Thursday, September 26, 2013

Diet Drinks Declining Sales

A Coke advertisement defends the safety of its diet drinks.

The company is faced with declining sales of its sugary and non-sugary drinks has plans to educate the consumers about its diet drinks products particulary about the safety of artificial sweetener "aspartame." "The safety of aspartame is supported by more than 200 studies over the last 40 years," the ad assures consumers.

Sales of diet soft drinks are falling at a faster rate than regular soft drinks in the U.S., according to Beverage Digest. Last year, for example, sales volume for Coke fell 1%, while Diet Coke fell 3%. Pepsi fell 3.4%, while Diet Pepsi fell 6.2%.

The decline in sales is because of negative news about these artificial sweeteners and that no-calorie sweeteners may not help your diet and instead could boost your risk for diabetes, heart disease and extra pounds.

The Food and Drug Administration approved six non-nutritive sweeteners for use in foods and drinks:

aspartame - NutraSweet, Equal
sucralose - Splenda, Nevella
acesulfame potassium - Sunett, Sweet One
saccharin - Sweet'N Low, Sugar Twin
rebaudioside A (stevia extract) - Truvia, PureVia
neotame - used in commercial food products

Despite being approved by FDA everynow and then a research pop-up about the dangers of these sweeteners. The latest study say that artificially sweetened drinks are associated with weight gain in adults and teens, and raise risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Their reason why artificial sweeteners may trigger weight gain is that if you are given a brownie made with artificial sweetener you are more likely to eat two or three brownies simply because you do not feel they are as bad for you. Sugar-free foods still contain calories in the form of carbohydrates, protein, and or fat. Certain studies have shown that the caloric consumption of foods sweetened with artificial sweetener is similar to that of foods sweetened with sugar, meaning you will not be cutting calories by simply switching to artificial sweetener.

Another thing is compensation, people tend to justify rewarding themself a second slice of pie because you've eliminated hundreds of calories by choosing diet beverages.

Another research says artificial sweeteners flood your taste buds with sweet flavors but don't give your satisfaction centers in your brain the way real sweets do which cause cravings to build.

Artificial sweeteners also may increase your body's response to real sugars and carbohydrates that spike the levels of blood sugar that link them to metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and diabetes. But there are still no slam dunk research that can directly link artificial sweeteners to weight gain, risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Avoid Sugar From Your Diet

Robert Lustig MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, he explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that too much fructose and not enough fiber appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.

Lustig said that the last 30 years have seen an onslaught of sugar and dwindling of fiber in the food environment which is a deadly combination for consumers who have been duped by the food industry. His 2009 lecture "Sugar: The Bitter Truth," has now been viewed 3,850,000 times on youtube. You can watch the video here:

Now he has brought the battle in the supermarket with his new e-book, "Sugar Has 56 Names: A Shopper's Guide." This e-book guide is meant for smartphones or tablets that you can view while shopping your groceries. It provides consumers with a new nutrition label for hundreds of processed foods that concentrate on sugar. From soy milk to sausage, and Sara Lee to supermarket brands, the data delineates the quality and quantity of sugar in products. Why the distinction? Because, as the book's title indicates, sugar goes by varied names - from fructose to fruit juice, and these derivatives differ greatly in how they're processed by the body.

"By paying attention to the sugar portion of the label people can do better in terms of making their own decisions," Lustig says.

Lustig said that it's not just the issue of obesity but the risk of metabolic diseases, which includes diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, cancer and dementia. And sugar, he says, is a big part of the problem.

He gave readers with some interesting directives: don't go to the supermarket hungry; shop along the perimeter of the supermarket where fresh, whole foods abound; if it comes with a logo you've heard of, it's been processed; avoid anything "partially hydrogenated" it will outlive you,"; just because it says "whole grain" doesn't mean it is, but if it doesn't say whole grain it isn't; if sugar is listed among the first three ingredients, it's dessert.

For his part, there's "no such thing as a sugared beverage" in his home. "We have milk, we have water and occasionally we have some alcoholic drinks when we have friends over," he says. "There is no reason to drink your calories." To ensure sufficient fiber, the Lustigs have salad with every meal, which typically consists of a protein and green vegetables and whole-grain bread instead of white rice, pasta and potatoes. For dessert, it's whole fruit, except for weekends, when they treat their daughters, ages 8 and 14, to something "a little more elaborate," he says.

"We have to get back to dessert being once a week, not once a meal," Lustig says. As he writes, "Sugar is reward. Sugar is fun, but if every meal is fun, then no meal is fun. And I promise, you won't be having fun taking your insulin shots while you're on dialysis."

To change the food culture, and the food supply, he encourages consumers to vote with their mouths and wallets. "We, as a society, have to reduce availability, and we cannot do that right now without the food industry helping us do it," he says. "If you won't buy it, they won't sell it."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Amazing Weight Loss Time-Lapse

Weight Loss, Diet

26-year-old Amanda lost 88 pounds and made a time-lapse GIF that shows her body transformation in just seconds. She began taking photos of herself in 2011 as a way to stay on track her progress in losing weight.

Amanda said on ABC News interview: "I knew that I had to start somewhere. I figured if I did it [took pictures] at least once a month, at the end of however long it took, I would have this really cool end product."

She started it weighing 222 pounds. She started eating a high-protein diet, controlled her food portions and perform moderate exercise. She lost 88 pounds in one year and has kept it off.

"I don't think I was actually prepared for the amount of emotional investment," Amanda said. "People bare their souls when they want to take back their health."

Her gallery of weight-loss photos garnered nearly three million views online and inspired a fellow Reddit user to create the GIF that has everyone buzzing.

"The waist got smaller. The bustline got bigger. The neckline got smaller," Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC News' senior medical contributor, said of Amanda's physical changes.

"But the more significant changes actually occur inside our bodies," she said. "Changes to one's sense of self, to one's physiology [and] to one's internal metabolism."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Study: Short burst of activity effective in shedding pounds

There's no short cut in a healthy weight loss however, a new study finds that short micro-bursts of activity throughout the day can make a big impact in losing weight.

The research was published on September 1 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, University of Utah researchers found that even brief episodes of physical activity of high intensity -- such as carrying a load of laundry or taking a flight of stairs -- worked just as well as longer 10-minute bouts.

"What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration," says researcher Jessie X. Fan, professor of family and consumer studies. "Knowing that even short bouts of 'brisk' activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health."

Researchers used data from more than 4,500 men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In the survey, participants wore accelerometers for seven days, which captured data on their physical activity. Researchers then compared measurements of physical activity based on length of time and intensity. Four categories were created: higher-intensity bouts (greater than 10 minutes exertion at greater than 2,020 counts per minutes, or CPM), higher-intensity short bouts (less than 10 minutes at greater than 2,020 CPM), lower-intensity long bouts (greater than 10 minutes and less than 2,019 CPM), and lower-intensity short bouts (less than 10 minutes and less than 2,019 CPM).

The study used body mass index, BMI, to measure weight status with results showing that for women, each daily minute spent in higher-intensity short bouts was related to a decrease of .07 BMI (A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal weight, whereas a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is overweight; and over 30 is obese.) Looking at it another way, each such minute offset the calorie equivalent of .41 pounds (.18 kilos). Men had similar results, the researchers said.

A separate study announced earlier this year found that short bursts of activity, such as pacing while chatting on the phone, provided they add up to 30 minutes a day, are just as effective as a gym session. In the study, researchers at Oregon State University analyzed data on physical activity and health markers such as cholesterol and blood pressure for more than 6,000 US adults.

Read more:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Man diagnosed with chronic tardiness disease

Jim Dunbar a Scottish man has been diagnosed by doctors with chronic lateness or chronic tardiness disease and this after he showed up for his appointment 20 minutes late, the Evening Telegraph reports. He has been late for everything his entire life from showing up to school at 5 years old to funerals, dinner parties and first dates.

Doctors say that his condition resembles ADHD and affects the part of the brain that measures how long things take. Dunbar hopes his diagnosis can help others who are also afflicted, and hopes to raise awareness about his condition.

“The reason I want it out in the open is that there has got to be other folk out there with it and they don’t realise that it’s not their fault,” he said.

Dunbar has a special clock that keeps perfect time, but it doesn’t help. He sets his watch fast, to no avail. He even gives himself an 11-hour head start to get to the movies on time, and still arrives 20 minutes late.