Does it really cost more to stick to a healthy diet? The answer is yes, but not as much as many people think, according to a new study.
The research review combined the results of 27 studies from 10 different countries that compared the cost of healthy and unhealthy diets.
The verdict? A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish costs about a person about $1.50 more per day — or $550 per year — compared to a diet high in processed grains and meats, fat, sugar and convenience foods.
By and large, protein drove the price increases. Researchers found that healthy proteins — think a portion of boneless skinless chicken breast — were 29 cents more expensive per serving compared to less healthy sources, like a fried chicken nugget.
The study was published online Dec. 5 in the journal BMJ Open.
“For many low-income families, this could be a genuine barrier to healthy eating,” said study author Mayuree Rao. She is a junior research fellow in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston.
For example, a family of four that is following the USDA’s thrifty eating plan has a weekly food budget of about $128. An extra $1.50 per for each person in the family a day adds up to $42 for the week, or about 30 percent of that family’s total food tab.
Rao says it’s wouldn’t be such a big difference for many middle-class families, though.
She said that “$1.50 is about the price of a cup of coffee and really just a drop in the bucket when you consider the billions of dollars spent every year on diet-related chronic diseases.”
Researchers who weren’t involved in the review had plenty to say about its findings.
“I am thinking that a mean difference in cost of $1.50 per person per day is very substantial,” said Adam Drewnowski, director of the nutritional sciences program at the University of Washington, in Seattle. He has compared the cost of healthy versus unhealthy diets.
Drewnowski said that at an extra $550 per year for 200 million people would outstrip the entire annual budget for food assistance in the United States.
Dr. Hilary Seligman, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said healthy food can be expensive for families in ways that go beyond its cost at the checkout. For that reason, she said, the strict cost comparison in this review probably underestimates the true burden to a person’s budget.
For example, she pointed out that people in poor neighborhoods that lack big grocery stores may not be able to afford the gas to drive to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. They may work several jobs and not have time to prep foods from scratch.
“To eat a healthy diet on a very low income requires an extraordinary amount of time. It’s doable, but it’s really, really hard work. These studies just don’t take things like that into account,” Seligman said.
Still, Melissa Joy Dobbins, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the study should reassure many consumers that “eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more.”
She said the academy recommends the following nutrient-rich, budget-friendly foods:
Beans. They provide fiber, protein, iron and zinc. Dry beans are cheaper but need to be soaked. Canned beans are more convenient but should be rinsed to reduce the salt content. Canned beans are about 13 cents per quarter-cup serving. Dried beans cost about 9 cents per ounce.
Bananas. They provide vitamin B6, fiber, potassium and vitamin C. They make an easy grab-and-go snack or quick topping for yogurt and cereal. Once they are the ripeness you prefer, place them in the fridge. The peels will turn black, but the banana itself will keep. Or, peel and freeze for using in smoothies. Cost is about 36 cents each — much cheaper than a candy bar.
Peanut Butter. One tablespoon of crunchy or smooth peanut butter has around 95 calories, 4 grams of protein and 8 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Choose natural peanut butter, if possible. It does not have added sugars or fats. Cost for 2 tablespoons is about 27 cents.
Yogurt. Plain or nonfat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein. It can make a good substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise when you want to cut fat in recipes. To save money, buy yogurt in large tubs instead of single-serve containers. Buy plain yogurt and add your own flavorings such as hot chocolate powder mix or granola/cereal or canned fruit in its own juice. Cost for 6 ounces is about 60 cents.
Whole-Grain Pasta. It provides more fiber, protein and vitamins than regular pasta. Plan ahead as it takes longer to cook. One ounce of dry whole-grain pasta is about 14 cents.
Frozen Peas. Frozen vegetables are an excellent alternative to fresh. They are frozen at the peak of freshness and pack important nutrients, and they won’t rot in the crisper drawer. Frozen peas are full of protein, fiber and vitamin A. They’re easy to toss into soups, salads, rice, pasta dishes and stews. They cost about 23 cents per half-cup.
Almonds. They’re packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fat and antioxidant vitamin E. Save money by buying unsalted raw or blanched almonds in bulk. Cost for an ounce of almonds is about 55 cents.
Eggs. Protein is one of the most expensive components to people’s diets. Eggs are cost effective at about 11 cents per egg and provide a source of high-quality protein. They’re also very versatile. Have a bowl of hard-cooked eggs in your fridge at all times for a quick breakfast or grab-and-go snack, or to add some protein to a lunch or dinner salad.
Canned Tuna. It’s packed with protein, heart-healthy omega-3 fats, selenium and B vitamins. Choose packed in water instead of oil. Chunk light tuna has less mercury than albacore. Have it on hand for quick meals like tuna salad sandwiches or tuna on green salads. Tuna cost about 27 cents per ounce. NOTE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant women, women of childbearing age and children limit their consumption of canned tuna. The FDA advises these groups to eat no more than 6 ounces of white, or albacore tuna, and no more than 12 ounces of chunk light tuna, each week.
To find out more about how to eat healthy on a budget, visit the .
Men who keep smoking after being diagnosed with cancer are more likely to die than those who quit smoking, a new study shows.
The findings demonstrate that it’s not too late to stop smoking after being diagnosed with cancer, researchers say.
They used data from a study conducted in China among men aged 45 to 64, starting between 1986 and 1989. Researchers determined that more than 1,600 among them had developed cancer by 2010.
Of those men, 340 were nonsmokers, 545 had quit smoking before their cancer diagnosis and 747 were smokers at the time they were diagnosed.
Among the smokers, 214 quit after diagnosis, 336 continued to smoke occasionally and 197 continued to smoke regularly.
Compared to men who did not smoke after a cancer diagnosis, those who smoked after diagnosis had a 59 percent higher risk of death from all causes. Researchers accounted for factors including age, cancer site and treatment type.
Among men who were smokers at diagnosis, those who continued smoking after diagnosis had a 76 percent increased risk of death from all causes compared to those who quit, according to the study published Dec. 6 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Compared to men who quit smoking after cancer diagnosis, the higher risk of death among those who continued smoking varied with different types of cancer: 2.95-fold for bladder cancer, 2.36-fold for lung cancer and 2.31-fold for colorectal cancer.
“Many cancer patients and their health care providers assume that it is not worth the effort to stop smoking at a time when the damage from smoking has already been done, considering these patients have been diagnosed with cancer,” study author Dr. Li Tao, an epidemiologist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, said in a journal news release.
But the study contradicts that assumption and instead suggests that efforts to quit are indeed worthwhile.
“As far as we know, only a fraction of cancer patients who are smokers at diagnosis receive formal smoking cessation counseling from their physicians or health care providers at the time of diagnosis and treatment, and less than half of these patients eventually quit smoking after the diagnosis,” Tao said. “Therefore, there is considerable room for improvement with regard to tobacco control [after diagnosis] for the growing population of cancer survivors.”
Although the study found a higher death risk among men with cancer who keep smoking, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking
Glitches in the connections between certain brain areas may be at the root of the common learning disorder dyslexia, a new study suggests.
It’s estimated that up to 15 percent of the U.S. population has dyslexia, which impairs people’s ability to read. While it has long been considered a brain-based disorder, scientists have not understood exactly what the issue is.
The new findings, reported in the Dec. 6 issue of Science, suggest the blame lies in faulty connections between the brain’s storage space for speech sounds and the brain regions that process language.
The results were surprising, said lead researcher Bart Boets, because his team expected to find a different problem. For more than 40 years, he said, many scientists have thought that dyslexia involves defects in the brain’s “phonetic representations” — which refers to how the basic sounds of your native language are categorized in the brain.
But using sensitive brain imaging techniques, Boets and colleagues found that was not the case in 23 dyslexic adults they studied. The phonetic representations in their brains were just as “intact” as those of 22 adults with normal reading skills.
Instead, it seemed that in people with dyslexia, language-processing areas of the brain had difficulty accessing those phonetic representations.
“A relevant metaphor might be the comparison with a computer network,” said Boets, of the Leuven Autism Research Consortium in Belgium. “We show that the information — the data — on the server itself is intact, but the connection to access this information is too slow or degraded.”
And what does that all mean? It’s too soon to tell, said Boets. First of all, he said, this study used one form of brain imaging to study a small group of adult university students.
But dyslexia normally begins in childhood. And it’s possible, Boets said, that the “intact” phonetic representations in these adults took longer to develop and might have been apparent [only] when they were children.
Even if children with dyslexia have the same underlying brain issue seen in this study, it’s not clear how that could be used in managing kids’ reading difficulties.
According to Boets, the “most established” way to help children with dyslexia is through instruction on the smallest sounds of speech (called phonemes) and how each corresponds to letters.
And the good news, Boets said, is that those types of tactics should help strengthen the brain connections that seemed to be impaired in this study.
Still, “it is not inconceivable,” he added, that these results could be used to develop more-refined therapies that try to zero in on specific brain connections. He pointed to non-invasive magnetic stimulation of certain brain areas as an example — though that is only speculation for now.
The findings are based on functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans, which gauge brain activity by charting changes in blood flow and oxygen. The research team used two sophisticated analytical techniques to try to tease out what was happening in study participants’ brains as they listened to different sounds of speech and then performed a simple test.
Studies like this one, based on fMRI, have proved useful in the “real world,” said Ben Shifrin, vice president of the International Dyslexia Association in Baltimore.
“These fMRI studies have helped us improve interventions for children,” said Shifrin, who is also head of the School in Baltimore, which specializes in educating kids with language-based learning disorders.
One example, he said, is that it’s now clear that the “intensity” of the instruction — more hours per day — is key in children’s progress.
Shifrin said it’s not clear how these latest findings could be translated into practical use. But, he added, “we know that these types of studies can end up having direct effects in the classroom.”
In general, Shifrin said, there’s
been a move toward more “collaboration” between the scientists studying learning disorders and the educators in the field.
“We need even more of that,” Shifrin suggested. “For years, it used to be that the were working in the lab and not talking to educators. That’s changing.”
The International Dyslexia Association has more information on dyslexia External Links Disclaimer Logo
(HealthDay News) — The number of people worldwide living with dementia could more than triple by 2050, a new report reveals.
Currently, an estimated 44 million people worldwide have dementia. That number is expected to reach 76 million in 2030 and 135 million by 2050. Those estimates come from an Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) policy brief for the upcoming G8 Dementia Summit in London, England.
The projected number of people with dementia in 2050 is now 17 percent higher than ADI estimated in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report.
The new policy brief also predicts a shift in the worldwide distribution of dementia cases, from the richest nations to middle- and low-income countries. By 2050, 71 percent of people with dementia will live in middle- and low-income nations, according to the experts.
Research must become a global priority if improvements are to be made to the quality and coverage of dementia care. Equal emphasis should be given to policymaking, health and social care service and health system development, the report recommends.
“At the eve of the G8 Dementia Summit . . . it is not just the G8 countries, but all nations, that must commit to a sustained increase in dementia research,” ADI executive director Marc Wortmann said in a news release.
The G8 Dementia Summit, to be held Dec. 11, will seek to identify and agree on a new international approach to dementia research and policy.
“The absence of dementia public policy renders governments woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic, and there is an urgent need for a collaborative, global action plan for governments, industry and nonprofit organizations like Alzheimer associations,” the ADI news release stated.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about .
(HealthDay News) — Children with autism can benefit from a type of therapy that helps them become more comfortable with the sounds, sights and sensations of their daily surroundings, a small new study suggests.
The therapy is called sensory integration. It uses play to help these kids feel more at ease with everything from water hitting the skin in the shower to the sounds of household appliances.
For children with autism, those types of stimulation can be overwhelming, limiting them from going out in the world or even mastering basic tasks like eating and getting dressed.
“If you ask parents of children with autism what they want for their kids, they’ll say they want them to be happy, to have friends, to be able to participate in everyday activities,” said study author Roseann Schaaf.
Sensory integration is aimed at helping families move toward those goals, said Schaaf, an occupational therapist at Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Health Professions, in Philadelphia.
It is not a new therapy, but it is somewhat controversial — partly because until now it has not been rigorously studied, according to Schaaf.
Her findings were recently published online in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
The research team randomly assigned 32 children aged 4 to 8 to one of two groups. One group stuck with their usual care, including medications and behavioral therapies. The other group added 30 sessions of sensory integration therapy over 10 weeks.
At the study’s start, parents were helped in setting a short list of goals for the family. For example, if a child was sensitive to sensations in his mouth, the goal might be to have him try five new foods by the end of the study, or to take some of the struggle out of the morning tooth-brush routine.
Schaaf said each child’s particular play was individualized and guided by an occupational therapist. But in general, the therapy is done in a large gym with mats, swings, a ball pit, carpeted “scooter boards,” and other equipment. All are designed to encourage kids to be active and get more comfortable with the sensory information they are receiving.
After 30 sessions, Schaaf’s team found that children in the sensory integration group scored higher on a standardized “goal attainment scale,” versus kids in the comparison group, and were generally faring better in their daily routines.
“Parents rated their kids as more independent in self-care and participation in everyday activities,” Schaaf said.
An autism expert not involved in the study said it was well done, and marks a “first step” in proving the potential benefits of sensory integration.
“Sensory-related issues are a problem for families of children with autism, and we really don’t fully understand them,” said Dana Levy, a clinical assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City.
Behavioral therapies are the standard approach to managing sensory issues. That teaches kids ways to deal with the particular types of sensory overload that bother them, Levy noted. Kids might, for example, squeeze a stress ball when a noise is too loud.
Whatever role sensory integration might have for kids with autism, she said, it’s not a replacement for behavioral approaches or other therapies. “It would have to be a part of a child’s overall treatment program,” Levy said.
Schaaf agreed. “We’re not suggesting this is an either/or,” she said. “Behavioral therapy helps children with autism.” Sensory integration, delivered by an occupational therapist, “is a nice adjunct,” Schaaf said.
In the real world, the availability of sensory integration varies depending on where you live, Schaaf said.
It’s provided by occupational therapists, who are often part of the health care team that helps families of children with autism. But not all occupational therapists are specifically trained in sensory integration, Schaaf noted.
Insurance coverage also varies, she said, so some parents might have to pay out-of-pocket if they wanted to try it. And while this study tested 30 sessions, the “right” number for any one child would vary depending on the child’s needs, Schaaf said.
It’s not clear exactly how sensory integration works. But it’s thought that it might actually change how the brain processes sensory stimulation, Schaaf explained.
That’s partly because it’s playful. “When something is playful,” Schaaf said, “you’ll usually go a little outside your comfort zone.”
But Levy said it’s not certain that sensory integration actually promotes changes in the brain’s reactions. The therapy, she said, “is fun. It offers things that a lot of kids like.”
At least some of the benefit, Levy noted, might come from giving children a chance to socialize and simply enjoy themselves.
Autism Speaks has more on
The H7N9 bird flu virus does not yet have the ability to easily infect people, a new study indicates.
The findings contradict some previous research suggesting that H7N9 poses an imminent threat of causing a global pandemic.
The virus killed several dozen people in China earlier this year. Analyses of virus samples from that outbreak suggest that H7N9 is still mainly adapted for infecting birds, not people, according to scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.
The study is published in the Dec. 6 issue of the journal Science.
“Luckily, H7N9 viruses just don’t yet seem well adapted for binding to human receptors,” Ian Wilson, a professor of structural biology and chair of the department of integrative structural and computational biology, said in a Scripps news release.
“Because publications to date have implied that H7N9 has adapted to human receptors, we felt we should make a clear statement about this,” James Paulson, chair of the department of cell and molecular biology, said in the news release.
H7N9 flu viruses , causing few or no symptoms. Until this year, H7N9 strains had never been reported in humans. But in February, dozens of people in two urban areas of eastern China began to come down with H7N9 flu, and most of them became severely ill.
When the outbreak was mostly over by the end of May, there were 132 human cases confirmed by a laboratory and 37 deaths — a death rate of nearly 30 percent.
Public health officials were alarmed by the outbreak and there were concerns that H7N9 might trigger a
“These results suggest that we should continue to observe H7N9 and see if it undergoes any changes that make it more likely to spread in the human population,” Wilson said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about H7N9 bird flu.
Announces that Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has received the inaugural SNEB Health Promotion Policy Award. The award was presented at the 45th SNEB Annual Conference, “Nutrition Education: Energy from Synergy,” in Washington, DC on Monday, July 16 during the SNEB Annual Business Meeting and Awards ceremony.
Thomas Richard “Tom” Harkin is a United States Senator from Iowa. As former chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, where he led efforts to enact the 2002 and 2007 farm bills, and current chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Harkin is being recognized for his many years of dedicated service and leadership to promote nutrition and health programs important to SNEB members.
This newly established award given to individuals or groups who have significantly contributed to creating and/or implementing policies or policy-based changes that support and positively impact the food and physical activity environment. The award is sponsored by SNEB’s Advisory Committee on Public Policy (ACPP), a committee that focuses their efforts on the established public policy priority issues of the Society.
Information on submitting an award nomination is online at http://www.sneb.org/advocacy/advocacy.html.
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continues to set the record straight regarding misinformation about wheat and wheat foods, recently responding to an article published in the Washington Post characterizing white flour as “the white devil.” The WFC also followed up with the San Jose, CA, Mercury News and the Torrington, CT, Register Citizen, after they ran the same article.
In the letters, WFC President Judi Adams, MS, RD, noted that while the intent of the article may have been to encourage people to make healthier choices by including more whole grains in their diets, she took strong issue with the portrayal of enriched flour as unhealthy.
Ms. Adams pointed out that enriched flour is the primary source of folic acid as well as other B vitamins in the American diet. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that enriched grains (primarily wheat), rather than supplements, are responsible for dramatically lowering the rate of neural tube birth defects by approximately one-third in the U.S. and named folic acid fortification of enriched grains as one of the top ten public health achievements of the last decade,” she observed.
The WFC also took issue with the article’s implication that white flour raises blood sugar more than other types of flours from other grains, and listed the GI values of several types of breads – all of which fall within a very similar range – to bring the point home.
“There is certainly merit and value to…suggestions of flours to use to enhance whole grain consumption. However, by taking an approach based on vilifying a food that has so dramatically impacted public health, [the article] is misleading readers and communicating information not based on sound science,” Ms. Adams concluded.
Start Looking: Dental Hygienist Most jobs today need a higher education, using the standard degree being whether bachelor’s or masters degree. However, work like a dental hygienist doesn’t need such lengthy schooling actually, hygienists can begin working for the most part firms by having an associate’s degree. This usually entails 2 yrs of schooling, that is what causes it to be an excellent career for most people. Exactly what does a verbal hygienist do, anyway? Most those who have attended a dentist’s office understand what a verbal hygienist does. At many offices, most day-to-day cleanings is going to be given through the hygienist. This isn’t the only real task dental hygienists perform, however. Dental hygienists perform other tasks, too. These tasks may include giving x-sun rays. These x-sun rays permit the dental professional to determine “the large picture” when looking for someone. This guarantees treatment methods are positive instead of reactive. By determining issues in early stages, the price and extent of methods is oftentimes reduced or removed. An example of where x-sun rays are essential is perfect for knowledge teeth. This enables the dental professional to determine whether teeth may be influenced, missing, or if they’re beginning to come to light. Lots of people require their knowledge teeth be removed, so knowing in early stages enables them to arrange for the out-patient procedure. Another task dental hygienists perform is supplying patients with counseling on good practices which will help maintain or improve dental health. Good dietary practices might help avoid many common dental health issues. Hygienists usually advise against things like excess sweet consumption, consuming soda, or neglecting to start flossing. As many folks within the health profession would say, early prevention is the greatest treatment. Following such advise can lead greatly to overall dental health. Dental health is essential, too. New research has linked its importance to all around health. The truth is, dental health is a bit of the whole picture, and dental hygienists lead greatly to helping maintain this health. So how do you be a Dental Hygienist? The following logical step is look around the education process for any dental hygienist. When I stated within the opening, dental hygienists aren’t usually needed to possess anything further than an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree might be useful in certain situations. Usually, however, a bachelor’s or masters in oral cleanliness can be used to do research in the clinical level. These studies is exactly what has brought to this type of great knowledge of what encourages (and just what affects) dental health. Lots of people find the work interesting, but for the time being, we’ll focus exclusively around the steps necessary to become dental hygienist in a private dentist’s office. Hygienists are often needed by their college to possess taken some opening science classes in senior high school. Most college basic programs in the senior high school level will suffice. Including introducing such subjects as biology along with other sciences. Make sure to seek advice from the schools you are looking at to make certain you’re. Some schools require that you simply attend college for approximately annually before accepting you in to the program. Throughout this time around, it might be likely that you’d take numerous general education classes. Also, students after this track will require classes in biology, chemistry, and anatomy to own student a great baseline knowledge of the required sciences. After that, the academic track becomes a lot more specialized. Students are requested to accomplish classes in radiography and diet, together with others that provide them contact with the gear they’ll be using at work. After completing an associate’s degree, students are very well enroute for their career like a dental hygienist. The following necessary step would be to complete any needed condition-wide certification for that area you want to operate in. This differs from condition to condition, so make sure to seek advice from your condition to determine that you’ll have the ability to satisfy the needs. They often require certain tests to make certain hygienists are trained correctly before entering the area. Salary and Benefits Probably the most rewarding facets of any career may be the salary and benefits. There’s great interest in dental hygienists at this time, therefore the salary and benefits are extremely competitive. Actually, the median pay has ended $60,000! This really is very good news for anybody thinking about this career, also it should pique anyone’s interest who’s undecided. Some hygienists work part-time, that is nice for individuals attempting to begin a family or taking care of a family member. This versatility is rare among high having to pay jobs. This ought to be another tremendous draw for this profession. Benefits should be examined when thinking about offers from various dentistry practices to become listed on their team like a dental hygienist. Benefits will be different around, however, many offices do provide health insurance and insurance. They might offer retirement funds programs for example 401(k) contributions. These benefits help to make dental hygienist careers ideal for family people. Conclusion To conclude, I think you’ll observe that dental hygienists have great careers. If you are looking at learning a little more about dental hygienists, including much more about their salary, training, and job outlook, check outhttp://dentalhygienist-salary.co. A great resource for anybody thinking about this career.
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