Importance of Vitamin D and Sunshine

Comment

Importance of Vitamin D and Sunshine

Despite the abundance of sun available in the UAE, the rate of Vitamin D deficiency is seen to be increasing among residents, more than 80 percent according to statistics available by Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Various age groups have been diagnosed with this issue including children, corporate professionals who spend their entire day in the office, young adolescents (majority girls) and married women. The main factor being the indoor lifestyle of UAE and not getting enough exposure to direct sunlight, which is considered to be the best source to obtain this vitamin. Others comprise of not having a diet rich in Vitamin D, smoking and obesity.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps the body to absorb calcium, prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis, and can help to reduce the risk of heart, cancer and diabetes illnesses, making its importance vital. Indications of lack of Vitamin D in the body include feeling of tiredness, low spirit/bad mood, and muscle and bone pain.

According to experts it is essential to have direct sunlight exposure for at least 15-20 minutes three times a week ideally from dawn till 11 am. Since this is a desert, the sun rays later on in the mid-day can become harmful so it is best to avoid those. Apart from sun exposure, foods rich in Vitamin D also help to increase your body level. Fortified milk, fish, eggs and green leafy vegetables are some sources that should be included in your diet. Salmon, mackerels, and canned tuna are highly recommended. When both these objectives are not achieved supplements are available, but they should only be taken by advice from your doctor depending on how chronic the diagnosis is.

Vitamin D is extremely important to your body and lifestyle variations must be made in order to stay healthy. With a lot of awareness being shed on this topic many are now getting their blood levels checked, and implementing positive changes. So, soak up some sunshine, eat healthy food, exercise and get your blood level checked regularly to keep a track of all your essential body levels.

Comment

Valentine's Day Special - Chocolate Decadence Cake Recipe

Comment

Valentine's Day Special - Chocolate Decadence Cake Recipe

Makes: 12 servings

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours (including 2 hours cooling time), plus overnight chilling

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 ounces 60-70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

PREPARATION

  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan (1 1/2 to 2 inches deep) with parchment paper and coat the sides of the pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Place chocolate and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
  3. Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning (especially around the sides and bottom edges of the pot), until the mixture begins to bubble. Boil gently, stirring constantly, for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes (the mixture will get very thick and then you may notice that it thins ever so slightly as the starch cooks). Scrape the hot mixture immediately over the chocolate and cocoa. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The batter will be very thick. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  5. Gently fold about one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.
  6. Set the cake pan in a larger baking pan and place on the oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into the baking pan to come a third to halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the surface of the cake is slightly crusted and springs back when gently pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. (The cake will still be quite gooey inside.)
  7. Remove the pans from the oven. Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and cool completely, about 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.
  8. To serve: Soak the blade of a thin knife in a cup of very hot water until warm. Slide the knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake. Place a piece of wax paper on top of the cake. Invert a plate over the wax paper and invert the pan onto the plate. Remove the pan and peel away the paper liner. Place a serving plate over the cake and turn the cake right-side up again; remove the wax paper. Dip a sharp knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting each slice. 

NUTRITION

Per serving: 164 calories; 6 g fat (3 g sat, 0 g mono); 35 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 23 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 49 mg sodium; 92 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 carbohydrate (other), 1 fat

Sources: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_decadence.html

Comment

Sitting is the New Smoking

Comment

Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting is the New Smoking

Living in Dubai is great, but unfortunately with working long hours, lack of exercise and the ease of ordering (fast) food, sitting is taking a major toll on our health. 

From the aircraft or office seat to the drivers seat and then the couch at home, people in Dubai are spending more time seated than ever and researchers say it’s destructive to our bodies. 

A study that shows the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles sums up the findings in two sentences: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Other researchers have found and continue to find evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Another reason the smoking analogy is relevant is that studies have repeatedly shown the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits. Sitting, like smoking, is very clearly bad for our health and the only way to minimize the risk is to limit the time we spend sitting each day.  New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.

By standing up, you cause the big muscles in your legs and back to contract, which leads to an increase in certain enzymes that break up fat in the blood stream. You don’t have to jog in place or do jumping jacks. Just stand. A very pleasant additional benefit is that standing up every 20 to 30 minutes also seems to prompt the body to burn calories, so you don’t gain that ‘Dubai Stone’ we all know too well!

Comment

Challenge Results & Winners: 2015 AHA Sessions Walking Challenge

Comment

Challenge Results & Winners: 2015 AHA Sessions Walking Challenge

Winners Announced: 2015 American Heart Association Walking

The annual AHA Walking Challenge was taken to new highs this year with record breaking participation and the introduction of the new AHA Sessions Walking Challenge app which is compatible with FitBit, Jawbone, and mymo fitness trackers.  With 23 different challenges to participate in and 1,465 participants, the three days of challenges resulted in over 23.8 million steps taken towards improved awareness and participation in cardiovascular health.

With new challenges every day, we saw a vast increase in steps over the 2014 AHA Sessions Walking Challenge where participants collectively walked 13.8 million steps more than they did in the 2014 step challenge.  

We are proud to announce the winners of the 2105 AHA Sessions Walking Challenge.  The winning individual champions will be able to collect 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes at the Walking Challenge booth in the West C Lobby on the morning of Wednesday, November 11th at 10 am.  For complete results please check the AHA Sessions Walking Challenge app which is available for download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.  

 

Individual Challenge Winners

Individual challenge winners - 2105 AHA Walking Challenge

 
 

Individual Challenge Winners - Day 2 & 3 - 2015 AHA Walking Challenge

Group Challenge Results

2015 AHA Walking Challenge - City Challenge, Male Vs. Female, Age Groups

2015 AHA Walking Challenge - Council Challenge

 

Please keep in mind that it is recommended for individuals to reach 10,000 steps a day.  This is not easy and an accomplishment to be celebrated for the average person.  

Thank you to everyone who participated in the AHA Walking Challenge, if you could please take a minute to review the app, we would be grateful for your support.  See you next year! 

 
 

Comment

Day One Results: AHA Sessions Walking Challenge

Comment

Day One Results: AHA Sessions Walking Challenge

The American Heart Association's annual walking challenge is on in full force at the 2015 AHA Scientific Sessions.   Every day there is a list of new step challenges to participate in and now that day one is complete, we have the first results to share with you.  

2015 AHA Walking Challenge Day 1 Results:  City Challenge

2015 AHA Walking Challenge Day 1 Results:  City Challenge

2015 AHA Walking Challenge Day 1 Results: Top Council

2015 AHA Walking Challenge Day 1 Results: Top Council


Comment

The Low-Budget Diet: How To Eat Healthy Without Breaking The Bank

Comment

The Low-Budget Diet: How To Eat Healthy Without Breaking The Bank

So you’ve made a conscious decision to get on the good-food bandwagon – it can’t be too difficult right? So, armed with a shopping list downloaded from one of infinite dieting websites, you head to the supermarket, feeling motivated and even a little smug as you scan the fruit and vegetable aisles for fresh produce.

Then you reach the check-out counter and things start to take a turn for the worse. How were you to know that a trolley filled with organic leaves and free-range meat was going to burn a crater-sized hole into your savings?

It’s easy to get discouraged from dieting by the price associated with certain health foods, particularly those currently being popularized by the world’s top dieticians and wellness gurus. But don’t give up on that health plan just yet. Sure, chia seeds and seaweed wraps might be the kinds of things best left on the shelf, but there are still plenty of healthy options for those of us not willing to take out a second mortgage to fund our grocery budgets.

So if you’re looking to boost your health without compromising your wealth, try out these 5 top tips – your body and your bank account will thank you.

Learn to Love Local

Imported produce always tends to carry a fairly hefty price tag, especially here in the UAE, so if you want to dramatically cut your expenses, fill your trolley with goods produced right here at home. Locally made yoghurts and dairy products cost just a fraction of what their foreign counterparts fetch, and local tomatoes, cucumbers and chickpeas are every bit as delicious as those flown in from other countries around the world. 

 

Prepare In Advance

By preparing larger meals in advance, you’ll not only cut down on waste, but also ensure that you’re eating what’s in the fridge, rather than stocking up on stodgy, ready-made meals packed with preservatives and sugars. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t mean cutting every single delicious thing from your diet – simply by preparing your own food and paying attention to what goes into it, you’ll already be a step ahead when it comes to improving your overall physical and mental wellness.

 

Embrace Egg-cellence

Don’t be conned into thinking that you can only source protein from meat. Eggs make for an incredibly versatile, tasty and protein-rich addition to any meal, and cost just a fraction of what you’d pay for a hearty cut of beef or lamb. Plus, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner – from omelettes to frittatas, shakshuka to devilled eggs, your only limitation is your imagination.

 

Buy In Bulk

In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to live from meal to meal, buying food as we need it and often in a hurry. But by thinking ahead and buying things like meat in bulk quantities, you’ll save yourself not only plenty of time, but also a tidy sum of money. Not to mention the fact that fewer trips to the supermarket will cut down on your petrol bill, and reduce the likelihood of you splurging on expensive, unhealthy snacks.

 

Stick To Your List

As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. So don’t ever enter the supermarket unprepared, or you’ll end up arriving home with bags full of unnecessary items purchased on impulse. Lists are a dieter’s best friend, so make sure you are always armed with one, and that your shopping outing is a focused trip from item to item, rather than a leisurely browse. To help your cause, make sure to enjoy a healthy snack before you head out – it’ll reduce your desire to splurge on things you really don’t need.

Comment

Ten Best Places to Go Walking In the UAE

Comment

Ten Best Places to Go Walking In the UAE

 

It's the time a year again where things cool off and people get outside.  In celebration of the cooler temperatures, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite places to go walking in the Emirates.  If you have a favorite, we'd love to hear form you.  

The Walk at JBR

Located in front of the Jumeira Beach Residence, The walk at JBR is a 1.7km walkway offering a wide range of restaurants, boutiques, cafés, and shops; also featuring one of the most luxurious hotels of Dubai. It was initially built to cater to the needs of the residents of the JBR complex, but soon, due to its attractive mix of offerings, became a popular outdoor destination for tourists and the residents from all neighborhoods. At The Walk, you not only get to see the bustling promenade, but also get a good look at the fancy and most expensive police cars and bikes, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Maseratis motoring along the busy sidewalk. The Walk also regularly features open markets where everyone can browse for interesting souvenirs, and enjoy the frequently held road shows and events. The Walk has also added a jogging track close to the beach with a decent variety of restaurants facing the beautiful shore of JBR Open Beach, with views of Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah. It also has a dedicated aquatic kid’s play area, which is ideal for children who love waterspouts and some aqua fun. Overall, the walk at JBR is a fascinating package to enjoy with friends and family.


Marina Walk

Located near Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina is the largest man made marina in the world, encompassing a large canal spanning 3.5km of waterfront area and walkway along Dubai’s premier residential and commercial buildings. Marina walk, with a palm-lined boardwalk beside the waterfront, has a beautiful skyline of high rise buildings, a fine selection of cosmopolitan restaurants, shops and cafés, overlooking the beautifully lit marina. The walkway becomes even more eye-catching at night when all the lights from the buildings reflect in the waterfront, and you get to see the yachts cruising along the marina. It is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and the residents of Dubai, and offers a perfect scenic walk for everyone. You will also find a lot of fitness enthusiasts running along the walkway. If you wish to cruise the waters, you can do so by renting a yacht, or using the affordable RTA marina water taxis. Marina Walk is the place to be, if you are looking for an enjoyable walk, alongside an exotic dining experience.


Burj Park

The Burj Park located at the base of Burj Khalifa, spans 29,000 sqm along the Burj Lake. It is a spectacular green heart of Downtown Dubai, with a beautiful view of the Dubai Fountains, especially at night, when the whole park is beautifully lit and has picturesque views of the lake, the nearby hotels, Souk Al Bahar and Dubai Mall. The park has a free entry and is accessible from the Downtown bridges surrounded by 33 foot wide promenade. The park also has an open access to the Dubai Mall by crossing the connecting wooden ramps. There are many restaurants and cafés nearby the park, which allows a great dining experience for visitors. Abra lake rides are also available which provide a whole tour of the Burj Lake.The park sometimes also hosts events like concerts, product launches, fashion shows, parties and corporate dinners, along with Downtown Dubai New Year Eve Gala and other celebrations. It offers the closest view of The Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain, and the posh downtown neighborhoods. The park has a beautiful, green landscape with a lot of sitting areas for visitors. Burj Park is a great place for a relaxing stroll with family and friends amidst amazing scenery.


Dubai Creek Park

The Dubai Creek Park is located at the heart of Dubai, along the bank of Dubai Creek, with great views of the old Dubai skyline. The park is one of the oldest parks in the city and has a huge number of tourists, and residents visiting each day. It is a popular destination for families with members of all ages because of the wide range of attractions it offers. The park has numerous children play areas, barbeque stands for families, rental bikes, cable car rides, train & boat rides, a dolphinarium, a heritage area, flower gardens and snow world. The park is open to all, every day of the week except for Wednesdays, which is a dedicated Ladies only day. You can also take a stroll along the creek on your way to the exit and marvel at the beautiful city lights reflecting on the water. If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out with friends and families with a range of exciting activities, then Creek Park is the place to visit.


Mamzar Beach Park

Mamzar Beach Park is one of Dubai's largest beach parks, covering an area of 106 hectares, with amazing views over the Sharjah Lagoons. It is located approximately 5 km after the turn to Hamriya Port. This beach park is distinguished from all other beach parks by its vast space and location on the stunning golden sand beach, and its extensive range of recreational facilities. The park has acres of open grasslands, bristling palm trees, 5 outstretched beaches, as well as a huge outdoor swimming pool. It has a variety of facilities such as cafés, barbeque sites, picnic areas, food kiosks, grocery shops, private chalets hire, changing rooms & washing facilities, kids play areas, and bikes for hire. The park also has an amphitheater for hosting musical shows and ceremonies. Piped music is played in the park all day long, adding to the feeling of a serene ambiance. The park has 6000+ kinds of trees, flowers and bushes, in addition to 55000 square meters of lush green lawns. The park is open to all every day, except for Mondays and Wednesdays which are dedicated Ladies only days. It’s a lovely park and a must visit destination for families and friends looking for an active and beautiful day out.


Emaar Boulevard Dubai

Emaar Boulevard or Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard extends for 3.5 km through the busy Downtown Dubai. The beautiful boulevard is flanked by exquisitely lit palm trees and tiled walkways, situated close to the spectacular Burj Khalifa. The boulevard links Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall and the Old town, marked by posh low-rise residential and hotel properties. The boulevard regularly hosts events like National Day parade, car shows and other sponsored events and activities. It’s a bustling walkway lined by a wide range of restaurants, cafés, and road side hawkers serving fresh street food. You can also get a good look at the newly launched, resplendent bright red and gold Dubai trolley, which is the world’s first hydrogen-powered trolley system, that tours 7km across the entire breadth of Downtown Dubai. Emaar Boulevard is a great place for an evening stroll when the temperatures cool down and the downtown lights reflect on the shiny tiled floor, adding to the beauty of the boulevard.


Abu Dhabi Corniche

Abu Dhabi Corniche, located on the Corniche Road forms a curve on the western side of the main Abu Dhabi Island, and spreads across eight kilometers of seaside boardwalk. The Corniche has children’s play areas, cycle and pedestrian pathways, fountains, beautiful gardens, restaurants and cafés, facing the pristine Corniche Beach. The beach is open to everyone and has numerous playgrounds, beach volleyball courts, several cafes and ice-cream shops. Lots of activities regularly take place at the beach such as free concerts, water sport competitions, along with other sponsored events. The seaside walkways are marked with plenty of benches with scenic views of the Arabian Gulf. Marina mall is also located across the Corniche, which can be accessed by a breakwater road.  At this mall, the UAE flag is hoisted and it holds the world record for being one of the tallest flag poles. The Abu Dhabi Corniche is an ideal place to visit for a relaxing evening stroll with friends and family.


Yas Marina

Yas Marina, located at the heart of Yas Island Abu Dhabi, has a wide range of attractions for everybody, with its vibrant dining, lifestyle, entertainment and fitness facilities. Yas Marina offers an ideal evening walk with family and friends with lots of entertainment options and facilities for all. The pedestrian promenade at the Yas Marina is lined by a variety of restaurants and cafés offering views of the well-lit marina. The waterfront edge is packed with fancy yachts overlooking the race circuit, while the terraces of the restaurants offer beautiful, panoramic views of the Yas Island. Yas Marina also has an interactive musical fountain and a playground for kids, along with charter boats for private or shared cruising, and fitness facilities for the health conscious. Yas Marina offers a memorable and affordable experience for everyone ashore or afloat.


Khalifa Park

Khalifa Park, located at the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Road in Abu Dhabi, is a beautiful 45 hectare park with several facilities within the vicinity, which cater to the needs of both the adults and children. One of the main attractions here is a Maritime Heritage museum, which also includes a tunnel ride. This ride displays the history of UAE from before the time of the Union to the present day. For children under 12, there is a fun-filled Murjan Splash Park, which features seven water-based attractions such as shallow pools, water slides, a giant tipping bucket, tunnels, and water showers. The park has an entry free of AED 1, and is open to all. Several fountains can be seen in the park, which adds to the beauty of the lush green, manicured lawns. There are several areas for sitting and relaxation, with ample open spaces for children’s games, a football ground, and dedicated motorcycling & bicycling areas. The park also has an aquarium, barbeque and picnic areas, a train for touring the park, along with a public library and a large mosque. Khalifa Park is an ideal place to go for a stroll with friends and family for an enjoyable day out.


Al Majaz Waterfront

Al Majaz Waterfront, located at Al Buheirah Corniche Road in Sharjah, is an ideal destination for entertainment, relaxation and fun for kids as well as the adults. The waterfront is situated in picturesque Khalid Lagoon, the emirate’s most important and commercial district of Sharjah. The waterfront offers a jogging track for walkers and runners, and vast pastures of well-manicured lawns for picnics. Al Majaz waterfront has a range of recreational facilities like the fun-packed activity center called Alwan, a Splash Park for kids, Maraya Art Park, Mini Golf Course, an open air playground, and a beautiful musical fountain with laser lights featuring over 60 shows to entertain the residents and tourists. Visitors can also ride on the family train or private abras to take a tour of Sharjah from Al Majaz. The waterfront is also lined by a variety of restaurants and cafés, all overlooking the magnificent Sharjah Fountains. The waterfront also hosts several events and activities for families, such as the Annual Superhero Festival, The Ripe Organic weekly market, and puppet shows.

  We'd love to hear from you.  What is your favorite place to walk, run, or stay fit in the UAE? 

 

We'd love to hear from you.  What is your favorite place to walk, run, or stay fit in the UAE? 

Comment

Double Deal: Why You Need A Workout Buddy

Comment

Double Deal: Why You Need A Workout Buddy

They say friends are good for the soul, but it turns out they’re also pretty handy when it comes to staying healthy. A recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found that our friends in fact have a direct influence over our levels of health and fitness, suggesting that good habits can in fact be contagious.

Partnering up with a friend can spell the difference between success and failure, particularly when it comes to exercise regimes, which are notoriously difficult to stick to without any form of external motivation.

Buddying up on your exercise journey not only helps to increase your motivation – let’s face it, sometimes we don’t see the results as clearly in ourselves – but it’s also a great tool to keep you on track to reach your goals. It’s easy to cancel plans when you’re the only party involved, but add a buddy to the mix and extrication isn’t quite so easy.

Let’s face it, when confronted with the option of diving into a delicious chocolate cake or donning our sneakers to hit the gym, most of us would choose the former in a heartbeat. Ah, but what about those plans you made with your friend to go to gym? What would they think about the fact that you’re face deep in confectionary while they’re slogging away on the treadmill? Not to mention the fact that while you’re being submerged by a caloric tsunami, they’re out there perfecting their summer body – nobody wants to be the token fat friend.

Of course, not all exercise buddies are created equal, and picking the wrong one can in fact further reduce your chances of success. So it’s important that you don’t simply choose your best friend to accompany you on your fitness mission.

Here are four tips to help you select the perfect partner and double your chances of success:

Start At A Similar Level

There’s nothing more discouraging than being left in your exercise buddy’s dust time and again, so try to pick someone whose fitness levels closely match yours. It’s not a bad idea to partner up with someone slightly fitter than you - as that can play a part in motivating you to do better - but if your abilities differ vastly, you’ll quickly find yourself losing the will to work out.

 

Pick Someone Reliable

We all have those flakey friends who tend to cancel plans at the last minute. And whilst their flighty behavior might not be a deal breaker when it comes to your friendship, it’s certainly going to do no favours for your fitness. So pick a reliable buddy – one who can be counted on to stick to a plan – if you want to make real progress.

 

Go For Someone You Like

Exercise can be an unpleasant and arduous undertaking at times, and you’re unlikely to feel more inspired to haul yourself off the couch if it also means having to spend time with someone you’re not terribly fond of. So while you needn’t necessarily pair up with your best friend, it’s important to pick someone you like, so that you’re at least motivated to spend time with them if all else fails.

 

Make Fitness A Priority in Your Partnership

It’s vital that you pick a partner who’s as committed as you are to following this path – perhaps even more so. You want someone who will drag you out of bed, force your shoes onto your feet and push you out the door when you won’t yourself. So don’t compromise when it comes to the selection process – someone who halfheartedly agrees to accompany you as a favour is of no use to you. You both need to be in it to win it, or everybody loses. 

Comment

Sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, even for normal weight people

Comment

Sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, even for normal weight people

Tall, short, large, and skinny—sugary drinks are bad for everyone

You’ve probably heard by now that regularly drinking sugary drinks isn’t great for your waistline, but a new study is now showing that soft drinks increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The shocking part: you skinny people are at risk too!  

The study, published in the leading British Medical Journal, finds that people in the habit of drinking one sugar-sweetened beverage—such as soda or sweetened tea—every day, had a dazzling 18 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a decade. This is compared to people who didn’t consume the sugary, bubbly beverages. After adjusting for weight, the risk of developing diabetes for a normal weight person was still increased by 13 percent.

Even for artificially sweetened drinks, there was a trend towards a connection to diabetes, but it wasn’t significant after the researchers accounted for possible bias in the studies. Still, they mention in the study that artificially sweetened beverages are not safe alternatives for sugar.

These findings together indicate that substituting sugar sweetened drinks with artificially sweetened drinks or fruit juice is unlikely to be the best strategy in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes: water or other unsweetened beverages are better options.
— Dr Fumiaki Imamura, lead author of the study

Just how much sugar are people drinking?

More than 54 percent of Americans consume sugar-sweetened beverages daily, and 49 percent in the UK, with an average consumption of 284 grams per day—that's equivalent to 10 ounces (3/4 cup) of sugar each day! 

The researchers from the Cambridge University wanted to know how many type 2 diabetes cases might be prevented if people just stopped drinking sugar-sweetened drinks. In the U.S., the team estimated that of the 21 million diabetes cases predicted to occur by 2020, nearly 2 million of these diabetes cases would be prevented if people stopped consuming soda. In the U.K., where 2.6 million cases are predicted by 2020, they estimated that 80,000 of these would be prevented if people stopped drinking sugary drinks.

In a response statement the American Beverage Association simply points out that the study didn’t show causation.

The study definitely adds to evidence however that sugary drinks are bad for your health and wellness and can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but further work and investigation is need to fully understand the extent of this. There is very strong evidence that a healthy diet, together with regular physical activity, can help maintain a healthy weight and so help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Corporate wellness programs can help

Organization can encourage employees towards better wellness by curbing or limiting the availability of soft drinks in canteens and break rooms. When our team at Tupelo partners with a company or school to jumpstart their wellness program, the easy access to sugary beverages is one thing we always want to call attention to.

In the meantime, it probably won’t hurt you to step away from that soda and grab a fresh glass of water. Your body will thank you later

Comment

Are our kids getting enough activity in Schools?

Comment

Are our kids getting enough activity in Schools?

Tupelo's CEO Martyn Molnar was brought on to the Dubai Today radio show to look at how can we embrace the technology that is invading our children’s lives and use it positively to educate and generate awareness around Health and Activity.

Speaking with Ray, Martyn explained that kids today are falling alarmingly short of the necessary physical activity threshold that our kids should be getting in a given school day.  Based on research  that Tupelo has conducted in the US and UAE, he explained that children need to get at least 45 minutes of Moderate to Vigerous Physical Activity (MVPA) a day.  However, even the most active students in the UAE are getting less then 20 minutes of MVPA in a school day, and the vast majority is hovering closer to the one minute mark. 

Gustavo Ayres Netto, a nutrition expert at SportInLife Distribution shared about the important role that parents can play by leading by example and engaging their kids.  He advised parents to avoid technological distractions and focusing on social interaction at dinner time, in order to make "food an experience."   

Martyn went on the explain that Tupelo is working on programs to raise the MVPA in schools and encouraged schools to look at health the same way they look at maths and science: If kids are failing, you need to do something about it.  

To find out more about Tupelo's Active School programs click here.

Comment