What's The Buzz

Food insecurity makes kids overweight

Household food insecurity may be making children from low-income families overweight, according to a study. Published in the ‘Journal of the American Dietetic Association’, the study involved almost 8,500 low-income children, aged 1 month to 5 years.

It suggested an association between household food insecurity and overweight prevalence in this low-income population. However, sex and age appear to modify both the magnitude and direction of the association.

In the research article describing the study, food insecurity has been defined as the lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life, which results from limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods in socially acceptable ways.

The cross-sectional study was based on demographic, anthropometric, food security and other health-related data collected from November 1998 through December 1999, on a sample of children and mothers from low income families participating in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Programme for the Women, Infants, and Children) Programme.

Fish oil protects against stroke
Omega-3 fatty acids may protect against stroke from ruptured carotid artery plaques, according to a new study. Research led by Hernan A Bazan, New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that unstable carotid artery plaques - those in danger of rupturing and leading to a stroke — contain more inflammation and significantly less omega-3 fatty acids than asymptomatic plaques.

This suggests that increasing the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in carotid artery plaques could either prevent strokes or improve the safety of treatment. And this can be accomplished by increasing dietary intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Vit D saves older adults from falls
A new study suggests that people above 65 years should take high dose of vitamin D to prevent falls. The research has found that a daily supplement of the vitamin at a dose of 700-1000 IU (an international unit of measurement for vitamins) reduces the risk of falling among older people by 19 per cent, while a dose of less than that has no effect.
An international team of researchers observed eight fall-prevention trials results to assess the effectiveness of vitamin D in preventing falls among older individuals.

The results showed that benefit from supplemental vitamin D on fall prevention depended on treatment dose. Supplemental vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 were investigated.

Apparently, 700-1000 IU supplemental vitamin D per day (vitamin D2 or vitamin D3) reduced falls by 19 per cent and up to 26 per cent with vitamin D3. However, this effect was independent of age, type of dwelling or additional calcium supplementation.

Micrometer-sized capsules
Experts at Queen Mary, University of London, have come up with micrometer-sized capsules that can safely deliver drugs inside living cells, and allow full courses of prescription drugs to be effectively ‘shrink-wrapped’ and buried under the skin or inside the body. Writing about their innovation, they have revealed that the ‘micro shuttles’ can be loaded with a specific dose of medication and be opened remotely.

The scientists say that these capsules can even help implant drugs inside the body for use when they are needed, such as delivering insulin for managing diabetes. Their release could then be prompted by a biological trigger like a drop in blood sugar levels, or activated manually with a pulse of light.

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