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Overweight and Obesity: Call to Action


Quorn(TM) Anyone?


Healthy Muscles and Renal Disease



Overweight and Obesity: Call to Action

Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions nationwide. Obesity is the leading cause of approximately 300,000 deaths each year, compared to 400,000 deaths from smoking. Direct costs associated with overweight and obesity were more than $117 billion during 2000. Obesity in adults is twice what it was in 1980, and the number of overweight teenagers has tripled. Indeed, today at least 61% of adults and 13% of children and teenagers are overweight. Moreover, there are alarming associations with increases in weight and asthma and type 2 diabetes among children. Thus both prevention and treatment are vital public health goals. The recently issued Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity aims to do this by focusing on 5 principles:


1. Promote the recognition of overweight and obesity as major public health problems;


2. Assist Americans in balancing healthful eating with regular physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy or healthier body weight;


3. Identify effective and culturally appropriate interventions to prevent and treat overweight and obesity;


4. Encourage environmental changes that help prevent overweight and obesity;


5. Develop and enhance public-private partnerships to help implement this vision.



For the complete report, visit


Quorn(TM) Anyone?

Quorn(TM) (sounds like corn) is the brand name for a new line of all-natural meat-free food products such as chicken-style nuggets, patties, cutlets, beef-style grounds, and frozen entrees. Enjoyed in Europe for 17 years, Quorn(TM) is promoted for its meat-like texture, pleasant taste, and healthful nutrient composition. Made with mycoproteins-a protein in the fungi family similar to mushrooms and truffles-and fermented and flavored with natural vegetable flavorings and a small amount of egg white, it is a good source of dietary fiber and high-quality protein, cholesterol-free, and low in fat. The fungus from which the food is made was first discovered on farms west of London in the 1960s and quickly entered the food market because its long strands could be made into a product that mimicked the fibrous tissue of meat. The transition from mycoprotein to Quorn(TM) was developed in Britain in 1985 and approved for US consumers by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year. Although critics argue that its allergic potential is unknown and emphasize that the product is not at all "like mushrooms," Dr Sanford Miller, a former FDA food safety chief who headed the review panel, comments, "I think it's going to lend itself to a lot of different things, particularly for people who want to limit their intake of meat protein."


(Associated Press, 3/11/02)



June 17-26, 2002. European Union Advanced Workshop: Biotechnology, Ethics, and Public Perceptions of Biotechnology. St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, Oxford, UK. For information visit:


June 23-28, 2002. Plant Biotechnology 2002 and Beyond: the 10th APTC&B Congress. Orlando, Fla. For information visit:


June 24-26, 2002. The Fifth "Advances in Pediatric Nutrition." Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, Md. Contact Office of Continuing Medical Education, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Turner 20, 720 Rutland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21205-2195; telephone: 410-955-2959; fax: 410-955-3169.


June 24-26, 2002. 9th World Congress on Clinical Nutrition. Church House Conference Center, Westminster, London. Visit: http://www. or e-mail


June 27, 2002. American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Audioconference on "2002 Clinical Guidelines: Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice," led by M. Patricia Fuhrman, MS, RD, CNSD, and colleagues. Hospitals or other settings interested in serving as host sites should contact ASPEN at telephone: 800-727-4567 or fax 301-587-2365.


June 30-July 3, 2002. Xth Food Choice Conference, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands. Contact: K. de Graaf, F. Pepping, Department of Human Nutrition and Epidemiology, Wageningen University, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands. E-mail: kees.degraaf@; telephone: +31-317-484451; fax: +31-317-483342; Web:


July 11-12, 2002. American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research (AICR/WCR) Fund 12th Annual International Research Conference on Food, Nutrition & Cancer. Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC. Contact the AICR, 1759 R St NW, PO Box 97167, Washington, DC 20090-7167; telephone: 800-843-8114 or 202-328-7744; Web:


July 27-31, 2002. Annual Conference, Society for Nutrition Education. St. Paul, Minn. Visit or call 800-235-6690.


August 9-11, 2002. IPRs and the Genomics Revolution: An Intensive Workshop," Ithaca, NY. Contact: Dr Anatole F. Krattiger, Chair and CEO, bioDevelopments-International Institute, and Director, SWIFT at Cornell, Cornell Research and Technology Park, PO Box 4235, Ithaca, NY 14852; telephone: 607-532-4413; fax: 212-504-8287; e-mail:


September 6, 2002. Current Concepts in Nutrition and Aging conference. Madison, Wisc. Contact the University of Wisconsin-Extension and University of Wisconsin Nutritional Sciences Department, 301 Extension Building, 42 North Lake St, Madison, WI 53706-1498; telephone: 888-391-4255 or e-mail


September 18-20, 2002. "Thinking Globally-Working Locally: A Conference on Food Safety Education, 2nd National Conference for Food Safety Educators." Orlando, Fla. Details available at:


September 24-27, 2002. 26th Congress of the International Dairy Federation (CONGRILAIT 2002). Palais des Congres, Paris. For more information visit http://www. or e-mail info@ or write IDF, 42 rue de Chateaudun, 75314 Paris Cedex 09; fax: 33-(0)1-42-85-20-02.


September 30-October 4, 2002. XII Latin American Congress of Nutritionists and Dietitians, Latin American Confederation of Nutritionists and Dietitians, Caracas, Venezuela. Contact: Lesbia Gonzalez, President, Confederacion Latinoamericana de Nutricionistas y Dietistas, Centro Comercial Uslar, Torre de Oficina, piso 9, Of. 94, Montalban, Caracas, Venezuela; telephone/fax: (58-212) 4427911/ 4428101; e-mail:; Web:


October 6, 2002. 43rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Nutrition (ACN). San Antonio, Tex. Contact the ACN at telephone: 727-446-6082; fax 727-446-6202; e-mail:


October 13-17, 2002. Making Connections. American Association of Cereal Chemists Annual Meeting. Palais des Congres, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Contact: AACC, 3340 Pilot Knob Rd, St. Paul, MN 55121-2097; telephone: 651-454-7250; Web:


October 21-24, 2002. American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pa. For more information, visit


November 7-9, 2002. Conference on Ecolabels and the Greening of the Food Market. Boston, Mass, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. Contact: e-mail: willie.lockeretz@; Web: Abstract deadline: May 17.


November 18-21, 2002. Pests & Diseases 2002. The British Crop Protection Council (BCPC) Conference. Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton, United Kingdom. Contact BCPC Conference Secretariat, 5 Maidstone Buildings Mews, Bankside, London SE1 1GN, UK; telephone: +44-(0)20-7940-5555; fax: +44-(0)20-7940-5577; Web:; e-mail:


St. John's Wort May Hinder Chemotherapy

The herbal supplement St. John's Wort appears to interfere powerfully with some chemotherapy treatments, reducing their effectiveness even weeks after patients stop taking the herb, according to a recent preliminary study led by Dr Ron Mathijssen of the Rotterdam Cancer Institute in the Netherlands and presented at a San Francisco meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The herb is also known to interfere with drugs used in AIDS treatment. Although the Dutch study involved only 5 patients, results suggest that those on chemotherapy or AIDS treatments should consider avoiding use of the herb or consult their physician before they begin. Of course, more confirmatory research is needed.


Healthy Muscles and Renal Disease

What do you do when your healthy muscles are compromised by a diet meant to support the health of your kidneys? That is the conundrum of people with chronic renal insufficiency, including those on dialysis awaiting kidney transplant. Protein-restricted diets are prescribed to slow the progression of the disease, but they also lead to muscle loss. Solutions include resistance-training exercise, according to a recent study from the Nutrition, Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In study subjects (26 individuals over age 50 years) with moderate renal insufficiency and who were on a low-protein diet (0.64 [mu]m/kg), total muscle fiber increased with resistance training by an average of 23%.


(USDA Agricultural Research News Service, 4/12/02)