Featuring: Too Much Sugar?, Alzheimers and Diabetes, Health Care, Kids and Vitamin D.
There are quite a few Anti-Aging related pieces of news delivered, in different formats, every week. When you think about it, most every piece of ‘health related’ news is also Anti-Aging news.
The decisions we make in regard to our body – what we feed it (or don’t feed it), what we put on it, the stress we allow in our lives, the amount of exercise or rest we get on a consistent basis, what we are doing to build better health – will all help determine how we age.
1) Too Much Sugar?
Another article from USA Weekend (see last Saturday’s column here for other USA Weekend topics) discussed how much sugar Americans eat every day. Keep in mind, there are many people that consume even more; however most Americans eat about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. This can either be sugar in foods that we eat or that we add at the table.
The article stated that the American Heart Association recommends that calories from added sugar should not exceed 100 for women or 150 for men. The main culprit that throws these numbers way too high is sugary drinks like soda and other bottled drinks with lots of ‘hidden sugar’.
22 teaspoons of sugar is equivalent to about 350 calories. If the sugar is primarily inside drinks that we consume, these are hidden calories and can actually add up significantly higher because we may be drinking more sugar than we realize.
For example, if you are drinking more than two cans of soda per day, you are getting more than the 22 teaspoons of sugar – just in those two cans. How about those extra, extra large plastic soda cups that we see people filling up at convenience stores. Some of those hold the equivalent of 3 or 4 cans of soda. That’s a lot of sugar. Last week we discussed diet soda and the fact that it is not such a great alternative (see last Saturday’s post).
I am looking at a 20 fluid oz bottle of Green Tea with citrus and it has 21 grams of sugar. WikiAnswers says that each teaspoon of sugar has about 4.2 grams of sugar. So even a healthier choice of (sweetened) Green Tea (over soda) is still 5 teaspoons of sugar. That may be less than half the sugar in soda but still a lot of sugar for just that one drink.
2) Alzheimers and Diabetes
I remember reading a short article about the fact that people who have diabetes also have a higher risk of getting Alzheimers, and that scientists do not know the reason for that. People at risk for either, or who may already have one or both of these health challenges, may want to do further research. Diabetes brings us back to the topic above and the over-eating of sugar today. Even though sugar doesn’t specifically cause diabetes, being over weight and consuming too many calories are both related and wouldn’t that include sugar to some extent (and also fat)?
3) Health Care – why we need it
Time Magazine had a feature story about the sorry state of American health. This was from the December, 2008 issue so long before all of the recent health care news. The statistics are alarming. 67% of Americans are overweight or obese? 27% have blood pressure that is too high? 96% of the population can not remember when they last had a salad? 40% of people get no exercise? Wow. Could these numbers be true?
Experts who study health habits believe that our kids’ generation could be the first ever to have a shorter life span than their parents because parents are passing along the above unhealthy lifestyle choices. What amazes me is that we have more information about how to BE HEALTHY than ever before, and yet we are choosing not to be healthy. Why?
These and other statistics factor into the fact that we need a great health care system. We are hearing about health care proposals daily in the news, and it is a huge task to try and accomplish change. Given the fact that currently the U.S. spends far more money on health care already, than does any other nation, and the fact that we are not healthier for the money, some kind of reform is needed. The question is: to what extent or how radical of a change do we need?
If it is true that we live shorter lives and have a higher infant-mortality rate than many other developed nations, and yet we have more scientific knowldedge than ever before, can’t we do better: both individually and as a nation?
4) Kids and Vitamin D
Scientists have discovered that at least one in five kids in the United States do not get adequate amounts of Vitamin D. That fact can put the children at risk for developing any number of health challenges. A CNN Health Reports stated, “A whopping 70 percent of American kids aren’t getting enough vitamin D, and such youngsters tend to have higher blood pressure and lower levels of good cholesterol than their peers, according to two new studies published this week in the journal Pediatrics. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child’s risk of developing heart disease later in life, experts say.”
Harvard Medical School researchers found that black and Hispanic children are at greater than average risk. There has been a lot of recent exposure in regard to Vitamin D deficiency in children, teens and adults, making it widespread and of serious concern.
Lack of Vitamin D can be related to many health concerns like osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, immune function, and cancer.
Some symptoms associated with Vitamin D deficiencies are: muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and/or fatigue, lowered immunity, mood swings or other signs of depression and irregular sleep. With the high numbers of suspected deficiencies and expected health risks, it is worth further (personal) research on an individual basis.
Here is a link to a short video that highlights ways to help get kids to consume enough Vitamin D: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5206408n A high quality multi-vitamin for CHILDREN or INFANTS and TODDLERS with Vitamin D3 is also an excellent way to insure adequate levels.