The University of Michigan News
An exploration of the enormous economic costs of obesity and some steps that can be taken to ensure health systems do not collapse under the burden of rising obesity-related cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Read the article here
Lidl, a popular UK grocery store chain, has announced plans to remove cartoon characters from all its own-brand cereal packaging in the UK by spring 2020. Lidl says the move will encourage healthier choices and help parents tackle ‘pester power’ from their children. Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance – a coalition of organisations such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Medical Association – welcomed what it called a “responsible approach”.
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Using a media literacy approach to make teens aware of misleading marketing practices has more of an effect on their diets than the traditional approach of telling them a certain food is unhealthy. This was especially true for male students in a recent study, who purchased less junk food in the lunchroom for the remaining three months of the school year compared with those who heard traditional messages.
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New research claims that blanket exposure to promotional material for unhealthy foods is encouraging children to eat badly around the world. 100 schoolchildren in seven countries were asked by researchers from University College London to film themselves and the food they eat for a study about the exposure of children to unhealthy diets. The accompanying policy-analysis shows that policy responses to address diet-related non-communicable diseases remain largely inadequate with responses anchored around individual behaviour change and personal responsibility.
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A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with investigators at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, analyzed the impact of 10 dietary factors and estimated the annual cardiometabolic disease costs of suboptimal diet habits. The team concludes that suboptimal diet costs approximately $300 per person, or $50 billion nationally, accounting for 18 percent of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes costs in the US.
You can read the study here
Low- and middle-income countries risk seeing their development progress slashed by the double-edged sword of obesity and undernutrition, both caused by a lack of access to affordable healthy food, a report in The Lancet warned. This “double burden of malnutrition”, affects more than a third of some 130 countries classed as low-and middle-income, and it is increasingly seen in the same household — most commonly an overweight mother and a child stunted by undernutrition living under the same roof.
You can read the report here
In a federally-funded study involving 3,190 U.S. children ages 9 and 10, researchers found differences in the heaviest children’s brain scans – slightly less volume in the brain region behind the forehead that controls what are known as “executive function” tasks. “We don’t know which direction these relationships go nor do they suggest that people with obesity are not as smart as people at a healthy weight,” said editorial co-author Dr. Eliana Perrin. Read the article here
Saskatoon Star Phoenix + Regina Leder Post
The editorial board writes that the high rate of obesity in Saskatchewan should be a topic of conversation and that the government should lead efforts on tackling the problem.
Read the article here.