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Eating out linked to health risks in children
The Seattle Times ^ | November 15, 2005 | John Fauber

Posted on 11/15/2005 10:42:35 PM PST by neverdem

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

DALLAS — Children who often eat in restaurants are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to a novel study presented here.

The study is believed to be the first to link eating out and heart-disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, and diabetes risk factors, such as poor insulin sensitivity. It also adds to earlier research showing that children who eat out frequently are more likely to be overweight.

"This is about what is going to happen to kids if we don't teach them a better way of life," said lead author Karen Olson, a registered nurse and executive director of the Cardiovascular Research and Education Foundation of Wausau, Wis.

The study, presented at the American Heart Association's annual scientific sessions, involved 621 Wausau elementary and high-school students, who were part of a study looking at heart-disease and diabetes risk factors.

Among those children, 126 ate out more than four times a week, not counting school lunches.

Compared with the 495 children who ate out fewer than four times a week, they had more high blood pressure, lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind), smaller LDL cholesterol particle size (an established heart-disease risk factor) and more insulin insensitivity (an early warning sign of Type 2 diabetes).

Most of the differences were modest, but several were statistically significant. For instance, the average blood pressure of the kids who often ate out was 110/70, compared with 106/66 in those who ate out fewer than four times a week. HDL cholesterol was 45 for youngsters who ate out often, compared with 47 for those who did not.

Differences in health

Average blood pressure Kids who ate out often: 110/70

Kids who didn't: 106/66

Soft drinks a week

Kids who ate out often: 6 cups

Kids who didn't: 3.7 cups

Sedentary activity per day

Kids who ate out often: 3.6 hours

Kids who didn't: 2.8 hours The children who ate out often also had diets that were higher in starch, sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol. In addition, they drank an average of six cups of soda and other sugary soft drinks a week, compared with 3.7 cups for the children who ate out fewer than four times a week.

Four out of 21 meals should not make a major difference in food intake, Olson said, suggesting that dining out often is a sign of eating a lot of fast food, such as frozen pizza and macaroni and cheese, at home.

Olson said most parents were unaware their children were developing risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Most of the parents said they ate out with their kids because of time constraints.

"They were alarmed," Olson said. "A lot of people thought it wasn't affecting their kids."

The children who ate out often also tended to be more sedentary, although researchers did not find a significant difference in weight between the two groups. "It may be that it just hasn't caught up with them yet," Olson said.

On average, they spent 3.6 hours a day in sedentary activities such as watching TV, compared with 2.8 hours in the kids who ate out fewer than four times a week.

Most studies of children's eating habits have focused on weight, said Dr. Joseph Skelton, medical director of a program for overweight kids at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. He was not a part of the study.

"This was a very well-done study to make the big jump to cardiovascular risk factors," said Skelton, who also is a lecturer at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "It's just more proof that we need to change what we are eating."

However, making the change to a more healthful diet is hard for families, especially those who spend a lot of time eating while watching TV, which tends to take children's attention off how much they are eating, he said.

The study was funded by the Wausau Heart Institute and other community sources.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: health; medicine; science
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1 posted on 11/15/2005 10:42:36 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

This is so stupid. It's not the eating out itself that is the risk factor, it's the culture of laziness.

2 posted on 11/15/2005 10:44:28 PM PST by thoughtomator (Bring Back HCUA!)
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To: thoughtomator

And endless sugar water...

3 posted on 11/15/2005 10:46:25 PM PST by DB ()
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To: neverdem
Next they'll say that eating at home is linked to health risks in children because parents aren't trained cooks like professional chefs and that restaurant meals are more balanced.


4 posted on 11/15/2005 10:51:16 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: neverdem

Good post for those who aren't aware of this 'lil tidbit. When I saw the headline, the first thing I said was, "well, no kidding....DUH!" Haven't we known this for years! Sort of like terrorism....we knew it was there years ago, but ignored it.

I remember calling into a radio talk show YEARS ago (back in the early '80's) when they were discussing why our young ones are so overweight these days. They took my call and I told them what was so painfull obvious. Moms started working and quit cooking. Daddy didn't step in to the kitchen because he was just as "busy".

It was "fast 'n easy" for everyone and still is. Quick! Stop by McDonald's, or KFC, or TacoBell on the way home from work. Afterall, we do hate to have to cook for the children after a long day at work. And they do have those cute little toys with every meal. That ought to make the kiddies feel good after we've ignored them all day.

Even when the parents went to the grocery store, they were lured to the "inner aisles" of the store, and the frozen food section. Forget fresh fruit and vegees. Those require a bit of preparation. Not much, but "much" wasn't even a spot on a calendar anymore.

Children started subsisting on GREASE. That's what it was and is for far too many kids. And since no one was home to tend to the children, the children spent their time playing video games, watching movies, anything other than going outside and do something physical.

Ok, don't flame me. I'm in a mood and not fit for battle. LOL

5 posted on 11/15/2005 10:52:59 PM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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To: neverdem

a story about a study done in dallas written up in the milwaukee journal and published in the seattle times.

Sorry, just amusing to me.

6 posted on 11/15/2005 10:55:57 PM PST by flashbunny (LOCKBOX: Where most republicans keep their gonads after they arrive in Washington D.C.)
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To: thoughtomator

You've got that right. And when you're talking "kids" and "eating out", your probably talking McDonald's, not Fresh Choice or Olive Garden.

7 posted on 11/15/2005 11:15:13 PM PST by Lexinom
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To: thoughtomator
You are correct. Eating out is not the problem. I lost 30 pounds in 4 months after my daughter was born by eating at Burger King 5 days a week. Add to that Friday night pizza and ice cream.

First, I had to walk the stroller 2 miles, one-way to Burger King for lunch, then 2 miles home. I got the Chef Salad with light Italian dressing and an iced tea. (no sugar) On Friday night, hubby and I would hit a local pizza joint and I would have one slice chased with a child's scoop of ice cream on a sugar cone. I ate balanced dinners and very light breakfasts.

Today my daughter (who is now a teenager) and I were munchy so we stopped at Wendy's for a salad and an iced tea.

It's about choices and responsibility and no amount of denial will get around that.

8 posted on 11/15/2005 11:32:16 PM PST by Marie (Stop childhood obesity! Give em' Marlboros, not milkshakes!)
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To: neverdem

Horse Crap... Diabetes is an infectious disease...

Mastoparan-Induced Insulin Secretion from Insulin-Secreting ßTC3 and INS-1 Cells: Evidence for Its Regulation by Rho Subfamily of G Proteins
Rajesh H. Amin, Hai-Qing Chen, Rajakrishnan Veluthakal, Robert B. Silver, Jingsong Li, GuoDong Li and Anjaneyulu Kowluru

Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences (R.H.A., H.-Q.C., R.V., A.K.) and Pharmacology (R.B.S.), Physiology, Radiology, and Biomedical Engineering, Wayne State University, and ß Cell Biochemistry Research Laboratory (R.H.A., H.-Q.C., A.K.), John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan 48201; and John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Argonne National Laboratory (R.B.S.), and Cardiovascular Research Institute (J.L., G.L.), National University Medical Institutes, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597

Address all correspondence and requests for reprints to: Anjan Kowluru, Ph.D., Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Wayne State University, 259 Mack Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201. E-mail:

Mastoparan, a tetradecapeptide from wasp venom, stimulates insulin secretion from the islet ß-cells, presumably via activation of trimeric G proteins. Herein, we used Clostridial toxins, which selectively modify and inactivate the Rho subfamily of G proteins, to examine whether mastoparan-induced insulin secretion also involves activation of these signaling proteins. Mastoparan, but not mastoparan 17 (an inactive analog of mastoparan), significantly stimulated insulin secretion from ßTC3 and INS-1 cells. Preincubation of ßTC3 cells with either Clostridium difficille toxin B, which inactivates Rho, Cdc42, and Rac, or Clostridium sordellii toxin, which inactivates Ras, Rap, and Rac, markedly attenuated the mastoparan-induced insulin secretion, implicating Rac in this phenomenon. Mastoparan-stimulated insulin secretion was resistant to GGTI-2147, a specific inhibitor of geranylgeranylation of Rho G proteins (e.g. Rac), suggesting that mastoparan induces direct activation of Rac via GTP/GDP exchange. This was confirmed by a pull-down assay that quantifies the binding of activated (i.e. GTP-bound) Rac to p21-activated kinase. However, glucose-induced insulin secretion from these cells was abolished by toxin B or GGTI-2147, suggesting that the geranylgeranylation step is critical for glucose-stimulated secretion. Mastoparan significantly increased the translocation of cytosolic Rac and Cdc42 to the membrane fraction. Confocal light microscopy revealed a substantial degree of colocalization of Rac (and, to a lesser degree, Cdc42) with insulin in ß-cells exposed to mastoparan. Further, stable expression of a dominant negative (N17Rac) form of Rac into INS-1 cells resulted in a significant reduction in mastoparan-stimulated insulin secretion from these cells. Taken together, our findings implicate Rho G proteins, specifically Rac, in mastoparan-induced insulin release.

9 posted on 11/15/2005 11:33:28 PM PST by MedicalMess
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To: neverdem

What a waste of a study. Eating healthy can be done in restaurants or at home.

10 posted on 11/15/2005 11:36:45 PM PST by tioga
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To: neverdem

Translation: You are hereby ordered to live the dullest, most uninteresting, joyless life imaginable, sucking down tofu and brussel sprout shakes. You'll hate every moment of it, but you'll live longer! (That is, if you don't die of boredom or kill yourself to end this Nanny-State hell.) We will, however, encourage you to engage in "alternative" lifestyles known to cause fatal disorders. Have a nice day!

11 posted on 11/15/2005 11:58:57 PM PST by Prime Choice (Mechanical Engineers build weapons. Civil Engineers build targets.)
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To: neverdem

Good! Keep the kids at home instead of tearing up the restaurant so I can eat in peace.

12 posted on 11/16/2005 12:08:16 AM PST by Tall_Texan (HOUSTON ASTROS - NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2005)
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To: Marie
I lost 30 pounds in 4 months after my daughter was born by eating at Burger King 5 days a week.

Couldn't help but did "eating at Burger King 5 days a week" cause your daughter to be born?

13 posted on 11/16/2005 12:21:19 AM PST by ThirstyMan (hysteria: the elixir of the Left that trumps all reason)
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To: neverdem

The differences in blood pressure and HDL between the two groups are trivial. If they are statistically significant (and I assume they are given the noise the author is making), the reason is the fairly large number of subjects in the study.

The same results with a smaller number of subjects would not have reached statistical significance.

The real question with this kind of study is whether the findings are clinically significant. I just can't get excited about the slight differences in blood pressure and HDL between the groups. The simple fact is the both groups had average values well within the normal range.

I think it's still good to be normal, but on second thought, maybe I'd better check on that.

14 posted on 11/16/2005 12:47:11 AM PST by freespirited
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To: Chena

I'm not going to flame you Chena because you are spot on. That high-fat over-sized restaurant portions will make kids (and grownups) into fat fatties is not exactly surprising.

I have no clue why it should be a conservative principle to defend the merits of relentless eating out. Buying and cooking your own fresh food is the healthiest possible option. Taking kids out to eat more than a couple of times a week is begging for trouble.

We are a nation of fat fatties because we stopped cooking for ourselves. Plain and simple.

15 posted on 11/16/2005 1:22:57 AM PST by 12B
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To: tioga
"What a waste of a study. Eating healthy can be done in restaurants or at home."

You are right, but that is assuming that the restaurants serve healthy food. The problem is that most of them don't. More and more they are altering their menus to what they think customers will want... and that means more fatty high calorie items.

Recently we were on a trip up in the Smokie Mountains National Park area. We were having dinner at what was considered a "high end" restaurant in Gatlinburg (so I'm not talking McDonalds or fast food here). I ordered Grilled Salmon and was told I could choose two sides to go with it. When I asked what the choices were, I was told: mashed potatoes, baked potato, sweet potato, rice, or corn. I asked if there was perhaps anything green in the choices and was told they used to have green beans, but no one ordered them so they dropped them from the menu. I can guess that the beans they used to have were most likely tastless soggy canned beans... and it's no wonder no one liked them.

We looked around the restaurant (and the town) and you couldn't help but notice all the huge rear ends hanging over the edges of the chairs. No wonder!

My husband said, just order a salad then..... but the salad was just a pile of iceberg lettuce (which has no food value what-so-ever) with croutons, only dressing choices were ranch, french and thousand island... they had never heard of sugarless vinegarette.

16 posted on 11/16/2005 3:38:45 AM PST by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie)
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To: neverdem
I have a serious inter-family crisis going on because I am the primary cook, and my family has decided they won't eat my cooking.

Granted, I have a bent towards spicy food and new, untried dishes, but I have finally surrendered to making only bland, standard fare.

They still run off to Wendys or McDonalds or Pizza Hut. And I am desperately in need of cooking therapy, and I have 2 freezers full of good food that no one will eat.

I might just start cooking for my neighbors. They all crave my cooking. Let my family eat grease and lard.

17 posted on 11/16/2005 5:10:28 AM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy

It all depends. I eat at local restaurants that actually have cooks starting with raw food, as in fresh produce. If I am not happy with a choice they usually offer to get me what I want. Real meat and chicken, not prepackaged stuff like the big chain restaurants serve. For a little town like the one I live in there are choices to be made and I use discretion. Of course, my husband isn't fond of those places, but I will not go where I cannot eat healthy and he knows it.

Eating at home is no guarentee of healthy eating.....what with instant potatoes, frozen dinners, canned foods.....the nutrition is sorely lacking there as well. Many homes have enough soda to rot a kids teeth right in the fridge......along with prepackaged candy and cookies. For in front of the tv there are the inevitable bags of chips......

Healthy eating is a matter of educating oneself and making good, healthy choices.

18 posted on 11/16/2005 7:03:11 AM PST by tioga
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To: neverdem
It's WHAT you eat NOT WHERE you eat it!


Send the money for these surveys to me ... this is COMMON SENSE to most of us. What a waste of money and time.
19 posted on 11/16/2005 8:56:24 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: 12B

Thank you, 12B! Your last sentence just about says it all. "We are a nation of fat fatties because we stopped cooking for ourselves. Plain and simple"

The best advice we can give parents is to get back in the kitchen and cook. Take your children with you and teach them to cook too. We did and we're healthier for it.

On a side note..... Back in the 60's and 70's, my mother worked but we still ate homecooked meals. All of us children learned to cook at a young age, and when we were old enough we were responsible for preparing dinners when we got home from school. The weekly menu was planned out on the weekend, and groceries were bought on the weekend so that we had everything we needed for each dinner that week. Mom and dad helped too, of course. We all took our turns.

If we could do it without all the fancy gadgets and appliances we have these days, then there really is no excuse for parents today.

20 posted on 11/16/2005 10:58:46 AM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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