5 Things You Should Know about Obesity

As one of the most preventable conditions on the planet, obesity is, unfortunately, a significant problem in the world today. According to the World Health Association, the global obesity rate has more than doubled since 1980. [1] Certainly diet and exercise can go a long way in supporting a healthy weight, but sometimes that even isn't enough. According to governmental health charts, if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, you're considered obese. The BMI scale, however, is largely generalized and doesn't take into account muscle weight.

What You Should Know About Obesity

If left unchecked, obesity can actually cause a myriad of health issues. For example, obesity may promote mental distress, can lead to heart disease, and research also implicates it in cancer development. While it's a difficult subject to talk about because we don't really like to acknowledge it, it must be addressed in order to combat our current global health crisis. Here are 5 things you should know about obesity, including how you can fight it.

1. There's Huge Debate about Obesity's Disability Status

With obesity quickly becoming a global issue, its status as a disability is a constant debate. In fact, 88% of doctors polled through SERMO, a medical social network, disagreed with a recent European Union ruling that employers should accommodate obese workers with things like special parking spots, larger chairs, and even in some cases, government services. [2][3] Many of those doctors believe accommodations could be necessary in the case of medically-caused obesity, but Europe has gone a bit further than that with this ruling. Do you think this decision is just supporting the problem?

2. Pollution Can Promote Obesity

A recent report classed almost 30 percent of the world population as overweight, and pollution could also be contributing to that number. [4][5] Researchers in Southern California followed over 3,000 children throughout eight years and found a tentative link between BMI, secondhand smoke, and traffic pollution. According to the report, BMI was significantly higher in children exposed to pollution and secondhand smoke. Those exposed to both doubled their risk of being obese. This new finding could challenge the view that childhood obesity is a direct product of diet and exercise.

3. Dirty Water Is Causing Obesity and Diabetes

There's also another study suggesting polluted water is a cause of obesity. The report comments many poor, rural towns in California's Central Valley have trouble finding clean drinking water and are switching to more sodas and sugary drinks. This, in turn, is causing an increase in obesity and type-2 diabetes. [6] According to data from the Community Water Center, the water supply in one of those areas is among the most contaminated—“tainted with nitrates, arsenic, coliform bacteria, pesticides, disinfectant byproducts, and uranium.” [7]

4. Obesity Also Affects Mental Health

Yes, while obesity can be damaging to your physical health, let's not forget how it can influence …read more

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Is Sugar Toxic?

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the dangers of refined sugars like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and more. After decades of research, it appears the serious adverse effects of refined sugars on human health are finally making their way into mainstream attention. According to the CDC, more than 30% of adult Americans are obese. [1] These numbers exploded after health officials began pushing the high-carb, low-fat diet twenty years ago.

The Truth About Sugar

Decades of study on obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hormone dysfunction reveal sugar isn't just dangerous, [2][3] it's absolutely toxic. While it's true that our cells rely on glucose for energy, our body in no way requires refined sugar for proper functioning. Despite this, food manufacturers continue to look for new ways to sneak sugar into every last food sold on market shelves. Here's just a few reasons why you should reduce–if not eliminate–sugar from your diet:

You Can't See A Natural Sugar

When it comes to sugar, if it's not a natural component of the food (like a banana, apple, or honey), chances are it's not a natural dietary sugar. Any sugar extracted from its plant source, processed, and added to food for sweetening purposes is considered refined. This includes the spoonful of raw, organic table sugar many people put in their coffee each morning. Natural sugars occur as starches and complex sugars and are bound to vitamins and minerals. The digestive process uses these nutrients to break this natural sugar down into monosaccharides, a usable nutrient.

Fruits and vegetables don't have the same effect on blood sugar as a candy bar for most healthy individuals because fiber in produce tends to slow down the rate at which the sugars are digested and absorbed. Table sugar is created by separating sugar molecules, glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc., from their plant nutrients. This converts them into pure, refined, and empty carbohydrates.

Your Daily Poison

We know sugar eats through the enamel of teeth and causes cavities, but its damage doesn't stop there. Sugar leaves a path of destruction as it passes through the body, causing inflammation and degradation to blood vessels. It also disrupts the digestive process. When sugar mixes with starches in the stomach, fermentation takes place, creating carbon dioxide, acetic acid, alcohol, and water. Carbon dioxide, acetic acid, and alcohol are all toxic substances.

Sugar causes digesting protein to petrify and creates ptomaines and leucomaines, toxic protein substances. Sugars also kill the ‘friendly' bacteria that create vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for energy creation at the cellular level. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include depression, psychosis, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.

As I mentioned earlier, refined sugars have no nutritional value and lack the nutrients needed to encourage digestion. So, the body must steal these nutrients from other processes to digest sugar. This creates nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. From there, the sugar enters the blood stream.

Sugar Rots from the Inside Out

We know high …read more

Source: Is Sugar Toxic?

    

It is AFP’s fault Sukumaran and Chan are on death row — and AFP needs to step up to help save them

By Crikey Indonesia has a hardline approach to the death penalty for those involved in the Indonesian drug trade. But Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were not involved in the Indonesian drug trade, writes an Australian crown prosecutor and former resident of…

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Source: It is AFP’s fault Sukumaran and Chan are on death row — and AFP needs to step up to help save them

    

Abbott’s reaction to Forgotten Children report straight from Howard playbook

By Crikey The government has responded to the AHRC report into children in immigration detention much as you might expect from Howard's 1997 Coalition, writes freelance journalist Andrei Ghoukassian.

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Source: Abbott’s reaction to Forgotten Children report straight from Howard playbook

    

4 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Probiotics

There's a lot of gray area when it comes to probiotics and our health. While there's not a definitive link, more and more studies suggest positive effects from taking probiotics. A boost in immune function is a prime example. [1] While many have speculated antibiotics–by decreasing bacteria–are responsible for rising obesity, one recent study commented lower levels of bacteria could actually cause a person to be overweight. [2] The human gut is home to a plethora of bacteria—some good, some bad—and as “good” bacteria, probiotics could help maintain that balance; but, there's one thing we can probably all agree on: a healthy gut is a happy gut.

4 Probiotic Facts

Probiotics are commonly associated with improving digestion, but there's so much more. Beneficial bacteria is not only essential for digesting food and assimilating nutrients, it's also important for mood support, cardiovascular health, and a powerful immune system. Here are 4 interesting facts you really should know about probiotics.

1. Probiotics Begin Before Birth

At one time, most scientists believed a newborn's gut was sterile–that it collected microbes during birth and in the first few years of life; however, a recent study suggested the child gets many of those microbes before birth. [3] Another study looked at placental tissue after birth and noted many similarities with bacteria in the mother's mouth. This casts doubt on the belief the placenta is sterile, suggesting a child's exposure to bacteria–good and bad—begins before birth. [4]

2. Probiotics Are Good for Your Mental Health

In the past, many scientists have been skeptical of claims that probiotics could influence your mental health, but now there's a hard link between the two. A new study suggests improper levels of certain gut bacteria could be linked to behavioral conditions like autism and depression. [5] Another report went further and examined the link between probiotic imbalances and autism, suggesting probiotic treatments could help autistic children. [6] While all the research is still new, there seems to be a developing connection between the microbiome (your gut's bacteria) and the brain.

3. Probiotics Influence Heart Health

While diet and exercise have always been thought to support a healthy heart, a new finding suggests the microbiome could also play an important role. In one study using probiotics to lower the presence of some bacteria, the amount of leptin—a hormone implicated in heart health—in the blood reduced. [7] While the study only looked at rats, the lower levels of leptin coincided with a decreased risk of heart damage. So far, it has created enough buzz to warrant human trials.

4. Farmers Are Making the Switch to Probiotics for Livestock

Not that long ago, I wrote about how antibiotic use is on the rise in livestock. The FDA even estimates farm animals consume about 80 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. [8] With this increase, doctors are seeing more and …read more

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