Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Green Ttea Boost

green tea
Charlyn Fargo, Contributor

Can green tea really help people lose weight? Some studies suggest that two to four cups of green tea daily could provide some extra help when you cut calorie consumption and boost your activity to lose weight, but don't expect it to produce a major loss. Natural compounds in green tea, especially a polyphenol known as EGCG, may support weight loss. Studies that do show an effect of green tea or isolated EGCG show an average of about an extra one to three pounds of weight loss over several months, especially among those who are moderately obese.

Some vitamin supplements or products that claim to promote weight loss list EGCG or green-tea extract content, but they may contain an amount well below levels linked with weight loss in controlled studies.

If you enjoy green tea, drinking two or three 8-ounce mugs or three to four 6-ounce cups freshly brewed (not bottled) each day provides levels of EGCG associated with these modest improvements in weight loss. Extracts or isolated EGCG in appropriate amounts may help, too, but when you get these compounds from drinking tea, you may end up with additional help towards your weight-loss goal.
- American Institute for Cancer Research

Fat children

The latest statistics show that 32 per cent of children (two to 19 years old) are overweight or obese. And the same data confirm that obese children are more likely to develop adverse health outcomes later in life, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, October 2010. The article urges all of us to push strategies to reverse the trend.

The key is to lower calories consumed in the form of snacks and desserts. The researchers identify many of those snacks and desserts as empty calories, full of 'solid fats' and added sugars. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the highest contributors to the sugar intake in children followed by desserts - cookies, cake and pie. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends substituting nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and non-fat dairy.

The ADA leads a consortium of groups to end childhood obesity within a generation. Here are their recommendations:

Increase access to and consumption of affordable and appealing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats in and out of school.

Stimulate children and youth to be more physically active for 60 minutes every day in and out of school.
Boost resources (financial/rewards/incentives/training/technical assistance) to schools in order to improve physical fitness and nutrition programmes.

Educate and motivate children and youth to eat the recommended daily servings of nutrient-rich foods and beverages.

Empower children and youth to take action at their school and at home to develop their own pathways to better fitness and nutrition for life.

Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at Creators Syndicate


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