From The Blog

By Mark Hyman, MD • Originally published on

There are now 2.1 billion people who are overweight in the world. China and India are number one and two in the world in sheer number of type 2 diabetics. In the Middle East, rates of type 2 diabetes are reaching 40 percent of the population. The World Economic Forum estimates we will spend $47 trillion over the next 20 years on lifestyle preventable chronic disease—more than the annual GDP of the six largest economies combined. This makes obesity and its related diseases among the greatest threats to economic development. America has created the worst diet in the world and is exporting it to every country on the planet. North Korea and Cuba are the only nations on the planet without Coca Cola.

Given this tsunami of obesity threatening to cripple health care systems, burden economies, and damage productivity, nations are exploring innovative strategies to reverse the tide.

Mexico is the best example of a country attempting to seek out proven practices and implement them aggressively. Soda consumption is tracked against the increasing epidemic in Mexico of obesity and type 2 diabetes. As soda hit 20 percent of calories consumed, rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes tracked perfectly. A few countries in Europe, including some in Scandinavia, have implemented taxes on sugar, soda, or junk food. But Mexico has gone much farther and much faster, implementing a broad range of synergistic policies.

By Jason Best • Originally published on September 18, 2014 on TakePart

For a while now, scientists have been gathering compelling evidence that the artificial sweeteners found in diet soda and a slew of processed foods sometimes do the exact opposite of what they’re supposed to. Instead of helping us shed pounds, they increase our risk for weight gain and lead to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Why?

Turns out, the answer may have been in our gut all along.

In a new study published this week in Nature, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, have found that a steady diet of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin seems to alter gut bacteria in a way that causes blood-sugar levels to rise. That’s the first domino in a chain reaction that can lead to glucose intolerance, weight gain, diabetes, and other related health problems. Not only does the study appear to shed light on the vexing question of why artificial sweeteners might be doing us more harm than good, but it’s part of the next big frontier in medical science: the trillions of bacteria and other minuscule organisms that call our bodies home.

For the rest of the article, click here.

You already know that vegetables are good for your health. But did you know that they are also good for your mood?

A new study led by researchers in New Zealand and published in the British Journal of Healthy Psychology found that eating fruits and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life.

The study tracked 405 young adults for 13 days, and found that participants who ate more fruits and vegetables reported higher levels of happiness, curiosity, and creativity.

Even more remarkably, participants tended to score higher on all of those measures on the specific days on which they ate the most fruits and vegetables.