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Tuesday, November 20, 2007







posted by Black Jack @ 6:29 PM   0 comments


Apricot Ice Cream recipe




1 1/4 cups cream
1 (1 pound) can apricot pie filling
1 egg white

Whip the cream until soft peaks are formed, then fold in the pie filling. In a clean bowl whip the egg white until stiff but not dry and fold into the cream and apricot mixture. Pour into a container, cover and freeze until firm.

About 20 minutes before serving, transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator.

Serves 4 to 5.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:24 PM   0 comments


Basic Chocolate Ice Cream Base recipe




2 quarts cream
2 quarts milk
3 pounds granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
12 to 16 ounces melted semisweet chocolate
4 cups egg yolks
1/4 cup vanilla extract

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the cream, milk, sugar, salt and chocolate. Temper in the egg yolks (that is, add a little of the hot liquid to the egg yolks to warm them, then slowly add the egg yolks to the hot mixture). Add the vanilla extract. Cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Use immediately, or chill in the refrigerator.

Makes 5 quarts.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:24 PM   0 comments


Banana Custard Ice Cream recipe




About 1 3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs, separated
Granulated sugar, to taste
4 bananas
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
Few drops of vanilla extract

Add enough water to the condensed milk to make 1 quart. Put the cornstarch in a cup and stir in a little milk until smooth.

In a heavy-based saucepan, bring the remaining milk to a boil. Pour into the blended cornstarch, stirring. Return the mixture to the boil again, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Check for sweetness.

Beat the egg yolks, with sugar if needed, in a bowl and stir in the hot milk. Mash the bananas with the lime or lemon juice and beat into the custard with the vanilla extract. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally. Pour the mixture into a container, cover and freeze until just becoming firm. Beat well in a bowl. Whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, and fold into the custard. Spoon the mixture back into the container. Cover and freeze until firm.

About 30 minutes before serving, transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator.

Serves 6 to 8.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:24 PM   0 comments


Banana and White Chocolate Ice Cream recipe




Source: Bon Appetit 1991 Yearbook

Makes 5 cups

3 cups whipping cream, divided
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
8 ounces white chocolate, melted
1 1/2 pound (about 4) very ripe bananas
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Bring 1 cup cream, half-and-half and sugar to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Whisk yolks in medium bowl. Whisk in hot cream mixture. Return mix to saucepan and stir over medium low heat until custard thickens and coats spoon (about 5 minutes); do not boil.

Strain into large bowl. Add white chocolate; whisk until well blended. Mix in remaining 2 cups cream. Refrigerate until cold.

Peel and slice bananas. Puree bananas with lemon juice. Mix puree into custard. Transfer custard to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:23 PM   0 comments


Bailey's Irish Cream Ice Cream recipe




1 quart half-and-half
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur
3 eggs, beaten
Enough milk to bring to 1/2 gallon

Blend ingredients together. Freeze in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer's instructions.

Serve with fresh strawberries and brownies.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:23 PM   0 comments


Avocado Ice Cream recipe




2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup light cream
2 avocados
Finely-grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped

Put egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl and beat until thick. Put the light cream in a heavy-based saucepan, and heat to just below simmering point then beat into the egg yolks. Return to the rinsed pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

Remove the flesh from the avocados and purée with the orange zest and juice and put in a bowl. Beat in the cooled custard and fold in the whipped cream. Spoon into a container, cover and freeze until just becoming firm. Beat well in a bowl. Whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the avocado mixture. Spoon the mixture back into the container. Cover and freeze until firm.

About 30 minutes before serving, transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator. When serving, top each bowl of ice cream with a lemon slice.

Serves 6 to 8.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:23 PM   0 comments


Apricot Earl Grey Ice Cream recipe




1 cup (about 6 ounces) dried apricots
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon apricot brandy or orange liqueur

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the apricots, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, until the apricots are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer the apricots and any remaining liquid to a food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Set aside.

In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the milk and tea leaves. Warm over low heat until the milk is hot. Remove from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine-meshed strainer.

Return the milk to the saucepan and add the heavy cream, remaining 1/3 cup sugar and salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is hot, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended. Gradually whisk in one-third of the hot cream in a thin stream, then whisk the mixture back into the remaining cream in the saucepan.

Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard lightly coats the back of the spoon, 5 to 7 minutes; do not let boil.

Immediately remove from the heat and strain the custard into a medium bowl. Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and water. Let the custard cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Whisk in the reserved apricot puree and the brandy until blended. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:22 PM   0 comments


Apple-Cheese Ice Cream recipe




5 cooking apples, peeled and cored
2 cups cottage cheese, divided
1 cup half-and-half, divided
1/2 cup apple butter, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs

Chop apples into 1/4-inch dice; set aside.

In blender or food processor, combine 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup half-and-half, 1/4 cup apple butter, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, cloves and one egg. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.

Repeat with remaining cottage cheese, half and half, apple butter and egg. Combine with previously pureed mixture. Stir in chopped apples. Pour into ice cream canister. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

Makes 2 quarts.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:21 PM   0 comments


Amaretto Peach Ice Cream recipe




1 1/2 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup crumbled amaretti cookies
3 tablespoons Amaretto
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups well-chilled heavy cream

In a bowl toss peaches with 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice and let mixture stand 30 minutes. Drain mixture and purée peaches in a food processor.

In heavy saucepan combine remaining 3/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water, bring mixture to a boil over moderate heat, washing down the sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, and simmer the syrup until it is a pale golden caramel. Add 1/2 cup boiling water carefully (mixture will bubble vigorously) and simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved.

In a small bowl sprinkle the cookies with Amaretto and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl with electric mixer beat egg yolks until they are thick and pale, add syrup in a stream, beating, and beat mixture until cool. Stir in vanilla extract, peach purée, cookie mixture and cream. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Makes about 2 quarts.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:21 PM   0 comments


Almond Ice Cream in Almond Phyllo Shells recipe




1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 cups milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

Reduce the almonds to a powder. Add the milk and heavy cream to a saucepan with the almonds. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Mix the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the almond mixture and mix well. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Heat mixture over medium low heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not boil.

Strain custard into a clean bowl and refrigerate until cold. Freeze ice cream according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.

Serve in Almond Phyllo Shells.

Almond Phyllo Shells:
3 sheets filo dough
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds, chopped super fine
1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

In a small bowl, combine the butter and almond extract and stir until smooth.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the almonds on a jellyroll pan and toast until they are fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven and sprinkle them with the salt.

Set the first filo sheet on a work surface and brush with some butter. Sprinkle half of the almonds over the top, concentrating on the middle third of the filo sheet.

Lay a second filo sheet over the top and press down around the edges to seal it to the bottom sheet.

Brush the second sheet with more melted butter and sprinkle over the remaining almonds. Top with the third filo sheet, and press to seal. Cut the filo into 6 squares. Gently press them into a cupcake tins to form shells.

Bake the shells until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:21 PM   0 comments


Almond Ice Cream recipe




1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon kirsch

Pound the almond into paste. Add milk and heavy cream, mix thoroughly together. In a saucepan, heat the almond mixture to a boil. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar and kirsch for 5 minutes. Add almond milk and mix well with wooden spoon. Heat the mixture over low heat for 5 minutes without letting it boil. Stir continuously. Then allow it to cool. Strain through a sieve into ice cream maker and freeze until the ice cream is thoroughly firm.



posted by Black Jack @ 6:20 PM   0 comments









posted by Black Jack @ 6:18 PM   0 comments









posted by Black Jack @ 6:16 PM   0 comments









posted by Black Jack @ 6:13 PM   1 comments


"60 Minutes" asks if calorie disclosure at restaurants would help fight obesity




Calorie disclosure at chain restaurants: Good idea or not?

CBS' "60 Minutes" wades into the argument between the restaurant industry and health officials. Lesley Stahl is the reporter; the segment airs at 7 p.m. Sunday on WKMG-Channel 6.

"When people are eating in a restaurant that they think is healthy, people grossly underestimate how much they eat by about 50 percent," Cornell Professor Brian Wansink tells Stahl.

To illustrate the point, Wansink questions a young man about a Subway meal. The man thinks he is having 300 calories; the actual count is 1,390.

The restaurant industry faults proposed menu-labeling as impractical, and many chains put the information on Web sites.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden counters that "obesity is a terrible epidemic" and that posting caloric information "is not going to solve the problem, but it's part of a solution."

What do you think?

Also Sunday, "60 Minutes" will offer an investigation that it has conducted with The Washington Post. The finding: The government hasn't notified many defendants that they were convicted on faulty evidence and testimony.

The investigation has taken six months. The exposure on "60 Minutes" is what executives at most newspapers would be doing handstands over.

Steve Kroft is the reporter for "60 Minutes."

The report kicks off "Washington Post Investigations," a place on the newspaper's Web site where you can find investigations from recent years. The site will offer updates, and there's also a look at the Watergate reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Hey, I'm impressed. Newspapers are trying to find new ways to bring their material to readers. The Post has hit on one -- and will receive a huge boost from the "60 Minutes" collaboration.

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:28 AM   0 comments


Obesity crisis ‘on the same scale as global warming’




Ministers are drawing up plans for a concerted fight against obesity as they believe that there is a looming public health crisis to rival that of climate change.

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, said that efforts to promote exercise and healthy eating had to go "further and faster" in response to the stark findings of a new government study.

The Foresight research, commissioned in 2005 to help ministers to understand the scale of the problem, gave warning that half the population would be obese within 25 years if current trends continue.

Some 86 per cent of men are expected to be overweight within 15 years and 70 per cent of women within 20 years, Professor Klim McPherson, of Oxford University, and Tim Marsh, of the National Heart Foundation, predict.

Mr Johnson said that the Government could not afford to allow the problem to deepen and is set to ask the Food Standards Agency to investigate the use of unhealthy "trans-fats" in fast food. "For the first time, we are clear about the magnitude of the problem: we are facing a potential crisis on the scale of climate change, and it is in everybody's interest to turn things round," he said.

Mr Johnson added: "There is no single solution to tackle obesity and it cannot be tackled by government action alone. We will only succeed if the problem is recognised, owned and addressed at every level and every part of society."

Ed Balls, the Children's Secretary, said schools should scrap "embarrassing" gym kits and offer a wider range of activities, such as yoga and frisbee, to encourage children to be healthy. "If the kit is awful or embarrassing it's much more likely the kids will forget to bring it," he told The Guardian.

Extra cash set aside in Tuesday's Comprehensive Spending Review will fund a long-term obesity action plan.

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:27 AM   0 comments


To Combat Obesity, Find Thinner Friends




NewsTarget) Obesity is again vying with 'climate change' as the most prominent 'long-term human survival issue' discussed in the British media. Recent news items have been precipitated by emerging statistics showing that in the last 5 years the number of obese people in the United Kingdom has risen inexorably.

In the final quarter of 2007 it has been predicted that within 3 years approximately 33% of males and almost three tenths of the female population in the UK will become clinically defined as obese. This implies that the total number of obese Britons will have doubled in less than twenty years.

If this trend continues the indications are that well over half the population will become obese by about 2030, with a staggering four fifths of the population being considered overweight.

The last five years has seen unprecedented injections of cash into the UK's National Health Service (NHS) but much has been diverted to treat what some suggest are 'avoidable diseases'. Health problems related to obesity are already costing the NHS over GB£1 billion (US$2 billion) per year. Unless the issue is tackled rapidly and effectively it will become an intolerable burden on the public purse, estimated to amount to more than GB £45 billion (US$90 billion)annually, within the next 25 years.

Almost three fifths of the cases of type 2 diabetes and over one fifth of heart disease problems, in the UK, are already attributed to the sufferers being obese. These figures are set to rise in tandem with greater numbers of men and women carrying increasing amounts of excess fat.

Such forecasts have led expert's to proclaim that the UK cannot hope to provide sustainable world-class health care, or achieve a healthier nation if such trends continue.

The UK's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is now said to be backing the need for funding a long-term 'obesity action plan'. Current efforts to increase children's exercise levels, improve the nutritional quality of school food and impose stricter labelling requirements have so far had no discernible impact on the trend towards increasing levels of obesity.

As has so often been the case in the last 50 years, the UK appears to be following closely on the heavy heels of the United States with respect to obesity becoming a critical social concern. However, it is possible that recent US research implying that obesity might be 'contagious', could provide an insight to why numbers of seriously overweight citizens on both sides of the Atlantic are rising so rapidly.

Harvard Medical Researchers reported the findings of a 'heart study' that indicated that if you are surrounded by overweight family and/or friends you are more likely also to become overweight yourself.

Interestingly the effect seemed to be more significant between fat friends than fat family – dispelling any simple suggestion that genetics played a key role in these observations.

It has been subsequently speculated that when we are surrounded by obese or overweight people our perception of body related norms may shift and lead us to become overweight ourselves.

There has been a suggestion, on a positive note, that 'fat friends' may provide moral support for each other during a time when they are all trying to lose weight. However, the question must arise, if we are seriously trying to shed the pounds, should we simply 'dump' our fat friends and seek a new 'leaner' social network?

About the author

Al G Smith MSc BSc - Has been working and teaching in the food related sector for over 30 years and is currently a website publisher ( ) and Independent Representative for the World's first extensive range of Certified Organic skin care and cosmetics (

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:27 AM   0 comments


To beat obesity, politicians must get serious about sport




The government may not be able to stop us gorging on food, but they can give us more swimming pools to work it all off

Jackie Ashley
Monday November 19, 2007
The Guardian

In every woman's magazine it's the same story. Most women are unhappy about their shape, from the too fat to the (less often) too thin. Cross, waddling mothers wrestling themselves into disastrous trouser suits and gaunt-eyed anorexic girls, slaves to cocaine chic at ever younger ages: this is the story of our times. Today's diets occupy the same place that moral homilies did in Victorian times - plenty of variety in detail, same message in substance. Once we worried compulsively about the state of our souls. Now it's the state of our spare tyres.
This obsession has spread through politics too. Yet it is another area where government targets are simply to laugh at. When the Blair government warned early on that by 2005, 6% of men and 8% of women would be classified as obese, we took no notice of the nanny state and kept on gorging. In fact, by 2005, the real figures were 23% of men and 25% of women. And if we aren't yet American supersized people, we are going their way. According to government projections, within three years a third of men and 28% of women will be obese.

Something is obviously going very wrong. Endless taskforces, new government advice sheets and legislation to restrict advertising of fatty foods for children - indeed, even the best efforts of that missionary for proper food Jamie Oliver - have had absolutely no effect on the figures, in both senses. We are embroiled in a slow crisis of self-hatred, the first generations living through glut and disliking the result.

Part of the trouble is that in a stressed life - particularly if you don't have a huge income - food, in its infinite variety and relative cheapness, has become the ultimate contemporary consolation. For a long time booze, drugs, cigarettes have helped get people through the day. Each has been targeted by the state in variously aggressive ways. Yet quietly, with no problem about dealers or violence, sweet, fat-loaded food has become the fix of choice.

It's true for children as much as for adults. Those same projections suggest around a fifth of all children will be classified as obese within three years, their numbers rocketing along with the adults. For the picked-on child in the playground or the unconfident teenager, a large bar of chocolate or a slice of pizza is an ever-present comfort; for the hassled office worker it may be a triple-decker sandwich or full-fat muffin.

In the street the other day, I passed a grossly obese City-type man with a bag of cookies, cramming one after another into his mouth. He looked heartbreakingly unhappy. Obesity marks you out as a failure, and millions of people are just surrendering. For some this can feel as demoralising as a crack habit or a drink problem. It may not be as serious for "society". It causes no disorder in the streets, but behind the doors, obesity wrecks people's happiness too.

What can government do? Directly, not much. We need honest acknowledgement that, after insisting on proper information about the content of food, and after giving the citizen the facts, ministers can go no further in stopping us gorge. There is a liberty issue. You can ban smoking in enclosed areas, because smoking affects non-smokers. You can stop kids drinking in the streets. You can try to throttle the drugs trade. What you can't do is ban hamburgers or limit the consumption of chocolate chip cookies. In a free society it would rightly be thought ridiculous.

But the next thing is to listen, and realise that the missing component is simply exercise. The reason obesity is rising so fast isn't only the ubiquity of cheap and tasty manufactured food, it is that we don't work off the calories afterwards. Any regular dieter can tell you that following the plan without exercise may work for a few weeks but is hopeless in the longer term.

This is why last week's report by the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, which said that fewer than one in five women do enough exercise to stay healthy, is so important. The survey found, as surveys do, that the explanations were obvious. Women are self-conscious about how they look when exercising, often hated sports at school and are horribly short of time, once kids and other caring duties are added in.

Gordon Brown grabbed this issue quickly, last week speaking of the "critical under-representation of women and girls in sport". The prime minister seems to fully understand that there are cultural barriers to be tackled and spoke of getting a million more women active in sports by 2012. As he also pointed out, when you ask women if they would like to take exercise, they tend to say yes.

The government's Active People survey found swimming to be the nation's most popular sporting activity. Yet local swimming pools are closing, like York Hall in Tower Hamlets, or being cut back, as in St Albans.

For competitive swimmers it is outrageous that there are only 16 pools of Olympic length (50 metres) in England and Wales, with another four planned. We're never going to produce internationally competitive swimmers if they don't have the training facilities.

But this is also an issue about class and culture. According to Sport England, 31% of black African women said they would like to swim regularly but had no easy access to a pool. The same was true of about a fifth of Indian and Bangladeshi women.

White middle-class women can afford the tennis clubs, private gyms and swimming pools. At the top end there seems to be a boom in personal trainers. For these women, generally, the diets will work because of the exercise. But a Labour government needs to think about the rest. Beyond the pools, free gym membership for less well-off women and advice through surgeries and hospitals are ideas Brown and his ministers need to push.

There certainly needs to be a fresh start. Is it really a good idea to have sport bracketed with culture and the media in a department dominated by turf wars? Sport and culture shouldn't be vying for funds. Couldn't sport be an integral part of the health strategy, and take its place inside that department, which has a bigger punching power in Whitehall, and could start to respond to the obesity crisis with gyms, tennis courts, running tracks and pools?

In the world of Westminster politics, all this may come across as second-order stuff. It isn't. If the health and happiness of citizens isn't the prime task of politics, I don't know what is. And you cannot be a healthy and happy person if you are seething with anxiety and self-hatred about your body.

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:26 AM   0 comments


Obesity among children cause for concern




Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: A study conducted among students above the age of 14 in some schools here has revealed that four among 100 were obese, which means they weigh above 90 kg, according to S. Gopinath, diabetes specialist of the Pondicherry Diabetes Specialities Centre.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, he said the study had been conducted last year in 6 schools. In Puducherry the children, who had been found obese, were put on a proper diet with balanced nutrition.

"We will approach more schools, especially private schools, this year. A study conducted in Chennai among students of private schools revealed that 22.4 per cent of the children were obese," he added.

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:24 AM   0 comments


Doubled calorie intake from beverages likely contributes to adult obesity




It's not just sugary sodas that are adding to the obesity crisis – it's fruit drinks, alcohol and a combination of other high-calorie beverages, say University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health researchers. And during the holidays, when eggnog, cocktails and spiced cider are abundant, the problem can be even more apparent.

Over the past 37 years, the number of calories adults get through beverages has nearly doubled, according to a UNC study published in the November issue of Obesity Research by Kiyah J. Duffey, a doctoral candidate in the department of nutrition, and Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and a fellow at the Carolina Population Center.

The study used nationally representative data to quantify both trends and patterns in beverage consumption among 46,576 American adults aged 19 and older. Patterns and trends of all beverages adults consumed were examined between 1965 and 2002. Researchers found that, over these 37 years, total daily intake of calories from beverages increased by 94 percent, providing an average 21 percent of daily energy intake among U.S. adults. That amounts to an additional 222 calories from all beverages daily.

Water intake was measured from 1989 to 2002, and during that time, the amount of water consumed stayed roughly the same, but the average adult consumed an additional 21 ounces per day of other beverages, Popkin said.

"This has considerable implications for numerous health outcomes, including obesity and diabetes as this is just adding several hundred calories daily to our overall caloric intake," Popkin said.

Most researchers agree that beverages do not fill you up, Popkin said. "Regardless of beverage type – water, sodas, milk, orange juice or beer – those extra calories are not compensated for by a reduction in food intake."

Data analyzed for this study came from the federally funded Nationwide Food Consumption Surveys of 1965 and 1977-1978 and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of 1989-1994 and 1999-2002.

"For each exam year, we calculated total energy intake, percent consuming and calories per consumer for 16 different beverages, and determined total beverage intake (fluid ounces) for each beverage," Duffey said. "Then, using a method that finds patterns within data, we generated 5 different groups of individuals who had similar patterns of beverage consumption and compared the beverages that comprised these groups in 1977 and 2002 to determine if the combinations of beverages were different."

As it turns out, they were different.

"The biggest difference we observed was that the 2002 beverage patterns were more complex than they were in 1977," she said. "For example, just five beverages dominated the patterns in 1977, but in 2002 there were eight beverages consumed in significant quantities – and new beverages appeared in these 2002 patterns. Fruit and vegetable juices and diet beverages were not important in 1977 patterns, but were in 2002."

Equally important, Popkin noted, are the overall trends in total calories from beverages. In 1965, beverages accounted for just 12 percent of daily energy intake. That number jumped to 21 percent by 2002.

As noted in previous studies, 23 percent more adults reported drinking soda between 1965 and 2002 (accounting for an additional 108 calories per day) while calories from whole-fat milk declined nearly 45 percent (from 119 calories per day in 1965 to 69 calories per day in 2002). Alcohol (up 73 calories per day) and fruit juice (up 20 calories per day) had considerable increases in their contribution to daily energy intake as well.

"One of the strengths of this study," Popkin said, "is that we examined the full range of beverages consumed, providing a broad understanding of the role of beverages, and patterns of beverages, to overall dietary intake."

Because data are not collected on the same individuals over time, conclusions cannot be made about the influence of the observed trends or patterns on changes in individual health outcomes over time, but they can provide a starting point for future analyses to examine this issue.


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posted by Black Jack @ 6:24 AM   0 comments


Protein discovery may hold answer for obesity sufferers




Researchers at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital have discovered a protein that may help prevent weight loss in cancer patients and form the basis of a treatment for severe obesity.

The protein, which controls appetite, leads to the extreme weight loss common in late stage cancer patients and often hastens death.

The Catholic Weekly reports that by preventing the loss of appetite, doctors could give patients the strength to survive treatment and improve chances of survival.

Garvan Institute's Neuroscience Research Program's Professor Herbert Herzog (pictured) said he and his team found the protein in the brain which "switches off" appetite.

"Our bodies send complex chemical signals to our brains, which interpret them and send back responses, in this case 'eat' or 'don't eat'," Prof Herzog said.

"Our research indicated that MIC-1 is a previously unrecognised molecule sending out a 'don't eat' signal to the brain."

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:23 AM   0 comments


Obesity raises prostate cancer death risk




Last Updated: 2007-11-19 12:17:10 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Men who are overweight or obese at the time they are diagnosed with prostate cancer are nearly twice as likely to die from their disease after treatment as men who are not overweight or obese.

"This provides one more reason for physicians to counsel their patients on lifestyle modifications aimed at maintaining an ideal body weight," study investigator Dr. Jason A. Efstathiou from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, told Reuters Health.

In 2007, over 218,000 American men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and over 27,000 will die from the disease. While obesity has been identified as a risk factor for more aggressive prostate cancer, the impact of obesity on survival following treatment is less clear.

Efstathiou and associates looked at the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and death from prostate cancer and other causes in 788 men who were treated appropriately for locally advanced prostate cancer.

They report in the journal Cancer that compared to men with normal BMI (below 25), overweight men with BMI between 25 and 30 were more than 1.5 times more likely to die from their cancer. Similarly, obese men with BMI of 30 or above were 1.6 times more likely to die from their disease compared to men with normal range BMI.

After 5 years, the prostate cancer-specific death rate was 6.5 percent for men with a BMI below 25, 13.1 percent for men with a BMI between 25 and 30, and 12.2 percent in men with a BMI of 30 and above.

"We are planning to investigate whether or not lifestyle interventions aimed at weight loss after diagnosis with prostate cancer will lead to better outcomes," Efstathiou said.

"Although it is possible that treatments may be less effective in obese men than in normal-weight men, there is no indication at this time that the form of treatment should be any different," Efstathiou added. "Determining what is the preferred management strategy for obese men warrants further study."


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posted by Black Jack @ 6:23 AM   0 comments


Patients taking anti-obesity drugs will only see "modest" weight loss




Patients taking anti-obesity drugs will only see "modest" weight loss and many will remain significantly obese or overweight, according to a study published on

The study, which looked at the long-term effectiveness of anti-obesity medications, found that three drugs recommended for long-term use - orlistat, sibutramine and rimonabant, reduced weight by less than 5kg (11 pounds). This equated to a loss of less than 5% of total body weight. Guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommend stopping the use of anti-obesity drugs if 5% of total body weight is not lost after three months.

While making changes to lifestyle and diet are recommended as the initial treatment for obesity, the use of anti-obesity drugs is common. It's estimated that in 2005 global sales of anti-obesity drugs reached $1.2billion. Current UK guidelines recommend using drug therapy in addition to making lifestyle changes if a patient has a body mass index of greater than 30.

The Canadian researchers reviewed the evidence from thirty placebo-controlled trials where adults took anti-obesity drugs for a year or longer. The mean weight of the volunteers in all of the trials was 100kg (15.7 stone). The mean body mass index levels were 35 - 36.

Professor Raj Padwal and colleagues found orlistat reduced weight by 2.9kg, sibutramine by 4.2kg and rimonabant by 4.7kg. They also found that patients taking the weight loss pills were significantly more likely to achieve 5 - 10% weight loss, compared to those who took the placebo.

The health benefits associated with taking the drugs varied. For example, orlistat reduced the incidence of diabetes in one trial and all three drugs lowered patients' levels of certain types of cholesterol. Adverse effects were recorded with all three drugs, in particular, rimonabant increased the risk of mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. The authors noted that no trials examined rates of death and disease as a result of taking anti-obesity pills. They recommend that trials looking at this should be carried out in the future.

The authors also noted that there were high drop-out levels in all the trials. On average 30 - 40% of patients failed to complete the trial. They say this suggests that a failure to properly adhere to the treatment could be a major factor limiting the effectiveness of anti-obesity drug therapy.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Gareth Williams warns of the potential damage to society if anti-obesity drugs are licensed to be sold without prescription. This already happens in the United States, and as Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) has applied to sell orlistat over the counter throughout Europe, it could happen here. He warns:

"Selling anti-obesity drugs over the counter will perpetuate the myth that obesity can be fixed simply by popping a pill and could further undermine the efforts to promote healthy living, which is the only long term escape from obesity."

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posted by Black Jack @ 6:22 AM   0 comments






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