Health bites: junk the juice

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 September, 2013, 12:12pm

Move it and lose it: every 'brisk' minute counts

Go hard to keep off the heft: that's the advice of University of Utah researchers, whose new study shows that brief high-intensity activity can have a positive effect on weight, as do longer durations of exercise.

In the US, the current recommendation is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week, which can be accumulated in eight to 10 minute periods. But the researchers say shorter bouts - such as taking the stairs or walking between errands, for example - has comparable benefits. They found that each daily minute of higher-intensity activity lowered the odds of obesity by 5 per cent for women and 2 per cent for men.

Junk the juicer; whole fruit is best

Loading up on at least two servings each week of certain whole fruit - in particular blueberries, grapes or apples - can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 per cent, according to a new study led by the Harvard School of Public Health. Conversely, consuming one or more servings of fruit juice each day was found to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 21 per cent. The study, which involved nearly 190,000 people, was published online in BMJ (British Medical Journal).

Hormone testing may indicate gestational diabetes risk

Researchers at American health care provider Kaiser Permanente have found a potentially easy and inexpensive way to identify women at risk of gestational diabetes: by measuring levels of the hormone adiponectin. In their study of about 4,000 women published in Diabetes Care, overweight women with low levels of the hormone prior to pregnancy were almost seven times more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

The condition can lead to adverse outcomes including larger-than-normal babies and delivery complications. Women with gestational diabetes are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, and their children are at greater risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes themselves. Adiponectin protects against insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease.