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Category: Health (Page 1 of 11)

U.S. dietary guidelines may soon warn against ultraprocessed foods

Washington Post »

In recent years, dozens of studies have found that people who consume a lot of ultra-processed foods have higher rates of weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

Nutrition experts say that highlighting ultra-processed foods in the upcoming guidelines could have a significant effect on the country’s diet and national food programs. The dietary guidelines help determine which foods can be served to the approximately 30 million American children who participate in the National School Lunch Program. The guidelines influence the food industry, food assistance programs, and agricultural production.

How Industrially Produced Edible Substances took over your shopping basket, and what are they doing to us?

It’s cheap, attractive and convenient, and we eat it every day – it’s difficult not to. But is ultra-processed food making us ill and driving the global obesity crisis?

Bee Wilson, via The Guardian »

Ultra-processed foods (or UPF) now account for more than half of all the calories eaten in the UK and US, and other countries are fast catching up. UPFs are now simply part of the flavour of modern life. These foods are convenient, affordable, highly profitable, strongly flavoured, aggressively marketed – and on sale in supermarkets everywhere.

You might say that ultra-processed is just a pompous way to describe many of your normal, everyday pleasures. It could be your morning bowl of Cheerios or your evening pot of flavoured yoghurt. It’s savoury snacks and sweet baked goods. It’s chicken nuggets or vegan hotdogs, as the case may be. It’s the doughnut you buy when you are being indulgent, and the premium protein bar you eat at the gym for a quick energy boost. It’s the long-life almond milk in your coffee and the Diet Coke you drink in the afternoon. Consumed in isolation and moderation, each of these products may be perfectly wholesome. With their long shelf life, ultra-processed foods are designed to be microbiologically safe. The question is what happens to our bodies when UPFs become as prevalent as they are at the moment.

Evidence now suggests that diets heavy in UPFs can cause overeating and obesity. Consumers may blame themselves for overindulging in these foods, but what if it is in the nature of these products to be overeaten?

Listen to the podcast version of this article »

Writing unfiltered thoughts writing for five to 20 minutes a day can improve health, diminish stress, increase self-confidence, and kindle the imagination

Scientific American »

For decades, physician and author Silke Heimes has been leading groups in therapeutic exercises to put thoughts and feelings down on paper. Heimes, a professor of journalism at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, points to abundant evidence that writing for five to 20 minutes a day can improve health, diminish stress, increase self-confidence and even kindle the imagination. A writing routine, she argues, is a form of mental hygiene that almost anyone can benefit from.

Driver will soon be charged a hefty toll to drive into downtown Manhattan

The new toll beginning in spring 2024, is expected to be between US$9 and $23 per day for passenger vehicles. Commercial vehicles will be charged upon each entry and exit to the zone.

Regional planners believe the toll will nudge some drivers onto transit. The MTA plans to use the proceeds from congestion pricing to shore up its aging infrastructure.

Why New York Will Charge $23/Day To Drive Into Manhattan

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The mayor of Pontevedra, Spain is placing pedestrians first

For decades, throngs of cars clogged the cobblestone streets of Pontevedra’s downtown, making this seaside city on Spain’s northwestern tip a hard place to live. Smog, loud noise and narrow walkways drove young families away from a region struggling with a shrinking and aging population.

Family physician turned mayor Miguel Fernandez Lores managed to halt the bleeding by closing many streets to car traffic. Now Pontevedra is a model of success in a growing global movement that’s trying to reclaim streets for pedestrians.

Bloomberg »

This Spanish Mayor Is Putting Pedestrians First

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Today is World Alzheimer’s Day

World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated every year on 21 September.

World Alzheimer’s Day is important for creating awareness, empowering caregivers, promoting solidarity, fostering research, and advocating the patients. It is a day to show support, and improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

» Alzheimer Society of Canada

98% of Europeans breathing highly damaging polluted air linked to 400,000 deaths a year

The Guardian »

Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology – including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations – reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines.

The worst hit country in Europe is North Macedonia. Almost two-thirds of people across the country live in areas with more than four times the WHO guidelines for PM2.5, while four areas were found to have air pollution almost six times the figure, including in its capital, Skopje.

Traffic, industry, domestic heating and agriculture are the main sources of PM2.5 and the impact is often felt disproportionately by the poorest communities. »

Patagonia HQ’s Café Sous Chef

Food is a big deal. At the cafés on Patagonia campuses, sometimes the lines form out the door—especially when there’s a surprise berry crumble in the afternoon. They’re where we talk about the surf, put brussels sprouts on a friend’s plate when they can’t reach the tongs on the opposite side and gobble down a gourmet menu. In this short, Sous Chef Mel tells us about feeding people at Patagonia, creating things that never last long and working with local farmers who provide fresh ingredients.

What We Do: Patagonia HQ's Café Sous Chef | Patagonia

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More than 2000 killed as buildings collapse during earthquake in Morocco [Updated]

A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at least 820 2000 people.

The epicentre was in the province of Al Haouz, in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) on Friday, September 8, 2023. There was a magnitude 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.

Rescuers were searching for survivors. Casualty figures are expected to rise as the search continues and as rescuers reach remote areas.

NY Times | BBC | North Africa Post | The East African | Euronews | France 24 | Le Monde | Al Jazeera

Death toll in Morocco earthquake rises to 2,000 | DW News

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Mothers who followed the Mediterranean diet while pregnant improved their children’s cognitive, social and emotional development at age 2 compared with children whose mothers did not follow the diet

CNN »

“At year 2 the children’s brains are harvesting some of the benefits that they received in their adequate nutrition during their intrauterine life,” said Dr. Miguel Martínez-González, a professor of preventive medicine and public health at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, in an email. He was not involved in the study.

“No other dietary model possesses such an impressive accrual of scientific evidence as the traditional Mediterranean diet,” said Martínez-González, who is also an adjunct professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Kellogg’s is going to war over Mexico’s nutrition label rules

Kellogg’s want the right to keep misleading customers and continue to manufacture industrial products engineered and processed to look like food for human consumption. Ultra-processed products that are made to look like food are widely accepted by nutritionists to be unhealthy for human consumption, causing addiction, weight gain, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.

Stat »

A 2019 policy requires companies that make unhealthy foods to include warning labels on the front of any boxes they sell in Mexico to educate consumers about things like excess sugar and fat. Any food with a warning label — like Kellogg’s Fruit Loops or its Frosted Flakes, which typically contain more than 37 grams of added sugar in a 100-gram serving — is also banned from including a mascot on its packaging.

Kellogg’s, the company behind the mascots known in the United States as Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam, has already sued the Mexican government over the labeling policy.

U.S. regulators are considering a similar policy, because they say it will help consumers make healthier decisions. The details haven’t been ironed out yet — the Food and Drug Administration just announced it is studying the idea.

Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.

» Benjamin Franklin

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