WHAT'S THE BUZZ

Curb toddler obesity with healthy diet

Promoting healthy eating habits from infancy can help prevent childhood obesity and the onset of chronic disease, studies have shown.

Rebecca Byrne from QUT, said that the toddler years are a critical age in the development of long-term food preferences, but this was also the age that autonomy, independence and food fussiness begins.

She further added that liking a nutrient-dense diet that incorporates all five food groups was important, as evidence suggested that food preferences develop at this early age and persist into adulthood. Iron deficiency also remained an issue for toddlers in both developed and developing countries.

 It was also revealed that while most toddlers were consuming a diverse diet, the amount and type of meat or meat alternatives was poor. Almost all children were consuming foods one could consider completely unnecessary at this age, such as sweet biscuits.

‘Armed antibody’, a hopeful cure for arthritis

A major breakthrough in treating arthritis has been achieved by curing it in mice for the first time. The researchers have developed a new biotechnologically produced active substance consisting of body’s own immune messenger interleukin 4 and an antibody to it, and have successfully cured rheumatoid arthritis in mice.

Till now, doctors have used various drugs to slow or stop the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, but this research has developed a therapy that takes its treatment to a new level.

 Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes painful inflammation of joints in the body, but the drug, based on the key-lock principle, binds to a form of a protein that is found only in inflamed tissue in certain diseases, thereby treating it.

 Based on the promising results from the animal model, they are currently preparing to test the new drug in clinical trials on people suffering from arthritis.
 
Physically fit teens less prone to depression

A study conducted at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention has demonstrated that physically fit sixth graders, especially girls, who performed better on a cardio-respiratory fitness test were less likely to feel depressed when they were surveyed again in seventh grade. 

Camilo Ruggero of the University of North Texas said that a student’s physical activity level may change from week to week, whereas fitness was a result of more prolonged physical activity and assessing the students’ body mass index, how well they performed on a shuttle-run test and their own feelings of personal fitness helped to give them a more complete picture of each student’s fitness level.

Ruggero added that depression that begins at this time could lead to chronic or recurring depression in later years and fitness programmes were one way to help prevent depression in middle-schoolers.   

Regular eating at restaurants spike your calorie intake

A new study by Binh T. Nguyen of the American Cancer Society and Lisa M. Powell of the University of Illinois, has demonstrated that adults who eat at both fast food and full-service restaurants have a increased chance of calories, sugar, saturated fat and sodium intake.

Nguyen said that just as obesity rates rise, there had been a marked increase in total energy consumption consumed away from home, with about one in four calories coming from fast food or full service restaurants in 2007.

The researchers said that the larger adverse effect they measured on energy intake for some lower socio-economic and minority populations had policy implications.

The study found that individual characteristics moderated the impact of restaurant food consumption. Net energy intake was larger for black adults compared with their white and Hispanic counterparts and greater for middle-income adults as against high-income adults. 

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