Researchers studied Japanese macaques, whose placental structure resembles that of humans, and found that a high-fat diet during pregnancy reduced blood flow to the placenta. "This study demonstrates that maternal diet during pregnancy has a profound influence on both placental and fetal development. The high-calorie, high-fat diet ... has negative effects on placental function and may be a significant contributor to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth," lead researcher Dr. Antonio Frias said in a statement.
Colleges and universities are putting labels with calorie, fat and nutrition data on foods offered in student dining halls, a move that food-service officials say comes from a desire for transparency and informed decision making. Some schools put an image of their mascot on healthy foods to make them more obvious, even though relatively few students say they pay attention to nutrition labeling.
At the Sweets & Snacks Expo, food makers showcased food with portion control and better nutrition, giving supermarkets opportunities to make their center aisles more attractive to consumers increasingly concerned with wellness. Products include the Nut-trition line from Planters, with portion-controlled snacks meant to meet specific nutrition needs; pretzel bunnies and granola bars from Annie's Organics; and Cinnamon Apple Straws from Sensible Portions.
Girls who followed the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension diet were less likely to gain excess weight by early adulthood than those who did not follow the diet, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Those who followed the DASH diet were more active and had reduced television time, both of which could also help curb obesity, experts added.
Mice on a yo-yo diet had the same life span as those on a low-fat regimen, while those on a high-fat diet died sooner, according to study data presented at the Endocrine Society's annual conference. Ohio University researcher Edward List said that maintaining a healthy weight is best, but people should not stop dieting just because they tend to regain weight.