While almost all parents agree that eating habits during childhood will have a lifelong impact on their child’s health, a recent national sample poll conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan revealed that only one-third of parents are confident that they are doing a good job in shaping their child’s eating habits. Parents reported a number of challenges.
70% said that healthy foods cost too much;
60% said their children do not like healthy foods;
52% said that healthy foods are not convenient;
Roughly 50% of parents reported that it is hard to tell which foods are actually healthy; and
About 25% say that healthy food is not available where they shop.
While most parents recognize the importance of known strategies to promote a healthy diet for their children, roughly 20% say it is somewhat/not important to limit junk food, to limit fast food, and to have children learn to eat different foods; 16% believe it is somewhat/not important to limit sugary drinks, and 13% say it is somewhat/not important that their child eat fruits and vegetables every day.
Mannatech has long endorsed a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein. For parents who want to provide further assurance that their children’s nutrient intake is optimal every day, Mannatech offers numerous vitamin/mineral and glyconutrient-rich products that are suitable for children:
A growing number of scientists and healthcare experts have been challenging the paradigm of using body weight or body mass index (BMI) as a measure of an individual’s health status. In brief, at issue is the problem that body weight or BMI can falsely identify individuals who are more muscular as obese and falsely identify people with low muscle mass and excess fat mass as normal. Such classification errors are not just an inconvenience, they can then contribute to false perceptions of health for at-risk individuals and their healthcare providers.
A better measure is body composition, which takes into account an individual’s lean and fat mass. But, say researchers from Australia and New Zealand in a recent publication in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, better language is also needed to help improve a person’s understanding of their situation. Their suggested terminology is simple: people are underfat, have normal body fat, or are overfat. Applying these designations, the authors estimate that a whopping 62-76% of the world’s population (4.5-5.5 billion people) is overfat and only 14-28% have normal body fat.
Maffetone PB, Rivera-Dominguez I, Laursen PB. Overfat and Underfat: New Terms and Definitions Long Overdue. Front Public Health 2016;4:279.
According to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recently published Scientific Statement on metrics needed for children to enjoy cardiovascular health throughout their lives, U.S. children are faring poorly. The AHA focused on seven key metrics that influence lifetime cardiovascular health: diet, exercise, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and smoking status. While there were concerns with how children are faring today regarding many of these metrics, particularly BMI and smoking, the data on children’s diets was the most alarming. A shocking less than 0.5% of children are consuming a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, and low in sodium and sugar-laden foods and drinks. About 91% of U.S. children were classified as having a poor diet. This study should serve as a wake-up call to American parents concerned about the long-term health of their children.
Steinberger, J., Daniels, S.R., Hagberg, N., et al. Cardiovascular Health Promotion in Children: Challenges and Opportunities for 2020 and Beyond: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2016; 134(12): e236-e255.
Honoring the 100th anniversary of the vitamin, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) recently entered into the U.S. House of Representatives’ Congressional Record remarks recognizing this special milestone. In 1912, Polish-American scientist Casimir Funk first used the term vitamin to describe a group of bioactive substances that are vital to human health.
In his statement, Rep. Pallone, co-chair of the Dietary Supplement Caucus and a dietary supplement industry champion in the House of Representatives, noted “Because of [Funk’s] work, we know that vitamins are essential for good health through every stage of [the] human life cycle and that our bodies require vitamins to grow, to function, to stay healthy and to prevent the onset of disease.”
Mannatech has been touting the importance of this milestone for many months, and it was the subject of a report posted on MannatechScience.org.
Mannatech applauds the cover story of the August 18th edition of The Economist, which introduces its readers to the human microbiome—the roughly 100 trillion bacteria that populate our bodies, inside and out. According to “Microbes maketh man”, the composition and behavior of bacteria in the gut is critically important for human health.
Mannatech has known for quite some time that the gut is fundamentally important for one’s wellness and has been leading innovators in the design and testing of health products that positively influence the human microbiome. So, it’s exciting to see this important area of scientific research get the attention it deserves by one of the most widely read and influential weekly publications in the world.
Mannatech‘s interest in the ability of the gut to influence overall health increased in 2005, when the prestigious journal Science devoted much of an issue to “The Gut, Inner Tube of Life.” At that time, Mannatech knew that many people who consumed their glyconutritional supplements (Ambrotose® products) experienced wide-ranging, powerful benefits, some of which were enhanced digestive health.* However, little was known about what happens to dietary glycans in the gut, and how their intake shapes gut bacterial populations, gut health and overall health. Given these scientific gaps, Mannatech’s Research and Development team began to devote significant scientific muscle to get some answers.
Since then, Mannatech scientists have presented research at scientific meetings and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. These studies have reported basic glycan chemistry data (1), (2), (3) in vitro data reporting the molecular weight of glycan polymers following digestion by human gut bacteria (4), and prebiotic effects—including the possibility of enhancing species belonging to Bacteroidetes, a group of bacteria associated with weight management (5).*
Preclinical research indicates that oral intake of Ambrotose products can impact the colon, including exerting positive effects on colonic cell gene expression (6). Mannatech scientists have also published literature reviews reporting the impact of dietary glycans on the immune system (7) and the brain (8)—areas of particular interest to Mannatech because of studies indicating that intake of glyconutrients can benefit the gut and the immune system.*
Mannatech is proud to be a leader in developing innovative dietary supplements that positively impact the gut microbiome based on science derived from an understanding of how glycans impact the gut: a small contribution to the extraordinary advances in microbiome research. The time is now for consumers to get on board with taking care of their guts, because when we take care of our guts, we are taking care of our entire bodies.
In addition to Mannatech’s Ambrotose products, Mannatech offers GI-ProBalance™ slimsticks, a yogurt-flavored pre/probiotic supplement that can positively affect health by improving the survival and growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Duncan C, Ramberg J, Sinnott R Striking differences in Aloe vera gel carbohydrate composition, molecular weight and particle size distributions following processing will not be addressed by dietary supplement GMPs. Poster Presentation at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s 5th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, San Diego, California, January 17-20, 2008, 2008.
Luta, G., Duncan, C., Sinnott, R. Chemical characterization of polysaccharide-rich ingredients from Aloe vera, Larix laricina and Larix occidentalis, and Undaria pinnatifida. Poster Presentation at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s 6th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, San Diego, California January 22-25, 2009 2009;
Duncan, C.L., Luta G, Ramberg J, et al. Intestinal microbiota’s naturally occurring enzymes and their effects on plant polysaccharide digestion. Poster Presentation at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s 6th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, San Diego, California January 22-25, 2009 2009;
Sinnott, R.A., Ramberg, J., Kirchner, J.M., et al. Utilization of arabinogalactan, aloe vera gel polysaccharides, and a mixed saccharide dietary supplement by human colonic bacteria in vitro . Int J Probiotics Prebiotics 2007; 2(2/3): 97-104.
Marzorati, M., Verhelst, A., Luta, G., et al. In vitro modulation of the human gastrointestinal microbial community by plant-derived polysaccharide-rich dietary supplements. Int J Food Microbiol 2010; 139(3): 168-76.
Zhang TX, Ramberg J, Sinnott R. Plant polysaccharide supplement inhibits the expression of GI tract cytokines and chemokines in normal rats and rats with DSS-induced ulcerative colitis. Poster Presentation at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s 6th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, San Diego, California January 22-25, 2009 2009;
Ramberg JE, Nelson ED, Sinnott RA. Immunomodulatory dietary polysaccharides: a systematic review of the literature. Nutr J 2010; 9(54): 1-60.
Nelson ED, Ramberg JE, Sinnott RA. Neurologic effects of exogenous saccharides: A review of controlled human, animal, and in vitro studies. Nutr Neurosci 2012; 15(4): 149-62.
Note: The editors of The Economist are not affiliated with Mannatech, Incorporated and do not endorse Mannatech products