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Fat, sugar, salt intake up significantly in past 100 years

Midland Reporter-Telegram – Blythe Awtrey

“June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month, and oh, how I love to eat my fruit and vegetables. To encourage your children and grandchildren to eat them, you can be a role model by eating fruits and vegetables yourself. Consuming a whole food plant-based diet will help protect you and your children from common chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and breast and colon cancers. You can even reverse already-established cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. Did you know that 30 years ago Type 2 diabetes did not exist in children? Today, about 208,000 American children under 20 are estimated to have been diagnosed with diabetes…Create a culture of health in your home for you and your family. Please consider the following recommendations:”(more)

Kids Who Choose Sugary Foods Over Salty at Risk for Weight Gain

Education News – Grace Smith

“Young children who crave sweet treats rather than salty snacks are at higher risk to experience weight gain, according to a new study…the findings suggest that there are some people who may have a genetic predisposition to having a sweet tooth. This gene can result in the likelihood of gaining unhealthy weight…Pamela Reichert-Anderson of Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY explained that there are ways for parents to curb overeating by a child who begs for sweets.”(more)

Sugar may be as damaging to the brain as extreme stress or abuse

The Conversation – Jayanthi Maniam & Margaret Morris

“We all know that cola and lemonade aren’t great for our waistline or our dental health, but our new study on rats has shed light on just how much damage sugary drinks can also do to our brain. The changes we observed to the region of the brain that controls emotional behaviour and cognitive function were more extensive than those caused by extreme early life stress. It is known that adverse experiences early in life, such as extreme stress or abuse, increase the risk of poor mental health and psychiatric disorders later in life…The changes in the brain induced by sugar are of great concern given the high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, with particularly high consumption in children aged nine to 16 years. If similar processes are at play in humans to what was found in our rat study, reducing the consumption of sugar across the community is important.”(more)

Food Columnist Proposes Taxes, Minimum Drinking Age for Soda

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“A New York Times columnist is making a push for the government to institute a minimum drinking age for buying soda, and would like to see ID required for children who try to purchase sugary drinks at stores. Food journalist and New York Times opinion writer Mark Bittman recently argued on Luckypeach that limiting the availability of soda for children was equivalent to having a minimum age requirement for buying cigarettes…His comments suggest that bad habits, which are hard to break, are created at a young age, and allowing children to consume sugary drinks creates unhealthy adults who have habits they would like to break but can’t.”(more)

School Lunch Costs Rising as More Kids Opt Out

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to the results of a new US Government Accountability report, students across the country are largely rejecting the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. Since the federal standards were introduced by first lady Michelle Obama, 1.4 million schoolchildren across the country have opted out of the school lunch program. The requirements place limits on the amount of sugar and sodium allowed in school lunch offerings and instead ask schools to use more whole grains. In 2012, schools were asked to include a fruit or vegetable at each meal. By 2014, that requirement had changed to ask schools to use whole grains when preparing any bread items and to give fruits to students at both breakfast and lunch regardless of whether they wanted them or not. Now, the plans include reducing the amount of sodium allowed. However, the new foods that follow these stricter rules are being found to make their way into garbage cans at much higher rates than the previous lunch choices.”(more)

Cutting Sugar Improves Children’s Health in Just 10 Days

The New York Times – Anahad O’Connor

“Obese children who cut back on their sugar intake see improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health after just 10 days, a rigorous new study found. The new research may help shed light on a question scientists have long debated: Is sugar itself harming health, or is the weight gain that comes from consuming sugary drinks and foods mainly what contributes to illness over the long term?…In the new study…scientists designed a clinical experiment to attempt to answer this question. They removed foods with added sugar from a group of children’s diets and replaced them with other types of carbohydrates so that the subjects’ weight and overall calorie intake remained roughly the same. After 10 days, the children showed dramatic improvements, despite losing little or no weight. The findings add to the argument that all calories are not created equal…”(more)