An urgent need for definitive data on the health impact of artificial sweeteners exists.
A meta-analysis of 37 studies examining the impact of artificial sweeteners found they are not associated with reduced body mass index (BMI). More than 400,000 people over 12 years of age were studied. The long-term studies saw a modest increase in BMI, especially with increased artificial sweetener use. Higher risks for secondary outcomes were also observed for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes with increased intake.
PositiveTip: Train your taste buds to enjoy less intensely sweet foods for the best outcomes.
Higher body-mass index leads to greater risk of malformations.
Expectant mothers who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for having infants with congenital malformations. The higher their weight, the greater the risk. Using data from Swedish health registries, researchers found overweight mothers (BMI 25-29.9) had a 5% greater risk. This risk increased incrementally to 37% for obese mothers with BMIs of 35-39.9.
PositiveTip: Women planning to bear children should be encouraged to attain normal weight before pregnancy.
Higher body mass increases risk of many cancers.
Researchers investigated the relation between baseline BMI and cancer incidence in 160,000 new cancers from a population of 5 million adults collected over 7.5 years from British general practices. Higher BMI was associated with increasing cancers of the uterus, gallbladder, kidney, cervix, thyroid, liver, colon, ovary, and breast (postmenopausal) and with leukemia. Cancers of the lung and oral cavity were attributable entirely to smoking and not BMI.
PositiveTip: Maintaining an ideal weight through physical activity and a healthy diet lowers risk of many kinds of cancer.
Underweight or overweight – both are hazardous to your health.
A recent meta-analysis of 51 studies comparing BMI and all-cause mortality found that underweight people are 1.8 times more likely to die than people with a healthy BMI. The same risk of death is 1.2 for obese people and 1.3 for severely obese people. The findings controlled for smoking, alcohol use or lung disease and excluded patients with existing chronic or terminal illness.
PositiveTip: Maintain a healthy weight through healthy diet and regular exercise to avoid an early death.
Causal link between BMI and ischemic heart disease strengthened in new study.
British researchers have found that for each 4 point increase in body mass index (BMI), the risk of ischemic heart disease increases by 52% when factoring in genetics. This evidence strengthens the causal link between increased BMI and heart disease. The authors suggested that the reason for this association is that higher BMI influences well-known intermediate risk factors like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
PositiveTip: The evidence continues to grow--lowering your BMI to a healthy range will lower your risk of heart disease.
Lifestyle may reduce risk of early death by 42%.
The Cancer Prevention Study ll Nutrition Cohort shows that people who maintain a BMI within normal range, exercise 30 or more minutes daily, and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains exhibit reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality. For those who met the criteria above, this study shows reductions of 48%, 30%, and 42% for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause mortality in men. For women, the numbers are 58%, 24%, and 42%, respectively.
PositiveTip: Diet, exercise, and maintaining a normal weight significantly reduce the risk of disease and premature death.
Fighting adolescent obesity may help prevent MS.
Swedish researchers have found that subjects whose body mass index (BMI) was more than 27 at age 20 had a two-fold increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with normal weight subjects. The Nurse's Health Study reported similar findings, indicating that a BMI of 30 or more at the age of 18 is associated with more than double the risk of MS compared to those not obese. However, this study found no significant association between adult BMI and MS risk. The obesity epidemic may explain the increasing incidence of MS, although the factors involved remain unknown.
Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night can significantly decrease your weight.
Nearly 30% of Hispanic men and African American women under 40 years of age sleep less than 5 hours a day. Recent research shows that this amount of sleep is associated with a higher BMI and higher caloric intake, with more calories coming from sweets and saturated fats.
PositiveTip: Sleep lessens our perceived stress and allows for better decision-making in what and how much we eat.
Breakfast reduces cardiovascular risk and obesity.
Recent research into the effects of breakfast on cardiovascular risk in Italians shows that individuals who eat breakfast have lower CVD risk, enjoy better physical health, and have nearly 40% lower risk of metabolic syndrome. Eating breakfast lowered the risk of having a higher BMI, abdominal obesity, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and C-reactive protein, all cardiovascular risk factors.
PositiveTip: Eating a good breakfast can significantly reduce multiple CVD risk factors.
Eat more -- but have less body fat!
Active women who walk the most steps per day have less body fat, lower BMI, and smaller waist circumference. They also have lower insulin levels and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity than less active women even though the more active women consume more calories, protein and carbohydrates.
PositiveTip: Walking is a great weight control tool, and every step you take throughout the day counts.