Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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A New Epigenetic Study

Epigenetic mechanisms

Epigenetic mechanisms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Epigenetics is the study of how our environment affects the expression of our genes.  They can be turned off and on depending on our lifestyles, including dietary factors.  Check a previous post HERE for more epigenetics. Interesting!

This new study further supports the role of diet with its accompanying nutrients in the expression of our genetic makeup. Very interesting in a field that is in its infancy.




Why are our Children Fat?


A recent study examined whether our current problem with with overweight and obese children is a result of genetics or lifestyle.  Researchers at the U. of Michigan  surveyed 1000 obese six-graders.  The study was published in the American Heart Journal.

Here is what they found:

  • 58% of obese children had watched two hours of TV the day before compared with 41% of non-obese children.
  • 45% of obese kids always ate school lunch compared to only 34% of nonobese students.
  • Fewer obese kids exercised regularly, took P.E. classes or participated in sports.

Overall, all the students, both obese and non-obese had unhealthy habits.

  • More than 30% of them had consumed regular soda the day before the survey.
  • Less than one-half reported eating two servings of fruits and vegetables within the past 24 hours.
  • One third of them said they exercised for 30 minutes for 5 days in the previous week.

Bottom Line:  The results suggest that although genetics in some cases is a factor, it appears that lifestyle factors play a significant role in most.  It also could be a combination of the interaction between the two.  In future posts, emphasis will be on the school lunch aspect of this study.  How do our school lunches compare with those found in other countries?