Environmental Pollutants as contributors to obesity – BPA

The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is an environmental pollutant– in other words, a substance that may contribute to weight gain, resistance to weight loss, weight regain and possible problems to health post weight loss. Banned Europe has outlawed the manufacture of baby bottles containing BPA since 2011. Being the proud father of new baby boy Matteo, it is one less thing to worry about! The FDA has followed suit this year, after having declared it safe in 2008. Its notoriety involves reports of potentially harmful effects on the development of fetuses and infants; with concerns surrounding brain and behavioural development and the effects it may have on the prostate gland. Though the FDA ban involves the manufacture of bottles and sippy cups, it doesn’t include the containers used to store infant formula, a decision which is still under review. Obesogen Also named as an environmental “obesogen” (a term coined recently by Felix Grün and Bruce Blumberg of the University of California, Irvine) to describe a chemical suspected of contributing to the obesity epidemic), BPA is considered an endocrine disruptor – a compound that mimics estrogen. As sex steroids are an important factor in the balance of lipids in the body, any disruption in the ration between androgen and estrogen levels can lead to increased insulin resistance, hypocortisolemia (low levels of circulating cortisol)  and a decrease in growth hormone. This is why is is vital that exposure to obesogens such as BPA are kept to the absolute minimum in babies and children, since the effects are amplified than if exposure occurs in adulthood. Exposure to the this environmental pollutant – BPA – can be minimised by emphasising unprocessed, unpackaged foods, employing a regular detoxification plan and using alkalising metabolic foods to help support the...

Childhood Obesity – Sufficient Sleep May Not Be The Cure…

Childhood obesity has been in the news today and it seems that although it has been widely thought that getting enough sleep is shown to help combat weight gain and retention, it may not be as significant as we first thought. This study flies in the face of several studies carried out around the world, that getting a good night’s sleep will reduce the chance of kids becoming overweight and doctors have been giving out this advice to children and parents alike. A new childhood obesity study by Australian researchers delving into this link has actually somewhat disproved it.  The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria studied a total of 133 obese children aged 10-16 at a weight management clinic in the US.  Their sleeping habits were closely monitored for a week by their parents and a gadget similar to a wristwatch. Each child was weighed and tested for metabolic syndrome – a collection of conditions that include high blood pressure in addition to obesity, that can increase the risk of cardio-vascular disease. The recommended guidelines of sleep were more than eight hours per night but most of the children slept less than this, with over half experiencing some sleep disordered breathing and almost a quarter of them had metabolic syndrome. The researchers found no link between severe obesity and a lower duration of sleep, saying that their findings showed that it was premature to expect that lengthening sleep will improve BMI (body mass index) for obese adolescents.  We did not find an association between short sleep duration and high BMI within the subpopulation of obese adolescents.  Published in the journal Sleep. They recognise that an increased amount of sleep would have other health benefits, but would it would be unlikely to reduce the risk of obesity. Personally I think that one of the main reasons for a decent...

Child Obesity: Major Chain Restaurants To Make Kids’ Menus Healthier

It is an alarming fact that the food in this photo is typical fare given to kids in many restaurants.  Happily though, The National Restaurant Association has teamed up with Healthy Dining on Kids LiveWell.  This is a new scheme to encourage major restaurant chains to include healthier options on their menus for kids.  With the rise in child obesity ever climbing and nearly a third of the children is the US being overweight; this new initiative is a welcome antidote to the perpetual chicken nuggets and French fries offered to children when dining out. Denny’s, Burger King, Chevy’s Fresh Mex and Friendly’s are just four of the 19+ restaurant chains looking to include healthier options on their children’s menus.  The guidelines stipulate that the meals must contain: Less Fat Less Sugar Less Sodium than regular children’s meals, with the sum total of fat being less than 35% of the total calories per full and side dishes.  It is encouraging to see that there will be at least 15,000 locations where kids can enjoy healthier options that focus on increased amounts of lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. It seems to be that the new guidelines set by the new food plate are reaching far and wide as they follow the same guidelines including limited use of low-fat dairy.  As child obesity is getting to be a real problem; even though there may be some flaws in the new menus, (I would certainly limit wheat in any menu due to the over satuation of it in our diet and increased potential for sensitivity/allergy) anything that can replace French fries is okay in my book. You will still find the usual suspects on the menu, but  healthier options will be highlighted in an effort to persuade patrons to choose them instead.  These new additions will state new formulations such...