Sunday, February 04, 2007


Otherwise the salt regulation in their babies appears to be damaged. Note that the sample for the study leaves a lot to be desired, however

Craving salty foods could be a sign that you didn't get enough salt in the womb. A new study in the American Journal of Physiology concludes that babies born with low salt levels in their blood are more likely to have a high-salt diet later in life, putting them at greater risk of adult obesity compared to those born with normal blood salt levels. The study included 41 children aged 8 to 15 years, with an average birth weight of 1.2kg (considered low birth weight).

They were given tomato soup with different concentrations of salt, and tea with a range of sugar levels, and asked to rate their preferences. The children and their parents were interviewed about their normal food and seasoning intake and the children were allowed to eat freely from a table of salty and sweet snacks. Children with the lowest blood salt levels at birth ate double the number of salty snacks, and ate an average of 1.7g more salt per day, compared to those with higher salt levels at birth.


Journal abstract follows


Adi Shirazki et al

Forty-one children aged 10.5~0.2y (8.0-15.0), born with low birth weight of 1218.2~36.6g (765-1580) were selected from hospital archives on the basis of whether they had received neonatal diuretic treatment, or as healthy matched controls. The children were tested for salt appetite and sweet preference including rating of preferred concentration of salt in tomato soup (and sugar in tea), ratings of oral spray (NaCl and sucrose solutions), intake of salt or sweet snack items, and a food seasoning, liking and dietary questionnaire. Results showed that sodium appetite was not related to neonatal diuretic treatment, birth weight, or gestational age. However, there was a robust inverse correlation (r= -0.445, p<0.005) between reported dietary sodium intake and the neonatal lowest serum sodium level (NLS) recorded for each child, as an index of sodium loss. The relationship of NLS and dietary sodium intake was found in both boys and girls, and in both Arab and Jewish children, despite marked ethnic differences in dietary sources of sodium. Hence, low neonatal serum sodium predicts increased intake of dietary sodium in low birthweight children some 8-15 years later. Taken together with other recent evidence, it is now clear that perinatal sodium loss, from a variety of causes, is a consistent and significant contributor to long term sodium intake.



By adding plant sterols to them. No doubt it will all be found to be a big mistake in 10 years time. Trans fats were a solution to high cholesterol once too. Now they are a villian

Dairy foods have traditionally been considered off-limits for people battling high cholesterol. But now some dairy products are part of the solution. Cholesterol-lowering plant sterols are being added to some low-fat milks and low-fat yoghurts for the first time in Australia. These new enriched products have the potential to lower blood cholesterol levels by up to 15 per cent in six to 12 weeks.

An estimated 6.4 million Australians, 51 per cent of the adult population, have high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor in stroke and heart disease. Diets high in fatty meats, full-fat dairy food, processed meats such as salami and sausages, snack foods such as chips, take-away foods, cakes, biscuits and pastries are often to blame. Alcohol, smoking and sedentary lifestyles are also factors.

But consuming 2-3g per day of plant sterols -- natural chemicals found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals -- has been found to reduce absorption of LDL or "bad" cholesterol, which clogs and blocks the arteries with fatty deposits. Plant sterols have been added to margarines for several years but Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) ruled last November that low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt and breakfast cereals could also be enriched with plant sterols.

Heart Foundation national nutrition manager Barbara Eden said the enriched products could have a significant impact on the health of people with high cholesterol. "Swapping from your regular milk, cereal or margarine to those which have plant sterols is an easy way to improve your risk of cardiovascular disease," she said. But Ms Eden said the product switch had to be part of a "suite of lifestyle changes people should be making if they have high blood cholesterol". "They might need to increase physical activity or decrease the amount of saturated fats in their diet and replace them with poly- and mono-unsaturated fats, or make sure they have more soluble fibre," she said.

Baker Heart Research Institute director Prof Garry Jennings said plant sterols worked differently to drugs that lower cholesterol, providing those on medication for the condition with an extra weapon. Under the FSANZ standard, products must state if they contain plant sterols and the amount contained per serving. Labels must also advise that plant sterols should be eaten as part of a healthy diet and that they are not suitable for children under five, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers.

Dairy giant National Foods has already launched a plant sterol-enriched low-fat milk and low-fat yoghurt under the Heart Active label. Spokesman Rupert Hugh-Jones said people could get the suggested 2-3g by eating two to three serves of plant sterol-enriched food each day. "One serve is equal to a 250ml glass of milk or a 200g tub of yoghurt," he said. "This simply means enjoying plant sterol-enriched low-fat milk with cereal, in a latte, hot chocolate, as a smoothie or in cooking, or a tub of plant sterol-enriched low-fat yoghurt as a nutritious snack."

A survey by Galaxy Research, commissioned by National Foods, found diet was the most popular way to manage high cholesterol, used by 79 per cent of Australians aged 40-plus. Exercise was used by 64 per cent, medication by 39 per cent and herbal or natural remedies by 16 per cent. But only 51 per cent of those trying to manage their cholesterol had been able to lower it.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

Trans fats:

For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.

The use of extreme quintiles (fifths) to examine effects is in fact so common as to be almost universal but suggests to the experienced observer that the differences between the mean scores of the experimental and control groups were not statistically significant -- thus making the article concerned little more than an exercise in deception


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