This week in health news: What to eat to feel full

In a world where time is money, smoke breaks can quickly add up for companies. / Thinkstock
The belief that e-cigarettes aren’t dangerous can lead to experimentation. / Thinkstock

Smokers think e-cigarettes are OK

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 1,379 teens

Results: Though rates of smoking have dropped due to education and legislation, electronic cigarettes aren’t helping with tobacco cessation and might give users a false sense of security, according to a new study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In fact, the belief that e-cigarettes have no or fewer health risks may be leading teens to experiment with e-cigarettes, reported the University of Minnesota study.

Significance: “Young adults are still developing their tobacco use behaviors, and e-cigarettes may introduce young adults to tobacco use or promote dual use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products,” says study lead author Kelvin Choi, Ph.D.

Avocados may halt overeating and snacking

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 26 overweight and moderately obese adults, ages 25-65

Results: Consuming as little as half an avocado during lunch can make an overweight person feel full longer, says a new Loma Linda University Health study published in Nutrition Journal. Researchers found a 23 percent increase in satisfaction and a 28 percent decreased desire to eat for the following five hours, as compared with the avocado-free control lunch meal.

Significance: “Avocados are a very popular and delicious fruit and, from the results of our study, may also be helpful for people who are looking to better manage their weight,” says lead study author Dr. Joan Sabate, professor of nutrition at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

Tree nuts might help maintain a healthy weight

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 803 adults

Results: Consumption of tree nuts is associated with fewer cases of obesity and metabolic syndrome, according to a Loma Linda University School of Public Health study published in the science and medicine journal PLOS ONE. Researchers found there were fewer cases of obesity among high tree nut consumers compared with low tree nut consumers. Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

Significance: Metabolic syndrome includes several factors shown to be an increased risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. “Our results showed that one serving (28 grams or one ounce) of tree nuts per week was significantly associated with seven percent less metabolic syndrome,” says lead researcher Dr. Karen Jaceldo-Siegl. “Doubling this consumption could potentially reduce metabolic syndrome risk by 14 percent,” she adds.

Coffee might not cause dehydration

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 50 healthy men

Results: Coffee has long been associated with dehydration, but according to a study published in PLoS ONE, that could be an old wives’ tale. The weeklong study monitored two groups who drank either coffee – four or more cups a day – or water. The groups then switched drinks. When everyone’s total body water content was measured,  neither group showed significant declines or dehydration.

Significance: Coffee has long been thought of as a diuretic, causing the production of urine and excretion of water in the body. This study suggests that moderate coffee drinking doesn’t cause an imbalance in the body’s fluid balance. Decaffeinated coffee was not used in the study.


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