Each month we’ll highlight a few news stories from around the nation related to nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease.
Please see below for select stories from July:
July 5 – Modern Lifestyle Primary Culprit for Obesity Epidemic: Study
It looks like the primary culprit behind the obesity epidemic may be the modern-day environment, and not genes, new U.S. research suggests. Americans were more likely to pack on more pounds if they were born later in the 20th century, regardless of whether they had a high genetic risk for obesity.
July 5 – Junk Food Ads Sway Kids’ Preferences
Any parent who’s ever endured a whining child begging for that colorful box of cereal won’t be surprised by a new study’s findings: Children are more likely to eat junk food when they’ve seen ads for unhealthy foods and beverages.
July 5 – Savvy Marketing Gets School Kids to Snap Up Veggies
While clever marketing can steer kids towards junk food, a new study shows that creative advertising can also prompt more kids to eat veggies. The tactic the researchers used was simple and inexpensive: They placed banners around school cafeteria salad bars that featured animated characters dubbed the Super Sprowtz — with a cast including Miki Mushroom, Zach Zucchini and Suzie Sweet Pea. Some schools also played videos of the characters. Over four weeks, the study found, the marketing effort paid off. The number of children who took vegetables from school salad bars doubled or tripled.
July 5 – Foods From Subsidized Commodities Tied to Obesity
The U.S. government spends billions of dollars each year on subsidies to farmers, but consuming too much food made from those subsidized farm products can boost people’s risk for heart disease, researchers say.
July 7 – U.S. Teens Less Sweet on Soft Drinks
American teens are turning their backs on soft drinks, says a new government survey that shows soda consumption among youth declined by almost a third in just two years. Instead, bottled water has become the drink of choice for many, the researchers found.
July 12 – Pedal Away From Type 2 Diabetes
Opting for two wheels rather than four could lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, new research suggests. The study found that people who bike to work or regularly cycle for fun were less likely to get the illness. That was true even for those who started biking late in life, Danish researchers said.
July 14 – Obesity More Deadly for Men Than Women: Study
Obesity is nearly three times more deadly for men than it is for women, new research suggests. In a study of nearly 4 million men and women around the globe, the risk of dying before the age of 70 was 19 percent for men and 11 percent for women of normal weight. But that risk jumped to 30 percent and 15 percent, respectively, for obese men and women.
July 15 – Could Fruit and Veg Boost Happiness?
The reasons experts usually give for eating more fruit and vegetables tend to be about long-term health benefits, but piling on the produce may also improve wellbeing in the shorter term, researchers say. Based on national surveys in Australia, the study team linked increases in fruit and vegetable servings per day to rising happiness over two years.
July 19 – New Study Claim 9 Out Of 10 Strokes can Be Prevented
Stroke has been one of the many diseases known to be the leading cause death. A new study has revealed that 10 stroke risk factors have been identified around the world this year that account for 9 of 10 stroke cases, though they happen in different circumstances. Researchers also emphasized that treating hypertension could cut risk of stroke by half.
July 19 – U.S. Teen Diabetes Rate Exceeds Prior Estimates
More American teens have diabetes or prediabetes than previously thought, and many don’t know they have the blood-sugar disease, a new study finds. Nearly 1 percent of more than 2,600 teens studied had diabetes — with almost one in three cases undiagnosed, researchers found. Also, almost 20 percent of the group had prediabetes — higher than normal blood sugar levels but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
July 21 – Only Extreme Sitting Linked to Increased Heart Disease Risk
Being sedentary, at least in moderation, is unlikely to cause heart disease, according to a new review of past research. Based on their analysis, researchers conclude that only very high levels of sedentary time – more than 10 hours per day – are linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or heart disease-related death.
July 22 – ‘Walking Meetings’ May Boost Employee Health, Productivity
Here’s an idea that might make staff meetings less boring and more healthful: New research suggests you walk while you talk business. The small study found that converting a single weekly meeting to a “walking meeting” may raise work-related physical activity levels of white-collar workers by 10 minutes. By walking meeting, the researchers mean a group of employees and their manager literally walk around while discussing company matters.
July 22 – FDA Renews Call to Reduce Salt in Processed Foods
Americans eat way too much salt, and one reason why is that processed and prepared foods have a lot of hidden salt, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. But proposed new guidelines for food manufacturers and restaurants — first announced early in June — may change that. The FDA is asking food makers and eating establishments to voluntarily reduce salt levels in their products to help reduce Americans’ high salt intake.
July 27 – Lack of Fitness Second Only to Smoking as Predictor of Early Death: Study
Poor physical fitness ranks right behind smoking as leading risk factors for an early death, new long-term research suggests. Analyzing nearly 800 men starting at midlife, Swedish scientists also found that each measurable increase in fitness levels translated into a 21 percent lower risk of death over 45 years of follow-up.
July 28 – Health Buzz: One Hour of Exercise Every Day Could Save Your Life
The bad news: Sitting at your desk all day increases your risk of early death. The good news: Exercising at least one hour every day could offset that risk, according to expansive new research.