Nutrition News Bites- February 6th, 2011

by Rachel Perez

Worldwide obesity rates doubled since 1980, one-tenth of global population obese

Studies from Lancet provide sobering global obesity stats: 9.8% of men and 13.8% of women were obese in 2008, increased from 4.8% and 7.9% respectively in 1980.  Among industrial countries, people in the U.S. have the highest BMI, while New Zealand follows in second and Japan tallies as last.


FAO reports fish farming overtakes fisheries, triggers debate on ocean sustainability

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s report last week, fish farming has overtaken traditional fisheries in production, with an increased 6.6% annual rate from 1970-2008.  Aquaculture provides 46% of the world’s volume of consumed fish and is $98.4 billion in commercial value, yet indefinite growth is unsustainable.


Medical Perspectives: Setting the record straight on Vitamin D

JAMA comments on the Institute of Medicine’s vitamin D and calcium report, explaining the new recommendations (increased vitamin D to 600IU/day).  Though most Americans are getting adequate calcium and D for bone health, Vitamin D’s role in other chronic diseases is merely “a hypotheses of emerging interest.”


Feature: So You Want to Find A Food Internship: A Job-Seeking Guide

It is internship application season at Friedman!  Fortunately, Helene York of Bon Appetite Management Company offers six tips for the enthusiastic food advocate.


Trans-fat may be linked to increased risk of depression, study says

A study in over 12,000 Spanish volunteers observed that those who ate the most trans fat had a 48% increased risk in developing depression compared to those who ate little, while those who ate more olive oil and other unsaturated fats had less reports of depression.  More research is needed to strain out the protective effects of unsaturated fat in relation to other lifestyle factors.


Rising food prices can topple government, too

Last week participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland shared concerns that ongoing food inflation will contribute to instability in Russia, China, India, and the Middle East.  Poor growing weather, increased demand, and rising prices for rice, cereal, and sugar is creating tense political environments.


Study: In elderly, memory loss may be tied to obesity and hypertension

Among 7,000 men and women ages 65 years and older, those with high blood pressure and larger waistlines were 20% more likely to have cognitive decline on memory tests than those with lower blood pressure and smaller waists.  The authors hope that “management of metabolic syndrome may help delay the onset of dementia,” but more research on the separate effect of weight and blood pressure is needed.


Feature: Bringing the Farmer’s Market to your Doorstep

Winter access to farmer’s markets is a significant challenge for committed locavores.  However The Wall Street Journal sizes up four companies in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Seattle.  Read more about winter buying options in Boston.


USDA notes food stamp usage on the rise

Newly released data from the USDA found that 394,957 new recipients were added to the food stamps program last November 2010.  Year-over-year new participation increased 14.17%, while household participation increased 16.49%, reflecting logical consequences of the Great Recession.


Rachel Perez is a second year Nutrition Communications student and dietetic intern at Frances Stern Nutrition Center-Tufts Medical Center. She hopes you enjoy the News Bites, and welcomes feedback. Don’t hesitate to email her at rachel.perez@tufts.edu with any newsworthy nibbles of your own!

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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