‘More than three million people have not eaten any greens in the past week with most of them believing chocolate, cheese and meat are part of their five fruit and vegetables a day.
A recent study has found that despite the Department of Health issuing guidelines in 2002, men eat only 2.4 portions a day on average, while women are only slightly healthier, eating 2.7 daily portions.
Birds Eye, which commissioned the reserach, discovered that 10 per cent of adults were earting fewer greens than they did as a child, while 11 per cent claimed bad memories of school dinner.’
- Britons count chocolate and cheese towards five-a-day
- Call to banish fruit juice from recommended five a day
- Three million Britons admit to going a week without eating vegetables
- Clueless Brits think a Bounty bar, Turkish Delight and cornflakes count towards their five-a-day
- Shoppers can now buy trays of potatoes, eggs and greens from a vegetable vending machine
‘How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans’ well-being than any other human activity. The food industry is the largest sector of our economy; food touches everything from our health to the environment, climate change, economic inequality and the federal budget. Yet we have no food policy — no plan or agreed-upon principles — for managing American agriculture or the food system as a whole.
That must change.
The food system and the diet it’s created have caused incalculable damage to the health of our people and our land, water and air. If a foreign power were to do such harm, we’d regard it as a threat to national security, if not an act of war, and the government would formulate a comprehensive plan and marshal resources to combat it. (The administration even named an Ebola czar to respond to a disease that threatens few Americans.) So when hundreds of thousands of annual deaths are preventable — as the deaths from the chronic diseases linked to the modern American way of eating surely are — preventing those needless deaths is a national priority.’
- John Oliver On Sugar: It’s In Everything!
- Parasites, Killing Their Host: The Food Industry’s Solution to Obesity
- Food Giants Are Getting People Addicted to Their Food: Interview with Michael Moss
- Salt Sugar Fat: NY Times Reporter Michael Moss on How the Food Giants Hooked America on Junk Food
- U.S. income inequality, on rise for decades, is now highest since 1928
- The Hands That Feed Us: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers Along the Food Chain
- A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century
‘Organic food really is better for your health than its conventional counterparts. At least, that’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by researchers at Newcastle University and published this week. But not everyone is convinced. Specifically, the researchers said that organic fruits, vegetables and cereals contain significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants than conventionally grown crops. They added that organic produce and cereals were found to have lower levels of toxic metals and pesticides.
For the study — said to be the largest of its kind — the researchers analyzed more than 340 international, peer-reviewed studies that looked at compositional differences between organic and conventional crops. According to the paper, researchers found that organically grown produce and cereals have between 19 and 69 percent higher concentrations of certain antioxidant compounds than conventionally grown crops.’
- Organic vs non-organic food
- Study sparks organic foods debate
- Is organic food healthier? Many scientists are still skeptical
- Clear differences between organic and non-organic food, study finds
- Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture
- Organic Food vs. Conventional Food
- Is Organic Better? Ask a Fruit Fly
- Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype
- Stop forcing veg down our throats
- Why can’t we farm without chemicals like my grandfather did?
- Women who eat organic foods no less likely to develop cancer, research finds
- Study: Vegetarians Less Healthy, Lower Quality Of Life Than Meat-Eaters
- Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review
- Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems
- FSA: Comparison of putative health effects of organically andconventionally produced foodstuffs
- Seven-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores and Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide
- Soil Association Organic Market Report 2013
- Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron
- Five myths about organic food
- Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience
- Whole Foods paying $800,000 for overcharging in California
‘Buzzwords like “gluten-free,” “antioxidants” and “whole-grain” pepper the grocery store aisles, but do they really mean that such products are healthy? A recent study conducted at the University of Houston warns shoppers to proceed with caution. Researchers say these health-related euphemisms have a powerful impact on consumers and, in light of the actual ingredients in some of these products, could convey a false sense of health.
…Although the FDA requires Nutrition Information labels in the United States and similar labeling systems are seen in other countries, Northup’s research concludes they have little effect on consumers. “Words like organic, antioxidant, natural and gluten-free imply some sort of healthy benefit,” Northup said. “When people stop to think about it, there’s nothing healthy about Antioxidant Cherry 7-Up — it’s mostly filled with high fructose syrup or sugar. But its name is giving you this clue that there is some sort of health benefit to something that is not healthy at all.”‘
‘It’s easy to understand why many Americans are unenthusiastic about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Although supermarket aisles are lined with foods made from biotech crops – most cereals, frozen foods, canned soups, vegetable oils, soft drinks, baby formula, tofu and even milk contain GMOs – consumers have yet to see tangible benefits from GMOs. The biotech industry has been slow to develop food that is healthier, better tasting or longer lasting – to its political detriment. As Food and Water Watch, a critic of GMOs, has argued, hyperbolically: “The only ones experiencing any benefits from GE crops are the few, massive corporations that are controlling the food system at every step and seeing large profit margins.” That is about to change.’
Researchers at William Paterson University in New Jersey, USA have compiled a list of “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” based on the amount of 17 critical nutrients they contain. Vegetables dominate the list and watercress is the only one to come out with a perfect score:
‘Make fun of $4 bunches of kale all you want; people are buying organic, and it’s changing American farming.
The USDA recently released its latest Census of Agriculture, and among the more startling findings was that sales of organic goods are exploding. Between 2007 and 2012, the USDA found, US farms’ total organic sales grew from an inflation-adjusted $1.9 billion in 2007 to $3.1 billion in 2012. That’s growth of more than 60 percent in just five years.’
High food prices mean a third of UK adults are struggling to afford to eat healthily, warns a charity. The British Heart Foundation, which polled 2,444 adults, found 39% sacrificed health benefits for cost when doing their grocery shopping. One in four said they hadn’t bought a single portion of fresh fruit or vegetables in the last week.
Two thirds said they wanted to eat more healthily, but nearly half of these said cost was a hindrance. The British Heart Foundation says people can still eat healthily on a small budget. But it is concerned that some people are turning to cheap convenience foods instead.
Allotments across the country are being destroyed and sold off for development, despite government pledges to protect plots. About 3,000 plots, two per cent of the national total, have been destroyed since 2010, according to official figures, with the final decision being taken by Whitehall in each case. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has rejected just two out of 83 applications by councils to sell sites for development.
The number of plots in England has fallen from a peak of 1.4 million in 1949 to around 150,000 today. In 1996 there were four people waiting for every 100 plots, but that has risen to 57 today, as the economic downturn and television programmes such as Gardeners’ World and The Big Allotment Challenge have encouraged people to try self-sufficiency.
In 2011, 51% of Russia’s food was grown either by dacha communities (40%), or peasant farmers (11%) leaving the rest (49%) of production to the large agricultural enterprises. But when you dig down into the earthy data from the Russian Statistics Service you discover some impressive details. Again in 2011, dacha gardens produced over 80% of the countries fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nations milk, much of it consumed raw.
While many European governments make living on a small-holding very difficult, in Russia the opposite is the case. In the UK one councillor‘s opinion regarding living on the land was, “Nobody would subject themselves to that way of life. You might as well be in prison“; tell that to a nation of gardeners living off the land.
…It’s good for your heart and brain. It’s full of antioxidants (which reduces oxidative stress to cells), theobromine (which can harden tooth enamel), and various vitamins and minerals (such as iron, potassium, copper, and magnesium). It can also help you reduce your blood pressure,ease depression, control your blood sugar and lose weight (but you should keep your dark chocolate t0 >85%, people).
The precise reasons for these health benefits are many, but a new study presented at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society explains much of it. Research shows that certain bacteria in our stomach consume dark chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for our hearts.
A very refreshing report has just come out of Britain. Eleven senior doctors have presented a strong, new mandate to Prime Minister David Cameron, insisting that it’s time for diet to be placed at the forefront of health policy. Although it was research specifically into the prevention of dementia that led to this conclusion, the doctors agree that the Mediterranean diet can go a long way toward preventing many other chronic illnesses:
“The evidence base for the Mediterranean diet in preventing all of the chronic diseases that are plaguing the Western world is overwhelming,” says Dr. Richard Hoffman, one of the lead authors of the letter to Cameron. Another signatory, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, adds this common-sense statement:
“We are not going to overcome the increasing burden of chronic diseases by prescribing more pills.”
A Mediterranean-style diet is one that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil. Fish is eaten at least twice a week, but meat and sugar only once. Moderate consumption of wine is advised.
Researchers have discovered a “wonder drug” for many of today’s most common medical problems, says Dr. Bob Sallis, a family practitioner at a Kaiser Permanente clinic in Fontana, California. It’s been proven to help treat or prevent diabetes, depression, breast and colon cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, anxiety and osteoporosis, Sallis told leaders at the 2013 Walking Summit in Washington, D.C.
“The drug is called walking,” Sallis announced. “Its generic name is physical activity.”
Recommended dosage is 30 minutes a day, five days a week, but children should double that to 60 minutes a day, seven days a week. Side effects may include weight loss, improved mood, improved sleep and bowel habits, stronger muscles and bones as well as looking and feeling better.
Biking, swimming, dancing, gardening, sports, jogging and aerobics work equally well, Sallis said, but he cites three factors that make walking the most effective treatment: 1) Low or no cost; 2) Simple to do for people of all ages, incomes and fitness levels, and 3) Walking is Americans’ favorite physical activity, so you are more likely to stick with a walking program than with other fitness prescriptions.
Sallis urges all physicians to prescribe walking for their patients because “physical inactivity is pandemic today,” as the authoritative British medical journalThe Lancetreported last year in a special issue devoted to the benefits of physical activity. Studies published in other leading medical journals show that walking and other physical activity could cut rates of many of these diseases by at least 40 percent, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. This would save Americans more than $100 billion a year in health care costs, according to the American Public Health Association.
People have know for at least a century that cranberries can help combat urinary tract infections but scientists are only now beginning to understand how. Canadian researchers exposed bacteria that cause the infections to cranberry powder and discovered that cranberries damage bacteria’s ability to grow the whip-like flagella appendages they use to move around, LiveScience finds. The bacteria almost completely lost the ability to swim and swarm—an ability that can be especially dangerous in urinary tract bacteria.
Even Proteus mirabilis—described as a “really aggressive swarmer” that can cause serious infections in catheterized patients—was crippled by the cranberry powder. The powder could be a very valuable treatment because it disables bacteria to be flushed out harmlessly by the body, whereas antibiotics kill most but not all bacteria, leading to hardy strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. One problem was the the concentration of cranberries most effective against bacteria was higher than what you would find even in a regular drinker of cranberry juice, so researchers are looking at embedding cranberry powder directly into catheters.
New Harvard research provides the strongest evidence to date that eating nuts can reduce a person’s risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and a number of other causes.
The study, published Wednesday in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine,involved more than 118,000 healthy volunteers and found that those who regularly consumed a one-ounce daily serving of walnuts, almonds, cashews or other tree nuts had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from any cause during the three-decade long study compared to those who did not eat nuts.
Nut eaters were 25 percent less likely to die from heart disease, 10 percent less likely to die from cancer, and 20 percent less likely to die from diabetes as well as lung diseases. The study found that nut eaters enjoyed longer lifespans even if they did not exercise, avoided fruits and vegetables, and were overweight.
The benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption are not a new discovery. However, new research confirms their role in reducing mortality. This reduction is more significant in the case of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
The analysis, recently published in the ‘American Journal of Epidemiology’, was directed by researchers from ten countries, including Spain, as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
The sample analyzed includes 25,682 deaths (10,438 due to cancer and 5,125 due to cardiovascular disease) among the 451,151 participants studied over more than 13 years.
“This study is the most significant epidemiological study that this association has examined to date,” María José Sánchez Pérez, director of the Andalusian School of Public Health’s (EASP) Granada Cancer Registry and one of the authors of the research, explains to SINC.
- Companies That Profit From Unhealthy Food Say Keep Eating Junk, Just Exercise More (Other Words)
- Life expectancy doubled in the past 150 years. Here’s why. (Slate)
- Bigger and healthier: European men grow 11cm in a century (Reuters)
- Eating broccoli may prevent osteoarthritis (Guardian)
- US Teens Are Actually Getting Healthier (Newser)
- UK: Half Of Seven-Year-Olds Not Exercising Enough (Sky)
- Six health myths you should ignore (New Scientist)
- Exercise and Caffeine Change Your DNA in the Same Way, Study Suggests (Science Daily)
- We all have hundreds of DNA flaws, UK geneticists say (BBC)
by Pascale Harter
Can we make ourselves happier? According to studies from all over the globe collated by the World Happiness Database in Rotterdam, we can. But the path to happiness may not be where we are looking for it.
Professor Ruut Veenhoven, Director of the Database and Emeritus professor of social conditions for human happiness at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, says his own study found a slight negative correlation between the number of times people in a study spontaneously mentioned “goals” and their happiness.
“Though it is generally assumed that you need goals to lead a happy life, evidence is mixed. The reason seems to be that unhappy people are more aware of their goals, because they seek to change their life for the better.”
But perhaps the most intriguing finding from an array of studies on file at the database is the lack of correlation between seeing meaning in life and being happy.