Small taxes on soft drinks and snack foods to promote health. (1/99)

Health officials often wish to sponsor nutrition and other health promotion programs but are hampered by lack of funding. One source of funding is suggested by the fact that 18 states and 1 major city levy special taxes on soft drinks, candy, chewing gum, or snack foods. The tax rates may be too small to affect sales, but in some jurisdictions, the revenues generated are substantial. Nationally, about $1 billion is raised annually from these taxes. The authors propose that state and local governments levy taxes on foods of low nutritional value and use the revenues to fund health promotion programs.  (+info)

Turkish pepper (extra hot). (2/99)

A 38 year old female office worker was admitted with a newly discovered blood pressure of 250/110 mm Hg. Evaluation for secondary forms of hypertension was negative and treatment was begun. Sodium excretion was markedly reduced, plasma aldosterone was normal, and plasma renin activity was low. Therefore, presence of an aldosterone-like activity was suspected. Eventually, the patient confessed to abusing "Turkish Pepper", a brand of Scandinavian liquorice candies and "Fisherman's Friend", another brand of liquorice candies, concurrently. After eliminating liquorice from her diet, the hypertension disappeared thus allowing her antihypertensive treatment to be stopped.  (+info)

Survival of Salmonella east bourne and Salmonella typhimurium in chocolate. (3/99)

Experiments were carried out to assess the reduction rate of two salmonella strains (S. eastbourne and S. typhimurium) in chocolate bars. After artificial contamination of chocolate, after 'conching', with about 10(6) S. eastbourne/g. this organism was still recovered after 9 months storage. The strain of S. typhimurium was less resistant. Both serotypes died off more rapidly in bitter chocolate than in milk chocolate. After contamination with a smaller dose (about 10(3)/g.) with these two serotypes, similar differences were observed.  (+info)

Lead-contaminated imported tamarind candy and children's blood lead levels. (4/99)

In 1999, an investigation implicated tamarind candy as the potential source of lead exposure for a child with a significantly elevated blood lead level (BLL). The Oklahoma City-County Health Department tested two types of tamarind suckers and their packaging for lead content. More than 50% of the tested suckers exceeded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Level of Concern for lead in this type of product. The authors calculated that a child consuming one-quarter to one-half of either of the two types of suckers in a day would exceed the maximum FDA Provis onal Tolerable Intake for lead. High lead concentrations in the two types of wrappers suggested leaching as a potential source of contamination. The authors used the Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic (IEUBK) model to predict the effects of consumption of contaminated tamarind suckers on populat on BLLs. The IEUBK model predicted that consumption of either type of sucker at a rate of one per day would result in dramatic increases in mean BLLs for children ages 6-84 months in Oklahoma and in the percentage of children wth elevated BLLs (> or =10 micrograms per deciliter [microg/dL]). The authors conclude that consumption of these products represents a potential public health threat. In addition, a history of lead contamination in imported tamarind products suggests that import control measures may not be completely effective in preventing additional lead exposure.  (+info)

Effect of iron-fortified candies on the iron status of children aged 4-6 y in East Jakarta, Indonesia. (5/99)

BACKGROUND: Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent nutrition problem in young children. One possible strategy to prevent iron deficiency anemia in this population group is the fortification of affordable food. OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to assess whether iron-fortified candies can improve iron status and are acceptable to children aged 4-6 y. DESIGN: A double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study was conducted in Jakarta, INDONESIA: The children were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: a fortified group (n = 57) and a placebo group (n = 60). Every week for 12 wk, 30 g (10 pieces) candy was given to the children. The candy given to the fortified group contained 1 mg elemental Fe/g and very small amounts of other vitamins and minerals. RESULTS: The hemoglobin concentration of the fortified group increased by 10.2 g/L (95% CI: 8.3, 12 g/L) whereas that of the placebo group increased by 4.0 g/L (2.0, 6.0 g/L; P < 0.001). Anemia prevalence decreased from 50.9% at the start of the intervention to 8.8% after 12 wk of intervention in the fortified group (P < 0.001) and from 43.3% to 26.7% in the placebo group (P < 0.05). After 12 wk of intervention, the serum ferritin concentration was 71% higher than at baseline in the fortified group and 28% higher in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Acceptability of the iron-fortified candies was good. The per capita cost of the supplement was approximately US$0.96-1.20 for the 12 wk of intervention. CONCLUSION: Iron-fortified candies were effective for improving the iron status of young children and might be an affordable way to combat iron deficiency in children of low-to-middle income groups.  (+info)

Effects of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on LDL oxidative susceptibility and prostaglandin concentrations in humans. (6/99)

BACKGROUND: Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds of plant origin with antioxidant effects. Flavonoids inhibit LDL oxidation and reduce thrombotic tendency in vitro. Little is known about how cocoa powder and dark chocolate, rich sources of polyphenols, affect these cardiovascular disease risk factors. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the effects of a diet high in cocoa powder and dark chocolate (CP-DC diet) on LDL oxidative susceptibility, serum total antioxidant capacity, and urinary prostaglandin concentrations. DESIGN: We conducted a randomized, 2-period, crossover study in 23 healthy subjects fed 2 diets: an average American diet (AAD) controlled for fiber, caffeine, and theobromine and an AAD supplemented with 22 g cocoa powder and 16 g dark chocolate (CP-DC diet), providing approximately 466 mg procyanidins/d. RESULTS: LDL oxidation lag time was approximately 8% greater (P = 0.01) after the CP-DC diet than after the AAD. Serum total antioxidant capacity measured by oxygen radical absorbance capacity was approximately 4% greater (P = 0.04) after the CP-DC diet than after the AAD and was positively correlated with LDL oxidation lag time (r = 0.32, P = 0.03). HDL cholesterol was 4% greater after the CP-DC diet (P = 0.02) than after the AAD; however, LDL-HDL ratios were not significantly different. Twenty-four-hour urinary excretion of thromboxane B(2) and 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1)(alpha) and the ratio of the 2 compounds were not significantly different between the 2 diets. CONCLUSION: Cocoa powder and dark chocolate may favorably affect cardiovascular disease risk status by modestly reducing LDL oxidation susceptibility, increasing serum total antioxidant capacity and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, and not adversely affecting prostaglandins.  (+info)

Dissolving foreign bodies in the trachea and bronchus. (7/99)

Two young children inhaled sweets which dissolved in the tracheobronchial secretions and caused severe respiratory obstruction. The viscid fluid produced as the sweet dissolved was not expectorated and bronchoscopy was necessary. The oedema of the mucosa caused by the presence of a hyperosmolar sugar solution took up to 48 hours to resolve; antibiotics and steroid cover were considered necessary. The similarity of presentation with acute tracheobronchitis and the lack of reports in the literature suggest that such cases may be misdiagnosed.  (+info)

Bone mineral density and dietary patterns in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. (8/99)

BACKGROUND: Several nutrients are known to affect bone mineral density (BMD). However, these nutrients occur together in foods and dietary patterns, and the overall effects of dietary choices are not well understood. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated associations between dietary patterns and BMD in older adults. DESIGN: Of the original Framingham Heart Study subjects, 907 aged 69-93 y completed food-frequency questionnaires as part of an osteoporosis study. We defined dietary patterns by cluster analysis. BMD was measured at the proximal right femur (femoral neck, trochanter, Ward's area) with a dual-photon absorptiometer and at the 33% radial shaft with a single-photon absorptiometer. We regressed BMD measures onto the cluster variable, adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS: Six dietary patterns were identified, with relatively greater proportions of intake from meat, dairy, and bread; meat and sweet baked products; sweet baked products; alcohol; candy; and fruit, vegetables, and cereal. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, men in the last group had significantly (P = 0.05) greater BMD than did 2-4 other groups at the hip sites and the candy group at the radius. Men in the candy group had significantly (P < 0.05) lower BMD than did those in the fruit, vegetables, and cereal group for 3 of the 4 sites. Women in the candy group had significantly (P < 0.01) lower BMD than did all but one other group at the radius. CONCLUSIONS: Dietary pattern is associated with BMD. High fruit and vegetable intake appears to be protective in men. High candy consumption was associated with low BMD in both men and women.  (+info)