Do healthy foods really need to be prescribed?

The impact of the plethora of highly processed and ultra-processed foods on our health is now well documented. In an effort to reverse the trend, researchers publishing in PLoS Medicine posit that prescribing healthy foods for US citizens using health insurance channels, Medicare and Medicaid, could generate highly cost-effective and substantial health improvements. They estimated that covering 30% of the cost of fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods could prevent up to 3.28 million heart attacks and strokes, 0.12 million cases of diabetes, save $100 billion in formal healthcare costs and gain 8.40 million days of improved health (QALYs). We are no strangers to using diet and lifestyle modification to change one’s health trajectory. For more on ANH-Intl’s unique recommendations please review our Blueprint for Health System Sustainability. This is what a health care system could look like when it’s designed to move citizens away from downstream disease management to upstream disease prevention and health creation.

Digital addiction driving obesity

Are you addicted to digital devices? As much as you may love your tech, take note as new research links media multitasking to obesity. Researchers found switching mindlessly between digital devices increased an individual’s lack of self-control and their susceptibility to food temptations. Using a newly developed questionnaire researchers assessed participants levels of media multitasking and distractibility by measuring compulsive or inappropriate phone use (checking messages whilst talking to someone else). They then measured brain activity when participants were shown a series of images. Those with higher levels of media multitasking exhibited increased activity in the part of the brain dealing with food temptation when shown pictures of food and were more likely to be overweight. Rather than taking ‘one more minute’ to check your phone, why not get out in nature with your family and loved ones for a little forest bathing? We guarantee you’ll feel better for it!

Gut feeling about cancer

The health of our gut microbiome is of paramount importance to our immune system. The advent of antibiotics, highly-processed foods and loss of contact with ‘old friends’ has resulted in a reduced ability for our immune system to respond to immune challenges such as cancer. Researchers are now pointing to the gut microbiome as one reason why cancer immunotherapies don’t work for everyone. Researchers found ‘boring mice’ were able to inhibit the growth of melanoma tumours as long as they had a robust gut microbiome and immune system. Damaging the gut microbiome removed the anti-tumour protection. These findings underline the importance of taking good care of your gut microbiome. After all, when you dine, you’re never alone, but are dining with trillions of microbes that are expecting you to be a good host. We remind you to ‘eat a rainbow’ every day of coloured vegetables and some fruits — this becomes even more important if you’re journeying or have journeyed with cancer. You might find the ANH-Intl Food4Health guidelines helpful for more information on how to eat to be a good host for your microbial partners and for good gut health.

End of the road for Monsanto?

A federal judge has ruled that Monsanto is liable for a US man’s cancer and ordered it to pay $80m in damages. The ruling is the first of its kind in US federal court. The case raises new questions about the alleged safety of glyphosate-based products, including Monsanto’s Roundup. Adding insult to injury, a new meta-analysis suggests a “compelling link” between exposure to glyphosate based herbicides and increased risk for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL). Examining studies between 2001 and 2018, researchers found a 41% increased risk of developing NHL. Following news of the most recent court ruling, Bayer stock fell to a five-year low. With thousands of other similar lawsuits waiting in the wings could this be curtains for the ‘most hated company’ in the world?

Brussels bans 5G

The Brussels government has halted plans to pilot 5G in the city over fears for citizen health. Speaking to The Brussels Times the Environment minister said that, “…the people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt”. This is good news given Big Tech’s recent revelation that no safety studies have been carried out around proposed 5G technology. As the 5G juggernaught gathers speed, we can only hope more competent authorities live up to their name and take stock of the potentially devasting harm that could befall both humans and nature, before it’s too late!