Friday, December 05, 2008

Women who exercise during pregnancy face risk of pre-eclampsia, researchers warn

Delightful to see exercise getting dissed for a change. Nonetheless, this is just more epidemiological speculation. The correlation probably arises because pre-eclampsia is not readily diagnosed -- so middle class women are more likely to get the high-quality attention needed to diagnose it. And middle class women exercise more. It seems not unreasonable, however, that obsessive exercise could be harmful

Women who exercise during pregnancy are at risk from a illness that can be fatal for themselves and their baby, it was claimed yesterday. Researchers have found that they are more likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia, a condition which raises blood pressure leading to strokes and even death. The illness affects one in 14 pregnancies and kills 1,000 babies and ten mothers-to-be each year.

Pregnant women are advised to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day but now scientists claim that there is a distinct link between moderate activity and the condition. In a study involving 85,000 females they found that jogging for more than one hour and 15 minutes a week more than doubled the risk of pre-eclampsia. Women who exercise for between four and a half and seven hours a week are 65 per cent more likely to develop severe pre-eclampsia. Those who did more than seven hours a week were 78 per cent more likely to have the condition. This means that more than three in ten women who do this much exercise will suffer from severe pre-eclampsia.

The research, carried out by Danish and Norwegian scientists and published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology looked at the medical data of pregnant women between 1996 and 2002.


Salt 'as bad as cigarettes'

This hysteria is just a grab for attention on the part of a do-gooder working for a do-gooder organization. Smoking definitely is bad for you but salt is an everyday necessity and restricted salt intake can harm you

AUSTRALIANS are consuming too much salt, say nutritionists who blame not only fast food but also healthier alternatives such as canned vegetables and baked beans. Less than 5 per cent of all sausages and beef burgers sold in the nation's supermarkets contained acceptable levels of salt [What double-blind studies do we have to show what an acceptable level is? This is just made-up stuff], a Nutrition Society of Australia conference has also heard.

Jacqui Webster, a senior project manager based at Sydney's The George Institute for International Health, said Australians were consuming well over the maximum recommended intake of six grams of salt a day. "Despite being aware of the adverse health effects of salt, most Australian consumers are taking little action to reduce their intake,'' Ms Webster told the conference. "Consuming too much salt, or sodium, can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis and stomach cancer. "There is also some evidence that it adds to the severity of asthma symptoms.''

Ms Webster said the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey showed boys were consuming around 9g of salt daily, while girls came in at the maximum 6g. She said it was also likely that many adults consumed in excess of the 9g of salt each day. Ms Webster said foods contributing to high salt diet included bread, processed meats, baked beans, canned vegetables, table sauces, some breakfast cereals and fast food.

Research in the UK showed processed foods accounted for 75 per cent of salt in a person's diet, with 10 per cent from natural foods like fish and vegetables. The remaining 15 per cent was salt added at the table or during cooking.

Given the dire health consequences, Ms Webster said reducing salt in the diet should be "considered on the same level of importance as reducing obesity, alcohol and tobacco consumption''. Leading nutritionists from around Australia and the world are attending the conference in Adelaide.



Hannah said...

Lots of people are told they have chronic fatigue syndrome, or they just need to do more exercise to raise their energy levels, and similar things, when often what causes people to feel fatigued or sluggish is that their adrenals are not running at optimal health. The first and easiest solution is to eat more salt. I myself have this problem, and people are ahgast when I give my food a very generous sprinkling of salt -- and I grin and tell them my doctor told me to do it. She's an ordinary GP too, not one who believes in nutritional woo-woo.

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Lionel Braithwaite said...

From now on, I propose to eat more salty foods! Thanks for the heads-up.