Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 Mar 2017 12am

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    Friday, March 24, 2017-7:09:08P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Island health and climate change

ON the islands of Micronesia, lifestyle changes, including less physical activity, and the consumption of imported refined and processed food are causing cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.

As the saying goes you are what you eat. Many people believe that such island stapes as breadfruit, taro and banana are “just starch.” Not true. For example, the giant swamp taro, Cyrtosperma merkusii, is rich in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals including calcium for building bones and teeth, iron for building strong blood, and zinc for fighting infection.

Promoting nutritional health among young adults is important.

Experts say poor decisions regarding eating may lead to decreased diet quality and increased weight, which may result in long-term health issues.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii and Brigham Young University have set out to determine college students’ perception of the terms “real meal,” “meal,” and “snack.”

The goal is to help nutrition educators find ways to frame and promote healthy eating.

At UC Santa Barbara, researchers created healthy model diets. They altered the standard 2,000-calorie-a-day U.S. diet, changing the sources of about half of those calories.

The new model diets “progressively reduced the amount of red and processed meats, with the most stringent diet eliminating them completely. Fruit and vegetable intake was doubled, and peas and beans increased to replace the meat protein removed. Refined grains were partially replaced with whole grains. Added sugar, which…is a known health risk, was not reduced. Neither were dairy, eggs, fish or non-red meat.”

The adoption of healthier model diets can reduce the relative risk of coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer and Type 2 diabetes by 20 to 40 percent, experts say.

Healthier diets, they add, can also help reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.

These and other similar findings “add weight to the conclusion of several other recent studies: Diet change must be part of successful climate change mitigation policies, and climate change mitigation must be included in policies to improve the food system.”