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News & Features

Apr 9

For a Longer Life, Add Less Salt

Study finds that too much sodium is a worldwide killer 

Americans are not alone in their taste for salty foods. Whether the salt comes from French fries or miso soup, people all over the world are getting more than the current recommendations. And according to an analysis of global sodium intake published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that overabundance of salt accounts for more than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths each year.

Apr 6

After Pediatric Cancer

Young survivors face yet another battle: obesity

Their 4-year-old son has leukemia and has completed an intensive course of chemotherapy. Finally they get the good news—the cancer is in remission. When is the right time for the doctor to mention that their child is at risk for obesity?

A little weight gain may seem like a small problem after such a crisis, but Assistant Professor Fang Fang Zhang, an epidemiologist at the Friedman School who specializes in the relationship between nutrition and cancer, says that the risk is real and can have harmful consequences.

Apr 2

Toxic Crops

Staple foods in developing countries are infested with insidious molds, and now a Friedman School professor is leading a groundbreaking study to track their effects on children

Nearly 162 million children under the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth, a condition that leads to smaller stature later in life, according to a 2014 United Nations study. Shorter height may not sound like such a big deal, but Patrick Webb, the McFarlane Professor at the Friedman School, says even minor stunting can lead to serious health problems.

Mar 30

Should We Tax Unhealthy Foods?

An argument for taxing less nutritious foods to subsidize the nourishing ones

What does a 20-ounce bottle of soda cost? If you said 99 cents, you are only partly right. While that may be the price on the sticker at the store, it doesn’t take into account the cost to public health. One study, for example, found for every extra can of soda a person drinks per day, he or she is 30 percent more likely to become obese—increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.

Recent News Releases

Aug 13

Mediterranean Diet Counteracts a Genetic Risk of Stroke, Study Reports

BOSTON (August 13, 2013, 10 am EDT) -- A gene variant strongly associated with development of type 2 diabetes appears to interact with a Mediterranean diet pattern to prevent stroke, report researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and from the CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutriciόn in Spain.

Jun 26

New Data Support Community-Wide Approach to Addressing Child Obesity

BOSTON (June 26, 2013)— Community wide interventions hold promise as an effective approach to reducing childhood obesity rates according to new research from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Tufts University School of Medicine.  An analysis of data from the first two school years (20 calendar months) of the Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart Play Hard™ intervention showed that schoolchildren in Somerville, Massachusetts gained less weight and were less likely to be obese or overweight than schoolchildren in two similar control communit

May 13

Independent and Small-Chain Restaurant Meals Exceed Recommended Daily Calorie Needs

 BOSTON, MA (May 13, 2013, 4pm EDT) – As the restaurant industry prepares to implement new rules requiring chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie content information, the results of a new study suggest that it would be beneficial to public health for all restaurants to provide consumers with the nutritional content of their products.  Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University analyzed meals from independent and small- chain restaurants, which account for approximately 50% of the nation’s res