Consider The Evidence: Med/Peds Journal Roundup

March 12, 2006

Soft drinks and pediatric obesity

Filed under: diet, health, pediatrics — medblog @ 10:47 am

Pediatrics 3/06 – Is the availability of sugary sodas contributing to the epidemic of pediatric obesity?
There is plenty of observational data on the subject, but not very many RCTs. An article in the most recent issue of Pediatrics lends some evidence to the argument. Ebbeling et al. investigated whether offering sugar-free beverages changes the diet patterns of children, and whether this leads to a corresponding weight loss. In the study, adolescents in the intervention group were randomly assigned to receive sugar-free beverages delivered to their home.

Among the children who recieved sugar free beverages, the drop in BMI was only significant in those children with a BMI > 30. Children in the intervention group actually lost some weight, while the control subjects gained weight. The results were not incredibly dramatic as the overall effect was less than 1 kg/m^2. However, it is impressive that such a change was caused by just one simple dietary intervention. (more…)

March 11, 2006

Beverage Guidelines stir controversy; Java in JAMA

Filed under: caffeine, Coffee, diet, health, JAMA — medblog @ 6:41 am

A new set of beverage guidelines published in the American Journal of Clinincal Nutririon are causing quite a stir lately. The reccomendations encourage Americans to drink more water or tea and cut back significantly on sweetened sodas. An interesting detail is that the suggestions allow for more beer than lowfat milk on a daily basis. The prominent nutritionists that published the guidelines claim the study was not influenced by funding from the Lipton corporation.

While the above study cites data supporting the safety and possible benefits of caffeine consumption, an article in JAMA addresses the risk of MI from coffee intake. The study by Cornelis et al. links the risk of MI to those that are "slow" caffeine metabolizers. In the study, carriers of a specific CYP1A2 genotype that resulted in slower caffeine metabolism had an increased odds ratio of having an MI if they drank more than 2 cups of coffee per day.

March 5, 2006

High-pitched Wine taken down a peg?

Filed under: BMJ, health — medblog @ 9:34 pm

BMJ 3/4 – A study by Johansen et al. finds that wine drinkers buy healthier foods than beer drinkers. Analyzing 3.5 million transactions at two large supermarket chains revealed that people who buy wine are also more likely to buy healthier lower-fat foods. Does this blow a hole in the wine-a-day effect on reducing mortality? (more…)

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