I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Anita Moorjani at a conference in London last year. Her story is truly incredible and hearing her speak is very inspiring and will encourage you to live life fully. Her book "Dying to be me" is available in our Bookstore. Here she is at TEDex:
China looks like it will soon overtake the United States in a rather unforeseen category: It’s poised to become number one in the consumption of processed foods.
Euromonitor International estimates that in terms of volume, the Chinese market for packaged, processed foods like ready-made meals, and junk items like cookies, chips, and soda, will surpass America’s by 2015 with 107 million tons of packaged food in China, compared to 102 million tons in the U.S.
Just like America, processed food consumption is having its effects on China’s population. Twelve percent of China’s adult population (114million people) have diabetes, causing complications such as cardiovascular and kidney disease, as well as strokes, which experts say amount to a “major epidemic.”
American presidents may talk about exporting democracy, but the one thing that they have been the most successful at exporting is the Western diet which is at the root cause of most, if not all, of the major diseases: Diabetes, Heart disease and Cancer.
In China alone, McDonald’s now has more than 1600 restaurants, and Bloomberg reported last year that the fast-food chain generates around 22 percent of its revenue from franchises in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa.
Food is definitely taking its toll. The 2012 Singapore Chinese Health Study, found that eating Western-style fast food including burgers, fries, pizza, fried chicken, hot dogs, and other types of sandwiches on a regular basis significantly increased the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease.
In terms of packaged foods, the Chinese appear to especially love their cookies, almost all of which are imported from abroad. Last year, the Chinese cookie market was worth more than $24 billion, according to Ibis World, ballooning more than 21 percent in the last five years.But lets not just pick on the Chinese, they are by no means the only country that succumbed to the convenient lure of Western-style fast food. A study released earlier this year found that for the first time ever, sales of fast food items like pizza and hamburgers surpasses those of more traditional French foods.
“In the land of gastronomy,” France’s Le Point magazine declared, “fast food has become the king.”
Source: Bloomberg, Le Point and Take Part
Angelina Jolie has revealed she has had a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer.
Health campaigners praised her decision to go public with the news, which she said was prompted by a desire to encourage other women to get gene-tested and to raise awareness of the options available to those at risk.
The actress has a defective gene, BRCA1, which doctors told her had increased her risk of developing breast cancer to 87%, and her risk of ovarian cancer, the disease that killed her mother at the age of 56, to 50%.
The surgery, which began in February, has reduced Jolie's risk of breast cancer to under 5%, she said:
"I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer," she wrote. "It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that's it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity."
What a brave woman, the decision couldn't have been an easy one! Once you've done the test and know your risk factor, I suppose it's like living with a gun to your head, so I completely understand the choice she's made and respect her strength and courage.
Dr Richard Francis, head of research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said that faults in the BRCA1 gene, which on average put women at a 65% risk of developing breast cancer, were rare and in most cases were linked to family history. He cautioned that a preventative mastectomy would not necessarily be the appropriate treatment for everyone with the gene. "For women like Angelina it's important that they are made fully aware of all the options that are available, including risk-reducing surgery and extra breast screening. Though Angelina decided that a preventative mastectomy was the right choice for her, this may not be the case for another woman in a similar situation."
I would just like to add that only 10-15% of Cancers are genetic, the rest are diet and lifestyle related - and even then, you can change the expression of your genes by the way you choose to eat and live...our health is not pre-determined by our genes 100%. I've seen individuals with no genetic pre-disposition to cancer and they smoke, eat junk food often, are overweight and generally stressed out and they develop it. And on the flipside, I see individuals with cancer in the family, but they eat well, exercise regularly and generaly take care of themselves and the cancer gene is never turned on.
No one should feel powerless in the face of cancer as the absolute best prevention is diet and lifestyle. As the wonderful Kris Carr puts it "Your future is being written with every meal". For me it really sums up that how we choose to eat determines how we choose to live and age - and be sure to have your annual screening too, I still get shocked by how many women don't actually do this evey year.
Angelina you are one brave woman, we are Team Jolie all the way!
Read Angelina's letter in the New York Times.
A study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research showed that red grapes can block the formation of tumors that lead to breast cancer. That’s not to say that grapes are like a cancer vaccine, but this study offered some proof that consuming the reservatrol found in grapes can be good for your health. So why not eat a handful every day. And in case you're thinking that red wine might be just as effective, the study indicated that red wine did not offer the same benefit.
The US government this week enters the final stages on its deliberations on whether to allow commercial production of a Genetically Modified Salmon. AquAdvantage salmon is the trade name for a genetically modified Atlantic Salmon developed by Aquabounty Technologies.
The AquAdvantage salmon has been modified by the addition of a growth Hormone regulating gene from 2 other fish. These genes enable it to grow year-round instead of only during spring and summer. The purpose of the modifications is to increase the speed at which the fish grows, without affecting its ultimate size or other qualities. The fish grows to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years. Separately, conventional salmon growers have publicly challenged the purported fast growth rates of AquaBounty's salmon and a committee in Congress took up a bill that would potentially outlaw GM salmon entirely.
If approved however, the salmon could be the first of some 30 other species of GM fish under development, including tilapia and trout. Researchers are also working to bring GM cows, chickens and pigs to market.
This news absolutly shocks me - I cannot believe that GM foods are actually still being entertained by the FDA when the evidence on the harmful effects is so overwhelming. What kind of world are we handing over to our children and are we condemning them to a future of ill health? and why is this firm hidden away in Panama? Someone wake up please!
I have just finished watching FORKS OVER KNIVES the powerful documentary that everyone is talking about in the US right now. I think you should all watch it, especially if you have kids, and I'm willing to bet that you will be changing your shopping list after one viewing! FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell (nutritional scientist at Cornell University) and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (top surgeon and head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic). You can download it from Itunes, buy it on amazon or directly through http://www.forksoverknives.com. Let me know what you think!
Stanford University's School of Medicine researchers are one step closer to uncovering a cancer treatment that could be applicable across the board in killing every kind of cancer tumor. Read about the latest breakthrough treatment which researchers say is now ready for human trials.
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