Review: plenty of health reasons to get those young kids active

If being active is good for you — and you know it is — how important is it for young kids? Very, suggests a new review of the research out of the United Kingdom. The review points to how running about and playing sports as children links to numerous health benefits, many of which relate to lowering cancer risk decades later as adults.

For the review, researchers at the British Heart Foundation for Public Health England, part of the UK’s Department of Health, looked at how activity improves 5- to 11-year-olds mental, physical and long-term behaviors.

After finding then rating the studies, the review found strong evidence that activity helps kids’ cardiometabolic health, which puts them at lower risk to develop type 2 diabetes, obesity and other issues related to poor metabolic health. These studies generally focused on how physical activity linked to risk factors for chronic diseases, such as insulin levels and markers of inflammation. Many of these risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes are also shared factors for increased cancer risk.

Here’s the PDF of the evidence review, and below is the summary of what they found.

Rapid evidence review on the effect of physical activity participation among children aged 5 –11 years. Public Health England

Rapid evidence review on the effect of physical activity participation among children aged 5–11 years. Public Health England

Evidence relating to how physical activity improves body fatness/composition was not as Continue reading

Globally, Sugary Beverages May Lead to 184,000 Deaths from Cancer, Other Diseases

Sugary sodas and other drinks lead to an estimated 184,000 deaths around the world each year, including over 6,000 from cancers alone, suggests a new analysis that quantified the effects of these drinks for the three leading causes of death.SodaGlass_canstockphoto2131264

While many health organizations — including AICR — recommend avoiding sugary drinks, this analysis highlights the powerful effect that cutting out one single part of the diet may have, independent of other healthy changes.

For cancer, AICR research has found that sugary drinks lead to weight gain and being overweight, which is linked to increased risk of ten cancers.

In this analysis, sugar sweetened beverages was defined as any beverage that contained at least 50 calories per serving. This included sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, and homemade drinks: 100 percent fruit juice was excluded. Continue reading

Study: use your bathroom scale and simple goals to lose weight

For those working to lose weight, hopping on that bathroom scale daily, having goals and charting your progress may be simple but effective ways to bump up weight loss, suggests a new study published today.

The study, published in the Journal of Obesity, adds to a body of research finding that dieters who track their weight have better success at both weight loss and maintenance.  And for lower cancer risk, weight is important. Being overweight and obese is a cause of ten cancers, including postmenopausal breast, colorectal and liver. AICR’s top Recommendation for Cancer Prevention is for people to stay a healthy weight.

This study was held over two years and it started with approximately 150 participants all learning the same evidence-based strategies for weight loss. Everyone was encouraged to make small healthy changes but they weren’t given a specific diet or exercise plan.

The men and women were then divided into two groups. One group was given a scale and asked to weigh themselves daily, preferably in the morning, and then enter their weight on a (password-protected) website. They were directed to aim for 10% weight loss that first year then maintain it the second year. The website gave each person a chart that tracked their progress along with visualization of goal weights. The chart showed trends, having a line appear 1% below the person’s current weight for a new target weight. (After maintaining that target weight for 8 days, the green line lowered another 1% on the chart.)

 example of weigh-loss visal, with goals and trends

example of weight-loss visual, with goals and trends

The second group was told they would receive the weight-loss intervention after a year. Continue reading