This Week's Nutrition News Feed

Nutrition news this week about pizza, diabetes and salt.

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Last slice of greasy take out pizza.

Last Slice

Last slice of greasy take out pizza.

Photo by: Patrick Heagney

Patrick Heagney

In this week's news: Diet may be key to diabetes prevention for women; pizza constitutes a staggering percentage of kids' caloric intake; the guidance on salt for older adults gets a bit grainier.

One way to help prevent type 2 diabetes

Eating a healthy diet – one that is low in saturated and trans fats, sugary drinks, high-glycemic-index foods, and red and processed meats and high in cereal fiber, polyunsaturated fats, coffee and nuts – is linked to a lower risk for type 2 diabetes among all women, a recent study conducted at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital confirmed. However, the study found, the beneficial effects of a healthy diet were most pronounced for Asian, Hispanic and black women, who were initially at a higher risk of the disease. Lead author Jinnie Rhee predicted that, due to the "alarming" increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes 2 around the world, the study’s findings about the preventive effects of diet may have "global importance."

Pizza should be a sometimes food

Most of us love a good slice of pizza now and then, but a new study looking at the effect of pizza consumption on kids and adolescents, published in the journal Pediatrics, puts our national pizza predilection in perspective – and it's not pretty. The study found that, on days when kids eat pizza, it makes up about 20 percent of their daily calories. And although pizza consumption has remained relatively steady overall, as of 2009 to 2010, it was kids' and adolescents' second-highest source of solid fat from school food and fast food, second only to grain-based desserts like cookies, pies, doughnuts and cakes. As a result, researchers suggest pediatricians address pizza consumption with kids and parents during regular checkups.

Time for a salt-guideline shakeup?

Should older adults take current sodium intake recommendations with a grain of salt? A study from Emory University found that salt consumption was not linked to a higher risk for mortality, cardiovascular disease or heart failure. What's more, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that people over 50 consume less than 1,500 mg (less than one teaspoon) of salt per day, the study indicated that there was no harm in consuming as much as 2,300 mg of salt per day, the amount the CDC currently recommends for the general population. Study author Andreas P. Kalogeropoulos warned that the results do not hold for those with pre-existing cardiovascular or heart issues and that people "should not interpret our findings as a ‘license’ to consume more salt." Sorry, salt lovers of a certain age.

Amy Reiter also contributes to FN Dish.

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