Wednesday: Health Points

China will clamp down on foods tainted with illegal and excessive chemicals as it seeks to quell domestic and foreign alarm about toxins in meat, seafood and vegetables, the country's top agriculture official said…

…Minister of Agriculture Sun Zhengcai said consumers had no reason to fear eating most of the nation's farm produce, while the nation's quality inspection agency announced comprehensive food export tagging in a bid to reassure customers.
A study of nearly 1,700 children in rural Missouri found that those who usually ate homegrown fruits and veggies had one full serving more a day than those who didn't and were more likely to prefer the types of produce that they grew at home.


You don't need to live in the country to garden with kids. If you'd like to test out your green thumb with your youngsters, you can try container gardening (here's a tip: hollowed out oranges or grapefruit make excellent bio-degradable containers), planting in a window box, or even digging a small plot like we did. The joy is in the digging, the planting, the getting dirty, and the time spent together, as well as fresh veggies all summer long.
One child in five will be obese in the Netherlands by 2015, according to a study carried out by the Nicis research institute in the country's major cities, the Dutch news agency ANP reported Tuesday.


Fewer than 10 percent of children in primary school manage to average half an hour exercise a day. Among teenagers, it is fewer than 30 percent.


As a result, by 2015 one Dutch child in five will be too heavy, Nicis found.
The study tracked the eating habits of more than two thousand people over a ten year period. Wow. The researchers also reported that those whose diets contained fiber from mainly cereal or fruit sources did not fare so well - they had a higher risk for type 2 diabetes than those getting lots of fiber from veggie sources. The reason could be that foods high in vegetable fiber produce smaller fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels than would cereal or fruits. Lead researcher, Alan Barclay, says legumes are the best fiber source of all.
One study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated this in 2003. The study, which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that eating protein-rich foods — like milk — decreased the ability of tryptophan to enter the brain.


The trick, the study showed, is to eat foods high in carbohydrates, which stimulate the release of insulin. Insulin, in turn, makes it easier for tryptophan to enter the brain.

But surveys have found that many people swear by milk as a sleep aid, and that may have something to do with psychology.
The interaction of vitamins and minerals in the body (synergy) can have a strong impact on the effectiveness of many of them, but this seems like an odd one to me. Nevertheless, lipid and ascorbic acid interaction was studied in terms of possible cancer contributions to the upper stomach area (which is sensitive to cancerous issues and tumor development).
A Consumer Reports magazine poll released July 25 of 3,048 parents who have children ages 5 to 17 found that 91% say childhood obesity is a problem in the USA. But of the parents of children whose body mass index (BMI) categorizes them as overweight, half say their kids weigh what they should.


Only 36% of the parents with heavy children say their physician has suggested their child lose weight; the other 64% say the doctor didn't mention it.

Many parents simply don't realize their children are overweight, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in private practice in Chicago and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "The doctor never told them. Other kids in the class look like their child, and their kid seems pretty healthy," she says.
What can you do to lower your salt intake? You can eat fewer processed foods and become a savvy label reader. You can make more of your foods at home and use spices instead of salts to flavor food. When eating out, ask for unsalted foods and empty your salt shaker at home. You can even consider making your own bread, since bread and cereal products account for a large portion of our daily intake. Shoot for 1,500 to 2,400 mg of salt a day, which seems like a lot but is much lower than the 4,000 to 6,000 mg the average American eats today.
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Lilly - September 5, 2007 10:38 AM
Carla - September 5, 2007 12:04 PM

I find people make comments about how thin my kids are, when in fact they aren't. They are a normal and healthy weight for their height and age. Its just that they look thin compared to their peers. The norm has got distorted!

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