Cell Phone Usage can Injure Head & Neck

A new study has found that injuries to people distracted by their cell phones has increased quite steeply over the 20 year study period. People are falling, tripping, and hurting their necks and heads more often than ever. Some have even dubbed texting the “new drunk driving”!

While most cases are mild, some of the injuries involve lacerations to the face and traumatic brain injuries which can lead to long term and serious consequences. The current study is the first to investigate the role cell phones play in injuries to these particular parts of the body. Previous studies have observed that all types of distracted walking injuries have been on the rise.

Dr. Boris Paskhover is the author of the study and a reconstructive surgeon. He began looking into the statistics after seeing patients with facial wounds and broken jaws reported to be due to falling while staring at their phones or not paying attention to their surroundings. It is no secret that when you walk into a city, many people are just looking at their phones while carrying on with their activity.

According to the U. S. Department of Transportation, dialing or text messaging on a cell phone or a wireless device while driving was responsible for 401 fatal crashes in 2017. However, that isn’t the only way cell phone use can be distracting and potentially dangerous.

Texting while walking can also lead to accidents. 96% of people in the U. S. own a cell phone. The researchers set out to see what percentage of neck and head injuries are due to cell phone use. The study looked at 20 years of data from a database that collects information about emergency room visits in approximately 100 U. S. hospitals. They were specifically looking at the types, incidence, and mechanisms of neck and head injuries associated with cell phone usage.

From January 1988 to December 2017, 2,501 patients sought help for these type of injuries. When translated onto a national scale, the number of cases with these type injuries would amount to more than 76,000 people.

One third of the injuries occurred in the head and neck area. Another third were injuries to the face including the eyes, eyelid area and nose. Over 12% of the injuries were related to the neck. The most common injury diagnosis included 26.3% lacerations, 24.5% contusion or abrasion and 18.4% were injuries to internal organs.

Neck and head injuries which were related to cell phone usage was relatively rare until 2007 when the rate began to sharply increase. This was the first year the iPhone was released and was followed by a much steeper increase that peaked in 2016.

Cell phone users from 13 to 29 comprised almost 40% of the patients. Most of their injuries in this age group were due to distraction. Children younger than 13 were more likely to be injured directly by the phone such as being accidentally hit by a device that was in a parent’s hand. And some were injured when their phone slipped, hit them on the face and broke their nose.

The team does acknowledge there were a few limitations to the study. The database used did not contain information about other coexisting conditions, outcomes or treatments. And the database did not include information in regards to visits to other healthcare setting such as immediate care. However, the studies findings indicate there is a need for public education about the potential risks of being distracted by cell phone usage beyond texting while driving.

To view the original scientific study click below

Head and Neck Injuries Associated With Cell Phone Use

Brushing to Protect the Heart

A new study has shown that brushing teeth frequently, three or more times per day, is linked to lower risks of heart failure and atrial fibrillation (A fib, a type of arrhythmia). Bacteria found in our mouths may be the key to many facets of our health. Some studies have found oral bacteria in blood clots of people who have had strokes, and experts have also linked gum disease to a significantly higher risk of hypertension. Mounting evidence is now strengthening the link between cardiovascular health and oral hygiene.

The study involved 161,286 people living in Korea between the ages of 40 and 79 and who showed no history of heart problems. All participants went through a routine medical examination between 2003 and 2004. Information was gathered on weight, height, illnesses, lifestyle, laboratory tests, oral health, and oral hygiene habits. Laboratory tests included urine tests, blood tests and blood pressure readings.

During a median follow up of 10.5 years, the research team followed up with the participants to see if they had developed any heart problems. 4,911 (3%) of the participants had developed atrial fibrillation and 7,971 (4.9%) had developed heart failure.

Tooth brushing of three of more times per day was associated with a 12% lower risk of heart failure and a 10% lower risk of atrial fibrillation during the 10.5 year follow-up. The findings were independent of a variety of factors including sex, age, socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption, regular exercise, comorbidities such as hypertension, and body mass index.

The study did not investigate mechanisms, however a possibility is that frequent tooth brushing reduces the bacteria in the subgingival biofilm which is bacteria living in the pocket between the gums and the teeth. Brushing thereby prevents translocation of bacteria to the bloodstream.

Although the study was limited to one country, it was a large study over a long period which strengthens their findings that tooth brushing may be linked to a lower risk of heart failure and A-fib.

To view the original scientific study click below

Improved oral hygiene care is associated with decreased risk of occurrence for atrial fibrillation and heart failure: A nationwide population-based cohort study.

BPA Levels Higher than Previous Thought

By using a new method for assessing BPA levels in the human body, scientists are now suggesting that our exposure to this industrial chemical is much higher than previous estimates. Following a recent study, they believe that regulators such as the FDA could be relying on measures that have underestimated those levels by as much as 44 times.

BPA is a chemical that is present in a variety of consumer products including plastic containers for food and beverages and is also found in epoxy products. In the human body it is an endocrine disruptor which means it interferes with hormone functions in the body.

It is only in the last few years that scientists have begun to understand how BPA and other endocrine disruptors can affect human health. Once BPA enters the body, it breaks down quickly into metabolites. To accurately asses BPA exposure, scientists much take metabolites into consideration.

In the study, the team explains that agencies such as the FDA are still relying on analytical techniques that indirectly assess BPA metabolite levels. When the team compared those techniques to newer ones that measure BPA metabolites directly, the results were very different.

Studies on animals have shown that BPA can disrupt the normal healthy functioning of hormones in the body. Exposure to BPA during gestation has been linked to changes in a variety of developing tissues with corresponding postnatal effects on metabolism, growth, fertility, behavior and cancer risk.

The studies that the FDA has relied on use an indirect analytical technique for measuring BPA in humans. This method uses an enzyme solution from a type of edible snail. The snail enzyme solution converts BPA metabolites in urine back into the parent compound. Scientists then use liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to measure total BPA. Total BPA comprises free BPA and BPA reconstituted from its metabolites.

The research team note that while its widespread use, the efficiency with which the snail enzyme solution converts metabolites back to BPA has never been assessed. The team compared the snail enzyme method with a method that accounts for BPA’s metabolites more directly without the conversion back into the parent compound.

They tested the two methods first in synthetic urine and then in 39 human urine samples which included 29 from women who were pregnant. The results showed that the direct measurement detected significantly higher levels of BPA, as much as 44 times higher than the last geometric mean for adults in the United States.

They also saw that the disparity between the indirect and direct methods increased with higher levels of BPA. This means that the more BPA inside the body, the more likely the indirect method will show a lower reading. This is the first data to provide evidence that the indirect method is a flawed analytical tool for measuring BPA levels.

The research team is also concerned about other chemicals including ones that manufacturers use in place of BPA. They are worried because regulators are relying on the indirect method to asses the human exposure to those chemicals as well.

The hope is this new study will bring attention to the current methodology used to measure BPA and that other experts and labs will take a closer look at and assess independently what is happening. It certainly raises serious concerns about whether regulatory agencies are careful enough about the safety of BPAs

In addition to continuing to investigate BPA, the researchers plan to apply the direct method to a variety of chemicals found in every day products such as toys, soap, cosmetics, food packaging and other personal care items. These chemicals include parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and benzophenone.

To view the original scientific study click below

BPA: have flawed analytical techniques compromised risk assessments?

Restoring Standing and Walking with Micro Implants

In new research, a team has shown a map that will identify which parts of the spinal cord trigger knees hips, ankles, and toes and the areas that put movements together. Along with an electrical spinal implant, the dream of helping people walk again could someday be a reality, even in the next decade.

Vivian Mushahwar, the lead researcher, is the director of the SMART Network which is a collaboration of more than 100 University of Alberta learners and scientists who work at intentionally breaking disciplinary silos to think of unique ways to tackle neural diseases and injuries. Her goal has been to help people walk again and has been working towards that goal for the past 20 years.

Mushahwar’s idea is to fix paralysis by rewiring the spinal cord. However, the spinal cord also involves biology so it isn’t just a matter of reconnecting a cable. Three huge feats are needed. The brain has to translate signals, the spinal cord has to be figured out and controlled, and the two sides have to be talking again.

Mushahwar believes the spinal cord has a built in intelligence. There is a complex chain of sensory and motor networks which regulate everything in our bodies. The brain stem’s contribution is basically to signal “go” and “faster”. The spinal cord isn’t just moving muscles, it also gives people a natural gait.

A variety of researchers have tried different ways to restore movement. Through sending electrical impulses into the muscles of the leg, it is possible to enable people to walk or stand again. However, the effect is strictly mechanical and not very effective.

Mushahwar’s research has been focusing on restoring lower body function following severe injuries using a tiny spinal implant. Hair like electrical wires are plunged deep into the spinal grey matter which sends electrical signals to trigger the networks that already know how the hard work is done. They believe that intraspinal stimulation itself will get people to start walking longer and longer and perhaps even faster.

The spinal map the team has showcased, shows that the spinal maps have been remarkably consistent across the animal spectrum, however further work is needed before human trials can be started. Human trials will be a massive undertaking, so further work with animals needs to be done first.

Being able to stand and walk has a variety of health benefits. Both improve bone health, improve bladder and bowel function and reduce pressure ulcers. Standing and walking could also help treat cardiovascular disease which is the main cause of death for people with spinal cord injuries. For people with less serious spinal injuries, an implant could be therapeutic and could remove the need for months of grueling physical therapy regimes that typically have limited success.

The next steps for Mushahwar are to fine tune the hardware, miniaturizing an implantable stimulator and getting Health Canada and the FDA approvals for clinical trials. Previous research has tackled the challenge of translating brain signals and intent into commands to the intraspinal implant. However, the first generation of the intraspinal implants will require a patient to be able to control movement and walking. Future implants might include a connection to the brain.

To view the original scientific study click below

Functional organization of motor networks in the lumbosacral spinal cord of non-human primates.

Running Can Make Bone Marrow Younger

Running keeps bone marrow young! Researchers from Deakin University in Australia have found for every 5.5 miles a person runs every week, their bone marrow was one year younger.

The researchers studied the spinal marrow adipose tissue (MAT) of 101 women and men between the ages of 25 and 35. They were divided into four groups: runners averaging 12 to 25 miles per week, runners averaging at least 30 miles per week, cyclists who averaged at least 90 miles per week, and then sedentary people.

They discovered that both groups of runners had the lowest levels of MAT which is desirable. And despite being highly active, the cyclist actually had levels of MAT similar to those in the sedentary group.

In looking at the runners, the team discovered that those who ran 30 or more miles per week had bone marrow that was equivalent to eight years younger than those who were sedentary or didn’t exercise on a regular basis. Their findings suggest that the average person could gain younger bone marrow just through small amounts of running. The team believe that running even 12 miles per week will have a beneficial impact on MAT. And perhaps even less than that will have an impact.

Bone marrow produces blood cells and is a semisolid tissue that is found in the soft part of the bone. Humans are born with mostly red blood cell producing bone marrow. However, as we age this converts into a yellow fatty marrow, also known as marrow adipose tissue (MAT). This type of marrow can negatively affect blood and bone metabolism in areas such as the vertebrae, pelvis, hips, and thighs which can contribute to a variety of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and diabetes. It also influences fat stores.

The new study suggests a correlation between certain type of exercise and MAT. However it isn’t as simple as simply burning calories. Cyclists in the study who rode more than 93 miles in a week’s time did not show any significant positive impact on MAT.

This suggests that MAT is affected by different rules to the fat stores under the skin. The researchers believe a person also needs the mechanical loading of the spine to impact MAT. Thus the mechanical loading of the spine with running is important. The team believes that it is the pounding of running that makes the difference between that type of exercise and cycling or swimming.

Although marrow tissue is a part of bone, the study’s findings are distinct from other studies showing that weight bearing exercise is good for the health of bone. Bone is structurally important for the attachment of muscles and support of the body. MAT on the other hand, has a variety of regulatory roles such as blood cell production, fat stores and bone tissue. Increases in MAT negatively impact both bone and red cell production.

How much running does a person need to keep their bone marrow young? While the team says that is an area that needs to be further studied, is is less than a person might think.

In addition to long distance runners, the team also studies those who jogged for 12 to 25 miles per week. Although they didn’t run as much as the long distance runners, they also showed a younger MAT however not as much as the longer runners.

While cycling did not show an impact on MAT and the team believes the same would apply to swimming, there are a variety of load bearing sports that will likely have an impact. This would include soccer, basketball, tennis and volleyball. And the data did show that high impact activities like jumping and sprinting also had a positive impact on MAT.

To view the original scientific study click below

Specific Modulation of Vertebral Marrow Adipose Tissue by Physical Activity.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Seafood and Healthy Aging!

A study which involved 2,622 adults participating in the U.S. Cardiovascular Health study from 1992 to 2015, has found that higher blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood are linked to a higher likelihood of healthy aging in older adults. With populations around the world living longer, there is a significant and growing focus on aging in a healthy manner. This means a meaningful lifespan free of major chronic diseases and with good mental and physical function.

Prior studies have suggested that omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that come from seafood and plants may produce beneficial effects on the body which could promote healthy aging. However, results have been inconsistent.

The recent research team set out to study the association between circulating blood levels of the fatty acids and healthy aging in older adults.

The study included 2,622 adults with the average age at the beginning of the study 74 years. 11% of the participants were from non white groups and 63% were women. Blood levels of the fatty acids were measured at baseline, 6 years and then 13 years. The fatty acids included EPA, DHA, DPA, and ALA. The primary dietary source of EPA, DHA and DPA came from seafood and the primary sources of ALA were mainly in plants such as nuts, leafy greens and seeds.

Based on the measurements, the participants were placed into five groups of circulating blood fatty acid levels from lowest to highest.

Through a review of diagnostic test and medical records, the team discovered that 89% of the participants experienced unhealthy aging throughout the study period. 11% experienced health aging which was defined as survival free of major chronic diseases and without physical or mental dysfunction.

After taking into account a range of economic, social and lifestyle factors, the team found that levels of the seafood derived EPA in the highest group was associated with a 24% lower risk of unhealthy aging compared to levels in the lowest group.

For levels of DPA, the top 3 groups were associated with an 18 to 21% reduction in the risk of unhealthy aging. However, the seafood derived DHA and the plant derived ALA were not associated with healthy aging. A possible explanation for this could be that fatty acids help to regulate heart rate, blood pressure and inflammation.

No firm conclusions can be made about cause and effect as this was an observational study, and they could not rule out the possibility that some of the risk could be due to other unmeasured factors.

The study had a follow up period of up to 22 years with results remaining largely unchanged after further analyses. As such, they team says that among older adults, higher levels of circulating omega 3 fatty acids from seafood were associated with a lower risk of unhealthy aging.

The findings certainly encourage the need for further studies into plausible biological interventions and mechanisms related to omega 3 fatty acids to support healthy aging and also support guidelines for increased dietary consumption of seafood among the older adult populations.

To view the original scientific study click below

Serial circulating omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and healthy ageing among older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study: prospective cohort study.

Any Amount of Running Can Lower Risk of Early Death

A pool analysis of a variety of studies and other available evidence by a group of researchers, has found that any amount of running is linked to a lower risk of early death from any cause. The researchers believe that by more people taking up running which doesn’t have to be far or fast, there would likely be remarkable improvements in population longevity and health.

It isn’t exactly clear how running is lowering the risk of early death from any cause and particularly from cancer and cardiovascular disease. And it isn’t clear how much running a person would need to do to reap those benefits nor whether upping the duration, pace and frequency might be even more advantageous.

To try and discover how running may be linked to the lower risk of early death, the researchers systematically reviewed relevant conference presentations, published research, and doctoral dissertations and theses throughout a broad range of academic databases.

The team looked for studies in regards to the association between jogging/running and the risk of death from all causes. They found 14 suitable studies which involved 232,149 people whose health was tracked between 5.5 and 35 years. During the course, 29,951 study participants had died.

When all study data was pooled, any amount of running was found to be associated with a 27% lower risk of death from all causes for both men and women when compared to no running. And it was also found that the running was associated with a 23% lower risk of death from cancer and a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Even small doses of running, for example once weekly or less which lasted less than 50 minutes each time and at a speed below 6 miles an hour, still was seen to be associated with significant longevity and health benefits.

Running for 25 minutes less than the recommended weekly duration of vigorous physical activity could possibly reduce the risk of early death. This shows that running could potentially be a good option for people whose main obstacle to doing enough exercise is due to lack of time.

The team could not find any association with further lowering the risk of early death from any cause due to upping the dose through pace, frequency or duration. And the team does caution that the small number of studies used and the methods varied considerably, might have influenced the results.

Although this is an observational study and can’t establish cause, the researchers suggest that any amount of running is beneficial than no running.

To view the original scientific study click below

Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Danger of Nanoparticles in Air Pollution

Automobiles and many other sources of air pollution produce nanoparticles. The size of these particles is less than a micron which is one millionth of a meter. Unlike larger particles nanoparticles are so small that some can pass through your lungs into your bloodstream. New findings have found that they build up in diseased areas in our arteries. That may explain why air pollution increases the risk of strokes and heart disease. They also suggest that current efforts and laws to regulate air pollution might be focusing too much on the larger particles which are less dangerous.

Many studies have shown that air pollution results in millions of premature deaths globally each year. The World Health Organization estimates outdoor air pollution in both rural areas and cities caused 3 million deaths worldwide in 2012. Even in European countries where the air is relatively clean, air pollution is to blame for 400,000 premature deaths every year.

Most of these deaths are due to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Just being exposed to high air pollution for even short periods can trigger strokes and heart attacks. Long term exposure to air pollution causes vascular damage and the question is why?

It has been suspected that nanoparticles in the air we breathe enter the bloodstream and are then carried to various parts of the body including the heart, blood vessels and arteries. These nanoparticles are made up of mostly carbon compounds so finding them inside carbon based lifeforms like humans is particularly difficult.

The research team at the University of Edinburgh, UK, had volunteers breathe air contained with harmless gold nanoparticles. After 15 minutes these nanoparticles began to show up in the volunteer’s blood and they could still be found in their urine and blood three months later. While the gold nanoparticles are inert, reactive compounds found in air pollution can have a variety of harmful effects.

The team also analyzed surgically removed plaques from people who were at a high risk of stroke. They discovered that the nanoparticles tended to accumulate in fatty plaques which grow inside blood vessels and lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Air quality laws in various parts of the world set limits on particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers which is called PM2.5. This limit is on the total mass of the particles in a cubic meter of air rather than the total number.

Thousands of ultra fine particles can weight much less in total than a few relatively large ones. PM2.5 per cubic meter has fallen in most wealthy countries over the past decade which suggests air quality is improving. However, due to the increased numbers of diesel vehicles, the number of ultra fine particles has risen.

The problem is that measuring the number of ultra fine particles is extremely difficult and cannot be accomplished using roadside devices which are widely used to monitor air pollution.

Further studies by the UK team will focus on whether gold nanoparticles can enter the brain. Air pollution does seem to increase the risk of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia. A recent study discovered tiny iron particles in the people’s brains which may have come from vehicle exhaust.

What can you do about nanoparticles in the air in your home? One possiblity is to purchase a high end air purifier such as the Air IQ. It can remove particles down to 3 nanometers in size which is 100 times smaller than other air purifiers. The purifier is expensive both to purchase and maintain, however it goes far beyond other solutions. Life Code is not associated with the Air IQ company or sales of the product.

To view the original scientific study click below

Inhaled Nanoparticles Accumulate at Sites of Vascular Disease.

Rewiring the Anxious Brain

If you are stressed to the max you will be glad to know that researchers have discovered the type of sleep that is most apt to not only calm but also reset the anxious brain. It is deep sleep known as non rapid eye movement or NREM. This slow wave sleep allows neural oscillations to become highly synchronized which lead to drops in heart rates and blood pressure.

Researchers at UC Berkeley have identified this new function of deep sleep which is one that decreases anxiety overnight through reorganizing brain connections. This deep sleep appears to be a natural anxiety inhibitor as long as a person gets it each and every night.

The findings demonstrate one of the strongest neural links between anxiety and sleep to date. The team points out that sleep is a natural and non pharmaceutical remedy for a variety of anxiety disorders which have been diagnosed in 40 million American adults and the numbers are rising among teens and children. The research suggests that lack of sleep amplifies anxiety levels and conversely deep sleep helps reduce the stress.

Through a series of experiments utilizing MRI and polysomnography along with other measures, the team scanned the brains of 18 young adults while they viewed emotionally stirring video clips following a full night’s sleep and then again following a sleepless night. The levels of anxiety were measured after each session through a questionnaire which is known as the state trait anxiety inventory.

Following a night of no sleep, the brain scans indicated a shutdown of the medial prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps us keep anxiety in check while the deeper emotional centers of the brain were overactive. The team believes that without sufficient sleep, the brain works overtime on the emotional accelerator pedal without sufficient braking.

Following a full night’s sleep when the participant’s brain waves were measured by electrodes placed on their heads, the results indicated their levels of anxiety declined significantly. This was especially true for those participants who had experienced more slow wave NREM sleep.

It appeared deep sleep or NREM sleep had restored the prefrontal mechanism of the brain which regulates our emotions thus lowering physiological and emotional reactivity thus preventing an escalation of anxiety.

The team also replicated the results in another study with 30 participants. Across all participants, the results once again showed that the participants who got more deep sleep experienced the lowest levels of anxiety the following day.

In addition to the lab experiments, the team conducted a study online in which they tracked 280 people of all ages on how both their anxiety levels and sleep changed over the course of four consecutive days. These results indicated that the quality and amount of sleep they got from one night to the next predicted how anxious they would feel the next day. Even very subtle nightly changes in their sleep affected their anxiety levels.

People who suffer from anxiety disorders routinely report experiencing disturbed sleep. However, very rarely is improvement in sleep considered as a clinical recommendation for reducing anxiety. The study shows not only a casual connection between anxiety and sleep, but it also defines the kind of NREM deep sleep a person needs to calm down the overanxious brain.

To view the original scientific study click below

Overanxious and underslept.

Hyper Palatable Foods that People Can’t Stop Eating

Hyper-palatable foods are those made with a mix of ingredients that light up people’s brain-reward neural circuitry and overpower mechanisms that are supposed to signal when we’ve had enough to eat. Because these foods essentially enhance their consumption, overweight and obesity can be the result.

This class of foods which are often processed foods or sweets containing alluring combinations of sugar, fat, sodium and carbohydrates, have been found to be some of the most highly consumed foods in the United States. Food companies have devised formulas for these foods to make them highly palatable and thus enhance their consumption.

While there is no standardized definition for hyper palatable foods, typically descriptive definitions such as “desserts”, “fast foods” and “sweets” will identify these types of foods. However, those words aren’t specific to the actual mechanisms through which the ingredients in a particular food lead to their enhanced palatability. Defining these types of foods has been a substantial limitation.

A team sought to define the criteria for hyper palatable foods through conducting a literature review and then employing nutrition software and applying their definition to over 7,700 food items. They essentially took all the descriptive definitions of these foods from the literature and one by one entered them into the nutrition program to see how it quantifies a food’s ingredients. The software provides in fine grained detail a data set which specifies how many calories, fat, sodium, sugar, carbohydrates and fiber are in the foods.

They looked for items that met the criteria established by the literature review as enhancing palatability and specifically when the synergy between key ingredients in a certain food creates an artificially palatable experience which is larger than any key ingredient would produce by itself.

They identified these particular synergies with specific values which were applied to three clusters – combinations of sodium and fat (such as bacon and hot dogs), combinations of simple sugars and fats (such as ice cream, cookies, and cake), and combinations of sodium and carbohydrates (such as pretzels, chips and popcorn).

Essentially the team wanted to be able to identify foods that seem to cluster together which what seemed like similar levels of at least two ingredients. That is the theoretical basis for producing the synergistic palatability effect. Through a process using visualization, they were able to see there were essentially three food types that appear to cluster together in relation to their ingredients.

Once the team was able to quantify characteristics of hyper palatability, they were able to apply their definition to foods that are cataloged in the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s FNDDS (Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies). The hope was to discover just how prevalent these types of foods are in the American diet.

The team discovered that 62% of foods in the FNDDS met the criteria for at least one of the three clusters they had identified. Most of those foods (70%) were high in sodium and fat (such as egg or meat dishes and milk based foods like cheese dips). 25% of the hyper palatable foods were high in sugar and fat and 16% of those foods were also high in sodium and carbohydrates. Less than 10% qualified in more than one cluster.

The most shocking discovery were items labeled as reduced or no fat, salt, sugar or calories represented 5% of hyper palatable foods. Additionally, of all the items that were labeled as low/reduced/no fat, sugar, sodium and/or sugar in the FNDDS, 49% met the criteria as a being a hyper palatable food.

More evidence is needed, however if research starts to support that these hyper palatable foods may be problematic for society, it might warrant food labels saying “this is hyper palatable”. And it might also lead to restriction of certain foods that are available in particular places such as elementary school cafeterias that serve kids whose brains are still developing and might be impacted by these kinds of foods.

The plan is to build on the current work by analyzing how the ubiquity of these hyper palatable foods in the U.S. diet compares to foods in other countries. A grant was recently received by the team to research foods consumed in Italy where the Mediterranean diet is prevalent.

To view the original scientific study click below

Hyper Palatable Foods: Development of a Quantitative Definition and Application to the US Food System Database..