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June 27, 2008

Diabetes: Metabolic Syndrome Common in Obese American Children

In a recent post, I highlighted a Spanish study that showed 1 out of 4 Spanish obese childrena have metabolic syndrome, a condition which greatly increases the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Now University of Miami researcher Sara E. Messiah, PhD, MPH, finds that about half of American obese kids also have metabolic syndrome by the ages to 12 to 14. The results are a very real cause of concern in the medical communtiy, considering the growing number of American kids who are becoming obese; at the time of data collection in 1999-2002, nearly 20% of children aged 8 to 14 were obese.

Metabolic Syndrome Seen in Even Younger Children

Roughly 10% of kids from age 8-11 already have metabolic syndrome, which can be defined as having at least three of the following risk factors: abnormally large waist size, high blood-sugar levels, low levels of HDL "good" cholesterol, high blood fat levels, and high blood pressure.

"If a kid is age 8 with metabolic syndrome, it will take 10 years or less for that child to [develop] type 2 diabetes or heart disease," said Messiah in a WebMD interview. "So as these kids enter adulthood, they could be faced with an entire life of chronic disease."

John K. Stevens Jr., MD, a cardiologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Sibley Heart Center, is seeing an increasing number of teenage patients with alarming high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, and plaque in the arteries.

"I am very fearful that in the next 10 to 20 years we will have an explosion of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease as these very young, very obese kids become 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds," Stevens tells WebMD. "When we hear of people dying of coronary artery disease in their 30s and 40s, we are shocked and amazed and say, 'That is too young.' But I am fearful we are going to be seeing coronary artery disease a lot earlier in these kids growing up obese."

Healthy Eating and Exercise the Key to Prevention and Reveral of Metabolic Syndrome

With colleagues, Messiah is developing a plan to promote strenous exercise for kids in their clinic.  If successful, she widen to program.

"There is a chance," concludes Steven, "if people get serious about this and eat less saturated fats and exercise more and lose weight, they can reverse some of this process."

Posted by Laura on June 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 26, 2008

Heathy Recipe: Pasta Stirfry with Citrus and Asparagus

Don't let making dinner slow you down this summer!  This pasta stirfy is one healthy recipe that makes a quick and easy second dish out of leftover pasta. Serve it fresh and hot, or pack it for a picnic. Either way, it's healthy eating for the family on the go!

Serves 4

1 lb. leftover or fresh medium-sized pasta (Zita shown right)
2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
12 oz. fresh shrimp or frozen small shrimp, thawed
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced on diagonal
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 lb. asparagus, cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
1 cup fresh orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Use leftover pasta if you have some. If not, prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, warm 1 teaspoon vegetable oil over high heat in a large non-stick wok or skillet.

Stir-fry the shrimp until firm, opaque and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pan and stir-fry the carrots for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and scallions and stir-fry for another 3 to 4 minutes, until asparagus is tender-crisp.

When pasta is done, drain it well. Add pasta, shrimp and orange juice to skillet and toss until hot, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately or chill and serve cold later.

Recipe from the National Pasta Association

Posted by Laura on June 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 24, 2008

Healthy Body Image - Give The Gift To Someone You Love

I spend most of my days talking to women from all over the world (literally), who struggle with feeling weighted down by the pounds on the scale, the way they see themselves in the mirror and how they feel physically and emotionally.

Women from every corner of the globe are looking to put to rest, once and for all, their frustration and preoccupation with food, fat and failure and in so many cases, these feelings begin all too young. 

The book recommended below speaks to this fact and to young women who can begin now to stop punishing themselves with negative feelings about their bodies and the negative images they create in their minds and hearts and focus on what will really pull them successfully through their lives - self love.

101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body by Brenda Lane Richardson and Elane Rehr.

Another great read: Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney E. Martin

Posted by Cindy on June 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 23, 2008

Diabetes: Need For Tailored Nutrition Education For Hispanic Women With Or At Risk Of Diabetes

A recent study from Rutgers, published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, shows that Hispanics have a two-fold risk over whites in developing type 2 diabetes due to poor nutrition. 

Of the 200 Hispanic women involved in the study (most were of Puerto Rican decent) who were asked questions about their nutrition knowledge and understanding of type 2 diabetes,  an alarming 50% had already developed type 2 diabetes and most had never seen a registered dietitian or diabetes health educator.

"The current findings suggest a need for nutrition education interventions in the study population. Moving beyond just preferring regular sugar vs. artificial sweeteners seems to be an obvious educational need. Saturated fat, fiber and daily food group intake recommendations need to be included in the educational interventions because these were among the topics that were least known to the participants."

Cultural barriers, lack of access or awareness of available health services and health care expense are the primary obstacles for minority group, notes Rutgers researcher Nargul Fitzgerald.

"We don't have enough services, we don't have enough certified diabetes educators or nutritionists who can speak the language or who are culturally competent enough to work with [Hispanics]," adds Fitzgerald.

Other research has also demonstrated that Hispanics have a harder time controlling their type 2 diabetes. Read: Hispanics Have More Difficulty Controlling Type 2 Diabetes/Diabetes Than Non Hispanic Whites.

Posted by Laura on June 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 20, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad

I'm a big advocate for avocados! Besides being yummy, avocados are a healthy eating food, complete with fourteen minerals to stimulate growth, including iron and copper. Their low sugar content and lack of starch make them a great choice for people with type 2 diabetes. Vitamins in avocados include A, several B-complex, C, and E, and they’re also packed with antioxidants like vitamins E and C. You'll enjoy their cool, smooth creamy texture, which is a perfect contrast to crunchy walnuts, apples and greens.

1 large, ripe Fresh California Avocado, peeled, seeded, cut in slices
2 Cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over, well-drained
2 Cups diced fresh apple (two medium apples; peeled, cored, seeded, diced)
2 Cups fresh mango chunks, diced
2 Tbsp chopped chives or green onion
2 Tbsp walnuts, toasted*, chopped coarsely
5 oz package mixed baby greens, or 8 cups mixed lettuces torn in bite-size

Toss salad greens in large bowl with remainder of tangy dressing, and distribute evenly on each of six salad plates. Place chopped avocado, blueberries, apple, and mango in medium bowl and toss with 4 Tbsp tangy dressing; set aside. Sprinkle with chopped chives and toasted walnuts to serve.

*To toast walnuts, place nut pieces in dry skillet over medium-high heat and stir occasionally for about seven minutes, or until pieces are browned lightly. Remove from heat. Let nuts cool slightly before chopping and using to garnish salad.

Place an equal portion of dressed fruit/avocado mixture on top of each greens serving.

Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad Dressing

2 Tbsp honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ Cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/8 tsp salt
¼ Cup fresh orange or grapefruit juice
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1 avocado and blueberry fruit salad (click here to view the recipe for Avocado and Blueberry Fruit Salad)

In medium bowl, mix honey, yogurt, and cinnamon together until smooth and creamy.
Whisk in juice; stir in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Today's healthy recipe from avocado.org

Posted by Laura on June 20, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2008

Healthy Weight Management - Step One: Stop Weighing Yourself!

1011647_beachMarsha is on vacation this week, so I looked in her archives and came up with one of my favorite Marsha posts. This particular post struck me because I speak to women daily who still struggle with an unhealthy attachment to the scale, calorie counting and exercise.

Here, at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we discourage using the scale as a measurement of success. In fact, when you particpate in our program, you'll only get weighed once, maybe twice, before we send you on your way. We like to celebrate other ways to measure success and there are many.

Here is the post from 2005 which, in my view, is worth another read.

It's Official, You'll Do Much Better If You Stop Counting Calories & Weighing Yourself!

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Posted by Cindy on June 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 17, 2008

Healthy Living - The Message of Massage

882274_physical_therapyI’m always surprised to learn how many women have never had a real massage. Often times (certainly not always), this reaction to massage is due to issues around self and size acceptance.  Most of us spend a lot of time and consideration disguising our lumps and bumps, only to visit a perfect stranger, disrobe (you don’t have to by the way), and let them go where no man has gone before – even if you’ve begged him to!  If legitimate shyness is keeping you from having one of the most wonderful experiences in your life, consider this:

• Massage reduces stress
• Massage provides general relaxation
• Massage reduces muscle tension throughout the body    
• Massage can relieve acute and chronic pain 
• Massage can promote recovery from muscle fatigue and from minor aches and pains
• Massage reduces swelling
• Massage improves blood circulation 
• Massage can increase oxygen capacity of the blood
• Massage induces better lymph movement 
• Massage can increase mobility and range of motion of joints
• Massage stimulates or soothes the nervous system 
• Massage can enhance the condition of the skin
• Massage can assist with better digestion and intestinal function 
• Massage can aid in improving physical health and the quality of life
• Massage feels really GOOD!

There are other benefits you can receive from regular massage. Read more about massage therapy at Holistic.com.

You can also get more information about massage, therapies, techniques and what to expect from a credited massage therapist at The American Medical Massage Association.

Source: (Benefits of massage) Holisticonline.com.

Posted by Cindy on June 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 16, 2008

Diabetes: One In Four Obese School-aged Children In Spain Suffers Metabolic Syndrome, Researcher Asserts

Childhood obesity in may put a quarter of Spanish children from ages 6-12 at risk for developing what is typically considered a middle aged person's illness: metabolic syndrome.

In a research study conducted by department chair Ángel Gil Hernández, of the Institute of Food Nutrition and Technology of the University of Granada, 17% of Spanish children with obesity also have hypertension, which is part of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Hernández cautions that metabolic syndrome is also linked to insulin resistance, and, in the long term, type 2 diabetes.

Around the globe, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are the leading causes of childhood obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of American children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese -- a number that has tripled since 1980. In addition to the 16 percent of children and teens ages 6 to 19 who were overweight in 1999-2002, another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight. ("Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002"; Oct. 6, 2004

"Contrary to what most parents believe", affirms the university chair, "physical exercise is the key to combat obesity, child or adult: we could say that, along with the genetic predisposition, 70% of our figures are owed to exercise and only the remaining 30% correspond to diet".

A Spanish adage, adds Hernández, says that the secret of a good diet is "a little food and lots of foot".

Posted by Laura on June 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 13, 2008

Weight Loss: Queen Latifah's New Reign at Jenny Craig

Don't you just love Queen Latifah?  I recently saw her in a commercial talking about her goal of getting to an 'active' weight.  While Kirstie Alley and Valerie Bertinelli proudly announced the amount of pounds lost, Queen Latifah's emphasis is not on a number, but on the percentage of body weight lost and her increased level of energy.

Latifah is also promoting the preventative benefits of healthy weight loss.  “If you lose 5 to 7 percent of your weight," says the music and movie star, "you cut the chances of type 2 diabetes in half.” That's an especially important aspect of Latifah's goal of spokeswoman; her grandmother recently died of diabetes.

Since Latifah has always been happy with her self-proclaimed image as a 'voluptuous' woman, her main focus as the new Jenny Craig representative is to emphasize overall wellness.

"I know people wonder [why I wanted to lose weight with Jenny Craig], because I’m quite comfortable with myself," says Latifah. "I’m trying to be an inspiration to people who just want to get healthy."

Long live the Queen!

Posted by Laura on June 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 12, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Grilled Flank Steak with Grilled Caramelized Onions

Makes 3-4 servings

This healthy recipe classic from Green Mountain always delights guests. With outdoor grilling in full swing, spring/summer is the perfect time to make it. While making the steak, you might as well grill some onions to add more taste and nutrition to this lean, healthy cut of beef. The fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary or a little of both – are spring/summer item many of us will have growing in our garden or on the patio. If you don’t, it’s not too late to get them growing!

The Green Mountain Recipes for Living cookbook contains this and other healthy eating recipes.

1 pound beef flank steak
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, thyme or combination of both
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Grilled Caramelized Onions (below), if desired

Make cuts about 1/2 inch apart and 1/4 inch deep in diamond pattern in both sides of beef. Mix remaining ingredients except onions. Place beef in shallow glass or plastic dish. Pour marinade over beef; turn beef to coat with marinade. Refrigerate about 2 hours. Remove beef from marinade; discard excess garlic and shallot pieces. Place beef on grill rack. Cover and grill about 4-5 minutes. Turn beef; cover and grill about 4 minutes longer for medium doneness. (Note: The cooking time will vary with the thickness of the steak.) Season beef with salt and pepper. Slice beef across grain at slanted angle into thin slices. Serve with Grilled Caramelized Onions.

Grilled Caramelized Onions

Makes about 1 cup

2 medium or 1 large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, if desired
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Place all ingredients in square of heavy-duty aluminum foil; seal. Place foil pouch on grill rack. Grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals about 15 minutes, turning frequently.

Posted by Laura on June 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack