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HEALTH

Ultra-processed foods account for 58% of total energy in the average U.S. diet, but diet is a modifiable risk factor in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of CVD incidence and mortality, with each additional daily serving found to further increase risk.

Read the articleUltra-Processed Foods Are Breaking Your Heart — Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Death

“It has been demonstrated that the adult population in the United States as a whole is deficient in certain micronutrients as a result of the availability and overconsumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient processed foods. Poor nutrition may contribute to the development of certain chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, which is already more prevalent in those with obesity.”

Read MoreOverfed but Undernourished: Recognizing Nutritional Inadequacies/Deficiencies in Patients With Overweight or Obesity

"'Imagine you’re doing thrusters, but you can breathe like you’re going for a walk.' Max Finkbeiner and Kate Caines have developed a methodology to help do just that. By using science, data, targeted assessments, and technology, they derive relative intensity personalized to individuals. These athletes can then use this information to inform their training, making sure to work on all of their energy systems with their own personal targets in mind."

Listen to the PodcastPace Yourself: Max Finkbeiner and Kate Caines on Metabolic Conditioning

"Whether you're munching on salty snacks or sugary treats, it's no news that any type of processed food isn't great for your waistline—especially if you're eating it in place of fresh fruits and vegetables or other healthy foods like legumes and nuts. However, what's even more concerning is processed foods' ability to wreak major havoc on your health later down the line."

Read the articleThe Scary Connection Between Ultra-Processed Foods, Sugar, and Cancer

"David Haase, MD, is a doctor, teacher, author and innovator. In his practice, he strives to be a super-generalist, looking at the human body as a whole and applying relentless curiosity to identify and treat the root cause of a patient’s disease. — In this episode, Dr. Haase and I talk about the importance of curiosity, the potential of the human brain, and how better questions lead to better answers, specifically in regard to our own health journeys."

Listen to the PodcastSuperhuman: Dr. David Haase on Unlocking your Brain’s Potential

Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics Robert Lustig observes sugar-sweetened beverages "have two addictive substances in them: sugar and caffeine. But sugar is worse, because of its detriments to metabolic health, and because it is hidden in processed foods without our knowledge. We know how difficult it is to break sugar addiction, but this study shows that with both personal and societal intervention working together, it is nonetheless achievable.”

Read the articleCompulsive About Sugar? Workplace Sugary Beverage Sales Ban Doesn’t Help Everyone Equally

Recently, the World Health Organization launched a Stay Healthy At Home Campaign, urging adults to limit their sugar consumption to less than 6 teaspoons a day — the amount of sugar in one small carton of chocolate milk served to school children. The reality is that we are partially responsible for our fragility to the coronavirus. Now, we are hoping for a vaccine and medications to pull us out of this pandemic. But the current crisis reveals how truly vulnerable we are. We have often blamed the victim for having obesity or other diet-related diseases, but these illnesses now affect up to 80% of the world’s population. Our current COVID-19 approach has focused on hiding from the virus and now hoping immunization will set us free. We believe the best idea going forward instead is to strengthen our resistance to COVID and future viruses, with a healthy immune system — which means a healthy lifestyle. Reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates, which together fuel insulin resistance, is an ideal first step.

Read the EditorialIs It Time for a Lockdown on Sugar?

Dr. David Johnson is a brain and spinal neurosurgeon who has had a pioneering role in the establishment of multidisciplinary spinal practices and holistic care for neurosurgical patients in Brisbane, Australia. He is also the co-owner of CrossFit Neuro, the first clinical CrossFit affiliate. By combining his passion for CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, neurosurgery, and science, Dr. Johnson works to deliver the fundamental message that learning to move proficiently is key to preventing movement dysfunction which can lead to chronic back pain symptoms. Many of Dr. Johnson's patients go on to become members of his affiliate as a part of their recovery process to rehabilitate and to avoid future spine surgery.

Listen to PodcastA Neurosurgeon on Healing Back Pain with Functional Movement

Do genes determine response to obesity therapy? In this study of 1,198 German in-patient children, only 5 out of 56 genes showed a signal. The authors concluded, "Genes appear to play a minor role in weight reduction by lifestyle in children with overweight or obesity." No shocker here. It's not the genes. It's the food.

Read the articleObesity Genes and Weight Loss During Lifestyle Intervention in Children With Obesity

"That ultra-processed food is associated with mortality was already known. But this study went further, looking at what in the food was the problem. The only ingredient that generated a signal was sugar. Why am I not surprised? How many different ways do we need to show this? And when will governments and the food industry wake up?" —Dr. Robert Lustig

Read MoreUltra-Processed Food Consumption Is Associated With Increased Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality

Researchers in France analyzed potential associations between five factors (demography, public health, economy, politics, and environment) and COVID-19 mortality rates. They found higher GDP and longer life expectancies were associated with greater risk of death from COVID-19 and claim this may be due to the prevalence of chronic disease and sedentarism in these populations. They conclude, “In the COVID-19 case, an advisable strategy may be to increase ... immunity and resilience and prevent sedentary behaviors through higher physical activity and better physical fitness. Hence, political strategies restricting physical activity (e.g., closing sport facilities) may ... (inhibit) the enhancement of population immunity in response to present and future viral aggressors.”

Read The StudyCOVID-19 Mortality: A Matter of Vulnerability Among Nations Facing Limited Margins of Adaptation