Issues with poor health and obesity

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007-2008, 68% of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese and 17% of children (2-19 years old) are obese. This has serious implications for long-term and chronic illnesses. For example, cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, colon, breast, endometrium, kidney, thyroid and gallbladder are all associated with obesity. It was estimated that about 4% of new cancer cases in men and 7% of new cancer cases in women were related to obesity. This increased risk of has been attributed to a few possible mechanisms. Fat tissue produces higher amounts of estrogen, which can increase the risk of breast and endometrial cancer. The increased levels of insulin in the blood may promote the growth of tumors. Obese people often have chronic low-level inflammation, which has also been associated with increased cancer risk. Studies by the NIH on weight loss and its impact on health found that losing weight reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and cardiovascular disease. Patients who underwent bariatric surgery to lose weight have shown lower rates of obesity-related cancers than obese adults that did not undergo the surgery. [1] Western diets that are high in fat or refined sugars have induced oxidative stress, or damage to tissues and cells, which can lead to cancer and other diseases. Diets that are high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and can reduce oxidative stress. Studies on the food consumption habits of children and adolescents (ages 2-19) from 1997 found that 16% of children did not meet any of the food recommendations laid out by the USDA...

Strong Greenleaf representation at arsenic symposium

Greenleaf Communities was well represented at the Arsenic Contamination of Food and Water symposium on April 10 at the 245th American Chemical Society’s National Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans. Through the work of our partners and board members and their colleagues, research into a Greenleaf priority on Healthy Soils is being advanced, and our awareness and understanding of this critical threat to human health is growing. Greenleaf service partner and frequent collaborator on healthy soils work, Dr. Darrell Norton, presented on the Potential for soil amendments to reduce concentrations of As in soils and waters. Dr. Norton spoke on using methods similar to removing phosphorous from waters (see Greenleaf’s Healthy Soils work to learn more) to reduce the mobility of As in soils.  He also spoke about the distribution of As in soils and sediments around the United States in the context of risk assessment for humans.  Dr. Norton said, “the most important point made at the symposium was raised by a number of researchers, who showed that certain types of agricultural practices, such as not growing rice under flooded conditions, can dramatically reduce the arsenic levels in food supplies.” As a soil scientist with the USDA and former head of the National Soil Laboratory at Purdue University, Dr. Norton has done much to develop and refine our understanding of how certain amendments to agricultural lands can improve soil health and structure, reduce runoff of harmful pollutants, and prevent the uptake of toxins, such as arsenic, by crops. His participation in Greenleaf’s research into gypsum use as a soil amendment has proven invaluable to the collaborative team we engage....