Tag Archives: obesity

World Hunger, Rising Obesity, Anorexia: which nutrition group to stress on World Food Day? @FAOWFD #wfd2013


Ironically, while we try to end world hunger, we are also fighting the twin wars of rising obesity and anorexia. The Centers of Disease Control says 35% of US adults are obese and 69% of US adults are overweight (including obese).  A Brown University study says 0.5% to 3.7% of females will suffer from anorexia in their lifetimes.  About 5-15% of total anorexics will be men.  Anorexia is significant weight loss due to an intentional starvation for “beauty”.

Pursue Natural has a suggestion on how to solve obesity and anorexia while helping stop world hunger: Encourage such individuals to actively participate in ending world hunger activities by actually interacting with starving people around the world.  The interaction between these groups will leave a lasting impression.  On one hand, hunger when there is no other option other than to starve versus intentional hunger to become thin (Anorexia) and on the other hand, an obese individual whose calorie needs are not sustainable by  his/her genes (obesity and genes).  Our select collection of photos here emphasize these three groups.

Photos on nutrition

Hunger exists in parts of the world where generosity and kindness is lacking among leaders and influential people. You can do something about it.

Finding enough fish to feed increasing population numbers -The Fisherman on the River Ganga (Ganges) by Sumit Sen

Finding enough fish to feed increasing population numbers -The Fisherman on the River Ganga (Ganges) by Sumit Sen

Hunger: No obesity exists among the displaced citizens of the world

Hunger: No obesity exists among the displaced citizens of the world

A new USA 2013 citizen - with the promise of no hunger, obesity or anorexia?

A new USA 2013 citizen – with the promise of no hunger, obesity or anorexia?

Mayor Bloomberg wants to restrict sugared drinks to 16oz size max

Mayor Bloomberg wants to restrict sugared drinks to 16oz size max in New York City to conquer obesity

Adults often try to make healthy food choices

Adults often try to make healthy food choices

It is quite difficult even for adults to resist such candy choices

It is quite difficult even for adults to resist such candy choices

Weight issues haunt the young in USA

Weight issues haunt the young in USA

photo-4

New York City introduces subsidized bike rentals to ride your way out of obesity

New York City introduces subsidized bike rentals to ride your way out of obesity

Hunger Obesity BrainObesity 2013

How to grow enough rice for exploding population growth - A rice field in Korea

How to grow enough rice for exploding population growth – A rice field in Korea

Modern grocery stores promised better food than such local farmer shops could provide.

Modern grocery stores promised better food than such local farmer shops could provide.

A severely Anorexic woman  - who intentionally starved herself to feel "more beautiful"

A severely Anorexic woman – who intentionally starved herself to feel “more beautiful”

Buy this placemat to end hunger program by Church World Service CWS - What can you do? Order Online or call 1-800-297-1516

Buy this placemat to end hunger program by Church World Service CWS – What can you do? Order Online or call 1-800-297-1516

Be a part of the solution and learn, get inspired and take action
We can end hunger. The body needs a certain amount of energy or calories from food to keep up basic life functions. Obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and children since the 1970s and continues to be a leading public health problem in the US (Food Research and Action Center).

Join the global movement to end hunger
The World Food Day theme for 2013 is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. A noteworthy discussion is posted by Worldlife Conservation Society, “World Food Day: A Time to Embrace the farming We Want”, where they stress the crucial challenge in conserving biodiversity.

World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 to honor the date of the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations on 1945. Every year a different theme is adopted and most center around agriculture.

End malnutrition and hunger through education
Prevent intergenerational malnutrition and hunger by promoting education of women and girls. Read this 40 page 2013 article on Right to Food- Global Strategic Framework – women/gender.

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Hunger is mental but Obesity is genetic


A California State University researcher, Takako Hara, raised a question in 1997, “What is the relationship between hunger and eating?” Hunger has been analyzed by several researchers for decades in three different criteria – biological, cognitive and learned. Click here to read this article summarizing the role of hunger in obesity research in 1997.  With the sequencing of the human genome, the role of the genes we inherited from our parents and their role has been extensively researched by obesity researchers and summarized in an article by Harvard University which you may click here to read.  We want to convince our readers that obesity can be strongly influenced by healthy environments and lifestyle choices.  However, we have to acknowledge that a certain segment of humans are genetically at far higher risk of obesity than the rest of us, on the same diet, in the same environment.  It is for them that it becomes critical to conquer this battle of mind over stomach and genetics.

Biology
People whose stomach was removed still felt hungry.

Hunger and Eating based on Biology
Humans use an external clock in their daily routine. At “lunch time” it is time to eat. Interestingly, people feel hungry for particular tastes. For example, the four basic tastes bitter, salty, sweet and sour are often included in statements when hungry.

Hunger and Eating based on Cognition
Blue is said to be an appetite suppresant – can you remember a single blue food that you crave? Mother nature does not produce blue food. Color greatly affects our hunger and people eventually can learn to change their preference. Children at a party beg for a cupcake with blue icing.

Our Brain, our intestine and Hunger
There are two places in our brain that control the feeling of being hungry or full. One part signals when to begin eating and the other part signals when to stop eating. The intestine or the gastrointestinal tract controls short-term hunger, or impulse eating.

So, What is Obesity?
Exceeding the average weight for a given height at a specific stage in one’s life may be defined as being obese. Simple overeating does not explain the cause of obesity. Obese people tend to respond more often to external cues of hunger like “lunch time” than the non – obese. There are boundary levels of feelings of hunger and being full that are determined by biology. For the obese this biologically determined boundary is higher than the non-obese.

Eating Disorders
There are people who can starve themselves and are called anorexics. A cognitive or learned component of anorexia cannot be ignored. While those who eat too much and then throw up by forcing themselves to throw up are called bulimic and tend to have a connection with depression. Both anorexics and bulimics may suffer from malnutrition.

Mind and Body Connection to Hunger
There are two kinds of hunger; one that is caused psychologically and the other that is caused physiologically. Problems like eating disorders and obesity occur frequently because we try to fullfil our psychological hunger. Until we acknowledge the fact that it is often times our mind that is hungry and not our stomach we may never be able to be fully “not hungry”.

The Sense of Hunger is Not Just the Food we Put Into Our Mouth but The Thoughts Controlled by The Environment Around All of Us.

Hunger Obesity BrainHunger in Children and Tantrums 
Occasionally, serious emotional or behavioral problems in children, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may sometimes indicate a problem more serious than hunger (Read more).  Excessive tantrums in pre-schoolers and it’s relationship to hunger is being extensively researched. Quoting Andrew C. Belden, Ph.D., a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research scholar in child psychiatry,

“Healthy children may even display extreme behaviors if they’re very tired or sick or hungry. But if a child is regularly engaging in specific types of tantrum behaviors, there may be a problem.”

Unquote. You may click here to read more on when excessive tantrums in preschoolers may indicate mental evaluation is warranted rather than simple hunger of a healthy child.

Common Obesity is caused by Mutations in Multiple Genes
The search for an obesity gene that began several decades ago illuminated several genetic factors are responsible for obesity. Many people who carry the so called “obesity genes” do not become overweight until exposed to certain lifestyle factors which influence the genes that they inherited from their parents, including certain rare forms of obesity. Quoting from a Harvard University article, “Obesity – promoting genes in an Obesity – promoting world”:

To date, genome-wide association studies have identified more than 30 candidate genes on 12 chromosomes that are associated with body mass index. (8-10) It’s important to keep in mind that even the most promising of these candidate genes, FTO, accounts for only a small fraction of the gene-related susceptibility to obesity.

unquote.

The interplay of genes and genes – environment warrants attention. Twin studies are often cited by obesity researchers. A recent study of over 25,000 twins suggested a strong genetic influence on BMI. Twins have the same genetic influence on BMI and thus, obesity, assuming environment and lifestyle at home is same for the twins. It is increasingly clear that genetic factors identified so far make only a small contribution to obesity risk. Click here to read this Harvard University article.

Related Articles
High Fructose corn syrup – why would anyone educated still consume it?
How the biological inheritance from your parents defines you
Race, ethnicity and kidney disease
Two Traditional Plant-based Diabetic management from Africa, and India
War on obesity and diabetes by reducing intake of drinks with sugar to 16oz in New York City

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Pthalate exposure linked to obesity and eczema in children in new studies


Presented at the Endocrine society’s annual meeting in Houston. A research study suggests plastics may alter fat metabolism.  Phthalates are manufactured, endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can mimic the body’s natural hormones. Phthalates are primarily used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in products.
Click here to read the 2012 obesity study by pediatrist Dr Mi-Jung Par which reports that children with the highest levels of a common pthalate (DEHP) in their blood were five times likely to be obese as children with the lowest levels of this pthalate.
Click here to read the 2012 eczema study by Dr Alan Just and colleagues at Columbia Center of Children’s Environmental Health, NY: Prenatal exposure to a pthalate (BBzP) commonly found in household dust and vinyl flooring may increase a child’s risk of developing eczema. Click here to read more.

DEHP may do two different things that increase fat development, Park said. It may reduce the effect of androgen — a male sex hormone — which lowers body-mass index (BMI). It may also disrupt thyroid function, which plays a role in weight gain. Interfering with androgen or thyroid hormones can affect appetite or a person’s rate of metabolizing food..Click here to read more.

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Are we less healthy than our parents and grandparents – both mentally and physically?


Our grandparents could walk for miles. Our parents could drive for miles and walk for miles too. What do we do?
Today, many of us have indoor bikes which assure us we are cycling for miles; some of us do indoor aerobics at least once a week for 40 minutes. Others prefer doing several laps of indoor swimming in chlorinated pools assuring us they are germ free. Some do calisthetics while others do indoor deep breathing yoga or modern forms of indoor yoga like those in 105 degrees only. Some do indoor iceskating. Others reach out for indoor rock climbing or gym activities like indoor weight lifting.

Who is healthiest long-term?

Most of us prefer modern entertainment and news formats like TV or computer games and our grandparents wistfully talk of the days when news was exchanged in social gathering holes like the local church or temple or the country bar or village market. Our parents talk of their childhood when they ran across and collected their neighbors to play after school or on holidays. There was never any talk of “play dates” supervised by hovering helicopter parents. Child predators and child kidnappers must have existed through millennia and yet, this generation of parents are extra vigilant of child predators and kidnappers lurking everywhere and children have to be escorted everywhere, even to school and playgrounds. Do children go exploring in the woods alone any more? Did any parent shudder when I mentioned this?

The summer Olympics in Great Britain of 2012, will witness Olympians breaking many previous records, demonstrating speed and strength unimaginable by our ancestors. Are we truly a superior human race today?

The fastest runners in the world

All this, and yet, this generation may be the first modern generation in which many parents may outlive their children, or the parents may be too scared to out live their child with Autism, and “new” debilating musculo skeletal and mental disorders. Many have fibromyalgia. Many are way beyond fat and the term obese needs to be replaced by a term implying double, triple or multiple times of what would qualify as a fat person until the 1970s. This is the first generation were women are being crippled by knee pain which was rare in their grandmothers. Young women are being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in numbers unheard off in their parents or grandparents generation. It is not unusual to have classrooms trying to accomodate for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and several young children with leukemia, or childhood cancers.

Several athletes are confessing to strength enhancing drugs undetectable by current standards of drug testing. Such drugs are in the hands of only the most “developed” nations and although in the knowledge of the athletes of the “underdeveloped” competitors through locker room conversations, it is unaffordable. So, the ancient Olympic and Cycling competitions have become a show case of which nation has access to the latest drug test busting, strength enhancing know-how; clearly demonstrated by the human athletes of “inferior” nations trailing far behind the “superior” nations. Has the human race evolved differently when divided by oceans in a few decades, when evolution from apes to neanderthals and humans took millennia? Unlikely, but athletes have positive attitudes and never complain. They simply do their best. It would be nice to know if our current generation of athletes are truly superior to those ancient Greeks in that first Olympics at Athens.

All fair in love and cycling competition?

What has changed? Is it our attitude? Here are a few views below with links to their recent original articles:
If you want to form an argument based on knowledge, click these links below. You have more links? Leave them in comments to share with our readers. We want to hear what you think has changed.
1) A series of articles in New York Times on Obesity of which the most emailed one by Dr Carson Chow on May 14, 2012, entitled, “A mathematical challenge to obesity“, in which the conclusion is that while physical activity has not changed much in thirty years, food consumption has increased, and may be the leading cause of the rise in obesity”. Compare with article below.
2) Studies question the pairing of food deserts and obesity by Gina Kolata, April 17, 2012, also part of the above series of articles in New York Times, which summarizes conclusions from several scholarly studies finding that there is no correlation between food sold in a neighborhood and childhood obesity. Compare with article above.
3)The largest ever genome – wide study of childhood obesity by Dr Grant and his team, at Childhood hospital of Philadelphia. They characterize and identify a genetic predisposition to childhood obesity. They caution that babies born with these genes will not necessarily grow into obese children. To avoid obesity they advise better diet and a more active lifestyle.

Note from PursueNatural: Above authors say better diet and more active lifestyle – wait, is it not exactly what this generation is supposed to be doing? Yet, obesity rates are over 30% higher than in 1970s, while these obesity genes have existed for millennia, presumably even as we evolved from apes and neanderthals and our healthy, non-obese grandparents.

4) An article you must read is by Prof Yan Yu, in April 2012, in the journal, Obesity, as reported by Nature.com: “Educational Differences in Obesity in the United States: A Closer Look at the Trends” Quote.

……Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), we address these issues and examine changing educational differences in obesity from 1971–1980 to 1999–2006 for non-Hispanic whites and blacks in two separate age groups (25–44 vs. 45–64 years). We find that (i) obesity differentials by education have remained largely stable, (ii) compared with college graduates, less educated whites and younger black women continue to be more likely to be obese, (iii) but the differentials are larger for women than men, and weak or nonexistent among black men and older black women. There are exceptions to the overall trend…..

Unquote Read more.

5) “Why Have Americans Become More Obese?” by Professors David M. Cutler, Edward L. Glaeser and Jesse M. Shapiro, offering an economic impact of this obesity epidemic. Quote…

In the early 1960s, the average American adult male weighed 168 pounds. Today, he weighs nearly 180 pounds. Over the same time period, the average female adult weight rose from 143 pounds to over 155 pounds (U.S. Depart- ment of Health and Human Services, 1977, 1996). In the early 1970s, 14 percent of the population was classified as medically obese. Today, obesity rates are two times higher (Centers for Disease Control, 2003).
Weights have been rising in the United States throughout the twentieth century, but the rise in obesity since 1980 is fundamentally different from past changes. For most of the twentieth century, weights were below levels recom- mended for maximum longevity (Fogel, 1994), and the increase in weight repre- sented an increase in health, not a decrease. Today, Americans are fatter than medical science recommends, and weights are still increasing. While many other countries have experienced significant increases in obesity, no other developed country is quite as heavy as the United States.
What explains this growth in obesity? Why is obesity higher in the United States than in any other developed country? The available evidence suggests that

….Unquote. Read more.

Why is the average little child super obese today, when compared to our grandparents generation? Simply look around you. Strong4life.com

Note from PursueNatural Yes, you may be very thin and working hard towards being healthy the best way you know how. Yet, if your neighbor or the person in the next town is super, super obese and their three year old child is 200 lbs, yes, your tax dollars will be used towards this public epidemic of obesity related health issues. Money that could be used to improve roads and schools and repair century old bridges and tunnels and airports and pay for increased vigilance and security, will go towards treating the millions of super – super obese, unless you act now to add your voice to question this modern epidemic of obesity. Science says, the rate of rise of the super-super obese since the 1970s does not follow what would be considered a rational trend.

Read the above links. Be informed. Be knowledgeable. Be proactive. Is not your goal to be healthier and live in a cleaner, safer and more technologically superior environment than your grandparents? We may be planning a space module with overbooked flights carrying celebreties to space. However, our infrastructure on this earth may crumble due to lack of tax funding. Perhaps, begin to raise private funds towards infrastructure maintainance while the “new” diseases of obesity and Autism Spectrum Disorder and resultant health issues are worked out?

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Could anti-CD20 cure Type 2 – Diabetes? Stanford U. and U. Toronto researchers ask today


Researchers who have studied obesity and diabetes asked if both these diseases could be termed autoimmune diseases and  announced today that Type 2 – diabetes can be termed autoimmune disease and it causes obesity.  The human version of anti-CD20, called rituximab, is already FDA-approved to treat some blood cancers and autoimmune disorders. Which may lead to an interesting inquiry: Could this FDA – approved treatment for autoimmune disorders also treat some cases of obesity and all cases of Type 2-diabetes? Published in two articles in Nature medicine, one today and one earlier.

Two excerpts:
Quote

According to co-first author Daniel Winer, MD:

This work will change the way people think about obesity, and will likely impact medicine for years to come as physicians begin to switch their focus to immune-modulating treatments for type-2 diabetes.
Unquote

Quote

Type-2 diabetes is characterized by the gradual development of insulin resistance, which affects the ability of the body to properly metabolize glucose. It’s associated with being overweight, but it can also have a genetic component. Despite the fact that millions of people have type-2 diabetes, the root cause of the insulin resistance is not known. In 2009, Daniel and Shawn Winer showed (also in Nature Medicine; subscription required) that T cells of the immune system were involved. Now they found that another immune cell, called a B cell, also plays an important role.

Unquote

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Studies linking Autism to obesity during pregnancy: limited to mothers with autoimmune diseases?


Since Dr. Paula Krakowiak, of University of California, Davis, published an article on a significant link between an obese pregnant mother and an Autistic child, the media is running with this information. However, what the media should also add is that no single factor alone appears to be linked to Autism but a combination of factors such as an older father or mother, new gene mutations , or diabetes which were not present in the grand parents but appear in the parents, accounting for about 70% of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases and of course, the vaccine connection debate, in addition to the Somali cases of Autism in Minnesotta (Vit D rather than obesity perhaps?) are various other factors which together or in combination with unknown environmental factors like herbicides perhaps cause Autism.

A pregnant mother preparing for her baby

Autoimmune disease and Autism: It might be timely to add that Dr Thayne Sweeten and colleagues have found that families with other Autoimmune diseases have higher cases of Autism. They strongly suggest that immune and autoimmune factors might play a role in causing Autism in a child.

Where the obese pregnant mothers diabetic: Now, you might ask: Did the pregnant obese mothers who produced an Autistic child have an autoimmune disease? The answer may very well be yes! If so, you may ask if that disease was Diabetes, becauses it causes a person to be obese. The answer may very well be yes! May be another autoimmune disease too like Rheumatoid Arthritis perhaps.

The reason I request you to ask this question about an autoimmune disease in the pregnant obese mother is because just today Stanford University researchers led by Dr Edgar Engelmann have announced in Nature Medicine that Type 2 – Diabetes is being redefined an autoimmune disease.

Naturally, this changes the direction of Diabetes research to what factor trigger the autoimmune reaction in patients to cause Type 2 – Diabetes. Also, are these the same factors that cause an Autistic child to be produced from an obese pregnant mother?

Thank  you, blogger kristashealthylife for alerting us to the article linking obesity during pregnancy to Autism. It is why I wrote this article.

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Why should you choose a traditional pecan pie, free of corn syrup, this Thanksgiving?


Princeton researchers have found that a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) diet can make all considerably more fat, 48% more fat than those on an ordinary sugar diet; in addition, not all on the natural sugar diet got fat, unlike all on HFCS. These Princeton University researchers and several others all over the nation are now, naturally, quite motivated to prove HFCS can cause an obesity epidemic and obesity related diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. See ABC video discussed below on the controversy raised by a Harvard professor on sweetened beverages and snacks. There are 16 million Latino kids in USA and one in two of them will develop diabetes connected to obesity, writes Cindy Rodriguez of Huffington post. A lack of will power is not to blame for this rise in obesity of Hispanic children, says a Professor of Pediatrics, at Baylor Medical Center of Texas. An interesting note, while there has been an alarming rise in Autistic children in the recent decades, the number of Hispanic children presenting severe autism is rare. Is it possible that the factor responsible for obesity is protective from Autism?

A Hispanic Children's Obesity Participant

Many consumers want to boycott products with HFCS. Others, simply buy products which do not include HFCS – hence, encouraging use of natural sugar in products we commonly use, like cereal. This Thanksgiving, 2011, many are giving thanks by eating an old – fashioned pecan pie, made with no corn syrup and HFCS; a recipe follows, if you scroll all the way down.

The Old Fashioned Pecan Pie - with no corn syrup

 

Food with no corn syrup?

Have you tried to buy bread recently? Firstly, there is none with no sugar. “Sugar-free” does not count because it is sweetened artificially. The “sweetened” bread uses high fructose corn syrup to be sweetened. It will be difficult to find a brand without HFCS. Of course, you will put on weight by eating bread sweetened with HFCS, even if you may not have put on weight eating the same brand when it did not use HFCS. Hurley and Liebmanin 2008, reviewed thoroughly the “healthy” claims of many commercially sliced breads on the store shelves. They said since HFSC or sugar is added in such small amounts it is an unimportant fact in sliced bread. I disagree. Bread is a staple and every little bit of HFSC adds up. They raised the alarm on the use of artificial sweetener in bread, and I would agree. How about sweetened cereal? That too is a staple?

A sampling of commercial cereal

History of sugar and corn syrup & Patents

Use of sugar goes back centuries. It was never meant to be used in such large amounts as modern, affluent societies began to use in candies and other confectionaries. Sugar was dangerous to produce. It required handling of boiling hot liquids. Much of this work was done by slaves. This inspired a son of a former slave to invent a safer process for manufacturing sugar. Norbert Rillieux, of New Orleans, Louisiana, received a patent from the United States Patent Office in 1846, entitled, “Improvement in sugar making“. His invention included vaccuum and evaporation steps. Thus, began the industrial age of sugar in 1846.

The discovery of corn syrup and High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) allowed for cheaper substitutes for sugar. Then, followed a search for a cheaper process of manufacturing HFCS. A recent patent by East lansing, Michigan, scientists in 2007 claims to have discovered a better process for HFCS manufacture. The patent discusses how production of HFCS using immobilized glucose isomerase (GI) is the largest commercial enzymatic process. So, this patent claims to have found a better enzyme for industrial production of HFCS, and the search continues for a yet better enzyme.

It appears that if you want to make more money for your company, you should support cheaper, large scale manufacture of HFCS. On the other hand, if you are against all people gaining weight, even those who are genetically able to resist weight gain from a little sugar in their diet, then you should be against HFCS. It is clear that there are two schools of thought: one for profits, and denial of obesity and the other, desperate to save humanity from an obesity epidemic. Researchers are collecting data linking the alarming rise of obesity with the discovery and use of HFCS in soda and now, most branded food. The Corn syrup association is quick to refute most research findings.

Video on obesity

See this ABC videon “Should parents lose custody of their extremely obese kids” as advised by a Harvard Professor? Taking a child from a parent is drastic. Perhaps, families need to be counseled on adopting food choices with no corn syrup, HFSC sweetened foods, in my opinion. Removing a child, already facing depression from obesity, having two glasses of soda a day, in school and home and having no vegetables and unsweetened food is not going to reduce the obesity of this child.  In thirty years childhood obesity has tripled. 2 million children are extremely obese, with some kids weighing hundreds of pounds.

Should food with corn syrup and HFSC be labeled dangerous, obesity inducing?

More children are more obese than previously expected. A medical researcher recently published a study in 2010 of 710,000 children and found that 7% of boys and 5% of girls were “extremely” obese, where a 10 year old child who should have weighted about 70 lbs weighs 140 lbs. Have you ever seen such large people ever in your lifetime, any time in USA or in the world? Have you asked your grandparents their opinion and observations on their young days and current obesity? Why do most people in USA want to pay more for food excessively sweetened than for unsweetened food? If the same food item were labeled, “Danger! You will become obese”, would the same consumer buy that food item?

Popular snacks in the USA

Have you been angered when too often in recent years the person sitting next to you on your flight cannot fit into the airplane seat? Do you find that obese children are getting abnormally fat? Have you noticed how the sedentary, obese children of USA are far fatter than the sedentary, obese children anywhere else in the world? China, too is reporting an obesity epidemic.

Choosing a Soda on a Hot day

Ethics

Is it ethically alright to allow an entire generation, and perhaps future generation of HFCS guzzlers to get very obese and very sick? Princeton researchers have shown that HFSC diets are related to higher triglyceride levels which are connected with high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Have you done the maths to see how this generation’s unrestrained obesity related illnesses will affect every person’s medical insurance payments? Next time you see that obese person, who is spilling into your seat, guzzle a HFCS sweetened drink, will you wonder how much extra your medical insurance payments will go up because of that drink which you are not drinking? Or will you feel sorry for the person, wondering how sick will this obese person become in a few years time?

Pecan Pie Recipe: corn syrup and HFSC free

Recipe of Old Fashioned Pecan Pie from “The Kitchen“: Just as decadent, rich and sugary as ever, but with one small change; they ditched the corn syrup. You must try this HFCS and corn syrup free recipe this Thanksgiving and share with us your reaction. Did you enjoy your pie, knowing that perhaps, you may not have gained weight if you were not programmed genetically to gain weight from a little traditional sugar?

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Fatty food makes new cells, and keeps us healthy


Most natural fats are found in vegetable oils, dairy products and in animal fat. Vegetable oils such as olive oil are liquid at room temperature because the are composed largely of triacylglycerols and unsaturated fatty acids. Most fats are complex mixtures of simple and mixed triacylglycerols. Beef fat is a white, greasy solid at room temperature because it is composed of triacylglycerols containing only saturated fatty acids.

The chief storage form of metabolic fuel is fat in living organisms. However, this fat is in different forms in different organisms. The fats and oils used as forms of stored energy are derivatives of fatty acids. Fatty acids circulate in the blood bound to a protein carrier, serum albumen and in blood plasma as carboxylic acid derivatives. Specialized cells called adipocytes, or fat cells, store large amounts of triacylglycerols as fat droplets that nearly fill the cell. Triacylglycerols yield twice as much energy gram per gram as carbohydrates. Also, they are unhydrated unlike carbohydrates and hence , the organism that carries fat as fuel, does not have to carry the extra water of hydration. Humans have fat tissues composed of adipocytes. These are located under the skin, mammary glands, and in the abdominal cavity. Moderately obese people can draw for months on their fat stores to supply their energy needs. Carbohydrates can only provide one day’s energy, although they offer a quick source of energy. Some lipids while essential for cell structure (omega- 3 and omega -6 oils) cannot be produced by the body and require dietary sources. In a study conducted in rats showed that a critical period of rat brain development occurs during late trimester of pregnancy and early lactation months. During this time, large amounts of omega- 3 fatty acids are deposited in the brain lipids of the developing foetus and baby rat brain. So, during this time the mother’s diet must be provided with a suitable dietary source of omega – 3 fatty acid.

The fatty acids can be of a wide variety. Heart tissue is uniquely composed of certain lipids such as ether lipids and plasmalogens.  The functional significance and their difference is unknown. However, if you eat a fat-free diet, you are certain to ‘starve’ your heart tissue of much needed nutrients to remain healthy. Anorexic girls soon develop weak heart tissue precisely because they eat a fat free diet. Overzealous adults starve their own hearts and sometimes that of their growing children by feeding a fat-free diet. Fatty food should be in moderation included in a healthy diet.

At least one fatty lipid, platelet-activating factor is a potent molecular signal. It plays an important role in inflammation and the allergic response. It is released from leukocytes and stimulates the release of serotonin from platelets and exerts other effects on liver, heart, uterine, lung and smooth muscles. A fat-free diet could potentially make one more prone to allergies.

Humans have at least 60 different fatty acids called Spingolipids in their cellular membranes. They are especially important in neurons and some are clearly recognition sites on the cell surface and can begin a cascade reaction. Certain variations of spingolipids define human blood groups and therefore determine safe blood transfusions. This area needs to be researched further. However, they emphasize the importance of moderate fat in a food menu. Credit for this initial research goes to Johann Thudichum (1829-1901).

Many new cells die each day and are replaced by new cells, each having a new cell membrane, which is composed of membrane fatty acid lipids. A fat-free diet could reduce the healthy replacement of new cells. Sterols are structural lipids present in the membranes where they serve as a precursor to certain biological activities. For example, steroid hormones and cholesterol are major sterols, which have various functions including giving a structural role to cell membranes. Trust me, if your cell membrane lacks structure, your cell has no structure and results in a body with no form or structure! You need structure, hence you need sterols. A fat-free diet with no sterols or cholesterol can be deadly.

Thus, fatty acids considered above have shown that lipids form a structural role in cell formation (about 5%) and a fuel storage role (80%). These lipids play a passive role in the cells. Another group of lipids have an active role in the cells, as hormones, and intracellular messengers generated in response to an exterior cell signal. A third group consists of conjugated lipids that absorb light in the visible band. Some of these pigments have a significant role in vision. Specialized lipids are important because they are useful to carry vitamins A, D, E and K as fat soluble vitamins. So, these are biologically active fatty acid lipids. Imagine a fat-free diet would be deficient in such biological activity. Membrane spingolipids have a role as intracellular messengers and as regulators. This can be important in any number of activities such as mounting an inflammatory response or in wound healing.

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Banana – the way to eat and lose weight too


Banana

My best friend was distraught when her toddler refused to drink regular milk. “How am I supposed to keep my baby healthy?” She wailed. Then, her baby girl surprised her. She loved to eat bananas and she ate enough to stay healthy. Fortunately, bananas are nutrition rich, especially in potassium. It made me wonder, what else does a banana have that made it so healthy?

I discovered that doctors have recommended eating bananas to people with low potassium or with hypertension. Scientists (1991) have shown that potassium is the primary mineral of ripe banana, and that crude protein is 3.8% of dry banana flour. They have also evaluated two cooking varieties of banana and shown that the carbohydrate content is 2.8% soluble sugars, 70% starch and 12% non-starch polysaccharides. Scientists have also shown that fresh green banana is a good source of Vitamin C.

I know that Bananas (musa sp.) are very popular in tropical countries. Banana has recently been called the weight loss food. When opera singer, Kumiko Mori, lost 15 lbs on the ‘Morning banana diet‘ developed by Hitoshi and Sumiko Watanabe, the banana became very popular in Japan. The Japanese went bananas over bananas with supermarkets selling out of bananas. Guess, our tropical ancestors were right!

Compared to other fruits the banana provides more energy. During marathons in Europe, runners are handed pieces of banana by volunteers running alongside them. Moroccons have a deliciously cold, avocado – banana smoothie recipe that was made an international hit in 2011 by a blogger. Some always keep a supply of bananas in their fridge.  A delicious banana streusel recipe is another way of eating your bananas.

Is banana the food of choice of thin people or are people thin because they eat banana? Banana recipe suggestions have included eating it with your waffle, and loving sisters have suggested serving it along with a meal on the side to satisfy hungry brothers. The importance of eating breakfast, to maintain a healthy lifestyle has been emphasized by trainers and nutritionists. Some say that’s easy because the banana is their favorite breakfast food. Some have said eating bananas prevents them from snacking by making them feel full. The importance of regular sleep in a banana weight loss diet has been suggested.  Your view is welcome.  Click here for hundreds of photographs and cartoons of banana.

Banana is not always good for you. Apparently, when the kidneys are not functioning correctly, it is best to restrict bananas in the diet. Again, it is the high potassium in the bananas which is to be avoided to keep a failing kidney healthy. Ironically, it is equally important for the remaining family members to eat bananas to stay healthy!

The Banana Tree

In West Bengal, India all parts of the banana plant are used. The fruit is very popular. The stem is cooked and eaten and it’s extract is being researched by Indian scientists to show beneficial effects. The fruit is sliced and dried to be eaten as a healthy snack, which may refer to their potassium, protein, vitamin C, and soluble sugar contents. The dried banana slices are packaged and sold in several health food stores such as Whole Foods and Food Emporium, and very popular as a healthy snack. The leaves are used to serve food in India. The leaves have natural antiseptic properties and hence serve as a healthy, antiseptic, disposable serving platter which are very popular during weddings in India.

Although there are several edible banana varieties, only a few varieties have worldwide appeal, particularly due to ripening issues during storage and transportation.  Marriott has published, highly cited papers on the storage and ripening properties of banana that are important during transportation (1980). There are several new varieties of cooking banana and plantain varieties with improved pest and disease resistance and where the cooking banana had lower starch, and ascorbic acid than the plantains. There has been much work done on how to prevent or delay banana peel spotting.

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