|JULY, fruits, cholesterol, obesity|
|NEW US FEDERAL CHOLESTEROL GUIDELINES ISSUED
Study conclusion: The National Cholesterol and Education Program
establishes new federal guidelines for managing cholesterol that increases
the number of Americans who are treated for high cholesterol by 36 million
* Guidelines recommend an even lower intake of saturated fat (7% of
calories vs. 10%), a higher blood level of HDL (the "good" cholesterol),
and more rigorous testing of fatty substances in the blood. The guidelines
still focus on lowering LDL (the "bad" cholesterol). And the new target
for cholesterol is less than 200 mg a day versus the previous target of
under 300 mg.
* An HDL level of less than 40 mg/dL is considered to be a risk factor for
heart disease, as opposed to 35 mg/dL.
* The guidelines recommend that doctors urge patients whose triglyceride
level is borderline to lose weight and exercise.
* People with high cholesterol are at risk for heart disease, the leading
cause of death in the U.S.
* Studies show conclusively that lowering the LDL levels can reduce the
short-term risk for heart disease by as much as 40%.
* Healthy adults should have a lipoprotein analysis, which measures
triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol
once every five years, according to the NCEP.
* The last recommendations were made in 1993.
* A summary of the recommendations appears in the May 16, 2001 issue of
The Journal of the American Medical Association.
BREAST-FEEDING MAY PREVENT OBESITY
Study conclusion: New research shows breast-feeding reduces the risk of
becoming overweight by the teen years, according to two studies.
* In the larger study, researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston,
Mass., looked at more than 15,300 adolescents ages 9 to 14. Those who had
been breast-fed were less likely to be overweight compared with those who
were raised mostly or exclusively on formula.
* Kids fed mainly breast milk for the first six months of life were 22%
less likely to be overweight by age 14.
* The longer the children were breast-fed, the lower the odds of being
overweight. For example, those who were breast-fed for at least 7 months
were 20% less likely to be overweight than those given breast milk for 3
* The link between breast-feeding and weight remained even after
researchers considered key factors like the children’s calorie intake,
exercise levels, and mothers’ body weight.
* The reason is unclear; one possibility is that formula and breast milk
have different impacts on babies’ metabolism, with breast milk having more
positive effects on fat storage.
• Results from this study and another study were published in the May 16,
2001 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
FRUITS MAY PROTECT LUNGS
Study conclusion: Fruits and vegetables, notably apples and tomatoes, help
keep people from getting serious lung disease over time, according to
study #1, and a link is suggested between eating more fruits and
vegetables and a reduced risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD), a term that refers to two respiratory system diseases:
chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
* Study #1 involved nine years of study of 2,600 people that measured
their lung function. It appeared that study participants who ate more
apples and tomatoes were, in effect, three years younger than those who
ate fewer fruits and vegetables.
* Study #2 compared the diets of smokers who contracted COPD to those who
did not. Those individuals who ate more fruits and vegetables almost
halved their risk of disease, according to Louise Watson, MSc, of the
University of Southampton in England.