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Ice cream laws face revamp in the battle against obesity in Ireland

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Irish ice cream laws dating back to 1952 are being revised in an effort to fight national obesity levels.

Health Promotion Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has proposed to revoke the current Food Standards (Ice Cream) Regulations dating from 1952.

The planned changes will revise the content of milk-fat, milk solids and sugar content in ice cream.

One of the stipulations in the 1952 regulations states that ice cream must contain at least 10pc by weight of sugar.

This obviously presents problems for any company wishing to reduce the sugar content of its ice cream products, according to the FSAI.

It says the purpose of the proposed regulations is to revoke these compositional standards as soon as possible.

Having consulted other relevant Government departments and official agencies, it is considered that it is no longer fit for purpose and has largely been superseded by EU legislation, Ms Corcoran Kennedy said.

Recent research found that Ireland has the third highest consumption of ice cream per capita in Europe

Source: Ireland’s ice cream laws face revamp in the battle against obesity – Independent.ie

Why Jet Lag Is Worse than You Think

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If you’re traveling cross-country to run a race or participate in a sporting event, you may want to prepare for the time change in advance. A new study of professional baseball players shows that jet lag doesn’t just affect mental performance—it can also affect physical performance, as well. The authors say their findings can have implications for all types of athletes, and they offer strategies for lessening the impact.

The new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from researchers at Northwestern University, looked at Major League Baseball data from more than 40,000 games spanning 20 years, including teams’ travel schedules and players’ performance in hitting, running, pitching and more.

Traveling two or more time zones before a game affected play in subtle but detectible ways, the authors found. For example, teams from eastern states who had just returned home from a game out west tended to have fewer stolen bases, doubles and triples, and were subject to more double plays, than those who hadn’t traveled as recently.

Pitchers from both home and away teams also gave up more home runs after traveling eastward. The effects are enough to erase a team’s home-field advantage, the authors say. They speculate that jet lag may have even played a role in Game 6 of the 2016 National Championship Series, in which the home-team Chicago Cubs scored five runs off the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.

The effects of west-to-east travel were stronger than those of east-to-west travel, supporting the argument that they are due to the body’s circadian clock—not just time on an airplane or scheduling issues in general, says Dr. Ravi Allada, associate director of Northwestern’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology.

The study isn’t the first to show that jet lag can impact athletic performance. Allada says the new findings add to the evidence that jet lag isn’t just all in one’s head. “We know, based on studies in animals and humans, that when you misalign your internal biological clock with your external environment, there can be a lot of consequences in terms of health,” Allada says. “And the circadian clock is present in muscle cells, too, so it makes sense that one might see an impairment in muscle activity or muscle efficiency, as a result of this misalignment.”

Based on these findings, Allada recommends that baseball teams send their starting pitchers to games across the country a day or two early, when possible, so that their internal clocks can adjust to the local environment.

Similar advice could also apply to anyone traveling for athletic events—especially eastward—he adds, like runners going to a destination marathon or adventure race. That also includes people who have been away and are heading home for an event: an aspect of jet lag that people don’t often think about, says Allada.

“The rule of thumb is that the body clock can shift about one hour a day, so if you’re traveling across three time zones, you’d want to ideally give yourself three days to adjust,” he says.

If your schedule won’t allow for an earlier trip, he recommends faking it for a few days by trying to wake up and go to bed according to the time-zone of your event, even while you’re still at home. If you’re traveling west-to-east, exposing yourself to bright light earlier in the morning can help, as well.

Allada says there’s not yet a lot of research to back up the effectiveness of these strategies, but he believes they could benefit anyone looking to optimize their performance. “That’s something we’d love to study in the future,” he says, “to work with athletes and see if these interventions actually have real impacts.”

via Why Jet Lag Is Worse than You Think — TIME

A Month Without Sugar 

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It is in chicken stock, sliced cheese, bacon and smoked salmon, in mustard and salad dressing, in crackers and nearly every single brand of sandwich bread. It is all around us — in obvious ways and hidden ones — and it is utterly delicious.

It’s sugar, in its many forms: powdered sugar, honey, corn syrup, you name it. The kind you eat matters less than people once thought, scientific research suggests, and the amount matters much more. Our national sugar habit is the driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemics and may be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Like me, you’ve probably just finished a couple of weeks in which you have eaten a whole lot of tasty sugar. Don’t feel too guilty about it. But if you feel a little guilty about it, I’d like to make a suggestion.

Choose a month this year — a full 30 days, starting now or later — and commit to eating no added sweeteners. Go cold turkey, for one month…

Is this the beginning of the end for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa? | GlobalPost

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Is this the beginning of the end for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa? | GlobalPost.

Schools reopened in Guinea this week, just as Mali became the region’s latest country to be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization, following Nigeria and Senegal.

The two developments are signs that life is slowly returning to normal as West Africa recovers from the world’s worst-ever Ebola epidemic.

It is far from over yet. But there is, at last, hope that the end of the outbreak may be within sight.

There have been 21,614 cases of Ebola in this epidemic, and 8,594 deaths, according to the latest WHO figures. But crucially, the number of new cases is declining in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the countries worst affected.

Last week Sierra Leone and Guinea both recorded their lowest weekly totals of confirmed cases since August, while Liberia had its lowest weekly total since June.

Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, has said he is “confident” the outbreak can be ended, provided “nothing unexpected happens.”…

Obesity costs global economy an estimated €2tn a year

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Obesity costs global economy an estimated €2tn a year.

The global cost of obesity outweighs that of alcoholism, drug use or road accidents and closely rivals that of armed conflict and smoking, according to a new study.

The cost of obesity is estimated at $2 trillion – equivalent to 2.8 per cent of the world’s economic output, the study found. This makes it one of the top three global social burdens behind smoking and armed violence, war and terrorism..

The research, which was carried out by consultancy firm McKinsey, reveals that obesity is now responsible for about 5 per cent of all deaths a year worldwide.

More than 2.1 billion people – equivalent to nearly 30 per cent of the global population- are overweight or obese. That is almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished.

A number of studies conducted in Ireland show that two out of three Irish adults, and one in four primary school children, are overweight or obese.

“Obesity is a major global economic problem caused by a multitude of factors. Today obesity is jostling with armed conflict and smoking in terms of having the greatest human-generated global economic impact,” the report said…

How to burn fat faster

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How to burn fat faster.

How to burn fat faster

Losing weight and toning up can seem like a battle, so anything to speed up the process will make things a whole lot easier.

Here are The Running Bug’s tips on how to burn fat faster, try them out this week and see if you notice a difference.

What Causes Weight Gain – NYTimes.com

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What Causes Weight Gain – NYTimes.com.

If I ask you what constitutes “bad” eating, the kind that leads to obesity and a variety of connected diseases, you’re likely to answer, “Salt, fat and sugar.” This trilogy of evil has been drilled into us for decades, yet that’s not an adequate answer.

We don’t know everything about the dietary links to chronic disease, but the best-qualified people argue that real food is more likely to promote health and less likely to cause disease than hyperprocessed food. And we can further refine that message: Minimally processed plants should dominate our diets. (This isn’t just me saying this; the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Agriculture agree.)

And yet we’re in the middle of a public health emergency that isn’t being taken seriously enough. We should make it a national priority to create two new programs, a research program to determine precisely what causes diet-related chronic illnesses (on top of the list is “Just how bad is sugar?”), and a program that will get this single, simple message across: Eat Real Food…

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