More than three out of four babies born in the U.S. in 2010 breastfed for any length of time, according to the 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says America’s breastfeeding grades are improving with the highest rates since they began measuring in 2001.
And that’s good news because breastfeeding offers many health benefits for babies and moms, including decreased risk for moms for both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer, and lower risk for obesity for baby. One of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention is that mothers breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months.
From my work in breastfeeding education and promotion even just 15 years ago, I know the struggles breastfeeding advocates face in encouraging moms and dads to try breastfeeding and in making hospitals and other institutions supportive of breastfeeding. So I am pleased to see more families choose to try for at least some length of time. Continue reading
From top chefs to parents, it’s a question on everyone’s mind these days: how do we bring together flavor and healthfulness?
Food scientists are already hard at work on this. Last week a study out of the University of Florida shed light – literally – on how much flavor matters to us. Researchers used light treatments to enhance the taste and aroma of tomatoes and berries – a technology that could one day make its way into your home refrigerator.
Now the culinary world is getting in on the action. A hot field of study known as culinary nutrition merges the art of cooking with the science of nutrition – in other words, how to make healthful food taste delicious.
Let’s face it: no one wants to eat a tasteless tomato or bland meal, no matter how healthy. Yet the impact of what we eat on our risk of chronic disease cannot be put by the wayside. AICR’s report and its continuous updates link a diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables and fiber with a lower risk of many cancers. Continue reading
Should obese people who are metabolically healthy be advised to lose weight?
Risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer all increase with excess body fat. Yet research has identified two unique groups: those who are obese but metabolically healthy, and those who are a healthy weight but metabolic unhealthy. This was the topic of a session I especially looked forward to attending at last month’s American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions.
Metabolic health matters when it comes to cancer. Inflammation and the elevated insulin levels that come with insulin resistance are believed to promote cancer development.
Metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) refers to people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (for someone who is 5’6” tall, weight of at least 186 pounds) yet don’t have the metabolic abnormalities that typically accompany obesity. There’s not yet a standard definition for MHO, but usually a person with MHO has no more than one of the following: diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated blood triglycerides or low HDL cholesterol. Studies generally report from 3 to 20 percent of obese people meet criteria to be classified as metabolically healthy. Continue reading