Nutrition News Bites – November 29th

 by Lindsey Toth

Study: Parents’ food strategies are a response to children’s habits

A nutrition study showed that mothers who imposed food restrictions were more likely to say their children would overindulge if allowed to do so, while mothers who pressured their children to eat tended to say they were more fussy about their meals. The findings “are consistent with the idea that mothers’ feeding practices are, to some extent, responsive to their children’s predispositions toward food,” the researchers wrote. 

Coffee and tea may help reduce the risk of brain cancer, study finds 

A study of more than 410,000 European men and women tracked for about 8½ years found that those who drank as little as half a cup of coffee daily had a 34% reduced risk of gliomas, a form of brain cancer. Researchers said that the caffeine in coffee and tea seems to be important, but there could be other factors, such as antioxidants, that influence the protective effect.

Waist size is seen as a better predictor of cardiovascular health

A study found that waist circumference, but not body-mass index, correlates with higher pulse pressure, an indication of an increased risk of heart-related diseases. The researchers said measuring waist size is a simple, cost-effective way to screen for possible risk factors for heart disease.

Report says 50% of Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020

Diabetes and prediabetes will affect more than 50% of Americans by 2020, resulting in $3.35 trillion in health care spending, a report from the UnitedHealth Group projected. The report said, however, that interventions to tackle obesity and prediabetes could help prevent the onset of diabetes.

U.S. salt intake is the same as 50 years ago

Harvard University researchers said U.S. salt intake is the same today as 50 years ago and well over recommended dietary guidelines for good health. They analyzed data from 38 studies from 1957 to 2003 and found that people consistently consumed about 3,700 milligrams of sodium a day, while guidelines advise 2,300 milligrams daily. 

Study says genetics help govern vitamin D levels in winter
Genetics appears to govern vitamin D levels in the winter months, while lifestyle and sun exposure are the prevailing influences in the summer, a study found. The findings are important for the design of future vitamin D interventional trials, the researchers said.

First lady brings salad bars to schools to boost student “brain power”
First lady Michelle Obama visited a Miami elementary school Monday to launch a campaign to set up salad bars in 6,000 schools over the next three years. Obama, who last year launched the “Let’s Move” initiative to reduce childhood obesity, encouraged students to exercise and eat healthy to maximize their “brain power” and boost their achievement in school. 

Lindsey Toth is currently finishing up her time in the joint Dietetic Internship/MS Nutrition and MS Nutrition Communications program. Boston’s beautiful scenery has turned Lindsey into an avid runner, and she just recently finished her first half marathon in September.  When Lindsey isn’t yogging, she is content sitting down with a close group of friends, baking some delicious treats, and watching a classic Disney movie. 

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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