Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The key to weight loss is diet quality, not quantity

Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce the amount of calories you consume.

But a new study, published Tuesday (Feb 20) in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods - without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes - lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.

The research lends strong support to the notion that diet quality, not quantity, is what helps people lose and manage their weight most easily in the long run. It also suggests that health authorities should shift away from telling the public to obsess over calories and instead encourage Americans to avoid processed foods that are made with refined starches and added sugar, like bagels, white bread, refined flour and sugary snacks and beverages, said Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

“This is the road map to reducing the obesity epidemic in the United States,” said Mozaffarian, who was not involved in the new study. “It’s time for US and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting.”

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Older kids do not need growing-up milk

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Infant milk formula, as its name implies, is meant for newborns - specifically those below one year of age and who are not fed breast milk.

After babies turn one, they can be given regular cow's milk - the same as what adults would drink - and should get most essential nutrients from solid foods.

Milk formula for older children is unnecessary and may even cause more harm than good.

These milk products generally have a higher sugar content from the addition of ingredients such as corn or glucose syrup solids and sucrose, said Dr Han Wee Meng, head of nutrition and dietetics at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.


Tears could diagnose Parkinson's

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Shedding tears could help tell if you have Parkinson's disease, a new study found.

Scientists found there were minute differences in the levels of a particular protein shed in tears.

The test could help detect the disease years before symptoms develop allowing doctors to prescribe treatments such as drugs to restore dopamine in the brain.


NEA to release more Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Tampines, Yishun

The National Environment Agency (NEA) will release more Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes at three sites between April this year and January 2019.

They are Tampines Street 81, Tampines Avenue 4 and Nee Soon East.

This will mark the second phase of studying the use of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to suppress the Aedes aegypti mosquito population in Singapore, the agency said.

During the first phase of the study, NEA released thousands of Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes over a period of six months in Tampines West, Nee Soon East and Braddell Heights.

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Ban on painkilling TCM herb to be lifted from Jun 1

Source: channelnewsais
A 23-year ban on Corydalis yanhusuo (延胡索, yán hú suǒ) is set to be lifted on Jun 1 this year, after which it can be imported and sold in Singapore.

Corydalis yanhusuo contains tetrahydropalmatine (THP), a natural substance that raised concerns in 1994 when overseas reports emerged that it could harm the liver when consumed.

As a precaution, the Ministry of Health (MOH) banned it from 1995.

While HSA’s review indicated that there are no major safety concerns when THP containing herbs are used appropriately, there is some evidence of an association between high levels of THP and liver toxicity in the scientific literature, HSA has recommended a daily intake limit of 19mg.

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