With so much news about the obesity epidemic plaguing today’s kids, researchers recently set out to discover if there has been an increase in the number of cases of metabolic syndrome in this population. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), metabolic syndrome is a constellation
of medical conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, that are thought to be caused by insulin resistance or glucose intolerance. The AHA estimates that approximately 20%–25% of American adults suffer from this condition.
Women are at unique risk for certain nutrition-related diseases and conditions. Many of these diseases and conditions are caused by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors that may be preventable if women are given correct advice and information. To assist health professionals in educating this group about healthful eating habits and other lifestyle choices, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the Dietitians of Canada have released a new Position Paper on nutrition and women’s health.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has launched a new program to support health and physical activity for the 6 million American children and youth who have disabilities. Supported by more than 50 national organizations,
the initiative is being led by the HHS’ Office on Disability in collaboration with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS).
Fortifying grain products with folic acid was originally intended to reduce the incidents of birth defects. Now a new study indicates that folic acid fortification may also have a considerable effect on cardiovascular disease, preventing an estimated 31,000 deaths from stoke and 17,000 deaths from heart disease each year.
Men with high levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone pro- oduced and secreted by fat cells, are less likely to have a heart
attack, according to a study published in the April 14, 2004, issue
of the Journal of the American Medical Association (2004; 291 , 1730–7). Adeponectin is thought to prevent fats from accumulating in arteries and may also reduce inflammation; although fat cells produce the hormone, obese people have lower levels of it.
A little goes a long way when training older adults with lower-extremity osteoarthritis, according to
a study in the April 2004 issue of The Gerontologist (2004; 44 , 217–28). Researchers looked at the impact of a low-cost, multicomponent physical
Exercising to Music May Improve Brainpower
People who exercise are already smart, but listening to music while exercising may make them even smarter, according to a study published in the November–December issue of Heart & Lung (2003; 32 , 368–73).
High cholesterol is a dangerous contributor to coronary heart disease. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Guidelines from the National Institutes of Health state that a total-cholesterol level of 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or higher indicates an elevated risk of having a heart attack. Optimally, LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, should be 100 mg/dl or below for high-risk individuals (those with cardiovascular disease [CVD], diabetes or a 20 percent [%] or greater chance of suffering a heart attack or dying from CVD in the next 10 years).
Researchers recently evaluated data from 10 prospective cohort studies on different types of dietary fiber to determine their effect on heart disease risk. For every 10 g of fiber consumed per day, the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) decreased by 14 percent (%), whereas the risk of dying from CHD decreased by 27%. Fiber obtained from fruit appeared to be slightly more heart protective than cereal fiber. The findings were published in the February 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
More evidence is stacking up against dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Over-the-counter DHEA capsules and creams have been hyped to battle everything from low sex drive to heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Many athletes and bodybuilders also use the supplement in their efforts to gain muscle mass.