The popular dessert served by the New York City gastropub Boulton & Watt is a fresh baked-to-order cookie in a mini cast iron skillet with a frosted pitcher of strawberry milk.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool and colleagues from Action on Sugar have assessed the sugar content of over 200 fruit drinks marketed at children and have found them to be “unacceptably high”.
The research, conducted by Professor Simon Capewell from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and Action on Sugar has been published today (Thursday, 24 March) in the online journal BMJ Open.
To assess the sugar content of fruit juice drinks, 100% natural juices, and smoothies marketed specifically to children, the researchers measured the quantity of ‘free’ sugars in 203 standard portion sizes (200 ml) of UK branded and supermarket own label products, using the pack labelling information provided.
Maximum sugar intake in one drink
‘Free’ sugars refer to sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, and table sugar, which are added by the manufacturer, and naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates, but not the naturally occurring sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables, which the body metabolises differently and which act to curb energy intake.
The results highlighted wide variations in the amount of free sugars between different types of drink and within the same type of product.
Almost half the products assessed contained at least a child’s entire daily recommended maximum sugar intake of 19g or five teaspoons, show the findings.
These come ahead of the publication of the UK government’s childhood obesity strategy.
Of the research Professor Simon Capewell, said: “Increasing public awareness of the detrimental effect sugar sweetened drinks have on kids’ teeth and waistlines has prompted many parents to opt for seemingly healthier fruit juice and smoothie alternatives.
“Unfortunately our research shows that these parents have been misled. The sugar content of the fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies tested, is unacceptably high. And smoothies are among the worst offenders.”
The research also found that the labels on all the products contained a potentially reference intake. It is in line with European law. BUT this figure applies to an average sized active adult woman. So it is wholly inappropriate for children.
Unnecessary amounts of sugar
As a result of the findings, the researchers make several recommendations:
Professor Capewell adds: “Manufacturers should stop adding unnecessary amounts of sugars, and therefore calories, to their fruit drink/juice/smoothie products. Our kids are being harmed for the sake of industry profits. If companies can’t slash sugar voluntarily, the government should step in with statutory regulations.”
The paper, entitled ‘How much sugar is hidden in drinks marketed to children? A survey of fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies’, can be found here http://press.psprings.co.uk/Open/march/bmjopen010330.pdf
Source: University of Liverpool
A new study sheds light on a powerful tool that may detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease before patients show any symptoms of cognitive decline: the home computer.
An early online version of this paper detailing the findings has been published and is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
OHSU researchers have found a significant correlation between infrequent daily computer use and brain imaging signs commonly seen in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients.
Using an MRI scan, the researchers measured the volume of the hippocampus — a brain region integral to memory function — in adults aged 65 years and older who were cognitively intact and dementia-free.
Diminished hippocampal volume is a well-known sign, or biomarker, of Alzheimer’s disease and the eventual development of dementia.
The study, led by Lisa Silbert, M.D., with the OHSU Layton Center for Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease, found that an additional hour of computer use a day was associated with a .025 percent larger hippocampal volume. A smaller hippocampal volume is an indicator of increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers will continue to follow these participants to see if their smaller hippocampal volume and decreased computer use predict future cognitive decline.
Silbert and colleagues hypothesize that the reason that patients with smaller hippocampal volumes may spend less time using their home computer is it requires the use of multiple cognitive domains, including executive function, attention and memory.
The researchers have been following a group of volunteers in Portland for nine years through a suite of embedded technology in their homes. These tools allow the researchers to assess their mobility, sleep, socialization, computer use and medication intake. The purpose of this monitoring is to identify meaningful changes in everyday life that don’t involve the participants taking tests or going to doctor appointments.
Source: IOS Press
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon peel (optional)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Makes about 30 two-inch squares.
Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers