Gut Bugs, or, bacteria in yer' tummy and other parts of the GI system. There are a trillion bacteria in your tummy, and they are very important for your overall health. The kind of bacteria you have in your tummy, explains science writer/blogger Ed Yong, depends heavily on your diet.
Different cultures around the world have starkly contrasting diets and their gut bacteria are different too. As we grow older, we eat increasingly diverse foods, from the milk of infancy to the complex menus of adulthood. As our palate changes, so do our gut bacteria.
It's worth taking the time to read... and digest (ahem)... the whole thing. More on this subject from a recent New York Times article by Carl Zimmer. Again, I highly recommend reading this, if for nothing else than the first few paragraphs that describe an amazing medical procedure that saved a dying woman's life. Let's just call it a "fecal transplant."
What's next? Oh, yes...
Food labels! People who read them apparently are more likely to eat more ... healthily.
Significant differences in mean nutrient intake of total calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, dietary fiber, and sugars were observed between food label users and non-users with label users reporting healthier nutrient consumption. The greatest differences observed were for total calories and fat and for use of specific nutrient information on the food label.
And the bags in cereal boxes, which apparently had some nasty chemicals in them.
Federal regulators, who are charged with ensuring the safety of food and consumer products, are in the dark about the suspected chemical, 2-methylnaphthalene. The Food and Drug Administration has no scientific data on its impact on human health. The Environmental Protection Agency also lacks basic health and safety data for 2-methylnaphthalene -- even though the EPA has been seeking that information from the chemical industry for 16 years.
As is this, although not surprising: healthy, "nutrient-dense" food is increasing in price much faster than less healthy food.
Over the four-year period, they found that the supermarket price of the top 20 percent most nutrient-dense foods increased 29.2 percent, while those in the least nutrient-dense 20 percent rose by 16.1 percent.
These findings could mean there are added barriers for Americans when it comes to following dietary guidance, they said. And this could prove to be particularly significant at a time when many US consumers are dealing with lost or diminished incomes.
Which leads in nicely to this story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
A thousand households in the Hill District will be the subject of a study that researchers say would be the first of its kind in the country to track a grocery store's impact on food-buying habits in a particular neighborhood over time.
Researchers from the Rand Corp., with a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and help from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research, will begin tracking food-buying and eating histories this year in anticipation of the proposed 2011 opening of a Shop 'n Save on Centre Avenue near Dinwiddie Street.