Poor nutrition may have a direct effect on development of disease

March 6th, 2013 by Eating for your health in KrantzCare
Food for health

Your child’s diet directly influences their health.
We are learning more every day that what you eat may directly effect your health and whether or not you develop certain illnesses. Two recent studies have reinforced this notion. Your health is substantially related to what and how well you eat, not as a secondary result of obesity but a direct negative effect on your body. These new studies are indicating that the quality of the food, the relationship between sugar and glycemic index as well as poor nutrition causes inflammatory reactions which are now thought related to the development or expression of conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
      In the first study it was observed that people who ate low fiber and high glycemic index foods ( high sugar content } equating to poor nutritional habits, had a much higher chance of developing diabetes. We all thought it was merely a scare tactic when our parents, grandparents, and teachers told us “if you eat too much sugar you will get Diabetes”. Physicians in general, would tell you this is nonsense , “there is no causal relationship between how much sugar you eat and developing diabetes”, But recently a study indicated that this might actually be the case. In this study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, based on research from a number of Universities including the University of California, Los Angeles, and Oxford University , it was shown that for every 100 grams of sugar per 2000 calorie diet people ate over the average sugar intake there was a 45% higher chance of becoming Diabetic. “People who eat a lot of low-fiber and processed foods” ( junk and unhealthy sugar filled foods)  that cause quick jump in blood sugar and the subsequent overuse of our insulin have a “higher risk of the most common form of diabetes, according to this study.”
       In a similar fashion the second study, published in the medical journal  Thorax, indicated that poor nutrition such as an abundance of fast foods and junk food also have a relationship to inflammation in your child’s system including increasing their chances of having asthma, eczema, and a nasal inflammation called rhinoconjunctivitis. In this study it was shown that "Eating fast food meals at least three times a week was linked to a 39% increased risk of severe asthma in teenagers and a 27% increased risk.
There can be other factors associated with lifestyle differences such as level of activity and obesity, not accounted for in this study.The researchers noticed that eating fruit a few times a week might have had a protective effect from developing an reduced the severity of these conditions. The study did not prove a causation but suggested an association.

What this means

  • What we eat can have a direct impact on the development and severity of common diseases. 
  • Diseases considered genetic can be moderated to some extent by your child’s level of health and dietary habits. We may have more influence than previously thought.
  • Inflammation from poor nutrition is quickly becoming the scourge of our times. Responsible in varying levels for many diseases, include heart disease, kidney, and now diseases of inflammation like allergies, asthma, and eczema. And this inflammation is man-made and to a large extent preventable.

What can we do?

  • Encourage your children from a young age to eat fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Limit the junk food, fried foods, and sugary snacks, drinks, and dessert.
  • Exercise is always an important way to become fit and fight inflammation from excess calories and obesity.
  • Eat as close to the natural source as possible. Processed food, meaning anything done to preserve, change the taste, or alter it can add to your inflammation and cause problems. The ingredients to look out for include chemicals, sugars, sodium, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring . Anything you need a scientist to pronounce.

The more we learn about disease and prevention the simpler the answer is becoming.