Omega-3 compounds may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, two studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest. According to one of the studies, those with high levels of omega-3 fats found in fish were one-third less likely to develop the disease than those with low levels. The other study found a lower risk for people whose diets were high in an omega-3 fat found in plants. However, experts said neither study proves that omega-3 fats directly reduce the risk of diabetes.
The Hula-Hoop once again is a hit, not just for children but as an exercise and weight-loss tool, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. They told a sports-medicine conference that using a Hula-Hoop expends the same amount of energy as walking about 4 mph, raises the heart rate and burns off about 210 calories in 30 minutes.
Chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk may be on the way out in the Los Angeles Unified School District as part of efforts to fight childhood obesity. Superintendent John Deasy said his concern is "getting the best quality of nutrition" for students. The district, second largest in the U.S., banned soda in 2004.
Schools in Mansfield, Mass., are joining other districts around the U.S. in limiting or banning food-related celebrations, a move supported by the Massachusetts School Nutrition Association. The measures reflect concerns about obesity and food allergies, but critics see them as examples of over-reaching by government. Texas lawmakers went so far as to pass a "Safe Cupcake Amendment" to exempt that treat from the state's wellness policy.
The U.S. government will spend $10 million to increase the availability of nutritious foods in low-income communities that lack access to fresh produce. Grants will be available to develop producer-to-consumer outlets such as grocers and farmers markets in areas deemed to be "food deserts" as part of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative.