Healthy Nibbles: 25 July 2011 Edition

31 Jul

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of July 25th, 2011:

As anyone who conducts research involving human participants knows, there is a vast array of paperwork that comes part in parcel with the process. Though the premise behind this mass tree killing is primarily the protection of participants and the encouragement of verifiable science, there has been growing concern that the associated red tape is actually stifling the progress of the research itself. In the hopes of minimizing this administrative burden, the US federal government is proposing various changes to the existing process. Such changes will include centralized ethics boards for multi-site trials and proportionate review for qualitative studies. Sounds great on paper, but the Debbie-downer side of me cautions to wait and see how it pans out in real-life. [NY Times]

Though the token toys of McDonalds’ Happy Meals are here to stay, apple slices will be replacing one half the portion of fries. Acknowledging that this pending change marks a step in the right direction, health advocates are still concerned it represents a band-aid solution in the battle against childhood obesity. And given McDonalds’ notoriously aggressive child-centric ad campaigns, there is particular concern that the addition of apple slices will just mask the Happy Meal’s still sub-par nutritional content. Err … since when did McDonalds even START selling apple slices? From what I could see on TV, I just thought the McRib was back. [TIME Healthland]

What harm can come from a little white lie, right? Okay, that’s up for debate. However, a recent study by researchers from Penn State suggests that modifying standard, child-friendly recipes to incorporate a variety of pureed vegetables can help to increase preschoolers’ daily vegetable intake and decrease their total daily caloric intake. What’s more, the tots still gave the revised meals two (tiny) thumbs up for taste. Now, if only McDonalds could find a way to do something similar with their happy meals (see previous link). [Science Daily]

According to a Dutch study, cranberries fall short compared to their antibiotic counterparts when it comes to preventing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, in spite of these feeble findings in favour of cranberries, additional results from this study are giving some health care practitioners cause to reconsider their potential health benefit; in particular, their improved resilience to the development of antibiotic resistance. Proof positive that there is merit in applying some innovative thinking and critical re-evaluating to traditional science. [TIME Healthland]

Is it me or has gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease (CD) really stolen the spotlight as of late? Not to diminish the experience of sufferers or to downplay the necessity of awareness, but heightened advocacy for CD is evidenced by the growing number of gluten-free food products and eateries. In support of awareness, researchers from Sweden and South Africa have just published the first global estimates of CD and its associated mortality. When it comes to health, every little bit of information helps so here’s to many more scientific advances! [Science Daily]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: