Tag Archives: diabetes

Even diet sodas will add weight

Scientists will not rest until they’ve sucked the fun out of even your tamest vices, and now they’ve set their sights on diet sodas, according to the Jezebel website.

Two new studies found that diet drinks and artificial sweeteners increase people’s waistlines and increase their risk of diabetes. The new research was presented last week at an American Diabetes Association conference.

The first study by doctors at the University of Texas-San Antonio analyzed data from 474 subjects in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, or SALSA. The two-decade study includes elderly Mexican Americans and European Americas.

From ScienceDaily: Measures of height, weight, waist circumference and diet soda intake were recorded at SALSA enrollment and at three follow-up exams that took place over the next decade. The average follow-up time was 9.5 years.

The researchers compared long-term change in waist circumference for diet soda users versus non-users in all follow-up periods. The results were adjusted for waist circumference, diabetes status, leisure-time physical activity level, neighborhood of residence, age and smoking status at the beginning of each interval, as well as sex, ethnicity and years of education.

Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than those of non-users.

Abdominal fat is a risk factor for several conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The researchers say this finding shows that national campaigns against sugary drinks should emphasize that replacing them with diet soft drinks won’t necessarily make you healthier.

The report didn’t weigh in on whether a raging Diet Coke addition is preferable to a regular Coke addiction, but it didn’t note that the artificial sweetener aspartame is also bad news if you’re concerned about diabetes.

Report: Life expectancy reversing

Life expectancy soared over the last part of the 20th century as treatments for major diseases improved and infectious diseases were quelled by vaccines and better treatment. The most recent data, however, hint that life expectancy is no longer growing, and, according to a new study, we may spend more years sick than we did even a decade ago.

In a paper published Monday in the Journal of Gerontology, gerontologist Eileen Crimmins and her colleague Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, both of the University of Southern California, suggest that the goal of a long life marked by mostly healthy years may not be possible for most of humanity.

According to the analysis, the average age of morbidity — which is defined as the period of life spent with serious illness and lack of functional mobility — has increased in the last two decades.

For example, a 20-year-old man in 1998 could be expected to live an additional 45 years without at least one of these diseases: heart disease, cancer or diabetes. But that number fell to 43.8 in 2006.

For women, the expected years of life without a major, serious disease fell from 49.2 years to 48 years over the last decade.

The study also found that the number of people who report a lack of mobility, such as not being able to walk up steps or walk a quarter mile, has increased.

“There is substantial evidence that we have done little to date to eliminate or delay disease or the physiological changes that are linked to age,” the authors wrote.

They note that the age of a first heart attack did not change from the 1960s to the 1990s. Some types of cancers have increased and diabetes rates have soared.

“Substantial strides have been made in dealing with the consequences of disease,” they wrote, noting that people live longer with serious illness. But even life expectancy increases may be nearing an end, they wrote.

“We have always assumed that each generation will be healthier and longer lived than the prior one,” they said. “The growing problem of lifelong obesity and increases in hypertension and high cholesterol among cohorts reaching old age are a sign that health may not be improving with each generation. . .

“We do not appear to be moving to a world where we die without experiencing disease, functioning loss, and disability.”

Pilot texting plan reminds youth about diabetes treatment

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital has developed and completed a pilot study that uses weekly, customized text messages to remind adolescent diabetes patients about their personal treatment activities.

At the conclusion of the study, Dr. Jennifer Dyer, an endocrinologist at the Columbus, O., hospital, found an increase in overall treatment adherence and improved blood glucose levels.

Dyer realized the potential for a simple reminder in a form of a text message because the average teen sends about 50 texts a day, while 75 percent of teen cell phone users have a plan with unlimited texting capabilities.

The rate of medication non-adherence among adolescent recipients is approximately four times higher than that among adult recipients.

If youngsters don’t adhere to their treatment and medication plan, it can result in difficulty concentrating in school or functioning throughout the day.

For more information, go online at http://www.nationwidechildrens.org.

Brown rice beats white rice in new study

Next time you order wonton soup and a spicy Number 82, you might want to make sure it comes with brown rice.

Brown rice is a whole grain — white rice before it has been refined and polished and stripped of the bran covering, which is high in fiber and nutrients. Brown rice also has a lower glycemic index than white rice, which means it doesn’t cause blood glucose levels to rise as rapidly.

Now a new study from researchers at Harvard reports that Americans who eat two or more servings of brown rice a week reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by about 10 percent compared to people who eat it less than once a month.

And those who eat white rice on a regular basis — five or more times a week — are almost 20 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who eat it less than once a month.

Just replacing a third of a serving of white rice with brown each day could reduce one’s risk of Type 2 diabetes by 16 percent, a statistical analysis showed. A serving is a cup of cooked rice.

Two Harvard nurses’ health studies and a separate study of health professionals reached the conclusions, according to a story in the New York Times.