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14 October 2013, WFP -- "For many of the 842 million hungry people in the world, the answer is not a hand-out of free food. It's more about making local food 'systems' more productive and reliable so that nutritious food is always available, even to the poorest of the poor. But what is a food system precisely? And how can you make it stronger?
In the developing world, the processes through which food is grown, sold and distributed are sometimes fragile. The land may be dry and unsuitable for farming. The farmers themselves may lack the skills or techniques they need. There may be a shortage of storage capacity. Markets may be badly connected or even inaccessible.
All of these things form what can be called a ‘food system’. Problems anywhere in the system will affect people’s ability to get the food they need. The importance of building robust food systems, that can provide communities with healthy diets, is the key theme of World Food Day this year.
Here are three examples of WFP projects which are contributing to creating ‘healthy’ food systems ..."
* El Salvador
Photo: Sustainable food systems produce nutritious diets for all people today while also protecting the capacity of future generations to feed themselves. Learn more by reading the issue paper prepared by WFP's sister agency FAO. Credit: WFP/Stephanie Tremblay
14 December 2013, Washington Post, Brad Plumer -- "A basic primer: Why antibiotic resistance is a problem, what farms have to do with it, and why some people think the FDA's rules don't go far enough.
This week, the Food and Drug Administration announced new policies to curtail the widespread use of antibiotics in cows, pigs and chickens raised for meat. Critics say the moves didn't go nearly far enough. So why is this such a huge fight, anyway?
The basic problem here is pretty simple — and scary. Antibiotics are utterly indispensable to modern medicine. But they're also starting to lose their effectiveness: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are spreading fast and now kill at least 23,000 Americans each year.
One reason we're seeing so many new, resilient bacterial strains — from staph to strep to salmonella — is that we're overusing the antibiotics we already have, scientists say. This gives bacteria more opportunities to evolve and essentially outsmart these drugs. ..."
Photo: Turkeys raised without the use of antibiotics at David Martin’s farm in Lebanon, Pa. Credit: Matt Rourke/AP file photo
13 December 2013, Alpha Galileo via RCN Publishing Company -- "Many dieters eventually end up weight cycling (yo-yo dieting) or overweight. This paradox may partly be explained by a chemical response to a disturbance in weight homeostasis, which happens when hunger cues are ignored as the result of dieting. A study was undertaken to examine what beliefs might guide eating behaviour and to determine how these behaviours are related to lifetime weight and weight stability. In a sample of 189 Californian nurses, those who consistently overrode hunger cues were more likely to suffer from a lifetime of overweight and weight cycling. Those who consistently overrode fullness cues were more likely to have to use moderate to extreme effort to maintain weight. Because overriding homeostatic cues may lead to physiological and behavioural overcompensation, nursing and public health education should caution against getting either too full or too hungry.
Health advice given by nurses to overweight patients to eat less and cut back can lead to weight gain rather than loss, research has found.
A US study of what beliefs guide eating behaviour and their relationship with weight found that dieting is a risk factor for excess weight. ..."
Cited reference: Outland L, Madanat H, Rust F (2013) Intuitive eating for a healthy weight. Primary Health Care. 23, 9, 22-28
13 December 2013, Beverage Daily, Mark Astley -- "The new Built with Chocolate Milk campaign, the flavored, mustache-free sister of Got Milk?, will provide the US dairy industry with an opportunity to develop the "brand and nutritional equity" of milk, the organisation behind it has claimed. ..."
13 December 2013, WebMD -- "Sugar, not fat, is the major reason why people are drawn to unhealthy treats, a new study says.
Researchers monitored the brain activity of more than 100 teens as they drank chocolate-flavored milkshakes that had the same number of calories but were either high in sugar and low in fat, or the other way around, The New York Times reported.
Both types of shakes activated pleasure centers in the brain, but those that were high in sugar did so far more effectively and triggered a food reward network involved in compulsive eating, according to the study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. .."
If you are a vegan, you probably get asked the question, "where do you get your protein?" A LOT. Many people believe that protein can only be obtained through eating meat, eggs, and dairy. Did you ...
13 December 2013, MPR (Monthly Prescribing Reference) -- "Food security status is associated withcardiovascular risk factors and predicted 10-year cardiovascular disease risk, according to research published Dec. 5 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.
Earl S. Ford, MD, MPH, from the CDC in Atlanta, conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from 10,455 adults, aged ≥20 years, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2010 to examine the correlation between food security status and cardiovascular disease risk factors and predicted 10-year risk. Based on 10 questions, four levels of food security status were defined.
The author found that, compared to those with full food security, participants with very low food security had a 0.15% higher mean hemoglobin A1c and 0.8mg/L greater mean concentration of C-reactive protein, after adjustment. Furthermore, the adjusted mean concentration of cotinine was significantly higher for those with very low vs. full food security (112.8 vs. 62ng/mL). Food security status was not significantly associated with systolic blood pressure or concentrations of total, high-density lipoprotein, or non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Having a predicted 10-year cardiovascular disease risk >20% was more likely among participants aged 30–59 years with very low food security vs. full food security (adjusted prevalence ratio, 2.38). ..."
13 December 2013, MercoPress -- "Citing a potential threat to public health, the United States Food and Drug Administration is taking steps toward phasing out the use of some antibiotics in animals processed for meat. .."
Photo: In the US many cattle, hog and poultry producers give antibiotics regularly to ensure they are healthy grow faster
13 December 2013, WebMD, Mary Elizabeth Dallas(HealthDay News) -- "Just a little exercise each week -- jogging for an hour or walking for about three hours -- can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by up to 31 percent, according to a new study.
Researchers looking at data on more than 84,000 postmenopausal women found that engaging in any type of light physical activity can help prevent the formation of these pebbles in the kidneys. Even light gardening might curb their development, according to the study, which was published recently in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Kidney stones, which have become increasingly common, are more prevalent among women. During the past 15 years, research has shown that kidney stones might actually be a systemic problem, involving more than just the kidneys. Recent research has linked the stones to obesity, diabetes,metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
In conducting the study, the researchers analyzed information compiled since the 1990s on the women's eating habits and level of physical activity. ..."