Highlights of the July Journal of the American Dietetic Association

June 30, 2004

The July 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest. Below is a summary of some of this month's articles. For more information or to receive a faxed copy of a Journal article, call Kelly Liebbe at 800-877-1600, ext. 4769 or e-mail media@eatright.org. This release is available on ADA's Web site, http://www.eatright.org/pr.

Excess weight at age 5: Predicting future problems?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight, putting them at risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University studied 153 girls living in central Pennsylvania. They found that girls who were at risk for excess weight at age 5 had significantly higher rates of "dietary restraint" by age 9 because of trying to maintain or lose weight, weight concern, body dissatisfaction and a tendency to overeat immediately after a meal in the absence of hunger.

"Children's participation, parental involvement and knowledge of portion sizes can help prevent excess weight in children," said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Melinda Johnson.

"Parents are primary role models for kids. They need to encourage, promote and model a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity. Parents with concerns about their children's weight should consult a dietetics professional to make sure they approach their child's weight in a manner that will not do unintentional harm."

"Don't Blame the Pyramid"

In recent years, the Food Guide Pyramid, in particular with its emphasis on carbohydrates as a significant percentage of a daily diet, has been blamed by some people for the rise in excess weight and obesity in this country. However, according to a commentary by researchers from Tufts University, it's not the Pyramid that is to blame for the rise in weight in this country but ourselves for not following the Pyramid's guidelines.

The authors say larger portions, increases in daily calorie intake and a sedentary lifestyle are the real reasons why so many Americans are battling the bulge.

In 1992, the United States Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services introduced the Food Guide Pyramid as an educational tool to help teach people how to achieve a healthy lifestyle by following a healthy eating plan and incorporating regular physical activity into a daily routine.

The USDA's 1999-2000 Healthy Eating Index reveals "16 percent of the population ate a 'good diet,' whereas the diets of 74 percent of Americans were classified as 'needs improvement'."

According to the Tufts authors, too many people fail to follow the recommendations of the Pyramid, with breakdowns somewhere between knowledge and practice.

"The average American Dietary style at the beginning of the 21st century resembles an hour glass rather than the federal government's Food Guide Pyramid," the authors write. We gobble huge amounts of added fats and sugars from the top tier of the Pyramid ... and heaping plates of pasta and other refined grains from the bottom tier, but we are sorely lacking in the vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk products and other nutritious foods in the middle of the Pyramid."

According to registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Bettye Nowlin: "A recipe for a healthy lifestyle is following a sensible eating plan based on the Food Guide Pyramid and getting plenty of regular physical activity."

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, developed by the USDA and HHS, sum up the basics about eating and being active for good health. As required by law, the Dietary Guidelines are now being reviewed in light of emerging science and will be updated and revised next year. That may mean revisions to the Food Guide Pyramid, but no one yet knows for sure.
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association is the official research publication of the American Dietetic Association and is the premier peer-reviewed journal in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

With nearly 70,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Based in Chicago, ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. Visit ADA at http://www.eatright.org.

American Dietetic Association

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.