Archive for the ‘Junk Food’ Category

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Childhood Diet Affects Adult IQ and Cognition

June 2, 2011
Proper Diet is Critical to Childhood Intelligence and Development

Proper Diet is Critical to Childhood Intelligence and Development

Most people understand the importance of a well balanced diet including the minimum daily requirements of vitamins and minerals to prevent chronic disease. These critical cofactors of life are repeatedly shown to promote health and prevent a myriad of chronic diseases from diabetes and dementia to heart disease and cancer.

The impact of proper nutrition on a child`s developing brain is brought to light in a study published in the British Medical Journal. A processed food diet packed with sugar, fat and excess salt can lower IQ in early childhood, while eating a diet filled with healthy natural foods providing a full compliment of vitamins and nutrients is shown to benefit cognitive development.

Junk Foods Directly Lower Child IQ

Junk Food Lowers IQ into Adulthood

Junk Food Lowers IQ into Adulthood

The study results were based on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children involving 14,000 children born in 1991 and 1992. Based on parent questionnaires, children were placed into one of three dietary groups based on eating patterns: `processed’ including excessive fats, sugars and salt, `traditional` based on high quantities of meats and vegetables and `health-conscious` that stressed salads, fruits, vegetables, rice and pasta.

IQ was measured at the age of 8 ½ using the standardized Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Researchers found that children eating the most processed food diet at age 3 scored 1.67 IQ points lower for each 1 point increase in dietary pattern score. Similarly, those eating the most healthful diet scored 1.2 IQ points higher for every 1 point improvement in dietary pattern score. Diet was found to have no effect on IQ score after the age of 4 years.

This study underscores the importance of proper diet on the developing brain. Prior research has shown an association between early childhood diet and later behavior and school performance. The research authors noted “This suggests that any cognitive/behavioral effects relating to eating habits in early childhood may well persist into later childhood, despite any subsequent changes (including improvements) to dietary intake”.

Proper Nutrition Improves Brain Development and Cognition

Healthy Foods Consumed From Childhood Improves Later Life Intelligence

Healthy Foods Consumed From Childhood Improves Later Life Intelligence

The brain is growing at an accelerated rate during the first three years of life, and scientists have observed that head growth during this time is linked to intellectual ability. Clearly a diet filled with processed and refined foods that have been stripped of most natural nutrients during these formative years stunts normal brain growth and the development of the critical neural network that are essential to higher brain function and learning.

Researchers concluded “It is possible that good nutrition during this period may encourage optimal brain growth.” Starting infants and children on a natural diet early in life is one of the most important lifestyle habits we can teach our children. The diet they become comfortable eating during these early years will help them to develop optimally and avoid the many diseases that plaque adults throughout life.

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Diet and Lifestyle Key to Control Chronic Disease and Weight

March 23, 2011

(Article first published as Evolved Dietary Changes Lead to Weight Gain and Chronic Disease on Technorati.)

Diet Has Changed Significantly Over the Past Century

Diet Has Changed Significantly Over the Past Century

Our diet has changed radically over the past century and has become a significant cause of disease and illness as animal based foods account for a quarter of our calories. Processed foods which didn’t exist 100 years ago make up more than 60% of our present diet while naturally healthy vegetables and fruits provide less than 5% of our daily energy.

The food we eat influences our genes and is the leading cause of the rampant rise in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and obesity seen today. It’s possible to prevent and even reverse the damage from a poor dietary lifestyle by eating naturally high nutrient density foods.

A Diet of Processed Foods Leads to Illness

Healthy Foods Naturally Provide Nutrients and Keep Insulin Levels Low

Healthy Foods Naturally Provide Nutrients and Keep Insulin Levels Low

We need both calories and nutrients to survive. Modern food manufacturing techniques have removed most of the nutrition from the processed foods which represent such a significant portion of our calories. Vitamins, minerals and a host of essential nutrients provide the fuel we need to neutralize free radicals, facilitate DNA repair, counteract carcinogens and provide an effective immune response. After decades of nutrient deficiency our natural reserves are depleted and the stage is set for the onset of chronic disease often leading to a shortened lifespan.

Antioxidants From Food Predict Risk of Disease and Death

The results of a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals the protective effect of a number of antioxidant nutrients against all causes of mortality. The study authors specifically concluded “Evidence that subsequent all-cause mortality may be predicted by vitamin C intakes and/or status has been obtained in several previous studies, and similarly for carotene and selenium.”

The results of this study and other similar research demonstrate that the concentration of a specific nutrient can be used to accurately predict risk for disease and death. This information underscores the critical importance of eating a natural diet which supplies a wide array of nutrients to lower the risk of chronic illness.

Children Develop a Taste for Junk Food Early in Life

Poor Dietary Habits Begin Early for Many Children and Teens

Poor Dietary Habits Begin Early for Many Children and Teens

Many children are fed a diet of processed junk food from an early age and they quickly develop a taste for salty, sugared and fried foods. The instinct to eat vegetables, fruits and meats in their natural form is erased as their taste buds become satiated with a refined diet impregnated with artificially manufactured chemicals which are more pleasing to the taste.

An analysis reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that 800 of 2200 calories consumed by a typical child each day are attributable to solid fats and added sugar. These macronutrients are commonly known as `empty calories` as they provide scant nutrients and contribute to the growing childhood obesity problem. Children who acquire the taste for junk food early are much more likely to develop weight problems in later life and suffer from early onset chronic illness.

A Natural Food Diet Reverses Disease Progression

The vast majority of children and adults eat less than a quarter of the fruits and vegetables they need to provide minimal protection against disease. Include a minimum of five and optimally ten or more servings each day of fresh vegetables and leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, lean protein sources and protective monounsaturated fats. Prepare foods raw or minimally cooked and avoid overheating as this quickly removes nutrients. The human body has an amazing capacity to repair and reverse the effects of a poor diet. Health conscious people view natural foods as medicine which leads to a long and healthy life.

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Childhood Weight Becomes Adult Obesity Problem

November 22, 2010

(Article first published as Childhood Obesity Doubles Adult Risk – Early Weight Loss Intervention Required on Technorati.)

Excess Weight in Early Life Linked to Adult Obesity

Excess Weight in Early Life Linked to Adult Obesity

We’ve always been told that overweight adolescents are just carrying a little ‘baby fat’ and they’ll drop the chubby appearance as they grow older and taller. While this may be true for a small number of children, the vast majorities are being placed at considerable risk for the development of serious illness in middle life and reduced life expectancy.

Children and teens naturally need additional calories and nutrition to fuel their fast paced metabolism and accelerated growth. Researchers are beginning to understand that many diseases including heart disease and cancer begin to develop decades before clinical symptoms are detected. Excess body weight in youth provides the fuel for disease progression in later life. Small changes in diet at an early age can have a significant impact on overall health and longevity.

Study Confirms Childhood Overweight Results in Adult Obesity

The results of a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that nearly 40% of obese adolescents can be expected to become severely obese by the age of 30. This is compared to only 2.5% of healthy weight and slightly overweight teenagers. The study found that gender did play a role in progression to adult obesity, as 37% of males and 51% of females in the study became severely obese in adulthood.

Understanding the Cause of Childhood Obesity

Processed Food Diet is Behind the Obesity Epidemic

Processed Food Diet is Behind the Obesity Epidemic

Childhood obesity rates have doubled over the past 20 years as nearly 16% of adolescents fall into the classification. Chronic childhood health problems have also doubled to 27% in the same period. Many theories abound to explain the problem, but it’s clear that the effects of diet and the environment impact the survival genes that have evolved to keep children alive through their reproductive years. Most children eat nearly twice as many calories as they require and get considerably less exercise than earlier generations.

The Effects of Super Sizing and Fructose

Many things have changed over the past 20 years that contribute to the obesity epidemic we are faced with in our children today. None is more significant than the portion size of meals, the proliferation of processed junk foods and the mass infusion of fructose as a sweetener into many foods and drinks. All of these factors result in altered metabolism and obesity in our youth. To make matters worse, levels of physical activity have declined as kids spend less time burning calories at play.

Ending the Obesity Cycle

Kids Need More Physical Activity to Avoid Obesity

Kids Need More Physical Activity to Avoid Obesity

The latest research shows that the obesity trend will continue through 2050, peaking at 42% of all men, women and children. While these numbers are devastating, they can be reversed with a plan to prevent overweight and obesity in adolescents. Studies show that eliminating the dietary and environmental factors that lead to excess weight can prevent the onset of health conditions that will plaque children into adult life.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a plant-based diet seems to be a sensible approach for the prevention of obesity in children. While a strict vegetarian diet may not be the answer for all children, lowering caloric intake from fast food restaurants and limiting fructose from sweetened beverages and processed foods will provide immediate results. Children can make dietary and lifestyle changes easier than adults, and just need a little parental encouragement to alter the obesity cycle, lower disease risk in later life and improve longevity.

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Is the Twinkie Diet Really your Best Weight Loss Solution?

November 15, 2010
(Article firs published as Is the Twinkie Diet Really your Best Weight Loss Solution? on Technorati.)

Much has been reported lately about the Kansas State University nutrition professor that lost 27 pounds in two months on his self-proclaimed Twinkie Diet. Reports in the media extol the virtues of his weight loss success as monumental and possibly even health promoting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On the most basic level, weight loss occurs on a physical dimension where calories consumed are lower than our energy requirements. This experiment provides a simple example of how weight loss can occur when 800 calories are removed from your diet each day, regardless of what you eat. Permanent weight loss and good health require a much longer commitment and a well balanced diet.
It’s Just a Matter of Calories
Reducing 800 calories a day will force the body to metabolize stored fat for energy, even if those calories are in the form of one of the most horrific food sources imaginable. Our body is very sensitive to calories consumed and will feverishly release fat to meet the needs of our metabolic furnace. Eventually, though starvation mode will kick in and our body’s engine will begin to conserve every small amount of energy to prepare us for tough times.
Nutrition Professor Makes a Point

Dr. Mark Haub is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Kansas State University who decided to prove a point about weight loss. Tradition dictates a reduced calorie, well balanced diet to drop the pounds, and yet the professor dropped 27 pounds in 60 days by cutting his daily calories from 2600 to 1800 and eating mostly junk food and Twinkies. He did take vitamin supplements just to be certain he was receiving the most basic nutrients.

Is a Diet of Twinkies Really Healthy?
Common logic would say that eating nothing but 1800 calories composed of junk food would not be good for your health, but Dr. Haub found that his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides went down and his protective HDL cholesterol increased.

On the surface this all seems to be good, but the problem is that these apparent health benefits are likely just the result of lost weight over the short 60 day period and would become negatively impacted over a longer period of time. Extensive research has shown the damaging effects of a processed food diet on all markers of health.

What’s the Right Approach to Weight Loss?

While Dr. Haub has provided the world with an interesting one-mouse experiment, nobody (not even the good Doctor) is promoting the Twinkie Diet as a good way to lose weight or improve disease risk factors. Eating 1800 calories a day for a man is the right approach to stimulate weight loss. Filling those calories with a Mediterranean style menu makes much better sense over the long run as it has been shown to deliver healthy weight loss results and dramatically lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

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Twinkie Diet Really Not the Best Choice for Weight Loss

November 15, 2010

(Article first published as Is the Twinkie Diet Really your Best Weight Loss Solution? on Technorati.)

Nutrition Professor Loses 27 Pounds on Twinkie Diet

Nutrition Professor Loses 27 Pounds on Twinkie Diet

Much has been reported lately about the Kansas State University nutrition professor that lost 27 pounds in two months on his self-proclaimed Twinkie Diet. Reports in the media extol the virtues of his weight loss success as monumental and possibly even health promoting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On the most basic level, weight loss occurs on a physical dimension where calories consumed are lower than our energy requirements. This experiment provides a simple example of how weight loss can occur when 800 calories are removed from your diet each day, regardless of what you eat. Permanent weight loss and good health require a much longer commitment and a well balanced diet.

It’s Just a Matter of Calories

Reducing 800 calories a day will force the body to metabolize stored fat for energy, even if those calories are in the form of one of the most horrific food sources imaginable. Our body is very sensitive to calories consumed and will feverishly release fat to meet the needs of our metabolic furnace. Eventually, though starvation mode will kick in and our body’s engine will begin to conserve every small amount of energy to prepare us for tough times.

Nutrition Professor Makes a Point

Scale Shows Lost Weight But Not Health Risks of Junk Food Diet

Scale Shows Lost Weight But Not Health Risks of Junk Food Diet

Dr. Mark Haub is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Kansas State University who decided to prove a point about weight loss. Tradition dictates a reduced calorie, well balanced diet to drop the pounds, and yet the professor dropped 27 pounds in 60 days by cutting his daily calories from 2600 to 1800 and eating mostly junk food and Twinkies. He did take vitamin supplements just to be certain he was receiving the most basic nutrients.

Is a Diet of Twinkies Really Healthy?

Common logic would say that eating nothing but 1800 calories composed of junk food would not be good for your health, but Dr. Haub found that his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides went down and his protective HDL cholesterol increased. On the surface this all seems to be good, but the problem is that these apparent health benefits are likely just the result of lost weight over the short 60 day period and would become negatively impacted over a longer period of time. Extensive research has shown the damaging effects of a processed food diet on all markers of health.

What’s the Right Approach to Weight Loss?

The Mediterranean Diet is the Sensible Choice For Weight Loss

The Mediterranean Diet is the Sensible Choice For Weight Loss

While Dr. Haub has provided the world with an interesting one-mouse experiment, nobody (not even the good Doctor) is promoting the Twinkie Diet as a good way to lose weight or improve disease risk factors. Eating 1800 calories a day for a man is the right approach to stimulate weight loss. Filling those calories with a Mediterranean style menu makes much better sense over the long run as it has been shown to deliver healthy weight loss results and dramatically lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

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Eliminate Toxic Chemicals to Assist Weight Loss

October 31, 2010

(Article first published as Environmental Toxins May Hinder Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Our body operates on a very delicate metabolic balance and is sensitive to the type of food we eat as well as the environment that surrounds us. Most of the processed foods in the typical diet are packed with artificial chemical enhancers that are viewed as toxins when they enter our digestion. In an effort to thwart toxic overload, we have evolved a highly sophisticated process of identifying and packaging these foreign particles for storage in our fat cells.

While this may help us to avert immediate damage, it leaves our metabolically active fat cells unable to send the proper signals to the brain that it’s time to stop eating. After many years of toxic storage our fat cells become resistant to our best weight loss efforts and the pounds pack on. Fortunately you can reverse the effects of chemical overload by improving your diet and avoiding common household and environmental substances.
The Path to Obesity Starts at an Early Age

Children who are raised on a refined and processed food diet void of natural vegetables and raw foods are at increased risk of becoming overweight and obese at an early age. Infants and young children are particularly sensitive to unnatural chemicals in food as well as household toxins in bath products, toothpaste and water. They begin to store excess toxins early in life and are much more susceptible to fat storage as they mature.

The results of a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrated that toxins ingested or absorbed by the mother are enough to induce excess fat storage in the baby even before birth. The infant children were shown to form fat as a defense mechanism against being poisoned by toxins. Most people understand the importance of nutrition on a developing fetus, but few consider the impact of supposedly harmless chemicals in our food and household that are considered ‘generally regarded as safe’ by the USDA.
Flushing Food Additives and Chemicals from Food and Water
Our food supply is riddled with chemicals that are used to enhance flavor, provide texture and preserve freshness. A growing number of food items are genetically modified to generate higher yield or for disease resistance. All of these factors result in a food supply that is not natural and erodes health along with our ability to lose weight.
As a toxic environment develops in a person, they become increasingly resistant to weight loss. Adopt a whole food diet consisting of fresh vegetables (uncooked to preserve the essential nutrients and enzymes), nuts, seeds and monounsaturated fats. Read all ingredient labels if you choose processed foods and avoid anything that you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce. Filter your water, especially from city sources to eliminate chlorine sanitizing agents.
Avoid Household Chemicals and Cosmetics

Household cleaners, bath products and cosmetics are all laced with toxic chemicals that we breathe or absorb from contact with the skin. These chemicals are immediately detected by our immune system and sent to the liver for disposal. Eventually the liver is overloaded and a secondary system ensues to pack the chemicals up with triglycerides and shuttle them to storage as body fat. Always choose organic based household cleaners and cosmetics that contain no artificial enhancers, coloring or emulsifiers.

Research has shown this it is possible to slowly lose weight so that toxins stored in your fat aren’t released too quickly. Nutrients such as chlorella latch onto the toxins as they’re released and usher them safely out of the body. Before beginning a weight loss regimen, first eliminate synthetic chemicals from your food and environment. This will make your road to weight loss much easier as you slowly improve you health and quality of life.
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Flush Toxins to Boost Weight Loss

October 31, 2010

(Article first published as Environmental Toxins May Hinder Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Toxins From Food and Household Products Inhibit Weight Loss

Toxins From Food and Household Products Inhibit Weight Loss

Our body operates on a very delicate metabolic balance and is sensitive to the type of food we eat as well as the environment that surrounds us. Most of the processed foods in the typical diet are packed with artificial chemical enhancers that are viewed as toxins when they enter our digestion. In an effort to thwart toxic overload, we have evolved a highly sophisticated process of identifying and packaging these foreign particles for storage in our fat cells.

While this may help us to avert immediate damage, it leaves our metabolically active fat cells unable to send the proper signals to the brain that it’s time to stop eating. After many years of toxic storage our fat cells become resistant to our best weight loss efforts and the pounds pack on. Fortunately you can reverse the effects of chemical overload by improving your diet and avoiding common household and environmental substances.

The Path to Obesity Starts at an Early Age

Children are Especially Sensitive to Chemical Overload

Children are Especially Sensitive to Chemical Overload

Children who are raised on a refined and processed food diet void of natural vegetables and raw foods are at increased risk of becoming overweight and obese at an early age. Infants and young children are particularly sensitive to unnatural chemicals in food as well as household toxins in bath products, toothpaste and water. They begin to store excess toxins early in life and are much more susceptible to fat storage as they mature.

The results of a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrated that toxins ingested or absorbed by the mother are enough to induce excess fat storage in the baby even before birth. The infant children were shown to form fat as a defense mechanism against being poisoned by toxins. Most people understand the importance of nutrition on a developing fetus, but few consider the impact of supposedly harmless chemicals in our food and household that are considered ‘generally regarded as safe’ by the USDA.

Flushing Food Additives and Chemicals from Food and Water

Our food supply is riddled with chemicals that are used to enhance flavor, provide texture and preserve freshness. A growing number of food items are genetically modified to generate higher yield or for disease resistance. All of these factors result in a food supply that is not natural and erodes health along with our ability to lose weight.

As a toxic environment develops in a person, they become increasingly resistant to weight loss. Adopt a whole food diet consisting of fresh vegetables (uncooked to preserve the essential nutrients and enzymes), nuts, seeds and monounsaturated fats. Read all ingredient labels if you choose processed foods and avoid anything that you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce. Filter your water, especially from city sources to eliminate chlorine sanitizing agents.

Avoid Household Chemicals and Cosmetics

Household Cleaners and Cosmetics are Absorbed by the Body

Household Cleaners and Cosmetics are Absorbed by the Body

Household cleaners, bath products and cosmetics are all laced with toxic chemicals that we breathe or absorb from contact with the skin. These chemicals are immediately detected by our immune system and sent to the liver for disposal. Eventually the liver is overloaded and a secondary system ensues to pack the chemicals up with triglycerides and shuttle them to storage as body fat. Always choose organic based household cleaners and cosmetics that contain no artificial enhancers, coloring or emulsifiers.

Research has shown this it is possible to slowly lose weight so that toxins stored in your fat aren’t released too quickly. Nutrients such as chlorella latch onto the toxins as they’re released and usher them safely out of the body. Before beginning a weight loss regimen, first eliminate synthetic chemicals from your food and environment. This will make your road to weight loss much easier as you slowly improve you health and quality of life.