Category: General Health
Soda Drinks, Diet and Health
Soda Drinks and their Effect on Health
Every week it seems like there is a new study released that touts the benefits of a certain food item. And each week there are many studies published about things that are potentially dangerous to our health, whether it is salmonella on our tomatoes or cell phone use causing brain cancer.
But this week, there is news about something so common in our society that the effects are staggering. The consumption of diet sodas is so commonplace in our society that it is alarming to learn that the consumption of these soda drinks that we all crave may be causing health and diet problems plus developmental problems in youth.
Diet Soda, Weight Loss and Health
People who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they actually gain weight, according to a new study. Sharon Fowler, MPH and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio recently published a study, which found that people who consume diet sodas do not lose weight, but actually gain weight. The findings come from eight years of data collected and Ms. Fowler communicated the evidence at the annual assembly of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.
Ms. Fowler explained to WebMD that it was not a surprise to learn that soft drink consumption was directly linked to overweight and obesity, but what was surprising was the data surrounding people only drinking diet sodas and the fact that this data pointed to their risk of obesity due to the consumption of diet sodas.
Indeed, when the researchers took a closer examination at their data, they discovered that almost all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas. The researchers found a forty-one percent increase in risk of being overweight for each can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes daily, according to Fowler.
Diet Sodas or Sweetened Soft Drinks
Dr. David Jenkins, director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said earlier research studies conducted have shown that diet sodas did not have the same effects on weight and health as do naturally sweetened soft drinks. Dr. Jenkins continued by stating that the simple message is that by eating healthy, maintaining a regular exercise routine and only consume sodas within strict moderation.
And even more documentation regarding diet drinks has led researchers to become alarmed at the high-rate of their consumption worldwide.
Diet Drinks Affect Learning and Memory in Youth
According to a U.S. pediatrician, learning and memory may be negatively affected in young people who consume diet drinks containing the artificial sweetener aspartame. The evidence was presented by telelink to the Health Committee and parents are alarmed. In fact, some parents are even more alarmed to learn that schools in New Zealand are now stocking artificially sweetened soda drinks instead of sugar soft drinks for the children to consume.
The Council has the opportunity to hear testimony on aspartame after a petition was presented which called for the withdrawal of all products containing aspartame and other artificial sweeteners from schools, in addition to the introduction of warning labels on products to alert pregnant women and mothers of young children.
Soda Pop and Bone Weakening
The prominent ingredient in most soda pop is phosphoric acid and the pH of the majority of sodas on the market is 2.8, which is pretty acidic. Scientists explain that the benefit of balanced pH levels include the ability to alkalize the body. However, by consuming highly acidic drinks such as sodas, the opposite reaction occurs which is detrimental to health. Phosphoric acid also drains calcium from bones and is an utmost contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
Soda Drinks and Osteoporosis
Studies involving animals show that phosphoric acid steals calcium from bones. Indeed, recent scientific studies reveal that girls who consume soda drinks are more subject to broken bones. The soft drink industry, however, repudiates that soda plays a role in bone weakening.
The studies say otherwise. Studies involving rats show that consistent bone loss develops after the consumption of soft drinks. However it is important to note that rats and humans are not the same.
Other Health Issues Related to Soda Consumption
A large U.S. study of middle-aged adults has discovered that drinking more than one soft drink a day – even a sugar-free diet brand – may be connected with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that increases the likelihood of having a heart attack, stroke or even developing diabetes.
Dr. Ramachandran Vasan, senior researcher for the Framingham Heart Study, stated that only one soda daily raises the chance of new onset metabolic syndrome by nearly forty-five percent. And what was most alarming from his statement was the fact that this occurred with both regular or diet sodas.
Consult a Professional
If you are concerned about the consumption of soda drinks and their effect on your health and diet, it is recommended that you consult with a professional health care provider who is knowledgeable in the field.
Researchers Probe Connection between Liver Function and Obesity
When it comes to ducks, a fatty liver is desirable -- in fact, this plumped-up organ serves as the basis for the rich delicacy known in foodie circles as foie gras. However, when it comes to humans, this increasingly common disease can lead to a whole host of health problems.
Fatty liver is a disorder that occurs after years of insulin resistance limit the liver's ability to process fats effectively. In some cases, it is the result of alcoholism, while in other instances, it is related to obesity and an imbalanced diet.
One consequence of the obesity epidemic that has swept through the United States and other industrialized nations in recent years is a related outbreak of fatty liver disease. Once rare, this obesity-related disorder is now diagnosed with increasing frequency, sometimes even occurring in children and young adults.
The sharp increase in cases of obesity-related fatty liver disease has focused researchers' attention on the relationship between obesity and liver function. This week, we'll take a look at the results of three recent studies that assessed the connection between body weight and liver health, with a particular focus on the devastating effects of fatty liver disease.
Anti-Obesity Drug May Help Reverse Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
As researchers probe the connection between fatty liver disease and obesity, some teams have begun to explore the possibility of treatment regimens that could be effective against both of these conditions simultaneously. According to the results of a study published in a recent volume of the journal Hepatology, the anti-obesity drug rimonabant just might fit the bill.
In the study, the drug rimonabant was administered to several groups of obese rats. According to the scientists, the drug reduced obesity as expected, but it also markedly decreased several major signs of obesity-related liver disorder. Specifically, the rats that took rimonabant showed improved lipid profiles, decreased levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, and an overall decline in liver damage.
At the current juncture, numerous problems exist with anti-obesity treatment regimens based on rimonabant. Many human research participants have reported troubling side effects from the drug, such as nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. However, the authors expressed confidence that with some fine-tuning, rimonabant may emerge as an effective anti-obesity treatment that protects against and even reverses liver damage, as well.
Scientists Seek Deeper Understanding of Obesity-Related Liver Disorders
Using one of the world's largest collection of human liver tissue samples and a massive electronic health database, researchers at the Weis Center for Research, the Center for Health Research, the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management are working together to solve the problem of obesity-related fatty liver disease.
The incidence of the debilitating disease has increased considerably over the last several decades, an outgrowth of the staggering rates of obesity and overweight facing the United States and other developed nations. Despite the significant health damage that fatty liver disease can cause, the disorder often has few symptoms in the early stages of development, when treatment is most effective.
In order to stem the tide of undiagnosed cases of obesity-related liver disorders, the team has developed a number of simple diagnostic tests that can be used to quickly and easily screen patients' liver health and function. One test that has been developed is a simple blood test. When refined, it is hoped that the relatively simple test will represent a significant step forward from the current diagnostic procedure, which involves a costly and time-consuming liver biopsy.
Low-Glycemic Diet May Protect Against Fatty Liver, Obesity
In the aftermath of the low-carb craze, a more sensible version of the concept is beginning to be endorsed by more scientists, researchers, and medical professionals. The low-glycemic index diet emphasizes the selection of foods based on their glycemic impact -- in other words, how much and how quickly they raise the blood sugar.
In the span of just a few short years, a large number of studies have uncovered benefits associated with the low-glycemic index way of eating. The results of a recent investigation undertaken by scientists at the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital in Boston seems to suggest that the diet may also reduce and/or reverse the signs of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The study compared the liver health of mice fed low-GI and high-GI diets. At the end of a six-month experiment, the two groups weighed the same amount, but the mice that had been fed high-glycemic diets had much higher levels of fat in their bloodstreams, bodies, and livers. Although the results have yet to be confirmed in a human population, these findings could represent a breakthrough in the fight against obesity-related fatty liver disease.
If you're concerned about the health impacts of obesity-related fatty liver disease, talk to your doctor about a personalized risk assessment. Don't forget to check back each week for the breaking research news you need to succeed on your weight loss journey.
Researchers Explore the Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Low-Calorie Diets
Over the course of the last fifty years, the conventional wisdom on the number of calories you should consume while trying to lose weight has varied wildly. In the mid-twentieth century, dieters routinely stuck to very low calorie diets while trying to shed excess pounds.
By the 1980s, calorie counts in the 1000-1500 range were recommended, although the emphasis was placed on low-fat and fat-free calorie sources. In the early 2000s, calorie counting was dismissed altogether in favor of carb counting. Today, researchers are split on the calorie question.
In general, most scientists, doctors, and diet gurus don't recommend dipping below 1000 calories a day during a weight loss effort. However, a growing body of research into very low calorie diets is beginning to force some experts to reconsider this stance.
It has long been known that low calorie counts can help dieters speed up their weight loss. In fact, morbidly obese individuals are often placed on low-calorie liquid diets for the most rapid results. Still, for the majority of dieters, this practice is seen as unnecessary -- and potentially unsafe.
Still, recent research has begun to explore the idea that low-calorie diets might have other health benefits, in addition to their long-established role in the battle of the bulge. This week, we'll take a look at some recent research results that demonstrate the potential health and weight loss benefits of low-calorie diets.
Low Calorie Diets May Boost Cells' Ability to Repair and Rejuvenate Themselves
In recent years, a number of groups have contended that eating a low-calorie diet filled with super-nutritious foods may be the path to a veritable fountain of youth. Although these claims have not yet been fully substantiated by research, one recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Florida has demonstrated significant benefits of low-calorie diets at the level of cell activity.
According to the study, the cells of laboratory rats that were fed restricted-calorie diets demonstrated very high levels of activity in comparison to those rats that were fed standard-calorie diets. Specifically, the cells of the low-calorie diet group appeared to be able to repair, refresh, and rejuvenate themselves in ways not replicated by the standard calorie group. The cellular process, known as autophagy, seemed to kick into high gear after several months of a low-calorie diet.
The scientists determined that it was this unique cell rejuvenation process that may be responsible for the lengthened life span seen in animals that eat low calorie diets. The next step may be evaluating the impact of low-calorie eating on human life spans.
Decreased Calorie Consumption Linked to Increased Heart Health
Scientists at the Washington University School of medicine recently conducted a study geared to assess the long-term health impact of low-calorie diets. They conducted in-depth health analyses of two groups of people, one of which was comprised of men and women who ate typical Western diets, and one of which included people who made a habit of eating fewer calories. The low-calorie group was comprised of men and women who, for various reasons, voluntarily adhered to a diet that included an average daily intake of approximately 1600 calories, well below the norm for Western adults.
The health analyses of the two groups revealed many differences, most of which favored the low-calorie group. Most significant, though, were the differences in heart function over time. The men and women in the low-calorie group enjoyed better heart health much later in life than their counterparts in the standard calorie consumption group. Generally, the low-calorie groups had stronger, more flexible heart tissue, which is usually seen in much younger populations.
Although these results bode well for the growing low-calorie movement, the researchers stated that more research is needed to determine the full health impact of long-term caloric restriction. In addition, they caution that a low-calorie diet should not be a low-nutrient diet.
When it Comes to Weight Loss, Calories Do Count
Calorie-conscious diets have fallen out of favor in recent years, with the growing popularity of plans that focus on what kind of foods you eat, rather than how much you eat. Indeed, some diet gurus counsel their followers to ignore calories altogether.
However, the results of a recent joint study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Tufts University seem to indicate that the opposite may be true.
The study compared the weight loss success of a large group of adult men and women following many different types of diets, ranging from low-carb to low-calorie. After comparing the results of all of the different dieters, the researchers concluded that it was controlling the number of calories, rather than eating certain types of foods, that seemed to be the most consistent ingredient in successful weight loss efforts.
Across the board, the dieters who ate fewer calories were those who lost the most weight. The researchers concluded that regardless of which type of diet works for each individual, developing an awareness of calorie consumption is a good way to ensure that your diet efforts will meet with success.
If you're thinking about decreasing your calories to lose weight, check with your doctor first to make sure your eating plan won't imperil your health. And be sure to check back each week for the diet and fitness news that will help you achieve success on your weight loss journey.
Tips for a Healthy and Happy Life
Celebrities have a life that enables them to eat more disciplined, they are provided with trainers and chefs. They have massive financial motivation to eat right and stay fit. For the rest of us, we rely on efficient eating tips in order to stay fit and eat healthy.
Celebrity Cook Provides Eating Secrets for Staying Slim
Your diet is a bank account of calories. The food choice decisions you make throughout the day take from the calorie pool that each person has. If you make efficient choices during your day, your calorie bank account will not be overdrawn. Some tips include:
- Eat a snack before you leave home. This way you can choose something healthy. Don't wait until you are really hungry.
- Eat real foods with ingredients you can pronounce. Natural foods with bright colors are more inviting.
- If you have something really fattening on your plate, try not to eat everything on your plate.
Tips for a Healthy Way of Life
- Exercise more - make it your daily goal. Keep it interesting by changing your routine often. Exercising does not necessarily mean sweating at the gym, but instead can be as simple as climbing stairs in your house.
- Reduce stress - try to spend thirty minutes each day doing something you enjoy such as listening to music.
- Protect yourself from negative influences. If you have a certain "friend" or family member that consistently treats you or your family poorly, don't be afraid to keep them out of your life. Just because someone is a "friend" or family member, does not necessarily mean they are good for you. It is okay to skip stressful dinner parties or gatherings.
- Protect yourself from pollution - It is impossible to live in a smog free environment, but you can alternate the environments of which you reside. For example, if you work in a high-pollution area such as a big city, try to spend your weekends where there is less pollution.
- Avoid excessive drinking. Alcohol can leave you dehydrated and feeling tired the next day. This can take away from your motivation to exercise more and eat healthy. When going out with friends, try to drink soda water or bottled water with lemon. The following morning you will feel invigorated and ready to conquer the day!
- Get a good night's sleep. Life is so much better if you are well rested.
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