Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease Risk: Overweight Children are at Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease

Two recent studies have shown that children who are obese are at a greater risk of developing heart disease in adulthood than children who maintain a healthy weight. According to a study by Mayo Clinic endocrine trainee Dr. Charles DelGiorno and fellow researchers at Nemours Children’s Clinic, obese children can develop blood abnormalities that can cause them to be predisposed to developing heart disease later in life.

Childhood Obesity Studies

In Dr. Delgiorno’s study, 300 children between the ages of 7 and 18 of various weights and who did not have a hereditary trait for heart disease were tested for known markers that predict the risk of heart disease. The study showed that childhood obesity can be an added risk factor in developing heart disease later in life.

In another study by Dr. Asheley Cockrell Skinner and fellow colleagues it was found that obese children as young as three years old were twice as likely to develop heart disease than their leaner counterparts. Obese children showed to have “elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers that can lead to future cardiovascular disease risk”.

U.S. Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

The Childhood Obesity Research Summit sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled over the past 30 years. In children as young as 2 to 5 years old, 14% are overweight and register in the 85th percentile or higher in weight. With today’s fast paced lifestyles offering less chance for exercise and more on-the-go high-fat meals, children are paying the price by becoming less healthy. If this trend continues, these children will grow up to be obese adults whose lives will be cut short from heart disease.


Reversing the Risk of Heart Disease in Children

The good news is that parents can reverse the risk of their child developing heart disease later in life by helping their child become healthy now. The University of Michigan Health System offers this advice for parents who want to help their child lose weight.

  • Don’t make the child’s weight an issue. This can cause the child to feel insecure, angry or rebellious. Implement healthy changes for the entire family instead of targeting the overweight child.
  • Stop buying unhealthy foods. Parents do have control over how their child eats by purchasing foods that are healthy and skipping the unhealthy foods. Have plenty of fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks available so the child isn’t tempted with candy, cookies and potato chips.
  • Prepare healthy meals. Grill or bake foods instead of frying and add vegetables or salad as side dishes.
  • Be a positive role model. Eating healthy and exercising is good for everyone so teach your child to be healthy by living that way too.
  • Make exercise a daily occurrence. Take walks with the children, play basketball, bike or swim. Also, encourage children to participate in sporting activities that they will enjoy.

Children who maintain a healthy weight are more likely to be healthier as they grow into adulthood. Help your child by implementing a healthy lifestyle so she can lower the risk of developing heart disease later in life.

Dairy Free and Cholesterol Free Chocolate Cake: Chocolate Lover’s Cake Contains no Animal Products

This simple recipe makes a very moist, rich, dark chocolate cake that is mixed and baked in the same pan.

Great Cake for People on a Dairy Free or Low Cholesterol Diet

For chocolate lovers who can’t eat dairy products, or who must watch their cholesterol intake, this cake is perfect. Vegetable oil replaces the eggs and butter. Any vegetable oil, including olive oil may be used.

Mix the Dry Ingredients Together:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F., then put the following dry ingredients in an 8-inch square pan, or a 9-inch round pan. Stir the dry ingredients with a wire whisk to blend them and break up any lumps of flour or cocoa powder. Using a whisk makes sifting unnecessary.

  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Next Add the Liquid Ingredients

In a large measuring cup, stir the following ingredients together then pour them into the dry ingredients. Use the whisk to blend the dry and liquid ingredients into a smooth batter.

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup left over cold coffee (plain water works fine too.)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Final Ingredient is the Key to Rich, Moist Cake

  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

Stir the vinegar into the batter. The batter will foam a bit as the baking soda and vinegar react with each other. Use the wire whisk to disperses the vinegar throughout the batter. It is impossible to completely mix the vinegar into the batter, as it will continue to foam, causing light and dark streaks. This is fine.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center springs back when touched.

Make Simple Chocolate Frosting

After the cake cools, it can be frosted with any frosting recipe, but a simple and delicious frosting can be made by melting 1-1/3 chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. (A good dark chocolate can be substituted for the chocolate chips for a richer, more gourmet quality frosting.) Stir the chocolate chips continually as they melt, then add a ¼ cup hot water and ½ teaspoon vanilla to the melted chocolate. Stir the hot liquid into the chocolate until the mix is smooth and glossy. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.

This glaze takes a while to firm up. If the cake is to be served soon, or if the room is quite warm, put the cake in the refrigerator for about a half hour or so.

This cake is easy, inexpensive to make, and best of all, delicious.

Foods to Reduce Blood Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a fatty substance present in the body that performs several vital roles. It is the building block for various hormones and bile acids and helps stabilize the cell membranes.

While normal levels of cholesterol are essential for good health, elevated levels greatly increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders (atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries, angina and heart attack).

What Increases Blood Cholesterol Level?

Raised levels of cholesterol invariably have no manifesting signs or symptoms. This makes the disease graver and hard to handle. Raised levels of cholesterol in the blood are usually due to an increased synthesis of cholesterol by the liver, rather than a high intake of dietary cholesterol.


Nonetheless, lifestyle patterns and dietary errors are greatly accountable for the rise. A high consumption of fatty and greasy foods, and refined and processed foods, and a lack of exercise are important contributing factors. Genetics plays a pivotal role as well.

Flax Seeds Reduce Serum Cholesterol

Flax seeds or linseeds are highly helpful in lowering the blood cholesterol levels and improving the lipid profile. Consumption of flax seeds can help reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 6%.

The major health benefits of flax seeds are derived from omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Flax seeds contain twice the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish oil, making it effective food in management of Atherosclerosis.

Oats Help Increase the Excretion of Cholesterol

There have been innumerable studies conducted, that prove the remarkable beneficial effect of oats on cholesterol.

Oats are packed with dietary fiber. Fiber helps lower serum cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the blood, via feces. Oats are rich in a special type of fiber called the beta-D-glucan.

Consuming three grams of soluble oat fiber (approximately one bowl of oats), per day, decreases the total cholesterol by 8 to 23%.

Prunes Prevent Free Radical Damage to LDL Cholesterol

Prunes are loaded with powerful anti-oxidants. They contain phenolic compounds that prevent free radical damage to the LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Thus, prunes help protect the heart and ward off cardiovascular disorders.

There are many approaches to reduce the blood cholesterol level, including decreasing the absorption, enhancing the excretion, reducing the synthesis and preventing oxidation of the cholesterol. The foods described above, work in tandem and help bring down elevated levels of cholesterol and promote heart health significantly.

Obesity in Childhood is Linked to Mom

Even though millions of dollars each year are spent on the prevention, understanding and correction of obesity, Americans are more obese than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an astounding 60% of adults and 15% of children are obese or overweight, and current research reveals that parental obesity plays a strong role in obesity in childhood.

The Study

A recent study, conducted by Dr. Robert Berkowitz and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that children of overweight mothers are 15 times more likely to be obese by the age of six when compared to children with leaner mothers. The study also showed that doctors attempt to be proactive in curbing childhood obesity by intervening early—a soon as the age of four.

Evidence proves that there is a significant spike in weight between the ages of three and six, and in order to attempt to combat obesity, doctors agree that early intervention is critical. However, even when the best nutritional plan is proposed, they can’t be successful if not followed through in the home.


Environment and Obesity

The home environment of obese children generally differs from those with thin parents. Advances in technology and the introduction of every gadget conceivable, invented to make life easier, have created a double-edged sword. People have far less physically taxing things to contend with now, but they also have sedentary lifestyles. Children are no different. Why would a child want to play soccer or participate in other physical activities when they can turn on the Wii or Playstation3 and play virtual sports?

In homes that have leaner parents, children are generally more active and less prone to obesity. Soccer moms generally beget soccer children, so this information is unsurprising. It should also come as no surprise that leaner families tend to eat less fast food and less high-fat meals and generally have healthier snack options available at home for their kids.

Genes and Obesity

In childhood obesity a clear genetic predisposition to obesity has been established, but additional research is needed in this arena. Overweight moms tend to have slower metabolisms, and there has been substantial research on “fat genes” contributing to obesity in children. Naturally, there is no way to change genetics, and parents can be held blameless on inherited tendencies toward obesity, However, there are plenty of ways to overcome evolution.

Parents Can Help

The time for parents to start making a difference in their children’s lives is right now. If you’re an obese parent, and your young child is headed in the same direction, there are ways to prevent it from becoming worse. Parents are the role models for their children, and rather than simply establishing a diet and exercise regimen for their children to follow, they need to make live changes themselves. When parents are more active, children by default are as well.

If you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of information on childhood obesity available and you’re not sure where to begin, start with your pediatrician. Pediatricians make a great resource in combating childhood obesity by helping establish permanent life change.

Uses of Bicarbonate of Soda in Natural Health and Wellbeing

Bicarbonate of soda, also know as baking soda, sodium bicarb, or simply bicarb, is a naturally occurring substance traditionally used by bakers to make bread rise. It has been used in this capacity, and others, for generations.

Its popularity is now on the rise. thanks to its extensive versatility of uses and its effectiveness in treating many common health problems without the need to add chemicals and without harming the environment.

Bicarbonate of Soda is Natural Antacid

Many ingredients of our modern western diet, namely sugars, alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy and others, have contributed to our bodies becoming too acidic. When we experience an acid-alkali imbalance in our blood, the body’s response is to “borrow” from other alkaline reserves. This often results in heartburn, stomach upset, fatigue or a variety of other symptoms.

Bicarb is a general neutralizer of acids and bases and most of the health benefits come from these natural antacid properties.  According to the Baking Soda Book by Gregory Hughes, bicarb is an excellent, natural and inexpensive way to relieve heartburn and indigestion.

Dissolve half to one teaspoon of bicarb into a glass of water and drink in between meals. It is important for the body to keep its acidity levels for digestion, which is why bicarb should not be taken with meals.

Treating Acne With Baking Soda

Bicarb is used to control the acid balance of many commercial cosmetic products. It can be used both topically and orally to treat a variety of common skin ailments.

The article “Baking Soda and Acne” on the Quick Acne Remedy website explains that acne can be treated with bicarb in two ways; as an exfoliant and as a neutralizer of excessive acid. Acne breakouts are mostly due to clogged hair follicles. Bicarb can exfoliate the skin and unclog the hair follicle by mixing it with water to a paste and then applying to the affected area. Bicarb will also neutralist the acid to help prevent bacterial infections of the hair follicle to stop further breakouts.

Natural Skin Care Using Bicarb

Adding bicarb in bath water will soften the skin and relieve general skin irritation. It is also used in baby baths to relieve nappy rash, or in foot soaks to revive tired and aching feet.

For people sensitive to laundry detergent, the problem can be alleviated by adding one cup of bicarb to the detergent when doing the laundry.

Mixed three parts to one part water, a bicarb paste will ease sunburn as well as windburn. It can also be applied to insect bites and bee stings to reduce irritation. Just leave the mix on the affected area until water evaporates.

Treating Colds and Sinus Problems With Sodium Bicarb

It is said that at the first sign of a cold one should soak in a bath with two cups of baking soda, alternatively drink a glass of water with a pinch of dissolved bicarb. This will also soothe a sore throat.

It can also be used as a nose-rinse to alleviate sinus problems. Add a pinch of baking soda and one pinch of salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Use an ear syringe or similar and squirt the solution into your nose.

Additionally, it can be used as an ear-rinse to soften ear wax.

Baking Soda Can Help Remove Odor and Reduce Bad Breath

Bicarb is great at absorbing odours and is often used a natural, non-toxic deodorant. Just apply to clean skin. It can also be sprinkled inside shoes (and in other smelly places) to neutralise odour, leaving feet feeling fresh and comfortable.

A bicarb paste can also be used as an alternative to toothpaste. It works both as breath freshener as well as teeth whitener and a bicarb rinse is also said to protect the teeth from decay.

Household Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda

Additionally, bicarb can be used in many different applications around the house. It can be used to clean your leather couch, fridge, oven, coffeepot, drain, saucepan and many other things.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

An In-Depth The Secret Fat Burner Product Review

Losing weight has without a doubt become a mundane ordeal for many individuals. This probably has to do with the fact that there are so many diet programs and supplements available on the market. And, the truth is that some of these do not even work anyway. With that being said, it might be entirely possible that you have heard all the hype surrounding this new supplement called The Secret Fat Burner. Is this just another hype job, or does it actually offer proven results.

Exploring The Benefits Of This Dietary Supplement

One of the best and most amazing things about this new innovative dietary supplement is that is was designed for just about anyone. Individuals who are struggling to lose weight tend to buy the Secret Fat Burner. Whether you just do not have the time to get in the gym, or do not have the time to prepare and eat healthy meals. This supplement can completely change your life for the better. The main benefit of this supplement is that it works as an appetite suppressant, while boosting your energy levels.

A Look At The Secret Fat Burner Ingredients

The Secret Fat Burner is packed with a variety of different ingredients that can be beneficial in a variety of ways. To start off, yerba mate is an ingredient that is few similar to caffeine, which helps boost your metabolism and energy levels.

  • Bitter Orange Extract – Bitter orange extract will not only provide you with much-needed energy levels, but it can help your body burn more calories.
  • L-Carnitine – This is an amino acid that actually doubles as an appetite suppressant.
  • Chromium Chromium has the ability to boost your metabolism, while melting away the fat.
  • Cassia Seed – Cassia seed not only acts as a natural laxative, but it can go a long way in reducing your blood pressure as well.
  • Guarana – This is a natural ingredient that can help suppress your appetite.
  • Raspberry Ketones – Raspberry ketones are an essential ingredient, as it helps the body break down fat in a more efficient manner.
  • Green Tea Extract – Green tea extract helps your body burn fat faster as it is actually broken down in the body.

The Secret Fat Burner Success Stories

Many consumers base their decision to purchase a fat burner on success stories. It is true that most people who lose weight will take to the Internet to share their success stories with others. It is also true that people who did not achieve success will also want to tell their story, as well. By reading the success stories attached to The Secret Fat Burner, you will be able to get an idea of how well the supplement works.

The Secret Fat Burner Side Effects

Just like any prescription or over-the-counter medication, The Secret Fat Burner causes good and bad side effects. The good side affects include metabolism booster to burn fat faster, curbs hunger and energy booster to ensure you have a better workout.

The bad side effects, which are only minimal includes:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth

To offset the insomnia, you can take The Secret Fat Burner as soon as you get up in the morning. This will give the active ingredients long enough to reach their peak. Dry mouth can be eliminated with peppermint or cinnamon drops.

Weight Loss for Teenagers: Steering Clear of the Dieting Game through Healthy Choices

Weight gain among the teenage population is growing. In the United States, overweight adolescents constitute up to 17% of the population. Weight gain, outside of the presence of a genetic disorder, is caused by unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary, non-athletic lifestyle. The answer is not dieting!

Regardless of age, dieting is likely to make you lose more water, muscle and healthy calories than fat. However, when you’re a teenager, dieting can be even more problematic, stunting your growth and diminishing bone mass. Dieting will also lessen your ability to achieve academically. The answer is to change your attitude, eat healthily and exercise regularly.

Changing your Attitude to your Body

Teenagers are bombarded by media images on a daily basis. These images erode fragile self perceptions with the message that to be loved, you have to be shaped according to certain, supposedly perfect, proportions. When teenagers absorb these images and messages, they may turn to self-destructive ways of losing weight, such as starving themselves (anorexia), self-purging (bulimia) or fad diets. None of these ways will help them lose weight over the long term. Nor will they improve their self esteem.

Losing weight and keeping it off happens slowly. It happens with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It cannot happen overnight. Teenagers should aim towards a realistic attitude in which being healthy is more important than being simply skinny. Teens who are unnaturally and unhealthily thin often do poorly in school, have emotional issues and set themselves up for a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and health problems. Learn to love yourself and you’ll want to take care of who you are.

Eating Healthily

One reason why teens gain weight is eating calorie-empty junk food. It’s readily available and there’s often peer pressure behind their dietary selections. Instead of trying to cut out all junk food, replace most items with healthy choices but keep one or two as an occasional treat. Instead of pop, drink water. Rather than chips, crunch down on carrot or celery sticks, rice cakes or mixed nuts. Then keep the buttered popcorn for a twice a month extra at the movies.

Eat more vegetables, fruits and the proteins found in lean meats, fish, soy products, tofu and beans than anything else. Choose whole grains instead of white bread. Cutting out one serving of cheese, cream, chocolate, or any other fatty food a day trims off a substantial number of calories. This leads to eventual weight loss. One pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories. These calories can be cut through healthy eating, patience, and a realistic, loving self perception. Most importantly, eat regular, if smaller, meals. Don’t ever skip breakfast!

Regular Exercise

Another reason why teens gain weight is that their time spent sitting in front of screens has increased dramatically. Whether it’s watching TV, chatting on Nexopia or playing Mortal Combat, teenagers do a lot of it. These sedentary activities, often combined with snacking on junk foods, lead to most cases of weight gain. Once you’ve cut unnecessary calories, exercise is required to maintain muscle, shape the physique and keep the heart and lungs functioning at full capacity.

While adults should exercise a minimum of thirty minutes a day, teens should attempt at least an hour. This hour can be broken up into ten or twenty minute intervals of running, skipping rope, swimming, playing ball, doing gymnastics or many other fun activities. Carrying your backpack, taking the stairs, walking to school and helping with household chores also burns calories. Lifting weights is very important too as the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism is and the easier it is for you to lose weight and keep it off! If you enjoy what you eat and how you exercise, you’ll find that losing weight will become easy.

Go Natural With a Meal Makeover: Create Meals With Natural and Organic Food Made From Scratch

Choosing locally grown or organic food products and cooking with natural ingredients cuts down the consumption of unhealthy chemicals and preservatives used in packaged and frozen foods. While going organic and natural can be more expensive, it doesn’t have to be a huge drain on the family budget.

Grow Vegetables

Growing vegetables in containers or planting an organic vegetable garden can save money on produce. The vegetables can be frozen and canned to last for several seasons.

Before planting a garden, decide what to grow. Find recipes for vegetarian meals and side dishes. Experiment with local produce first; this will indicate what the best crop choices are and provide some recipes and ideas so that the garden’s harvest can be used as soon as it’s ready.

Plan a Meal Makeover

Another way to save is to choose carefully and make gradual changes to the family menu. Meal makeovers allow people to enjoy the same food they are used to, but with more natural ingredients.

Classic home meals like spaghetti and meatballs or other pasta dishes can easily be made more healthful. First, look for wheat and other multi-grain pasta. Families who eat a lot of pasta can save money and eat healthier by purchasing a pasta machine, which gives the ability to control what ingredients go in the pasta and eliminates preservatives. Tomato sauce can be made from scratch with just a little extra time, effort and low cost ingredients. Adding fresh vegetables and herbs adds flavor and nutrition. Finally, ground meat can be substituted with an organic brand for only a slight increase in price.

Get into the habit of preparing and packing healthy lunches and snacks to avoid the temptation and convenience of fast food meals. There are many natural alternatives to the standard fast food burger, including turkey and veggie burgers or even organic ground meat. Herbs, vegetables and homemade sauces add flavor and flair to a burger, and whole wheat rolls make them healthier.

It’s fairly easy to make rolls, bread and other baked goods – even without a bread making machine. Substitute the highly processed white bread with some simple white or wheat bread basic recipes made from scratch.

Healthy Choices for Kids

While it can be difficult to get kids to eat vegetables or try new things, most standard staple foods that kids love – like peanut butter or cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and hot dogs – are available in organic varieties, or can be made from scratch with healthy ingredients. Pizza and tacos are also simple meals that can be made healthy with a little makeover, like homemade dough, more vegetables, and organic products.

Healthy natural choices can take the place of junk food snacks, too. Try fruit and smoothies instead of ice cream and candy, and veggies in place of chips. Orange juice and fruit smoothies can be frozen into ice pops for a warm weather treat. Make ice cream from scratch – with or without an ice cream maker – to control what ingredients go into the final product.

Going natural and healthy doesn’t have to be a frightening foray into unknown or exotic food. Classic family meals can be made over by substituting healthier ingredients and setting aside some extra time for preparation.

The Venue

The International Convention Centre Durban (ICC Durban) is a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the city and within easy walking distance of the beaches and hotels. The ICC Durban is a world renowned venue and has won numerous awards including the prestigious “Leading Convention Centre in Africa” for the past seven consecutive years. Bright broad concourses and sunny courtyards create a friendly atmosphere. This, combined with the expert personnel, flexible room solutions and world class catering make the ICC a sought after Conference venue.