Miscellaneous Nutrition Bytes
- Compared to 20 years ago, soft drink consumption has jumped 21 percent in two- to five-year-olds, and 37 percent among six- to nine-year-olds.
- The United States is the only country to market food products containing olestra (olean). Many, even in the U.S., are concerned that olestra causes gastro-intestinal problems and may block the absorption of certain nutrients. Popular snack foods such as chips and crackers contain this artificial fat replacer.
- Twenty-eight percent of American adults do not engage in any leisure-time physical activity. Only 1 in 4 high school students are enrolled in daily physical activity classes. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, bone loss in the elderly, as well as helping to maintain an ideal body weight.
- The US Dept. of Agriculture has developed a new website to help people measure the quality of their diets. The Interactive Healthy Eating Index shows how a person measures up to current dietary guidelines. The web address for the site is: http://188.8.131.52/
- Researchers in Sydney found that adults who consumed the largest amounts of sodium were twice as likely to develop cataracts and more likely to develop diabetes and high blood pressure than those who had the lowest amounts of sodium.
- Dietary antioxidants play a role in preventing age-related cataracts by preventing the oxidation of proteins and lipids within the lens. Spinach, kale, broccoli, and other leafy vegetables rich in the carotenoid lutein, reduce the risk of developing cataracts. In the Nurses' Health Study, women who ate spinach and other greens at least twice a week had an 18 percent lower risk of cataract surgery than women who consumed them less than once a month. In the Health Professionals' Study, men who ate broccoli more than twice a week had a 23 percent lower risk of cataract surgery than men who consumed broccoli less than once a month.
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