Veggies Scarce in Poor Communities

A new analysis of 54 studies in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reveals America’s poorer neighborhoods have fewer supermarkets selling a variety of healthy foods at cheaper prices and more convenience stores that sell less fresh food at higher prices. Minorities and low-income individuals living near supermarkets consumed more fruits and vegetables, in some areas consumption rose by 32%. Poorer communities are also more likely to have more fast food restaurants; Reuters reports.

In New York City, supermarkets are leaving low-income communities, making it harder for residents to find fresh food. Officials claim 3 million people live in high-need neighborhoods, classified as having too many health problems and too few supermarkets. Lack of healthy food and the glut of fast food joints are fueling alarming rates of diabetes and obesity in poorer communities.

But some people are taking a stand. Los Angeles city officials want a moratorium on new fast food restaurants and other L.A. residents are turning empty lots into vibrant vegetable gardens. Awesome!

Continue Reading...

VitaminWater Gets Sued!

Quite frankly, I think energy drinks are stupid. And apparently so do consumer groups. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola, producers of VitaminWater, for making undeserving claims about their product, such as preventing chronic disease and supporting immune system function. CSPI points out that VitaminWater’s 33 grams of sugar in each bottle promotes obesity, diabetes and other health problems and the advertising is misleading; via Reuters.

Other “health” and energy drinks have also drawn heavy scrutiny. A couple years ago, a whacked out beverage called “cocaine” was pulled from stores and Red Bull, which has been linked to stroke risk, has been bashed for its dangerous caffeine load and marketing to children.

I’ve noticed that some of the unhealthiest looking people are the ones chugging down these drinks.

Continue Reading...

More Americans Have Multiple Chronic Conditions

A new study in Health Affairs claims more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses than ever before. The percentage of people with 3 or more chronic illnesses rose from 13% in 1996 to 22% in 2005 for ages 45 to 64. It increased 45% for ages 65 to 79, jumped 54% for individuals older than 80 and among all ages, figures went up 6% from 1996. And data reveals the number of Americans with 1 chronic condition, like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart failure, was 41% in 1996 but rose to 44% in 2005. Obesity and inactivity are being blamed; Reuters reports.

And these maladies are hitting us in the wallet too. On average, obesity and it’s sequelae cost the United States more than $100 billion a year and physicians and hospitals usually fail to make a long term impact on the health of their patients, which is evident when you consider a recent report revealing 24 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, a risk factor for many chronic diseases, up 3 million since 2005.

Children's Weight Issues Overlooked

A new analysis of 60,000 medical records revealed pediatricians fail to diagnosis weight problems in children. Reporting in Pediatrics, researchers determined 54% of obese children and 74% of severely obese kids were diagnosed, but only 10% of overweight children were given a weight-related diagnosis, meaning doctors are missing an opportunity to intervene before weight issues get out of control; The New York Times investigates.

Not surprising, some parents can’t even recognize their child is overweight or obese, could be because parents themselves are overweight and previous research claims kids eat like their parents and if parents don’t eat and live healthfully, they shouldn’t expect their children too!

And unchecked childhood obesity is being blamed for more kids taking drugs for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and other chronic conditions. Eek!

Diabetes Still Slamming the U.S.

Type-2 diabetes continues to wreak havoc in the United States. An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, up more than 3 million since 2005. This staggering figure also means increased incidences of heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, kidney disease, nervous system damage and other diabetes-related complications. Not surprising, experts cite weight-loss and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy diet, as the best ways to stave off type-2 diabetes; HealthDay News reports.

Don’t be 24 million and one. A vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet not only prevents type-2 diabetes, but can reverse the effects of the disease. Many of Dr. Fuhrman’s patients actually kick their need for insulin! Wholesome foods, like green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds are the perfect medicine against type-2 diabetes.

In other diabetes news, recent reports show cancer is more lethal in diabetics and eating eggs boost diabetes-risk.