Should food packs display calories by the amount exercise needed to burn the food item off?

A recent report from Loughborough university, as reported on in this article by the BBC, suggests that displaying how much exercise a person would need to do in order to burn off the calories of a food product could help curb obesity.

The report suggests that switching to this type of labelling could see people cut as many as 200 calories from their daily intake as it creates awareness of the energy cost of food. With examples such as a chocolate bar equating to 22 minutes of running and a packet of crisps needing 31 minutes of walking, it is thought that it would help people better understand what they were eating and encourage them to make healthier choices.

With two thirds of adults in the UK classed as overweight or obese, the move is being encouraged by The Royal Society for Public Health. However, there are some concerns, with eating disorder charities suggesting such labelling could act as a trigger for some people.

Can fish oil help control blood vessel inflammation?

A recent study, as reported by Medical News Today, suggests that fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids could have a role in controlling blood vessel inflammation.

The study, by researchers from the Willian Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London, found that fish oil increased blood levels of specialised pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), which are anti-inflammatory molecules. These SPMs have a powerful effect on white blood cells and control blood vessel inflammation.

Inflammation is a defence response by the immune system, which can be caused by damaged cells, toxins and, pathogens, such as bacteria. Acute inflammation in such a situation is essential to health but, should inflammation persist past the point in which it is needed or if it develops into chronic inflammation, it could see some immune cells damage tissue. Therefore, it is important for inflammation to subside in order for the healing process to begin, which is why anti-inflammatory agents, such as SPMs, are important.

Why do we get hangovers?

An appropriately timed article for the festive party period has looked at the reason we get hangovers and what foods and supplements, if any, can help lessen those symptoms.

While we don’t know exactly how hangovers occur, it’s thought that the toxicity of ethanol, and the acetaldehyde that your body metabolises ethanol into, is what leads to hangovers. The body then metabolises acetaldehyde to acetate, which is less than harmful than acetaldehyde but could still contribute towards the severity of your hangover.

The article highlights the fact that no study has categorically proven that a food substance or supplement can prevent a hangover but it does highlight some biologically plausible theories about anti-inflammatories, such as ginger, curcumin, which is the main active ingredient of turmeric, and borage oil, and glutathione upregulators, such as N. Acetyl Cysteine and milk thistle’s silymarin.

Share your thoughts

Agree with the findings in this week’s Nutrition News? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.