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Health News You Can Use | Vol. 25 No. 3 | Mar-Apr 2015

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MANGOS FOR DIABETICS

Diabetics may be hesitant to eat too much fruit, but studies show that mangos could be of benefit to them. A study of 20 obese adults 20–50 years old showed that those consuming freeze dried mango pulp (the equivalent of half a fresh mango) for 12 weeks showed lower blood glucose levels. Researchers attribute this to the mango’s fiber and a phytochemical called mangiferin. This, of course, does not negate the importance of other lifestyle changes for preventing and controlling diabetes. Mango May Reduce Blood Glucose in Obese Adults,” Environmental Nutrition, January 2015.

BAN THE smart PHONE FROM THE BEDROOM!

Parents may want to impose “curfews” on electronic devices such as smart phones. Studies show that when children have smart phones in their bedrooms they get less sleep and feel more tired during the day. Experts recommend that preteens and teens get 9–10 hours of sleep each night.

Nearly 2,050 fourth and seventh graders were surveyed about their use of electronic devices and their sleep habits. Children with TVs in their bedrooms went to bed 18 minutes later than children without bedroom TVs, but if they had smartphones at hand they went to sleep nearly 21 minutes later than children who did not. Studies also showed that those who read from an iPad before bed took longer to fall asleep (and were more tired the next day) than those who read from a book. They also reported feeling they needed more sleep. Parents may want to require that these devices be charged overnight in a common area rather than allowing children to have them in their bedrooms. Kids With Bedroom Smartphones Sleep Less: Study,” HealthDay, January 5, 2015, www.nlm.nih.gov; “Reading On a Screen Before Bed Might Be Killing You,” Huffington Post, December 23, 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com.

NUTRITION EDUCATION TO PREVENT BREAST CANCER REOCCURRENCE

Giving good nutritional advice can save lives! New studies show that nutrition education can help patients improve their diet, thus reducing the risk that breast cancer will return.

Over a 12-month period, 18 breast cancer patients received education about proper nutrition, kept food diaries, and were given continuing diet and lifestyle counseling through phone conferences and meetings. They were encouraged to reduce their consumption of red meat and processed meat while increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables. When compared with the 75 in the patient control group who did not receive the same counseling, the patients receiving the counseling consumed 50 percent less red and processed meat. The control group showed twice as much weight increase than those receiving the counseling.

Experts say that red and processed meat consumption and body weight raise oxidative stress, which causes cancer to reoccur. The choice to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by those receiving counseling meant higher antioxidant intake, which reduces the aggravating effects of chemotherapy treatment and may reduce the risk of cancer reoccurrence. Nutritional Education May Help Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence,” Science World Report, January 5, 2015, www.scienceworldreport.com.

FAST FOOD LOWERS SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

Could burgers and fries be keeping your child from achieving better grades? While many studies have linked eating fast food with childhood obesity, new research has found that the amount of fast food a child eats may also lead to poorer school performance.

In a recent study from Ohio State University, children who ate fast food daily in fifth grade were—by eighth grade—found to have test scores up to 20 percent lower than those who did not eat fast food at all. This difference remained after controlling for factors such as how much they exercised or watched television, what other food they ate, family income levels, and the characteristics of their neighborhood or school. Further research will be needed to understand the reason behind this. Fast-Food Consumption Linked to Lower Test Score Gains in 8th Graders,” www.news.osu.edu.

 

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