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Monthly Research Roundup: Diabetes and BMI, Poverty and Childhood Obesity, an Enzyme That Prevents Sugar Toxicity

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Monthly Research Roundup: Research studies we discovered in January 2016

There’s always new research studies coming out about health, wellness, nutrition, and disease. But most of the time it’s pretty hard to understand how they might apply to us and our families.

Each month, we’ll briefly cover a few relevant research studies and sum each one up in a single sentence in plain English. As plain as we can, that is.

Sugar and breast cancer: Mice on a variety of diets developed tumors far more often in the groups eating diets with sucrose and fructose. Tumors in those same mice were also more likely to metastasize.

Summed up: Sugar consumption might promote tumors which can spread to the lungs.

Diabetes and BMI: Men who had a high BMI at age 21, but lowered their BMI to normal by age 50 had the same risk for Type 2 diabetes as men who maintained a normal BMI through adulthood.

Summed up: Reducing your BMI may reduce your risk of diabetes.

Poverty and childhood obesity: Family income is a more accurate predictor of childhood obesity than race. There isn’t a significant relationship between race and childhood obesity when family income is also a factor. In fact, the farther below the poverty line a family lives, the more likely kids are to be obese and have high blood lead levels.

Summed up: As poverty rates rise, so do obesity rates.

Fruits, vegetables, and junk food: Children who regularly eat fruits and vegetables also eat fast food and drink soda as often as children who don’t eat fruits and vegetables. In the week before the interview, two-thirds of kids drank soda and 70% ate fast food.

Summed up: Fruits and vegetables are more likely to be eaten in addition to, not in place of, junk food.

Enzyme neutralizes excess glucose: Excess glucose metabolizes to glycerol-3 phosphate, which can damage cells and disrupt biologic processes. A newly discovered enzyme can break down this phosphate, get it out of cells, and prevent such problems.

Summed up: An enzyme may offset the toxic effects of too much sugar.

More teens diagnosed with kidney stones: Older white men are still most likely to develop kidney stones, but rates have increased among kids. Researchers suspect poor eating habits as a possible factor, along with not drinking enough water.

Summed up: Kids are at greater risk for kidney stones.

Featured image photo credit: romanboed via Compfight cc

 

Julie Marsh
Julie is a triathlete and a health-conscious mom of three.

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