FOOD BITES: FEBRUARY 2018

Food Safety Tips for People with Diabetes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now has available a free booklet called “Food Safety for People with Diabetes.” Practicing food safety is critical for people who have diabetes, the FDA says, because diabetes can affect the function of various organs and systems of the body, making people living....

….FULL ARTICLE

FOOD BITES: MARCH 2018

Researchers Create Genetically Modified Gluten-Free Wheat

Bread’s appealing texture is gluten, a group of proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. But gluten damages the small intestines of people with the serious autoimmune disorder celiac disease. Most gluten-free bread is made from alternative flours such as rice or potato, which makes it taste and feel different from wheat bread.

….FULL ARTICLE

FOOD BITES: APRIL 2018

DNA Diet Matching Doesn’t Work

A new study finds it doesn’t matter whether people try low-fat or low-carb diets for weight loss, even when their DNA suggests otherwise. The study’s results shed doubt on claims about diets that purport to be tailored to people’s specific genetic needs or predispositions.

….FULL ARTICLE

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FOOD BITES: JANUARY 2018

Farm-to-School Programs Increase Fruit, Vegetable Intake

Children attending schools with Farm-to-School (FTS) programs eat more fruits and vegetables, according to research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). As part of the 2010 Hunger-Free Kids Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the FTS program to help school cafeterias increase the amount of local foods they serve. FTS programs typically involve local procurement of products served in school cafeterias, hands-on learning activities such as school gardens and integrated nutrition activities. The UF/IFAS researchers reviewed how much food students threw away after lunch and compared that to the original serving amounts at six elementary schools in Alachua County, Fla., before and after FTS program implementation. Students at schools with FTS programs ate 37 percent more vegetables and 11 percent more fruit than the average student consumed before their school began the program. “These results indicate sourcing produce locally has a positive impact on the consumption of vegetables and fruits,” said Jaclyn Kropp, a UF/IFAS associate professor of food and resource economics and lead author of the study. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior last month.


Price Changes for 7 Foods Could Save Thousands of Lives Annually

Subsidies for healthy foods and taxes on unhealthy foods

could reduce deaths from stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease by 3 percent to 9 percent, especially among Americans with lower socioeconomic status, according to Tufts University Health Sciences Campus researchers. The researchers used a comparative risk assess- ment model to estimate the potential effects of price subsidies on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts and seeds. They also tested the effects of taxes on processed and unprocessed red meats and sugary drinks on the number of annual deaths from cardio-meta- bolic diseases in the United States. The researchers found if prices of all seven items were altered by 10 percent each, an estimated 23,000 deaths per year could be prevented – about 3.4 percent of all U.S. cardio-metabolic disease deaths. A 30-percent price change nearly tripled the approximation with an estimated 63,000 deaths prevented per year, or 9.2 percent of all cardio-metabolic disease deaths. “This is the first time, to our knowledge, that national data sets have been pooled and analyzed to investigate the influence of food subsidies and taxes on disparities in cardio-metabolic deaths in the United States,” said lead and corresponding author José L. Peñalvo, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “We found modest price changes on healthy and unhealthy

foods would help decrease overall cardio-metabolic deaths and also reduce disparities between socioeconomic strata in the U.S. – the largest changes coming from reducing the prices of fruits and vegetables and increasing the price of sugary drinks.”


“These results suggest financial incentives to purchase healthy food and disincentives to purchase unhealthy foods can prove successful in meaningfully reducing cardio-metabolic disease disparities,” said senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Ph.D. and dean of the Freidman School. The findings were published in the journal BMC Medicine in November.

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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