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


Shoppers Confused on Nutrition Label’s Added Sugar, Why it Matters

The FDA wants to require listing the amount of “Added Sugars” on the new version of the Nutrition Facts label. We wrote about this and the FDA’s other proposed changes here. But will this change make it easier to make healthy choices or just cause further confusion?

A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics attempts to find out how consumers interpret “Added Sugars” on proposed versions of the Nutrition Facts label. AICR recommends limiting processed foods high in added sugar because these foods are energy-dense and can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight gain is a cause of ten cancers.

The many names of sugarThe study included a qualitative interview phase and a quantitative phase, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,088 adults.

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Like Seaweed and Quail Eggs? How trying new foods may link to a healthy weight

Polenta, quinoa, kimchi or seaweed – have you tried these foods, or even cooked with them? If so, you might be an adventurous eater – getting a thrill from seeking out and trying foods less familiar to most Americans. According to a new study, you might even weigh less than people who are less adventurous. And a healthy weight is one important factor for keeping risk low for many cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast and kidney.

Published in the journal Obesitythe study authors set out to look at whether being willing to try new or different foods might relate to weight (BMI). Although some earlier studies found that eating more of a variety of foods links to higher BMI, in those cases variety meant eating more foods at one time. Here, the researchers wanted to look at women they describe as “neophiles” – adventurous eaters who enjoy trying new foods.

The 501 women in the study ranged from age 20-35 and they averaged slightly above a healthy weight, 43% Caucasian, with about one-quarter each Black and Hispanic. Continue reading