Stories about: soda

Health headlines: Food labels, alcoholism & teen obesity surgery

soda pouring into a glassOther stories we’ve been reading:

There’s more bad news for soda – a new study links it to pancreas cancer. [Read what Children’s obesity expert has to say about artificially sweetened beverages.] There are federal efforts to ban junk food from schools. [Read about junk food advertisements on kids’ websites.] The FDA wants nutrition information labels on the front of food packages. Junk food is getting the spot light in many movies.

Children born early in the year are more likely to be athletes. Obese children are more likely to die young. There’s a link between children with a super sweet tooth and alcoholism. Can you really tell if you’re child will be obese by age 2?

Depression during pregnancy could result in an antisocial teen. A pregnant woman can decrease her baby’s risk of schizophrenia later in life by increasing her iron intake. Obese moms put their newborns at risk for a number of health risks. Older women are more likely to give birth to a child who develops autism. Extremely premature babies show a higher risk for autism.

Obesity surgery may be the best solution for overweight teens. Early language problems may hinder adult literacy. There may be a genetic cause for your child’s obstructive sleep apnea. Childhood cancer survivors are at an increased of dying from a heart-related condition. Reading fiction may be the key to teen girls properly managing their weight.

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Artificially sweetened beverages: Is it nice to fool Mother Nature?

LUDWIG_2343David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Optimal Weight for Life Program, just published a commentary in JAMA expressing concern about the widespread use of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks. Below, he offers some insight about why humans naturally crave sweetness, and the potential danger of confusing our ancient biological pathways of hunger and satiation with fake sugars.

Ever since our distant ancestors crawled out of the ocean, animals have been trying to eat plants. In this conflict, animals would seem to have a distinct advantage: we can move about, they can’t. But plants are by no means defenseless against our predations. They protect themselves with thorns, bark and tough fibers; stash their starches in tubers that are difficult to digest (at least when uncooked); encase their most prized possessions, high energy nuts and seeds, in impervious shells; and lace their leaves with bitter, toxic chemicals.

In fact, plants have long taken advantage of animals to help them reproduce. To entice us to serve them, plants have created seed-bearing fruits and infused them with sugar, the gold standard of energy metabolism.

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Taxing soda by the ounce?

stockphotopro_6488093CNV_glass_of_cola_wSugary sodas are the latest target in an ongoing battle against childhood obesity. In an online commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine published yesterday, David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Optimal Weight for Life Program, and a group of public health specialists argue that taxing soda can reduce consumption by making it too expensive, and much like with taxes on smoking, the revenue generated can be used to finance health programs.

They conclude:

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