Study Finds Teens Eating More Fiber Have Slimmer Waists
Teen Having a Healthy Breakfast (© Abimages | Dreamstime.com)
Eating more fiber will reduce abdominal fat for a slimmer waist, but beyond looking better there are important health benefits. That’s the conclusion of researchers from the University of Southern California studying dietary factors in overweight Latino youth.
The scientists at USC undertook the study because, “Escalating rates of obesity, especially in at-risk groups such as Latino youth, are of public health concern partly because childhood obesity increases the risks of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.” The research included children from 11 to 17 years of age, overweight or obese, of Latino ancestry and a family history of type 2 diabetes. The results of the study were published in the November 2009 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Studying the causes of childhood obesity and its accompanying health problems is complex, but the researchers noted, “environmental factors such as increased consumption of added sugars and decreased fiber intake are thought to be involved.”
There was a 4% reduction in visceral adipose fat, more commonly known as abdominal fat, among the subjects who increased their total fiber intake. Visceral fat is considered an independent risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes and cancer. The results underscore “the fact that all carbohydrates are not created equal; instead, they have myriad and disparate effects when consumed.”
There are delicious ways to get more fiber by eating whole grain foods. Try oatmeal with fresh fruit, cinnamon, and a teaspoon of honey. Fresh-baked, whole grain semolina bread is a wonderful accompaniment to a favorite salad. Mushroom & barley soup is a tasty way to get some whole grains without any animal fat. Whole grain pasta with a tomato sauce seasoned (garlic, oregano, basil, etc.) to your taste and served with steamed broccoli, spinach, or green beans is a terrific meal. Squeeze a little fresh lemon and grind some black pepper on those veggies.
A lot of people are delighted to learn that popcorn is a whole grain!
To read the full article in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition cited above requires a subscription, go to: Latino Youth Who Increase Fiber Consumption May Lower Risk of Diabetes
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