What's Wrong With Having a Sweet Tooth? - NBC 6 South Florida

What's Wrong With Having a Sweet Tooth?

Regulating sugar, predicting heart attacks amd preventing strokes are among the latest health headlines

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    What's Wrong With Having a Sweet Tooth?

    Regulating sugar, predicting heart attacks amd preventing strokes are among the latest health headlines. (Published Monday, Feb. 6, 2012)

    What’s wrong with having a sweet tooth? Plenty, says a leading pediatric endrocrinologist who argues that sugar is essentially toxic and causes chronic health issues including obesity and heart disease.

    Dr. Robert Lusting from the University of California-San Francisco would like to see the federal government treat sugar in the same way it does tobacco and alcohol.

    "I believe that we need some sort of societal intervention. I don't believe that if you've got a substance that's both toxic and addictive at the same time that we can do this alone," Lusting said.

    The food and beverage industries deny sugar plays a significant role in health problems, pointing instead to an increase in calories and a decrease in physical activity.

    Health Headlines Roundup

    [MI] Health Headlines Roundup
    NBC Miami's Diana Gonzalez reports on the latest health headlines.
    (Published Monday, Jan. 23, 2012)

    That's just one health headline making the news. Here are a few more:

    • A device that warns patients before they have a heart attack is being tested in those who have had one in recent months. One part is implanted in the chest like a pacemaker. It transmits information to a small pager worn on a belt.

    "It can detect any decrease in oxygen or suggestions of changes in the blood flow to the heart, which usually the cause of that is a heart attack," explained interventional cardiologist Dr. Hamid Takeri.

    When that happens, the pager will beep if a yellow light is flashing that’s not an emergency, but if the light is red the patient should immediately go to the ER.

    • Here’s another good reasons to retire in South Florida: It appears people who live in sunnier climates may have a lower risk for stroke.

    Researchers at the University of Alabama analyzed five years of survey data on more than 16,000 adults. Every six months participants were asked about their health, and that information was compared with a NASA program that calculates sunlight and temperature exposure. People from areas with low amounts of sunlight were at a 60 percent increased risk of stroke.

    There are no definitive reasons but researchers suspect it might be Vitamin D, since we get that from the sun. However, despite an abundance of sunlight in South Florida, there are plenty of people with Vitmain D deficiency here.