Nutrition News Bites – December 6th, 2010

by Lindsey Toth

Study: Higher protein, low glycemic index diet is better for weight management

A higher protein diet that was low on the glycemic index beat out other weight loss plans that were lower in protein or higher on the glycemic index or both, a study found. The 26-week study, which included people who already had lost weight, found that only those on a low protein/high GI diet regained significant weight, while those in the high protein/low GI group lost a few more pounds.

Report: Admissions for childhood eating disorders increase

An American Academy of Pediatrics report indicates that the incidence of hospitalizations for eating disorders among children younger than 12 increased by 119% from 1999 to 2006. The group recommends that children be routinely screened by their pediatricians for eating disorders and referred to specialized therapy.

Senate food-safety bill would boost FDA’s recall power

The FDA would increase food-plant inspections and have the power to order recalls of tainted products under legislation that is expected to win Senate approval this week. Supporters say the bill is needed in the wake of salmonella and E. coli outbreaks, but it has come under fire from advocates of locally produced food and small farms who said it could bankrupt some small businesses.

Students eat more fruit when vending machines carry produce

Children eat what’s available to them, and that includes the contents of vending machines, according to a study. Researchers say 83% of school vending machines offer sweets, soda and chips with little nutritional value.

Weight Watchers adjusts its strategy

Weight Watchers has launched its PointsPlus System, a program that encourages more fruit and vegetable consumption and factors in the fullness effects of protein and fiber. The program aims to help members choose foods that will help them feel full, but calories are still a key part of the formula, the company said.

IOM sets recommendations for calcium and vitamin D intake

The Institute of Medicine today issued new guidelines recommending children and adults below age 71 get a daily dose of 600 international units of vitamin D and 700 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium. The group noted that most Americans, except for adolescent girls and older adults, are already meeting the criteria through exposure to sunlight and sufficient consumption of foods rich in vitamin D or calcium.

Study suggests that benefits from eating fish may trump mercury risks

A study of more than 900 adults in Sweden found that elevated blood levels of mercury were not associated with an increased risk of cardiac problems, suggesting that the benefits of fish may outweigh the potential risks of mercury exposure. However, one expert said the data did not look at whether the measured mercury levels came from fish consumption and called the findings “totally inconclusive.”

Children who skip breakfast don’t eat bigger lunches, study finds

Children who skip breakfast are hungrier in the morning but do not necessarily make up for it by eating more at lunch, a small study found. Children who did eat breakfast ended up consuming more calories overall, exceeding what was needed to maintain their weight, the researchers found.

Obesity concerns cause some parents to put babies on diets

Chubby babies once were considered cute, but concerns about obesity are leading more parents to put infants on a diet, according to this article. Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics’ nutrition committee, recommended babies be breast-fed and monitored by a physician to ensure adequate weight gain.

Study: Omega-3s may help prevent eye disease

A dietary survey of seniors living in Maryland’s Eastern Shore area showed that people who had age-related macular degeneration were less likely to consume a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. An expert said more research is needed, however, to determine whether omega-3s can protect against AMD.

HHS sets more conservative public health goals for 2020

The HHS has set its Healthy People 2020 goals, covering about 600 health areas and including objectives to reduce obesity and cancer death rates by 10% and smoking rates by 21%. The agency opted to set more modest goals in the next 10 years, compared with the ambitious 2010 goals, of which about 19% were met.

House clears child nutrition bill for Obama’s signature

The House voted 264-157 Thursday to pass a $4.5 billion child nutrition bill, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign it into law. The legislation would expand the school lunch program and create nutrition standards for school meals, including more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

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.

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