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Are vegetarian diets healthier?

New research published earlier this month in JAMA Internal Medicine (3 June 2013) has found that vegetarian diets are associated with lower all-cause mortality. A total of 96,469 Seventh-day Adventist men and women were recruited between 2002 and 2007, from which an analytic sample of 73,308 participants remained after exclusions. Study participants...

Caffeine in the news again

The caffeine debate has been reignited again following the 3 May announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they are planning to launch an investigation into the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly its effects on children and adolescents. According to media reports, this latest review was prompted following the launch...

UK doctors unite to tackle obesity

A new report published last week in the UK has come up with some comprehensive recommendations on tackling obesity. The report, Measuring up: the medical profession’s prescription for the nation’s obesity crisis, follows a 6-month inquiry by a steering group with representatives from 20 of the Royal Medical Colleges and Faculties. The report begins...

Dodgy weight loss regimens

Well, it’s that time again: after the indulgences of Christmas, many of us are starting to think about getting fit and healthy for the New Year. So, I was interested to see the Healthy Weight Network in the USA announce their Slim Chance awards at the end of 2012. These awards, they say, are aimed at “exposing the widespread fraud and quackery in the...

The fat tax debate is reignited again

The debate about fat tax has been reignited with the publication of a new paper today (12 December 2012) by New Zealand researchers. Taxes on soft drinks and foods high in saturated fats, and subsidies for fruit and vegetables, could lead to beneficial dietary changes and potentially improve health, say the authors of this latest research. Helen Eyles...

Baby-led weaning

Baby-led weaning is an alternative method for introducing complementary foods to infants, where the infant feeds themselves hand-held foods instead of being spoon-fed pureed foods by an adult. I first came across the concept of baby-led weaning just over a year ago when I was giving a talk to a group of new parents on starting solids. One or two mums...

Obesity prevention starts in the womb

The annual scientific meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society starts today; the theme of the meeting is ‘For our children’s children‘, and a fascinating programme has been put together with some great speakers who will be presenting their research on this important topic. One of the keynote speakers for today (18 October) will be...

Are organic foods healthier?

A new systematic review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week suggests not. The authors of this latest research reviewed 17 human studies and 223 studies of nutrient and contaminant levels. They conclude that the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods;...

Unhealthy weight control among New Zealand kids

A new study just published this month by researchers at the University of Auckland has highlighted concerns about weight control behaviours among New Zealand adolescents, and has identified a number of ‘red flags’ for unhealthy weight loss. The new findings were published last week (21 August 2012) in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition...

New nutrition guidelines for children out today

The Ministry of Health has today published the latest report in their series of Food and Nutrition Guidelines; this report is all about healthy children and young people from the ages of 2 to 18 years. Children and young people in New Zealand represent a quarter of the population. Making sure our children follow a good healthy balanced diet will promote...

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