Heallh and Wellness

UK Government Poised to Introduce Menu-Calorie Labeling Rule in Food Retail Sector

UK Government Poised to Introduce Menu-Calorie Labeling Rule in Food Retail Sector

In the speech delivered by Queen Elizabth II last May 11, to mark the opening of the parliament’s 2021 session, she touched on the obesity and mental crises. The subjects form part of the parliament’s law making agenda for the year, to which one of the actions to be taken will affect the country’s food and beverage industry.

All participants in the country’s food service sector will have to label each meal with caloric contents, while manufacturers of the so-called “junk food” will no longer be allowed to advertise online. Restaurants, cafes, food delivery and takeout services will be required to indicate the calories for each meal (excluding beverages) listed in their menus.

At the Queen Mary University of London, the Chair of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, Professor Graham MacGregor welcomed the news that the UK government will finally introduce landmark obesity policies. He added that such policies are crucial not only in treating those with overweight problems but in preventing obesity.

According to Professor MacGregor, including product reformulation is a must. Due to the worrying figures and reports that link obesity to the COVID-19 mortality rates, it’s important for the food and drink industry, as well as the hospitality sector, to act immediately and without further delay.

The ban on online advertising on junk food is still undergoing consultation with manufacturers, as there is not clear definition of what are regarded as junk food.

According to those who oppose the proposed ban, there should be a limit to the scope in the advertising ban. Many producers have already carefully reformulated, or provided smaller portions in line with the UK Government’s previous campaigns in battling the country’s obesity crisis.

The US FDA Implemented the Menu-Calorie Labeling Rule in 2018

Actually, the menu-calorie labeling rule is not new to food retail establishments in the US, since the US-FDA officially implemented the rule in May 2018. Moreover, the rule requires the display of statements informing customers that the menu-calorie information are available upon request, and general information for general nutrition advice about daily calorie intake and of how calorie needs tend to vary.

CDC Cautions People on Dining Out, as States Ease Down on Mitigation Restrictions

CDC Cautions People on Dining Out, as States Ease Down on Mitigation Restrictions

The CDC released a report that cautions people about eating in restaurants, as such activities present higher risks of exposure to the coronavirus while in public venues. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control predicts that by early October, in roughly a matter of 3 weeks, about 25,000 fatalities will be added to the present death toll of 192,000.

The report came out ahead of the center’s monthly update and in the wake of state government announcements about easing down on mitigation measures. The most is New York, where NY Governor Cuomo announced that effective September 30, 2020, restaurants can reopen for indoor dining but only at 25 percent capacity.

Why the Centers for Disease Control Believe that Dining Out Increases Risk of Exposure

Based on an analysis of 300 people who underwent testing for showing symptoms of COVID-19, the CDC reported that dining out is still a major health threat. Mainly because of the fact that when eating and drinking, it is difficult to maintain mask use and safe distancing as a means to reduce possible exposures. The report warns:

“Eating and drinking on-site at locations ….might be important risk factors associated with COVID-19 infection.”

The analysis indicated that compared to those who tested negative, it is anticipated that about half of those who tested positive are likely to have dined at some restaurant, two weeks before they started showing symptoms. The report though did not specify whether those who did so had drank or ate in an indoor or outdoor dining area.

Although the people who underwent testing reported engaging in similar activities in the 14-day period prior to experiencing the coronavirus symptoms, 74% of those who had tested negative said they always had their mask on, or some form of face coverings while in public places. Whereas, only 71% of those who tested positive made the same claim.

Inasmuch as restaurant diners cannot effectively wear protective masks when eating and drinking, the CDC concluded that dining out tends to raise the risk of catching the viral infection; as opposed to shopping, or even going to a salon and other activities that do not preclude putting a mask on as protection.

Drunkorexia : A Dangerous Binge Drinking Behavior Emerging in Australia

Drunkorexia : A Dangerous Binge Drinking Behavior Emerging in Australia

A large number of female university students in Australia are showing symptoms related to drunkorexia, and have raised concerns among clinical psychologists. Actually the disorder is a combination of binge drinking and of skipping meals as a way of paying for calories gained from consuming alcoholic beverages.

According to researchers from the University of South Australia, the information gathered revealed that about 82.70% of young female university students in Australia who responded to their survey, indicated signs of drunkorexic behaviors during the past three months. Of those who showed signs of drunkorexia, more than 28% regularly consume low-calorie, sugar-free cocktail drinks then purposely skip meals; or engage in exercises at least 25 % of the time, to purge calories out of the their body.

Clinical psychologist Alycia Powell-Jones who led the UniSA research study, expressed concerns, saying:

”Excessive consumption of alcohol when combined with disordered and restrictive eating habits, is extremely dangerous.”

Ms. Powell-Jones explained that this type of behavior can drastically increase the risk of developing serious physical as well as mental health issues; examples of which include nutrition deficiency, liver cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, liver cirrhosis, blackouts, memory lapses, cognition deficiency, as well as brain and heart damage.


Excessive alcohol consumption is already a global issue, being the cause of millions of deaths; many thousands of which involved young lives. In Australia alone, one in six individuals regularly drink alcohol at dangerous levels, increasing their risk of developing alcohol-related health disorder or injury during their lifetime.

The findings that almost a third of the young female university students who responded to their survey, are purposely avoiding food as trade off for regular alcohol consumption, is a serious health concern and requires addressing.

Good to Eat or Not Eat Breakfast?

Good to Eat or Not Eat Breakfast?

Last January 2020, talk show host Dr. Oz, started a controversy when he made arguments against eating breakfast. Naturally, the doctor’s judgment became the subject of debates, to which actor Mark Wahlberg participated actively.

Well if anyone earned points for this, it’s Doctor Mehmet Cengiz Oz. Not for his argument but for his career as a TV personality.

After all, making highly contentious medical statements paved the way for his fame. He gained popularity among the not-so health conscious audience; but notoriety among the opposite, particularly nutrition experts. His TV exposure came about in 2004, where he frequently appeared as guest in “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Although his statements were widely criticized, it did not stop Oprah’s Harpo Production from syndicating Dr. Oz’s own TV show. Apparently, the decision to do so was right, since “The Dr. Oz Show” is still airing and going strong.

Dr. Oz Says Promoting Breakfast is a Mere Advertising Ploy

Recently, Dr. Oz furthered his arguments about not eating breakfast as an alternative way to start the day. In “The Today’s Show,” the controversial doctor said that the benefits of partaking breakfast are not really based on medical facts. He contends that the meal was actually hyped-up for commercial purposes.

Doctor Oz said that this year, he plans to ban breakfast, which intends to carry out by telling people that it is just an advertising ploy. He commented that people have been fed with a lot of opinions that have been exaggerated by advertisers, even if not based on medical truths.

Nutrition Expert from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Gives Enlightenment about Breakfast

Jessica Randall, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who is also a registered dietitian, provided enlightenment about breakfast and its benefits, via WebMD. According to Ms. Randall, the benefits actually depend on the kind of breakfast that a person takes.

She added that an ideal breakfast is one that pairs carbs with proteins, as those nutrients serve as a person’s fuel and nutrition.Carbohydrates provide the fuel that the body and the brain need during the day. Protein on the other hand, furnishes the stamina needed to sustain the body until the next meal.


Ms. Crandall explained that it is not a question of whether to eat or not to eat breakfast. It’s a matter of knowing what to eat and how much to take as breakfast. She said the amount of protein needed in the morning, to maintain proper metabolism and muscle mass, depends on the person’s age and gender, as well as on how active he or she is,

Nutrition Scientists Present Data Challenging FDA Proposal to Revoke Heart-Health Benefit of Soy Protein

Nutrition Scientists Present Data Challenging FDA Proposal to Revoke Heart-Health Benefit of Soy Protein

A team of nutrition experts led by Professor David J.A. Jenkins at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Canada, gathered data from clinical trials from the past 2 decades, and found consistent information attesting to the cholesterol-lowering effect of soy protein. The primary purpose of their study is to contend the US FDA’s plans of revoking the health benefits linked to soy protein in addressing heart diseases.

The UK-born professor of U of T’s Department of Nutritional Sciences is renowned in his field for having developed the concept of the glycemic index, as a means of explaining how dietary carbohydrate affects blood sugar. In their most recent study, Professor Jenkins and his colleagues developed a dietary portfolio consisting of plant-based protein, plant sterols, nuts, and viscous fibre, which combined together can reduce risk factors for heart disease by as much as 30 per cent.

Nutrition researchers performed a cumulative meta-analysis, which allowed them to look at the effect of soy in all the trials combined, at different points in time but with the addition of data from each new trial. The analysis showed that soy helped in lowering both total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, substances that can damage the heart. The effect remained consistent in all 46 trials cited by the Food and Drug Administration, when it first announced in 2017, the proposal to revoke heart-health claim attributed to soy based foods.

Professor Jenkins asserts that

“At no time since, when the original claim for soy as a reducer of serum cholesterol was introduced, had the ability of soy been questioned.” “Data has not changed and remained consistent since 1999.”

Canadian nutrition scientist John Sievenpiper,also of Nutritional Sciences at the U of T and a clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, who co-authored the study added,

There are times a regression to the mean is seen; as where analyses with small scale studies produce big effects, which diminish over time when sample sizes increase and results become more precise “”We saw that happen with fish oil; but in the soy protein study, nothing has changed.”

Why the US FDA Proposed a Reversal of Soy Protein Health Claim in 2017

According to Susan Mayne, Director of the US FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,, it became necessary for them to propose a rule revoking a health claim for soy protein because numerous studies made since the claim was authorized in 1999, presented findings that were inconsistent with the supposed relationship between soy protein and heart disease.

Dr. Karol Watson, Director of the UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center and a cardiologist supported the FDA’s proposal saying that there has never been any clinical trials that prove eating more soy can improve heart health. She added that not every method of lowering cholesterol yields benefits; asserting that some things that lower cholesterol have actually shown harm.

WHO on Dietary Fiber : Eating Fiber-Rich Food Can Prevent Development of Top Killer Diseases

WHO on Dietary Fiber : Eating Fiber-Rich Food Can Prevent Development of Top Killer Diseases

A recent study sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO), revealed that including fiber in one’s daily diet, greatly reduces a person’s risk of heading to early mortality.

Dietary fiber, also called as roughage, helps the digestive system in removing wastes via regular bowel movements. Such wastes and other forms of excesses, if not excreted by the body, can cause cholesterol and blood sugar imbalances that eventually lead to health disorders like diabetes, heart problems, or any of a host of cancer-forming diseases.

WHO Study Shows Rising Global Statistics of Death via Diabetes

.The WHO study also disclosed that millions of adults across the globe, including British and Americans, are hardly eating foods with high fiber contents. In an earlier study conducted for the WHO, it was disclosed that globally, the number of individuals suffering from diabetes had increased from a previous 108 million to 422 million in 2014.

Back then, the medical advice given by the earlier WHO report focused mainly on seeking immediate treatment as soon as symptoms of diabetes are experienced. Furthermore, diabetes prevention can be achieved by taking in balanced diets, and engaging in physical activities. Early symptoms must be addressed through immediate medical consultations for prescription of appropriate medication, whilst having regular checkups can help arrest complications.

In the World Health Organization’s 2018 Fact Sheet for Healthy Diet, emphasis was given on the importance of dietary fiber occurring naturally in vegetables, fruits and other types of whole grains. In order to prolong one’s lifespan, one must include dietary fibers as part of daily intakes. Doing so reduces risks of developing disorders related to diabetes, heart ailments and cancerous diseases.