an adult. An obese 19-year-old has a 94% chance of being obese by the time they reach 35 years of age.

WDTV reports that helping children maintain a healthy weight starts with their parents or guardians.

Ditching Gluten? Study Finds That Fructan May Be To Blame For Stomach Woes

Stomach bothering you? You might find yourself searching the web for some specific cause.

Today, nutritional information is only a click away, so digestive woes often lead people to search for an allergy or intolerance. And in recent years, gluten intolerance has become somewhat of a buzzword for health-conscious individuals.

While many people are giving up this grain protein in suspicion of an intolerance, a recent study brings up another possible culprit:

Fructan.

This is according to a recent study by researchers at Monash University in Australia and the University of Oslo in Norway. Published in Gastroenterology, the study focused on people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The 59 people involved in the study were on gluten free-diets by choice, and they were instructed to eat a diet including gluten, fructan, or a placebo for seven days. They then rated their gastrointestinal discomfort, including stomach pain and bloating, on a scale.

According to Healthline, test subjects who are fructan were higher on this scale than those who ate gluten or the placebo. These research opens possibilities for those who may not need to be eating gluten-free. Dr. Amy Burkhart said in a statement to Healthline that a fructan intolerance test and one for non-celiac gluten sensitivity have not yet been developed. She said that physicians typically start by testing for celiac disease, which affects about 1% of the population.

“Celiac disease must be ruled out before the pathway to determine fructan versus gluten is undertaken, as it will require removal of gluten to determine,” she said. “If gluten is removed from the diet, celiac testing is invalid. If symptoms have resolved with a gluten-free diet, most people will refuse to reintroduce gluten once it is removed… The treatments, diet, and follow-up care are different so differentiation is important.”

Dr. Burkhart also told Healthline that non-celiac gluten sensitivity may soon be classified as non-celiac wheat sensitivity, as researchers learn more about how the components of wheat impact the human body.

“There are other components of wheat that appear to be culprits in gluten sensitivity such as the fructans and amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATI) proteins [found in wheat],” she said. “Others are also being investigated.”

Old Study Sheds New Light on Sugar Industry’s Controversial Past

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), recently uncovered a controversial 1968 study funded by the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF) and have compiled a new paper based on their findings.

The 1968 study, titled Project 259, studied the effects of sugar on rats. According to the historical documents the researchers uncovered, preliminary findings revealed that ingesting large amounts of sugar may be associated with heart disease. Shortly after these findings were uncovered, the ISRF pulled funding from the study.

“All we know is that the plug got pulled and nothing got published,” Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at UCSF and a co-author of the new paper, told CNN.

Glantz continued, explaining that very little is known about what the researchers themselves were allowed to do with the data they compiled in that fateful 1968 study.

The study, which seemingly provides hard evidence of the negative effects of ingesting too much sugar, was never published. Countless studies have proven that sugar, as well as other factors, have an effect on oral health. Age, for example, affects oral health in that 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. There’s no reason to hide this information. So why hide the effects of sugar on other health issues?

According to an analysis published by the same UCSF researchers in JAMA International Medicine last year, it’s been suggested that the ISRF later sponsored a study that concluded fat to be “the dietary culprit” in heart disease and related health issues.

The ISRF, now called the Sugar Association, contested the analysis brought forth by UCSF researchers.

“[It’s] not actually a study, but a perspective: a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry,” a representative told CNN.

This isn’t the first time a large industry or corporation has attempted to cover up potentially harmful findings, either. Glantz has compared the ISRF’s actions to those of big tobacco, calling them “manipulation science.”

Another such instance of manipulation came in 2015, when The New York Times reported that Coca-Cola had paid scientists to muddle the link between high sugar content and obesity. In addition, The Associated Press discovered that candy makers had funded skewed research in 2016.

These studies can make or break a big industry, which helps, in part, explain why big players might not want the results getting out. But at the same time, research that reveals the health effects of certain foods is critical to shaping federal dietary guidelines.

“Industry-funded research often shows results that are in line with the sponsors’ interests,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, told The Verge.

When it comes to medical research, facts such as “99.7% of adults believe a healthy smile is socially important,” and “one in five Americans doesn’t have an ideal bite,” are rarely disputed because the public trusts in the validity of the scientific findings there. It appears the food industry may be another story altogether.

“This wasn’t about science. This was about marketing,” Nestle concluded.

These Foods Could Keep Your Family From Developing Cavities

Most people say that having a beautiful smile can boost their confidence in life. But approximately 32% of people say they’re concerned about the look of their teeth… and we all know that dental care doesn’t come cheap. If you want your child to have superior oral health, it’s important to start early. But in addition to dental care tips, like regular brushing and flossing and early visits to your dentist, there may be other ways to ensure your family stays cavity-free — like the meals you make right at home.

Restrict Your Acids

Even if you’re vigilant about oral hygiene, consuming too many acidic foods or drinks can be dangerous for your teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics say that parents should refrain from giving juice to any child under one year old. This is mainly due to its high sugar content, but it’s an important lesson for grownups, too. Drinks with high acidity (and yes, that includes wine) can be damaging to tooth enamel and lead to increased cavities. If you or your children do indulge in sugary and/or acidic foods or drinks, be sure to get the toothbrush out right after.

Go Ham On Yams

That isn’t to say that all sweet stuff is bad. Sweet potatoes (which are actually yams) are excellent for oral health — when they’re not loaded with marshmallows, that is. This vitamin A-rich food helps with salivary function and helps to keep your mouth’s pH levels consistent, which helps to prevent tooth decay. They also have more potassium than bananas, making them a great snacking option.

Remember Whole Fruits Are Your Friend

Just because you should restrict your juice consumption doesn’t mean that fruit = bad. Firm, fibrous fruits like apples are a good option because their crunchy texture is a natural workout for your jaw. And strawberries can promote healing, which can make your gums stronger. Fiber is really important for strong teeth, and your body won’t get as many nutrients out of these items if you stick them in a smoothie. It be a convenient way to eat breakfast, but there are sometimes better ways to fuel young bodies.

Be Nutty About Nuts

Phosphorus-rich foods are tooth enamel protectors, and nuts are filled with phosphorus. In fact, one ounce of raw peanuts contains 107 mg of phosphorus. This element can help reduce cavity risk by helping our saliva to neutralize acids. So whether you like to snack on them raw or would rather spread PB on your toast, it’s definitely a tooth-friendly snack. Plus, with high levels of protein, potassium, and fiber, it’s an option that will keep you fuller for longer (and will reduce your risk of reaching for something more sugary later on).

Don’t Assume Fat Is A Bad Thing

Remember that not all fats are created equal. Avocados are a great source of healthy fat, but they also contain a lot of potassium — a mineral that can strengthen bones and keep them from breaking down. We all think of calcium as important part of strong, healthy bones, but a lack of potassium can lead to tooth decay too. You might also be surprised to learn that butter contains vitamin B12, which can promote gum health and even heal canker sores. If you don’t have enough vitamin B in your diet, you may be more prone to gum infections and subsequent tooth loss. If you’re a dairy fan, keep in mind that cheese is a great option for teeth and gums, as its calcium and B12 can protect both (and who doesn’t want an excuse to eat more cheese?).

Ultimately, it’s vital to eat everything in moderation. Too much butter, of course, won’t make for a healthy diet. But the stuff we might be inclined to see as “healthy,” like fruit juices, can actually be detrimental to our bodies — particularly developing ones. While this doesn’t mean you have to remove these foods from your diet completely, awareness is key to ensuring the foods you eat support your dental care efforts. Plus, tooth-healthy foods are generally healthy in general, meaning that you can help your family start enjoying these staples from an early age.

Compelling Reasons To Add Honey To Your Winter Healthcare Regimen

Americans consume about 1.3 pounds of honey per person per year. And while most think of the substance as nothing more than a sweet treat, there are actually a surprising number of health benefits of honey that many people overlook. Here are just a few reasons to consider adding honey to your winter healthcare regimen.

Cleans Wounds

It’s no secret that winter weather often comes with an unavoidable and imminent risk of slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or driveway. Fortunately, the healing powers of honey can work to help you recover from any cuts or scrapes you may have after a fall or other minor injury. While it’s not a miracle cure, it’s antimicrobial properties can help keep wounds clean and heal them faster.

How exactly can you use honey to treat a wound? It’s easier than you think.

“After cleaning the wound, put honey on one side of gauze or a clean cloth, and lay it onto the wound. Or pour a thin film of honey directly onto the wound and put the gauze over that. Either way, seal the honey in with surgical or duct tape on the edges of the bandage. Clean and repeat twice a day,” explains Commonsensehome.com.

Can Improve Oral Health

Many people may be shocked to hear that despite honey’s sugar content, it still has positive oral health benefits. That’s right — the honey present in sugar does not harm your teeth — that is, as long as it’s 100% raw honey. Anything less is almost certain to be mixed with high fructose corn syrup, which is known to cause cavities like other sweeteners.

Raw honey, however, can be used as a form of tooth decay prevention in addition to treating gum disease. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, but it’s undoubtedly medically important as well. And fortunately, certain types of honey are known for their cavity prevention abilities as a result of their microbial properties.

Furthermore, if you have an infection or inflamed area in your mouth, honey can work its antibacterial magic to ease pain and discomfort associated with the infection and help to flush out the bad bacteria that caused it.

Don’t Forget…

Unfortunately, not all honey is created equal. The key to reaping these fantastic health benefits of honey is investing in the right type of honey. As mentioned earlier, it has to be completely raw honey with no fillers such as high fructose corn syrup. Ultra-filtrated honey should also be avoided, since the process of refining it removes many of its healing properties.

Finally, it’s ideal to know exactly where your honey comes from. Always try to buy locally to ensure that your honey is not being altered or processed in any way.

According to current data, the U.S. needs about 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to meet our healthcare needs, and even though honey isn’t necessarily a miracle cure, you never know if it could save you a trip to a healthcare professional this season. Of course, for more severe injuries and health issues, it’s always best to consult a doctor before attempting any DIY treatments.