Stories tagged heart problems

Aug
17
2007

Yum, yum, eat 'em up!: Photo by jaboobie at Flickr.
Yum, yum, eat 'em up!: Photo by jaboobie at Flickr.
When my mother was pregnant with me she must have been eating a whole lot of junk food according to a new study published by the British Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College in Great Britain discovered that pregnant rats that overindulge candy bars, potato chips and other junk food seem to pass those cravings on to their innocent and unsuspecting offspring.

So far, the study only involved rats, but I’m certain my mother is the reason I really crave Lorna Doones® and chocolate donuts.

The female rats in the study were fed either a bland yet nutritious sort of rat chow, or given access to as much tasty junk food as they wanted. The diets were continued in some rats up to birth, and through the breastfeeding period.

When the offspring were divided up, some of the group from the rat chow-only mothers was offered just rat chow to eat; the remainder of that group was mixed in with the offspring from junk food-fed mothers and given the choice of boring rat chow or delicious junk food.

The rat chow-only offspring ate the least amount of food, but for the offspring given a choice evidently too much junk food isn’t enough, especially the babies whose mothers had been fed only junk food. Their offspring preferred the empty-calorie treats and consumed twice as much food as the offspring of chow-only group.

The reason for this, the scientists think, is that the “pleasure chemicals” unleashed by the rat mother when eating high-fat foods may have some sort of effect on the brain of the fetus.

It should be reiterated that the study only has to do with rats. No such study has been done on humans, but I’ll tell, I’d probably be a good study subject. My mom still loves to ingest lots of sweets and I’m not far behind her.

Not good for one's heart: Photo by &y at Flickr Creative Commons.
Not good for one's heart: Photo by &y at Flickr Creative Commons.
Which brings me to another disturbing study, which, in my case, could also be connected to junk food.

University of Texas researchers have determined that having a pot belly –even a fairly small one- increases your risk of heart disease.

"Fat that accumulates around your waist seems to be more biologically active as it secretes inflammatory proteins that contribute to atherosclerotic plaque build-up, whereas fat around your hips doesn't appear to increase risk for cardiovascular disease at all,” according to Professor James de Lemos, the research lead. “Even a small pot belly puts us at higher risk when compared to a flat tummy."

I guess that means I either have to cut down on my junk food intake or ratchet up my exercise regimen.

"What's important is that people consider their body shape as well as their weight,” said June Davison, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation. “Controlling both by eating less and being more active is an effective way to reduce your risk of heart and circulatory disease”

Well, I suppose, but even exercise has some controversy attached to it.

Last week a study stated that even light exercise was beneficial.

But then this week a new study proclaims that workouts must be “tough” to be of any benefit.

Oh, the heck with it. I'm going back to the couch with a bag of donuts on my pot belly and wait for some more agreeable studies to come out.

LINKS

Cravings story
Pot belly story

May
16
2007


Does your pacemaker love an iPod?: Research by a high school student shows significant troubles with iPod music devices and pacemakers working together in close proximity. Electromagnetic fields put out by the iPod can interfere with the performance of a pacemaker. (Photo by DRA studios)
Here’s news that you don’t need to be a highly-degreed scientist to make a scientific research breakthrough.

A high school student in Michigan has discovered that there are dangers of using an iPod if you’ve got a pacemaker inside your chest. Doing a test with 100 elderly patients who had pacemakers monitoring the beating of their hearts, the student found out that iPods caused electrical interference with the pacemakers 50 percent of the time when they’re within two inches of the site of the pacemaker. Other interference issues were discovered when an iPod was held 18 inches away from a pacemaker. In one instance, the electrical influence of an iPod stopped a pacemaker completely.

The average age of the participants of the study was 77. They listened to Frank Sinatra music with the iPod’s earbuds resting on their shoulders as not to blow out their hearing. And while iPods are not commonly used among people of that age group, student Jay Thayer pointed out that the information is still vital for pacemaker wearers to know as they may have grandchildren or neighbors using iPods nearby them.

It’s believed that the electromagnetic field put out when the iPod is playing causes interference with the performance of the pacemaker in the heart. No other types of MP3 music playing devices were tested in the study.

That’s all good information. But what I really want to know is what would happen if you listened to music on your iPod by that old 60s band, Gary and the Pacemakers? But seriously, can you think of any other medical issues that might present themselves with using in iPod? Share them here with other Science Buzz readers.