Flavour of the Week


  • An RCT published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that increased availability of calorie-free beverages (via home delivery) reduces weight gain in teenagers. The control group continued to drink higher amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages and gained significantly more weight.
  • We may be underestimating the future health burden of overweight and obese children! Researchers from Oxford looked at pre-existing chronic disease risk factors in children (age 5 – 15 years) – from cholesterol to insulin resistance to ventricular hypertrophy – should these carry forward into adulthood, and in all likelihood worsen, we’re in trouble…
  • In a classic chicken-or-egg scenario, overweight and obese children eat more at meals and snacks despite being full when compared with their “normal-weight” siblings.
  • A recent Swedish study links dietary antioxidant intake with lower risk of heart attack in women. Interesting that dietary antioxidant capacity was estimated using the ORAC tables from the USDA, which have subsequently been pulled down due to growing evidence that these same ORAC values “have no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds…on health health.” No need to start a petition to the USDA though. We don’t actually think ORAC has much to do with the study findings; more likely a simple reflection of higher intakes of veggies, fruit and other plant-based foods!
  • The link between gut bacteria and health/disease extends beyond obesity. It is well known that the types of bacteria that live in your gut can be linked to body weight but now it turns out that the profile of gut bacteria is also correlated to type 2 diabetes. Further research is required to identify changes in the gut bacteria that increase or decrease the risk and determine if and how the gut bacteria can be targeted for treatments.

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