Saturday January 18, 2020
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Infographic – Foodwise: Obesity v/s Malnutrition

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By Ila Garg

Food is one of the primary needs for sustaining life on the Earth. However, while taking into account the recent dietary patterns, it can be easily noticed that a huge percentage of food produced is actually getting wasted. This wastage can occur at multiple levels. First, at the time of production, the food gets wasted and then while shipping too, a great amount of food is lost. Of course, a lot of food is carelessly thrown away. This is perhaps a major reason behind the Global Food Crisis.

According to a study, the food wasted by the United States and Europe alone could feed the world 3 times over. Food wastage has significantly increased in USA since 1974.

In the world where millions die of hunger each day, and many more are struggling hard to make the ends meet, festivals like La Tomatino are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Trucks and trucks of tomatoes are wasted as people throw them at each other and even swim in the tomato pulps. Today, being the 70th Anniversary of La Tomatino festival, it is important to evaluate its repercussions.

This festival, originated in Spain, is the world’s largest food fight festival and the food wastage that it results in is alarming. Every year, on this day, Spain is painted red as the tsunami of tomatoes take over. Over 40 metric tonnes of tomatoes are used in the fight. Last year, almost 1,50,000 tomotoes were thrown at one another. Ever wondered what happens to those pulped up tomatoes? They get down the drain, what else!

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This is a really sad sight!

Infographic on Foodwise - Obesity vs Malnutrition

Team NewsGram recently visited Whole Foods store located in West Loop of downtown Chicago to gain insight into more food facts. The store’s Assistant Manager, Mike and Kitchen Manager, Carlos interacted with the team and revealed some major details.

The cooked food in the buffet area is kept only for four hours (till the time it stays hot), after that the leftover food is disposed off and sent for composting. As per their policy, they do not re-heat the food. In addition, the cooked food being served is monitored for temperature check. The menu includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines. The Indian cuisine is included in their menu too.

One doesn’t need a professional degree to be a cook at this store. They train each other to be a part of the store. Whole Foods store has certification process in place and complies with the guidelines and recommendations of the city Health Department. A log book is maintained for the food being served and all items are entered in it to keep a track and have an eye on logistics.

A food bank van arrives at the store on a daily basis to collect the leftovers. It is Whole Foods’ policy to donate the food to the food banks or nonprofits for poor people. It is indeed a welcome move and others must take this as an inspiration.

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Researchers Find a New Mechanism to Prevent Obesity

New mechanism may safely prevent, reverse obesity

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Obesity
Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers. Pixabay

Obesity, a global epidemic, is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic and in major breakthrough, researchers have discovered that a receptor found in almost all cells, called AHR, and known primarily to combat exposures to environmental chemicals, also plays a big role in the body’s metabolism.

Stopping the obesity epidemic could be a critical aid in preventing and treating numerous cancers and study, published in the journal International Journal of Obesity have found a critical target in this cause.

“We carried out experiments showing that when a drug named NF and known to block the AHR, was added to a high-fat diet, mice did not become any fatter than mice on a low-fat control diet,” said study researcher Craig Tomlinson from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Centre in the US.

“Mice on the high-fat diet with no NF became very obese within the same time span. No ill effects were observed from the drug,” Tomlinson added. According to the study, the research team then asked whether blocking the AHR with NF could not only prevent obesity but reverse it.

Obesity
Obesity is a known contributor to several cancers, including breast, colon, and pancreatic. Pixabay

“In these experiments, we allowed the mice to become obese on a high-fat diet, and then half the mice were switched to the high-fat diet containing the AHR blocker NF,” Tomlinson said.

Over the next few weeks, the mice switched to the high-fat diet containing NF dropped to the same body weight as those mice on the low-fat diet.

The remaining mice on the high-fat diet became obese. No ill effects were observed, the researchers said. The research team investigated the mechanisms behind how the AHR, when blocked by NF, prevented and reversed obesity.

Using previous knowledge that the AHR regulates key genes in fat metabolism, the team discovered that in liver cells and in fat cells, the AHR, when blocked by NF, fails to induce several key genes required for fat storage and synthesis.

They concluded that the prevention and reversal of obesity from blocking the activity of the AHR is due to key genes regulated by the AHR that are involved in fat metabolism.

“Few to no studies have shown that obesity can be reversed by a drug treatment; it is even rarer to know the underlying cellular mechanism,” Tomlinson noted.

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The research team has begun investigating several key questions, including those around the dietary compounds in the food we eat that activate the AHR to cause weight gain , and the role that gut bacterial play regarding the AHR. Most importantly, they have initiated a clinical trial to determine whether the AHR may serve as a therapeutic target to reduce obesity in humans. (IANS)