Can One Sugary Drink Per Day Increase Your Risk Of Developing Diabetes?

How much sugary soda do you drink each day?  Well according to a new study, just one can of sugary soda per day may significantly increase your risk of developing diabetes later in life.

According to a story on, Researchers at the Imperial College in London, say that drinking a single 12-ounce sugar-sweetened drink every day may increase the risk of diabetes by as much as 22 percent. .

This study followed 28,000 people using data from studies across eight European countries. When total energy intake and body mass index of the people were accounted for, the figure fell from 22 percent to 18 percent increased risk.

The results indicate that risk of type 2 diabetes goes beyond simply a sugary drink’s effect on body weight.  Similar studies conducted with North American subjects reflected a 25 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes for each daily soft drink consumed.

By the way, this study also looked at the effects of pure fruit juice and nectar consumption.  The researchers say those beverages did not appear to lead to increased risk of diabetes.

However, they say it was difficult to say for sure, given the challenge of identifying fruit juices people drink that have added sugar, as opposed to those that are 100 percent fruit juice.

Here’s one other new research finding—but this one deals with our SPIRITUAL health.  Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, did s study on CURSING.  Dr. Jay found that wwear words make up just shy of 1% of the words an average person says in a given day.

I suppose that’s good news, but here’s the NOT so good news.  He also says the average child learns his or her first swear word by age 2!  Ouch!

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Researchers Find A New Way To Curb Childhood Obesity

As all of us know, America has a major problem with childhood obesity.  A third of US kids are overweight, and nearly one in five is obese.

These kids are at high risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and all the other obesity-related health problems.  In fact, this is the first generation that may actually die before their parents.

In addition, many of these children will experience social and emotional challenges because of their weight.

Dr. Claire McCarthy writes the “MD Mama” blog, and she reports on a new study that offers one possible solution to the problem—give kids smaller plates!

Researchers gave adult-sized and kid-sized plates to first graders at an elementary school in Philadelphia, and let them serve themselves lunch. Guess what happened? The kids with bigger plates served themselves more–and ate more.

Dr. McCarthy says the study has somewhat of a “duh” feel to it, but at the same time, it’s brilliant. If we want kids to eat kid-sized portions, then we perhaps we should give them kid-sized plates.  She points out that while this won’t cure childhood obesity, but it’s a clear, easy step in the right direction.

Here’s another step you can take—make your kids’ plate look like the plate at half fruits and vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and a quarter protein (like meat, fish or eggs). Those are the proportions that make up the healthiest diet.

And by the way, contrary to what our parents told us, don’t make your kids finish everything on their plates.  It’s better to let them listen to their own hunger cues, and stop eating when they are full.  Just make sure they eat at least some of the fruits or vegetables on the plate.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

12 Smart Ideas for Breakfast on the Go

Set yourself up for healthy-breakfast success by stocking your shelves with items you can grab and go. Here are 12 ideas.

Is Slightly Overweight Healthier?

Can being slightly overweight lead to a longer life?  A new study on that has created quite a stir among obesity experts.

The research was reported last week, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It suggested that slightly overweight people were less likely to die prematurely than people with a “healthy” weight.

Being underweight or severely obese did cut life expectancy.

According to the BBC, one doctor has called the findings a “pile of rubbish” while another said it was a “horrific message” to put out.

Responding to the report, Professor John Wass at the Royal College of Physicians in Great Britain says “Have you ever seen a 100-year-old human being who is overweight? The answer is you probably haven’t.”

Wass points out that the largest people in society will die prematurely, suffer a variety of health problems and have higher levels of Type 2 diabetes.

He says “Huge pieces of evidence go against this, countless other studies point in the other direction.”

Possible explanations for the study’s results included overweight people being more likely to receive medical treatment, such as medication to control blood pressure, or the extra weight helped them survive being severely ill in hospital.

Also, criticizing the study was Walter Willett, from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He says “This is an even greater pile of rubbish” than a study conducted by the same group in 2005.  So tell us what you REALLY think!

To read the American Heart Association’s recommendations on body weight and diet, just go to and click “Getting Healthy.”

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Kids Need Recess

Recess is going the way of the dinosaur at many schools, and America’s pediatricians are worried.

According to a story on, doctors say recess can be as important as class time for helping students perform their best.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new policy statement on recess, saying it can be a critical time for development and social interaction.

Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University who is a co-author of the statement. He says “Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges.”

“They tend to be less able to process information the longer they are held to a task. It’s not enough to just switch from math to English. You actually have to take a break.”

The AAP committee that developed the statement discovered that the benefits of recess extend beyond the physical. They found that it affects social, emotional and cognitive development, helps kids practice conflict resolution, and lets them come back to class more ready to learn and less fidgety.

The Time article points out that new policy could be a lifeline for the diminishing role recess plays in the school day. Many districts have trimmed budgets and hours of instruction, squeezing more academic subjects into existing or even fewer school days. Recess often gets sacrificed in the process.

Last year a national survey found that just six states adhere to standards from the National Association for Sports and Physical Education. That group recommends that schoolchildren participate in 150 minutes a week of physical education.

To learn more about the pediatricians’ new recommendations on recess, visit the Academy’s website at

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

To make this year’s resolution a success, I’ve created a plan that will help you BUILD momentum as the weeks progress, rather than lose it. Unlike in Januarys past, the idea is to start off with small changes and up the ante as you start to lose weight and see results. It’s the same strategy I’ve seen many “big losers” adopt on their way to shedding hundreds of pounds…and it works. Think small and read more here.

Food Allergies & Bullying

Does your child have a food allergy?  If so, he or she could be a target of bullies at school.

According to a new study reported by Medical News Today, food allergies can pre-dispose children to being bullied at school,

Researchers looked at 251 families from a New York City food allergy clinic.  They found that nearly a third of the kids have been bullied because of their food allergy.

Most of the kids said that their classmates had threatened them with the food to which they were allergic. They would wave it in front of them, throw it at them or tell them that they would sneak it into their food when they weren’t looking.

As you might expect, the study showed that bullying is associated with reduced quality of life as well as increased stress for the children and their parents.  Parents were aware of the bullying only about half of the time.  When they knew about it, the children’s quality of life improved.

The research team says that pediatricians and parents should screen for bullying in children with food allergies.

By the way, a separate study found that food allergies are associated with anxiety and loneliness in children. In fact, one out of five allergic children don’t attend classmates’ parties.  One in four of these kids say they always bring “safe food” with them.

To learn more about the new study and how you can help your child, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website at

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Turn a Pack of Ramen Noodles into a Healthy Snack

From Everyday Food

This crunchy Ramen Noodle snack mix makes for a delicious and healthy way for adults to enjoy Ramen noodles. Plus, it’s incredibly easy, with only three steps.

Crunchy Ramen Snack Mix Recipe 


2 packages ramen, broken into small pieces (seasoning packet discarded)

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup raw peanuts

1 cup cornflakes

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup fried or freeze-dried peas


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss ramen, cashews, peanuts, and cornflakes with oil until coated.

2. Spread mixture in an even layer. Combine curry powder, cayenne, and salt; sprinkle over ramen mixture.

3. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Stir in peas and let cool completely before serving.

Healthier Kids in 2013

Here’s a New Years’ resolution that will help your child stay healthier in 2013. Give them cheese and veggies as an afternoon snack.

A new study has found that healthy snacks can help take the edge off of kids’ between-meal hunger pangs.  In fact, it may even help put a dent in rates of childhood obesity.

According to a story on, children who were given cheese and vegetables as a snack ate 72% fewer calories than children who snacked on potato chips.  The impact was even greater for kids who were overweight or obese.

The study involved about 200 kids entering third or sixth grade. They were given chips, cheese, veggies, or a combination of veggies and cheese, and allowed to snack freely while watching a 45-minute TV show.

Kids who chose the veggies-only option took in the fewest calories, but those offered the combo snack or cheese only took in about the same number of calories. Either option meant far fewer calories than those who were served chips, which suggests that replacing potato chips even with cheese alone may be an option.

The good news is that children will accept healthier snacks.  Erin Corrigan, a clinical nutrition manager at Miami Children’s Hospital in Florida, says “snacks are an important part of a child’s diet if you provide nutrient-dense foods.”

Although cheese can be high in calories, it is also high in protein and calcium, Corrigan says “Fruits and vegetables have more fiber, which helps people feel full quicker and longer.  When combined with protein it’s the perfect combination for a well-balanced snack.”

Other possible healthy options include and yogurt and granola, hummus and veggies, and peanut, sunflower, or almond nut butter with fruit or whole-grain crackers.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Hold the Salt!

Here’s an important story for parents as we get ready to enter the New Year. Are your kids getting too much SALT in their diet?  The fact is that childhood obesity is a growing problem in the US, and excess salt intake may have a lot to do with it.

CBS News writer Ryan Jaslow reports on a new study done in Australia—it found that reducing the amount of salt in kids’ diets may be a first step in preventing obesity. That’s because salty foods lead kids to reach for sugary drinks—a major contributor to childhood obesity.

The researchers tracked the eating and drinking habits of 4,200 Australian kids. They found that the kids who took in the most salt, also consumed the most sugary drinks.

For every one gram of salt per day, children took in 17 grams per day more of a sugary drink.  Children who drank more than one serving per day of a sugary drink were more likely to be obese.

While we know that salty foods can cause us to be thirsty, experts were quick to point out the study did not show cause and effect for salt’s role in obesity.

By the way, The American Heart Association recommends that people should take in no more than 1,500 milligrams milligrams of sodium each day.

However, a recent survey found most Americans average 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, mostly from processed and restaurant foods.

And what are the biggest sodium culprits?  Breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup and sandwiches.

To learn more about a healthy level of salt intake, go to the Heart Association’s website at

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.