HOT TOPICS: July/August 2015

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1  Women who are obese have a 40% higher risk for cancer, including cancers of the bowel, gallbladder, uterus, kidney, pancreas, and esophagus, as well as post-menopausal breast cancer, than do women who maintain healthy weights, state researchers at the Cancer Research UK. Cancer Research UK 2015; March 16th.

2 An apple a day could keep the pharmacist away, or so say researchers at the University of Michigan who found that people who ate at least one apple a day were less likely to use prescription medications (they also tended to have higher educations and were less likely to smoke). JAMA Internal Medicine 2015; March 30th.

3 An extract from the thunder god vine reduces food intake, resulting in a 45% decrease in body weight in obese mice, according to a study from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Cell 2015;161 (5): 999

4 A study from Dartmouth found that TV food commercials stimulate the brains of overweight teens, including regions that control pleasure, taste, and the mouth, leading to unhealthy eating habits and difficulty losing weight later in life. Cerebral Cortex 2015:DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhv097

5 Meat eaters, most of which are men, diffuse any guilt about eating meat by rationalizing their dietary habits by what the researchers at Lancaster University call the 4Ns: meat is 1) natural, 2) necessary, 3) normal, and 4) nice. Appetite 2015;91:114 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.o4.011.

6 Children born since the 1980s when processed foods became increasingly more prevalent are up to three times more likely than older generations to be overweight or obese by 10-years-old or older, according to a study from the University of Cambridge. PLOS Medicine 2015; 12(5): e1001828.

7 Taking salt tablets does little to improve athletic performance and might be harmful if it leads to excessive salt intake, state researchers at St. Louis University. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 2015; 14:172-178.

8 Long-term exposure to air pollution was linked to changes in the brain that can lead to compromised thinking and memory in a study from Harvard Medical School. Stroke 2015;46:1161-1166.

9 As little as two minutes of walking every hour is enough to reverse the harmful effects of prolonged sitting, according to a study from the University of Utah School of Medicine. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2015: April 30th.

10 Lack of adequate sleep results in altered hormones that regulate appetite, increased emotional stress and a desire for food to compensate for lack of energy, and increased impulsivity, all of which link sleep deprivation to obesity, state researchers at the University of Nebraska. Journal of Health Psychology 2015; June 1st.

11 Here’s a no-brainer! Walking or riding your bike to work helps shed pounds. The longer the commute, the greater the weight loss, state researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2015; May 7th.

12 People who frequented the ER four or more times in a year were 48 times more likely to die of prescription drug overdoses compared to people who visited the ER once or not at all in a study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Annals of Epidemiology 2015; April 2nd.

13 As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise six days a week is enough to reduce premature death in seniors by 40%, state researchers at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2015 May 14th.

14  Women account for 80% of weight-loss surgeries and researchers at the University of California, San Diego found the reasons are that, compared to men, women have a greater overall awareness of the health risks of obesity, more of them are obese, and they take action sooner than men. Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques 2015:25:196-201.

15 The Western lifestyle is so sanitized that Americans’ have far fewer types of intestinal bacteria (lacking about 50 varieties) compared to people in less-developed countries, which is likely to play a role in diseases common to developed countries, state researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada. Cell Reports 2015; April 16th.

16 Some college cafeterias are removing trays in hopes of reducing food waste, but researchers at Cornell University found that without trays, 65% fewer students took salad, but dessert intake remained the same, resulting in a markedly higher ratio of dessert to salad. Public Health Nutrition 2015;18:1535-1536.

17 Nutrition plays an increasingly important role in the prevention of heart disease, state researchers at the Institute of Investigative Biomedicine with the most cardio-protective foods being colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, dairy products, fish, and alcohol in moderation. Current Cardiology Reports 2015;17:583.

18 Men who stay physically active and fit delay normal age-related increases in blood cholesterol levels by up to 15 years, state researchers at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2015; May 11th.

19 Soy supplements show no benefits for improving lung function or lowering symptoms of asthma, state researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association 2015; May 26th.

20 Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is less effective and results in higher rates of relapse, death, and death from all causes in men who are overweight or obese, state researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Cancer 2015; May 29th.

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