In January, we are looking back at the top 5 celebrity endorse diets in 2019 and how to avoid them in 2020, how neurology is linked to overeating, and what the UK NHS is doing to improve cancer patients' treatment.
Here is this month's Nutrition in the News brought to you by Harriet Smith from surreydietitian.co.uk.
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The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has released a list of five celebrity diet trends to steer clear of in the new year.
The list, which was compiled by BDA registered dietitians and media spokespersons, includes fat-shaming, intravenous (IV) nutrition, and hair gummies amongst the biggest trends.
Fat-shaming has been used by some celebrities to supposedly encourage individuals to lose weight. However, BDA dietitian Katherine Kimber says: “there is clear evidence to suggest that shaming people because of their size, will not improve health and is linked to widespread exclusion, reduced physical activity and poorer psychological and physical health.”
Advocates of IV nutrition say that it can cure hangovers, boost energy levels, and even burn fat! However, the BDA dietitians say that the dangerous procedure does not live up to the claims and could put you at an increased risk of infection, especially if the person administering it is not suitably qualified.
Finally, hair gummies are widely promoted by celebrities due to their supposed nourishing effects on hair health. However, BDA dietitian Aisling Pigott says: “implying that taking a vitamin tablet can ‘give us better hair’ is based on zero evidence. It’s irresponsible advertising from celebrities which lacks scientific evidence”.
Researchers from the University of Georgia have discovered that overeating and food impulsivity may be linked to our brain circuits.
Using a rat model, the study focused on a type of brain cell that produces a transmitter called melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). High levels of MCH levels in the brain can increase food intake. However, this was the first study to show that high MCH levels in the brain can lead to food impulsivity (i.e. responding to food without thinking about the consequences of an action).
The researchers hope that their findings will help with the development of therapies to address overeating so that people can maintain a healthy eating regimen without foregoing delicious food.
The National Health Service (NHS) has announced that cancer patients will receive free gym sessions prior to starting their chemotherapy in a bid to improve treatment outcomes.
Patients will have access to a mixture of workout styles such as strength training, cardio and high-intensity workouts along with nutrition advice and mental health support.
The initiative has already been implemented for 500 cancer patients in Manchester, with a further 2,000 expected to participate in the next two years. Similar services are being rolled out in other areas of the UK.
Some patients have been able to access this support within 48 hours of receiving their cancer diagnosis as there is increasing evidence to suggest that improving physical fitness can improve treatment outcomes and reduce hospital stays.
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