September 11th, 2015; By Sarah Boseley

Poor diet has emerged as the biggest contributor to early death around the world, according to new analysis from the leading authorities on the global disease, with red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages among the foods implicated in 21% of global deaths.

Smoking cigarettes still carries the highest risk factor of premature death in the UK, followed by high blood pressure and obesity. But the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) in the US says that a combination of dietary factors, from eating too few fruit and vegetables, nuts and whole grains to too much sodium and cholesterol, is taking a toll on health in the UK and across the globe.

The IMHE’s study found that the biggest contributor to early death globally is high blood pressure, in which age and family history play a part, but so do obesity, smoking, excessive salt consumption, lack of exercise and drinking large amounts of alcohol. In the UK, alcohol is also one of the top ten risk factorsassociated with the highest number of deaths for both men and women.

Read more: The Guardian

Research Article

8 Foods That Make You Unproductive at Work

September 3rd, 2015; by Bonnie Taub-Dix

If you have a desk job, I'm sure by now you've heard the mantra, "sitting is the new smoking."

And, if you're like most working Americans, you're at that job for far more hours than you're playing sports, chasing after your kids or otherwise moving. That's why today, more than ever, it's important to make the best of how you spend those working hours.

One thing you do have control over? What you put in your mouth. Food fuels your brain as well as your body, so what's on your plate can affect your productivity. Here are eight foods (some of them deceptively healthy choices!) that can derail your on-the-job performance and focus: ...

Read more here: U.S.News


Nutrition label and consumers; health by nutrition

A recent study by Swiss scientists highlights how important even minor wording changes in food labels can be. “If people lack the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions,” they note, “they have to rely on substitutes for knowledge.” And labels are among the most important food “knowledge substitutes” around: some carry a government’s authority. Also in play is the overwhelming trend right driving food-buying decisions at the moment: people hate artificial and want “natural” ingredients. These perceptions often have no scientific or nutritional basis, yet are all-important.

The study focused on sugar. Via an online interface, volunteers were shown two nutritional labels for a breakfast cereal and answered questions about them. One label listed “sugar” among the ingredients. The other listed “fruit sugar.” (Translation note: the study was conducted in German and employed the term Fruchtzucker, which technically means “fructose.” The authors say “fruit sugar” is the better English approximation because in German, Fruchtzucker evokes fruits and nature rather than the specific chemical.)

The scientists took steps to weed out misperceptions – in one part of the experiment, volunteers were shown the putative cereal box with an image of plain corn flakes, to indicate that the presence of “fruit sugar” did not mean the cereal contained fruit.

Read more here: Forbes

Article Abstract

After a stress-free summer, heading back to the classroom – or the office – can create feelings of anxiety in many of us. And your diet may be partly to blame. Studies suggest certain foods can make you feel calmer while others can aggravate anxiety.

Components in foods such as carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and even probiotic bacteria are thought to influence mood. Some are used to manufacture calming brain chemicals while others help regulate how the brain responds to stress.

While diet won’t cure anxiety, eating a steady fare of nutritious and well-balanced meals and snacks may help improve your mood. Use the following quick guide on what to eat – and what to avoid – to help lessen anxiety.

Read more here: Globe and Mail

Workout Supplement Overuse a Novel Eating Disorder?

August 28th, 2015

To examine excessive workout supplement use, the researchers recruited 195 men aged 18 to 65 years who worked out at least twice per week and had consumed at least one supplement in the previous 30 days.

They administered the Legal Appearance and Performance-Enhancing Drug Scale (LAPEDS), an online survey developed for the study that asked questions on subjects that included supplement use, self-esteem, body image, eating habits, and gender role conflicts.

The results showed that more than 40% of men had increased their use of supplements over time, and that 22% had replaced regular meals with dietary supplements not intended as meal replacements.

Click here to read more: Medscape Medical News

Healthy workplace tied to fewer obese young workers

August 31st, 2015

Workplaces that encourage healthy lifestyle practices are tied to fewer obese employees among millennials, according to a new study.

About 17 percent of young employees in workplaces that encouraged several healthy lifestyle practices were obese, compared to about 24 percent in spaces that promoted one or no healthy practices, researchers found.

Those environmental factors include support for colleagues, lunchtime yoga classes and food availability, she said in an email to Reuters Health.

To read more visit: Reuters Health

There are lots of reasons people miss out on a good night’s sleep. Some are based on serious problems, including sleep apnea, depression or anxiety, said Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Ketan Deoras, a psychiatrist with a specialty in sleep medicine. Other reasons could be medications, stress or what you’re eating or drinking.

“In the long term, if you don’t eat a healthy diet, you can become obese and you’re at risk for sleep apnea,” a serious disorder, with breathing interrupted during sleep, Deoras said.

Researchers are looking at other ways in which our diet impacts our bedtime. A 2013 study by the University Pennsylvania suggests that a good night’s sleep and a good diet are related. There aren’t yet conclusive findings, but experts point to some connections.

Read more here: Miami Herald

A Drink a Day May Boost Risk for Certain Cancers 

August 21st, 2015

Another study showing an increased risk for cancer with drinking alcohol, even with just one or two drinks a day, has prompted renewed warnings on the health risks associated with alcohol consumption.

The new study, from an analysis of more than 150,000 healthcare professionals in the United States, found that overall, light to moderate drinking (alcohol intake of <15 g/day for women and <30 g/day for men) was associated with a small but nonsignificant increase in cancer risk in both women and men.

But this risk was more defined in specific populations. In men, the association was apparently driven by tobacco use. But for women, even one drink a day was associated with an increased risk for alcohol-related cancers, primarily breast cancer, and this was unrelated to smoking status.

The study was published online August 18 in the BMJ.

Roxanne Nelson, Medscape Medical News

Click here to get the research article.