Reading List: Obesity and Asthma Linked, Protein Shake Warning and Get Paid To Shed Pounds

by in Food News, June 4, 2010


In this week’s nutrition news: Grass-fed milk is better for your heart, get paid to lose weight and why you shouldn’t eat everything you see on TV.

Link Between Obesity and Asthma
Both asthma and obesity are much more common than they were 30 years ago, and a new study confirms a link between the two. Researchers examined about 4,500 people and found that 12 percent of obese folks had asthma, compared with 6 percent of those at a normal body weight. The probability of asthma also rose as BMI (body mass index) went up. More studies are underway to find out why obesity increases the likelihood of asthma.

Get Paid To Shed Pounds
How would you like to get paid to lose weight? About a third of U.S. companies are offering employees financial incentives to shed pounds and get healthier. Although these types of programs are very successful now, the long-term results are unclear. The few studies that examine employee’s long-term success found that the average weight lost was a little over a pound.

TELL US: How do you feel about cash for weight loss?

Potentially Toxic Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are popular all over, from athletes to college students to my dad (he loves his shakes).  But a recent Consumer Reports investigation found that protein shakes aren’t always as healthy as they seem. They examined 15 drinks for the potentially toxic metals arsenic, cadmium and lead and found them in all the tested samples. Although the levels were below FDA regulation, they concluded that people who consume protein drinks daily are at risk for toxicity. Overconsumption of these drinks (specifically of protein) has also been known to lead to dehydration and digestive issues, increased risk of osteoporosis and even kidney problems. The bottom line: drink in moderation.

In TV Ads, Fatty Foods Rule
Seen any food ads on TV lately? A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetics Association found that a diet consisting of foods advertised on TV would have a whopping 25 times more sugar and fat than the recommended daily amounts. It would also be lacking in vegetables, fruits and dairy products (fewer than half the recommended servings of each). So next time you’re watching a food commercial, think about what they’re trying to sell you — odds are, it isn’t so good for you.

Grass-Fed Cows Produce Healthier Milk

Organic or conventional milk?  Along with the back-and-forth over raw milk, it’s a hotly debated issue. Previous studies have shown that milk from cows who are grass fed produce five times more heart-healthy unsaturated fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than milk from cows fed a diet of processed grains. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health set out to determine the benefits of eating foods with higher amounts of CLA’s. After examining 4,000 people, they found those with the highest levels of CLA’s had a 36-percent lower risk of heart attack when compared to those with the lowest levels. So next time you’re at the market, choose the grass-fed cows milk. Want to know more. Read our post about the differences between organic and grass-fed cow’s milk to find out more.

TELL US: Where do you stand in the great milk debate?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (8)

  1. Richard Friedel says:

    A relevant but strangely ignored or not generally known fact about asthma and breathing troubles is that the change between weak (asthmatic) and strong (healthy) breathing is dependent on abdominal muscle tension. Slackening the muscles here causes abysmally weak and asthmatic breathing. Instead of describing an asthma attack as being like breathing through a straw (57,00 Google hits), attempting to breathe vigorously with relaxed abdominal muscles provides a more genuine illustrative example. Training the muscles, for example by “abdominal hollowing” (see Web articles) produces an antiasthmatic effect. Abdominal muscle tension plays a prominent part in Asian martial arts.

    So it is fair to assume that there is a natural breathing spectrum with an asthmatic tendency at one end and Ku Fu or Karate breathing at the other end. For a few words on the Japanese version of Asian breathing see….

    I personally tend to breathe asthmatically after an evening meal or in pollen-laden air. Breathing powerfully into my lower abdomen with tensed muscles provides an effective cure for me. But then I’ve always been sceptical about medical wisdom on asthma: such a paradoxical and doctor-baffling increase in the last 40 years with modern, merely symptomatic inhalers. Respectfully, Richard Friedel

  2. hola, Cuando visité Singapur el pasado invierno, me sorprendió por un seminario organizado por los académicos allí. No presenta lo que el PO ha hecho aquí. Nice post!

  3. A well research post indeed. Its really nice to read it. With its unique representation style has added to its value.

  4. No puedo creer que te has puesto tan bien que incluso un novato como yo puede entenderlo. muchas gracias

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  6. Heya Je suis pour la première fois ici. Je suis tombé sur trouvé ce forum et je trouve cela vraiment vraiment utile et il m’a aidé beaucoup beaucoup. J’espère donner quelque chose en retour et aider aide les autres comme vous aidé

  7. Researchers examined about 4,500 people and found that 12 percent of obese folks had asthma, compared with 6 percent of those at a normal body weight. The probability of asthma also rose as BMI (body mass index) went up. More studies are underway to find out why obesity increases the likelihood of asthma.

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