Fully two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. One-third of American children are overweight or obese. And among children under the age of six, nearly one in five is overweight or obese. Obese people are far more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease and cancer. Obese children are more likely to have one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease, to be prediabetic (i.e., at high risk for developing diabetes), and to suffer from bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. They are also very likely to become obese adults. In short, obesity is the most urgent public health problem in America today.
How many times have you been told you have to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, for your health’s sake? It has become a mantra in dietetic circles, a tried, true and very tired recommendation for a healthy diet.
Evidence is mounting that benefits may be gained from eating even much higher amounts.
A study by UK researchers at the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College, of 80,000 Britons, published in the journal Social Indicators Research in December 2012, showed that people who ate between seven and eight portions of fruits and vegetables a day reported higher levels of satisfaction with their lives compared with those who reported eating no fruits and vegetables.
“With no shortage of opinions and interest revolving around diet and nutrition, you might think that more would be conclusively known. Sadly, there isn’t. Oh there are a few things we can claim with some certainty, like that you shouldn’t imbibe sugary soft drinks in excess, or that eating a diet rich in organic foods isn’t necessarily healthier. But on a host of other nutritional topics — such as low-carbohydrate diets, egg consumption, and saturated fat intake — more randomized controlled trials and more systematic reviews are sorely needed.”
English Floyd, a clinical dietition at the Medical University of South Carolina, gives an overview of tube feeding. These medical devices are used to deliver nutrition to patients who cannot obtain it themselves through swallowing or need additional nutritional supplementation.
Depending on the condition, placement of the feeding tube can be temporary or if it’s a lifelong case they may be used on a more permanent basis. The most common condition for using a feeding tube is directly after surgery or because of complications caused by certain digestive disorders.
A virtual colonoscopy is a procedure that takes images of the large intestine using computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. After the images are captured, computer software creates a 3D model of the inside of the large intestine so that a doctor can determine whether there are any signs of polyps, cancer or other digestive diseases.
A Penn Medicine Study found that there has been a lower utilization of this type of screening ever since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services halted reimbursement in asymptomatic patients. Yet even though there are limitations, it still may expand its use to new patients.
Dr. Peter Cotton, the founder of the Digestive Disease Center at MUSC, released a study back in 2004 (source) that assessed the accuracy of CTC in a large number of patients across multiple centers. The study found that the accuracy varied considerably between participants and that it did not improve as the study continued.
It appears that computed tomographic colonography (virtual colonoscopy) needs to be improved before widespread clinical application can be adopted. If reimbursement returns, we may see this usage increase.
“As we get older the chance of getting sick increases,” said Michael Franklin, clinical dietician at Cedar Crest in Pompton Plains.
Maintaining a healthy weight and balancing blood sugar can reduce the risk of Type II diabetes, Franklin said. He recommends energy efficient meals and snacks, such as peanut butter or a piece of cheese with toast to add protein and provide energy.
National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) says that a good diet that balances nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers.
When you bite into a burger, do you know what you are eating? The recent horse meat scandal in Europe prompted Ria Casticas to write this interesting article on the the dangers caused by mislabeling meat.
However, meaty meals are coming under closer scrutiny than ever, thanks at first to the international “horsemeat scandal” that surfaced in Europe earlier this year, after horsemeat, fraudulently labelled as beef, found its way into the European food chain. European Union authorities moved quickly to try to shift the focus away from possible health threats to the general public and onto issues of mislabelling.
From the National Institute on Aging, comes a great video series on how seniors can enhance their physical fitness using different bodyweight related exercises. These can be done in almost any environment and do not require equipment found in gyms. If trying these or any sort of exercise program for the first time, it is best to consult with your primary care doctor to determine what’s right for you.
Can diet help control hypertension? The Dash Diet controls salt intake, which lowers blood pressure and makes medication for hypertension more effective.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attacks), heart failure, aneurysms of the arteries (e.g. aortic aneurysm), peripheral arterial disease and is a cause of chronic kidney disease. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure is associated with a shortened life expectancy. Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve blood pressure control and decrease the risk of associated health complications, although drug treatment is often necessary in people for whom lifestyle changes prove ineffective or insufficient.
David B. Adams is the co-director here at the Digestive Disease Center and is recognized worldwide as an expert in chronic pancreatitis surgeries. He is currently preparing the Chronic Pancreatitis Symposium 2014 that will host international experts interested in conferring and exchange ideas to identify the direction, trends and developments in the diagnosis and management of chronic pancreatitis.
Dr. Adams recently implanted a patient with the LINX Reflux Management System, to treat his severe case of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). LINX is a revolutionary device that can help patients return to a normal lifestyle after the procedure and typically go home the same day.
Tea is gaining ground and becoming more mainstream in the United States as scientists as well as the public learn more about its benefits. The world’s second most consumed beverage helps prevent cardiovascular disease, burn calories and may help reduce the chances of acquiring certain types of cancer.
Thomas G. Sherman, an associate professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in the Washington Post,
“We don’t clearly understand why tea is so beneficial, but we know it is. There are lots of epidemiological studies, and so of course people see these studies and want to drink tea and gain these benefits.”
It’s a mix of the youth and baby boomer generations that are taking a firsthand approach to preserving their health and maintaining their physical attributes. Overall, people seem to be more concerned in taking better care of themselves.
Some scientists are linking tea’s benefits to their antioxidants, but the overall consensus is they aren’t quite sure of the exact element that’s making tea so beneficial.