June 20th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
If you prefer your meat without antibiotics, you're not alone, according to a new study from Consumers Union – the group that publishes Consumer Reports magazine.
In a nationwide survey of more than a thousand people, Consumers Union found that 86% of people said they would like to see more antibiotic-free meat on store shelves, and more than 60% said they'd be willing to pay more for it.
"If we are going to tackle this problem, we have to reduce the use in animals," said Jean Halloran, the Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union. "The government seems unable to take this step, so we're looking at the marketplace. It's supermarkets who stock these products, and consumers who buy them."
June 10th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
As any college student or shift worker will tell you, staying up all night or even just skimping on sleep can lead a person to seek out satisfying, calorie-packed foods.
An emerging body of research suggests that sleep-related hunger and food cravings, which may contribute to weight gain, are fueled in part by certain gut hormones involved in appetite. But our brain, and not just our belly, may play a role as well.
According to two small studies presented today at a meeting of sleep researchers in Boston, sleep deprivation appears to increase activity in areas of the brain that seek out pleasure - including that provided by junk food. To make matters worse, sleepiness also may dampen activity in other brain regions that usually serve as a brake on this type of craving.
May 25th, 2012
11:46 AM ET
Obesity is a widespread epidemic, even among the homeless.
While the popularized image of a homeless individual is one of skin and bones, a new study shows the reality is not so. One in three (32.3%) homeless individuals in the United States is obese, highlighting a hunger-obesity paradox.
The paradox is that hunger and obesity can exist in the same person. And although a person may be overweight or obese, he or she can lack proper nutrition.
Nutrition is a daily challenge for homeless people, as the foods they manage to get are often full of preservatives and high in sodium, fats and sugars. They may not have access to healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables.
May 7th, 2012
12:22 PM ET
After years of rising obesity rates in the United States, recent statistics show the rates may have steadied. But that may not be enough, according to a new report released on Monday - it estimates about 42% of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030.
The report suggests an additional 30 million Americans will be obese in 18 years. This would cost an additional $549.5 billion on medical expenditures, according to the report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
“If you could keep the obesity rates at today’s level, you would save $550 billion,” said Eric Finkelstein, lead author of the report.
About 35% of U.S. adults are obese today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
April 27th, 2012
07:21 AM ET
Sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sugary foods and beverages are delicious. But we’ve also learned they can be highly addictive and, too much of them, can take a serious toll on our health.
Today some of our favorite drinks, gum, baked goods, and candy are available in sugar-free versions. But that got me thinking... are sugar substitutes any better for you than the real thing? I was not alone on this issue. I’ve received dozens of tweets and emails wondering if fake sugar can harm us, or worse, crave more food!
For some answers I turned to internist and physician nutrition specialist, Dr. Melina Jampolis. Her specialty is practiced by only 200 physicians in the United States. She focuses exclusively on nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment.
March 28th, 2012
03:56 PM ET
Hispanics are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. By the year 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects Hispanics will compose 30 percent of the population. Most are Mexican-American. A new government study drills down on the changing way Mexican-Americans adults are eating and its effect on their health.
Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics compared statistics from 1982-1984 and 1999-2006.
Among the findings:
March 21st, 2012
04:18 PM ET
Most heart attacks hit without warning – when a blister plaque on the blood vessel wall ruptures. The resulting clot starves the heart of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, causing a heart attack and possibly death.
Traditional diagnostic tools like treadmill stress tests only pick up major blockages in the blood vessels, but they don’t alert doctors to this type of impending catastrophe. That’s because the vast majority of heart attacks occur in people whose blood vessels are narrowed only slightly by cholesterol-laden plaque.
“We can’t detect these mild narrowings, which are almost exclusively responsible for heart attacks,” says Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California.
But Topol and a team of researchers now think they’ve found a way to determine which patients are only days or weeks away from a heart attack.
March 12th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
It's no secret that the empty calories in soda and other sugary drinks can contribute to weight gain and obesity. But a new study suggests these beverages also may harm your heart, even if they don't cause you to gain weight.
The study, which followed nearly 43,000 men for an average of 22 years, found that those who habitually drank one 12-ounce sweetened beverage per day were 20% more likely to have a heart attack, fatal or otherwise, than men who drank none.
The association could not be explained by obesity or weight gain alone. The researchers took into account the men's body mass index, along with their dietary habits, exercise levels, family history of heart disease, and other extentuating factors.
March 7th, 2012
03:49 PM ET
T. Colin Campbell co-authored a bestselling book touting the health benefits of eating like the rural Chinese. Now he’s trying to reacquaint the Chinese with the benefits of the plant-based diet he learned from them.
Campbell, who co-authored "The China Study" with his son, Thomas M. Campbell, said the Chinese are abandoning their vegetable-rich meals for fast food and other western fare.
“It’s ironic that some of the things we learned from the Chinese now we’re sort of taking back to China,” said Campbell, an American who is professor emeritus in nutritional sciences at Cornell University.
February 29th, 2012
03:08 PM ET
The next time you shop at the grocery store, you may see something new– nutrition labels on meat. The same types of labels you already find on other foods.
In 1993, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made nutrition labeling voluntary for many types of raw meats. The labeling becomes mandatory on Thursday.
The new rule affects all ground meat and poultry and 40 of the most popular cuts of meat in the United States such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops, roasts, lamb and veal. If the nutrition facts are not on the package, as in the case of some larger cuts of meat, look for posters or signs at the meat counter for this information.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.