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  • News

    How obesity makes it harder to taste

    As mice plumped up on a high-fat diet, some of their taste buds vanished. This disappearing act could explain why some people with obesity seem to have a weakened sense of taste, which may compel them to eat more.

    Compared with siblings that were fed normal mouse chow, mice given high-fat meals lost about 25 percent of their taste buds over eight weeks. Buds went missing because mature...

    03/20/2018 - 14:00 Health, Nutrition
  • News

    The small intestine, not the liver, is the first stop for processing fructose

    When it comes to processing fructose, the liver is a pinch hitter for the small intestine.

    To use fructose for energy, the body needs to convert it into another type of simple sugar called glucose or into other smaller molecules. Scientists knew fructose could be metabolized in both the liver and the small intestine, but believed the liver was mainly responsible for the process. A new...

    02/09/2018 - 12:15 Nutrition, Health
  • Year in Review

    Worries grow that climate change will quietly steal nutrients from major food crops

    2017 was a good year for worrying about nutrient losses that might come with a changing climate.

    The idea that surging carbon dioxide levels could stealthily render some major crops less nutritious has long been percolating in plant research circles. “It’s literally a 25-year story, but it has come to a head in the last year or so,” says Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist with the U....

    12/13/2017 - 08:27 Nutrition, Climate, Sustainability
  • News in Brief

    In many places around the world, obesity in kids is on the rise

    Over the last 40 years, the number of kids and teens with obesity has skyrocketed worldwide. In 1975, an estimated 5 million girls and 6 million boys were obese. By 2016, those numbers had risen to an estimated 50 million girls and 74 million boys, according to a report published online October 10 in the Lancet. While the increase in childhood obesity has slowed or leveled off in many high-...

    10/11/2017 - 17:20 Health, Nutrition
  • News in Brief

    Choosing white or whole-grain bread may depend on what lives in your gut

    Whether standard white bread or an artisanal sourdough loaf is “healthier” depends on the microbes living in a person’s intestines, a new study suggests.

    Averaging results from 20 people who ate white and whole wheat sourdough bread for one week each, researchers found no difference in people’s response to the breads, which includes changes in blood sugar levels. But when researchers...

    06/06/2017 - 12:18 Nutrition, Microbiology
  • News

    Changing climate could worsen foods’ nutrition

    A dinner plate piled high with food from plants might not deliver the same nutrition toward the end of this century as it does today. Climate change could shrink the mineral and protein content of wheat, rice and other staple crops, mounting evidence suggests.

    Selenium, a trace element essential for human health, already falls short in diets of one in seven people worldwide. Studies link...

    03/13/2017 - 15:07 Climate, Nutrition, Agriculture
  • News

    Poor diet in pregnancy, poor heart health for infants

    Mothers who don’t eat enough during pregnancy could give birth to babies with long-lasting heart problems. The results from a new study in primates add to accumulating evidence that a mother’s nutrition has more bearing on her child’s health than previously thought.

    “We pass more biological milestones during development than we will ever pass again in our entire lives,” says Peter...

    11/11/2016 - 07:00 Health, Nutrition
  • News

    Sugar industry sought to sugarcoat causes of heart disease

    Using records unearthed from library storage vaults, researchers recently revealed that the sugar industry paid nutrition experts from Harvard University to downplay studies linking sugar and heart disease. Although the incident happened in the 1960s, it appears to have helped redirect the scientific narrative for decades.

    The documents — which include correspondence, symposium programs...

    09/25/2016 - 09:00 Health, Science & Society, Nutrition
  • News in Brief

    No one-fits-all healthy diet exists

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Weight gain may depend on how an individual’s genes react to certain diets, a new study in mice suggests.

    Four strains of mice fared differently on four different diets, William Barrington of North Carolina State University in Raleigh reported July 15 at the Allied Genetics Conference.

    One strain, the A/J mouse, was nearly impervious to dietary changes. Those mice...

    07/18/2016 - 17:01 Nutrition, Genetics
  • Editor's Note

    Racing for answers on Zika

    Sometimes science does not move fast enough, despite much hard work and effort. That’s true in the case of the Zika virus outbreak currently marching through the Americas. As we report in a collection of stories, much remains unclear, including the relationship between Zika infection and microcephaly and how best to combat the mosquitoes that spread the disease. So far, however,...
    03/23/2016 - 12:45 Microbiology, Health, Mental Health, Nutrition