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Parental weight and its impact on early childhood development

According to the CDC, 70.7% of the US population is overweight or obese (BMI>30), with 37.9% being obese. Obesity related health expenses accounted for an estimated $147 billion in healthcare spending in 2008 alone. The dire health consequences for obese individuals include higher incidence of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease to name a few on top of overall decrease in … Continue reading Parental weight and its impact on early childhood development

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Natural and Added Sugars: Two Sides of the Same Coin

by Mary E. Gearing figures by Shanon McArdel It’s hard to find a more controversial topic than sugar, which is never far from the media’s attention. From the recent hype surrounding That Sugar Film to the continued demonizing of high fructose corn syrup, we can’t stop talking about sugar and how we’re likely eating too much of it. In an effort to decrease sugar consumption, … Continue reading Natural and Added Sugars: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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Good as Gold: Can Golden Rice and Other Biofortified Crops Prevent Malnutrition?

by Mary E. Gearing figures by Kristen Seim Summary: In addition to providing energy in the form of calories, our food also supplies us with essential vitamins and other nutrients to keep us healthy. Vitamin, or “micronutrient”, malnutrition is a substantial contributor to disease. To increase micronutrient consumption, many countries fortify their food with these vitamins. Another strategy to improve vitamin intake and prevent disease, … Continue reading Good as Gold: Can Golden Rice and Other Biofortified Crops Prevent Malnutrition?

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Feeding the World One Genetically Modified Tomato at a Time: A Scientific Perspective

by Christopher Gerry figures by Kristen Seim Summary: The human population has grown at a breakneck pace and threatens to further exacerbate a problem that has worsened in recent years: chronic hunger. Genetically modified crops could help to relieve this problem by providing increased yields and being more resistant to environmental stressors. In particular, the increasing prevalence of drought has prompted the development of crops … Continue reading Feeding the World One Genetically Modified Tomato at a Time: A Scientific Perspective

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The “skinny” on Celastrol, a potential future anti-obesity drug

by Mary E. Gearing  figures by Shannon McArdel 35% of the adult population is obese, a condition which puts one at a high risk for many diseases, namely heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Unfortunately, the treatments available for obesity are limited. Lifestyle modifications, including a healthy diet and exercise, can help reduce weight, but many individuals have trouble adhering to these changes over … Continue reading The “skinny” on Celastrol, a potential future anti-obesity drug

Ice cream cravings while you are anxiously preparing for a presentation or exam may be triggered by your brain’s desire for relief from stress. (Credits: Austin Kirk, flickr.com)

Ask the Brain: Why Do We Crave Sugar When We’re Stressed?

In America, uncontrolled sugar consumption is a concern because of its contributions to obesity and diabetes. A recent study investigated the psychological basis of sugar cravings during times of stress. Researchers proposed that sugar turns down the stress response in the human brain. As a result, we may be consuming sugar as a quick way to hold back feelings of stress. To test this hypothesis, … Continue reading Ask the Brain: Why Do We Crave Sugar When We’re Stressed?