Science

List of Most Addictive Foods, Measles Update & Heart Attack Warning for Younger Women

Highly Processed Foods are Most Wanted

This may not be shocking news to many: highly processed foods — pizza, cookies and french fries, for example — are among the most addictive, according to a new study.

The goal of the University of Michigan study was to specifically find which foods can lead to addictive behavior, especially as the U.S. obesity epidemic shows little signs of slowing.

The study confirms that unhealthy foods are the ones individuals keep yearning for. The top ten most addictive items were: chocolate, ice cream, French fries, pizza, cookies, chips, cakes, popcorn (buttered), cheeseburgers and muffins.

These foods contain added ingredients that puts them under the “highly processed” category. They are addictive, researchers said, “due to the addition of fat and/or refined carbohydrates and the rapid rate the refined carbohydrates are absorbed into the system.”

Unprocessed foods, with no added fat or refined carbohydrates such as brown rice and salmon, were not associated with addictive-like eating behavior.

People with food addiction reported more problems with highly processed foods, indicating that some may be particularly sensitive to the “rewarding” properties of these foods, said Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student and the study’s lead author.

“If properties of some foods are associated with addictive eating for some people, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives such as marketing these foods to children,” Schulte said.

See related stories on nutrition:

  • Nutrition and Heart Disease: Portion Control, Risk Control
  • Fruits & Veggies: Color Counts
  • Sugar Shock: How Sweet Drinks Harm Health
  • Are You Fruit Smart?
  • Watch Now: “The Obesity Epidemic in America: Corporate Wealth vs. Public Health”
  • –John Fernandez

    World Health Organization: Renewed Call for Measles Vaccination

    A new health warning about measles has been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). In a recent statement,  WHO’s European Regional Office urged healthcare workers, parents and policymakers to “immediately step up vaccination against measles across age groups at risk … This will help to put an end to the outbreaks occurring in countries in the WHO European Region  and to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.”

    The WHO’s statement coincides with a toddler’s death on Feb. 18 from measles in Berlin, Germany. The unvaccinated child had another medical condition, but contracting measles led to his death, according to news reports. Since October 2014, Berlin has had 570 reported cases of measles, with the toddler representing the first fatal case in the city during that period.

    In the U.S., there have been 154 cases of measles in 17 states so far in 2015, (Jan. 1 through Feb. 20), according to data from  U.S.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.,” the CDC said in a statement. “Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.”

    Here are related stories about measles and vaccination:

  • Measles Reported in Travelers to Florida; Get Vaccinated, State Health Officials Say
  • Vaccinations: Get the Facts
  • –Sharon Harvey Rosenberg

    Heart Attack Warning for Younger Women

    More than 15,000 women younger than 55-years-old die each year in the United States from heart disease. And these young women have twice the risk of dying while in the hospital for a heart attack, as compared with similarly aged men, according to a new study released this week and published in the medical journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

    The study of more than 4,300 women by researchers at Yale University also found that the young women who survive an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as heart attack, have a 50 percent higher risk of later dying from the heart disease when compared to men of like age.

    The study does not provide all of the reasons as to why younger women have these higher risk factors. But the facts lead them to believe early detection of heart disease, and seeking prompt medical care for symptoms of heart attack, are keys to increasing survival rates.

    Articles related to women’s heart health recently posted to this blog include:

  • Minorities at Risk for Heart Disease
  • Heart Disease Affects Women, Too
  • What You Should Know About Heart Valve Disease
  • Heart Attack Risk: The Top 5 Numbers You Need to Know
  • Are You a Candidate for Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
  • Watch Now: Miami Heart Study To Fight Cardiovascular Disease–Tanya R. Walton
  • Healthcare that Cares

    With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 13 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.