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AHA News: Scenes of Childhood Hunger Left Lasting Impression | Health News

(HealthDay)

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2020 (American Heart Association News) — While growing up in the Philippines, Lady Dorothy Elli witnessed childhood hunger and poverty that left her with lasting impressions.

She has made it her mission to address the problem of food insecurity and the negative impact it can have on the academic and personal well-being of students of all ages.

“Health inequity plays a big role in this,” said Lady Dorothy, 19, now a sophomore at the University of Arizona. “If health equity is present in the world, you wake up not having to worry about having an empty stomach and then going to school.”

Food insecurity is defined in a 2020 report by the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion as a “disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources.” A 2019 study in the journal Pediatrics said that for children, “household food insecurity was related to significantly worse general health.”

A first-generation immigrant to the United States, Lady Dorothy said she felt fortunate to be able to eat two to three meals a day as a child. But she took to heart the stories her mother, Fatima Elli, recounted about her own childhood growing up in a household with 10 siblings in which there wasn’t always enough to eat.

In the Philippines, Lady Dorothy volunteered for the Red Cross and took an interest in helping to develop young leaders. She also would accompany her mother to outreach events like food donations in poor, rural areas.

The youngest of three daughters, Lady Dorothy is 10 years younger than her next oldest sibling.

“The age gap left her with me all the time,” her mother, Fatima, said. “She came with me whenever I went to outreach programs. That’s where she learned the idea of touching the lives of other people through providing basic necessities.”

The family arrived in the United States three years ago and settled in Tucson, Arizona, where she soon learned food insecurity also was a problem in the United States. At the time, a 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that about 8% of U.S. households with children, or about 3 million homes, were considered food insecure.

“I want to help bridge that gap and make sure that everyone is able to get access to nutritious and healthy food,” Lady Dorothy said.

A year ago, she started the Nutrition Talks program, speaking to school-age children at churches and middle schools in the Tucson area about the importance of a nutritious diet and lifestyle. She was inspired by a similar program at a library at which she interned that provided free lunch to children.

She bought healthy snacks and created a presentation “that the kids could understand, emphasizing exercises and activities that they could do to actually realize what healthy living means.”

For now, Nutrition Talks are canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though Lady Dorothy is staying in touch with school districts as she

‘On-Demand’ Fast Mobilizes Fat; Low-Carb Breakfast Stymies Hunger

Greater fat tissue mobilization can be achieved through early-day fasting in comparison to consuming a low-carbohydrate breakfast or a Mediterranean-style breakfast, shows a small study that explored the short-term effects of intermittent fasting by lean people.

The study also found that consumption of a low-carbohydrate breakfast results in longer suppression of hunger compared to a Mediterranean breakfast.

Dimitrios Tsilingiris, MD, PhD, led the study and presented the findings recently at the virtual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

“Through fasting intervals as short as those achievable through a 16:8 restricted feeding scheme, a substantially and measurably increased fat tissue mobilization ― as indexed by increased ketone body production ― may occur,” said Tsilingiris, reporting the main finding.

He added that for most ketogenic diets, time is needed for the switch toward fat burning, but the findings from this study could provide support for an “on-demand” application of this strategy.

“The quite high subjective hunger scores at the end of the fasting sessions should also be taken into account, since the feeling of hunger may obviously drive the subsequent caloric quantity intake,” Tsilingiris, formerly of Laiko General Hospital, Athens, Greece, but now based at the University Hospital Heidelberg, in Germany, pointed out.

Anne-Marie Aas, PhD, clinical dietitian and associate professor at Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, was session moderator. She told Medscape Medical News that she welcomed the study because there is a lack of human studies of the clinical implications of different forms of intermittent fasting.

“The findings from this Greek study in healthy people is interesting but not surprising, since a prolonged fast would naturally prolong the time the metabolism yields energy from fat stores,” she said.

“The most interesting finding is perhaps that fasting resulted in increased hunger, while the low-carb breakfast suppressed appetite for longer than the typical Mediterranean breakfast.” she said.

“This is in line with an earlier study from the same group [as reported from EASD 2018] showing that morning-time carbohydrate restriction resulted in greater weight loss in obese individuals over a 2-month period,” she noted.

First Study of Short-term “On-Demand” Intermittent Fasting

Tsilingiris explained that evidence in the literature suggests that intermittent fasting is associated with numerous health benefits. The term refers to a relatively heterogeneous group of dietary habits that commonly include prolonged fasting intervals within a month (periodic fasting), a week (5:2, alternate day fasting), or a day (time-restricted feeding, 16:8).

In theory, intermittent fasting leads to loss of fat tissue through a metabolic milieu that promotes fat mobilization, he said.

“To our knowledge,” he said, “this hypothesis regarding the shortest-term application of intermittent fasting ―that is, the increasingly popular 16:8 ― has not been put to the test until now.”

He and his team investigated early-day fasting for adipose tissue mobilization, as indicated by β-hydroxybutyrate levels, and they compared this approach with two different kinds of breakfast.

“We compared the ketogenic response of [early-day] fasting to that following a zero-carb and a standard Mediterranean breakfast,” Tsilingiris

‘It is literally horrific’: World Food Programme, Nobel Peace Prize winner, fights growing hunger emergency

“We’ve got a vaccine against starvation. It’s called food,” said David Beasley.

David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme, knows the existence of his organization is both a blessing and a curse: it helps so many, but that means many are suffering.

On Friday, that World Food Programme’s fight against hunger and work to prevent the use of hunger as “a weapon of war and conflict” was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Beasley, also the former governor of South Carolina, said the award came as a surprise, but is ultimately a testament to the organization’s much-needed work amid the pandemic.

PHOTO: Linsey Davis interviews the executive director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley on ABC News Prime after the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize Oct. 9, 2020.

Linsey Davis interviews the executive director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley after winning the Nobel Peace Prize Oct. 9, 2020.

“[COVID-19] comes on top of what you already thought was a worst-case scenario and it’s compounded, exacerbated problems around the world. … It is literally horrific,” Beasley told ABC News Prime host Linsey Davis.

At the beginning of this year, 135 million people already faced starvation from manmade conflict and climate extremes, Beasley said. Now, 270 million people are on the brink of starvation.

The award comes with the equivalent of a $1.1 million U.S. cash prize and a gold medal to be handed out at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death.

Beasley told ABC News Prime that the award money and government funding is critical in sustaining the program’s global effort in 2021.

“The economies of the world’s strongest nations on Earth are struggling. We are not going to have the money we need next year. And not only are the resources going to go down, but the needs are going to be going up,” said Beasley.

“We have 18,000 men and women that are out there in the field putting their lives on the line, every day, in war, conflict zones. You name it,” Beasley told ABC News.

He is currently working with the organization in Nigeria, a country that faces a threat from extremist terrorist groups and climate change.

“The good news and the bad news is the fact that we are winning [the award]. But that means

Nobel Peace Prize Shows the Link Between Hunger and Conflict | Best Countries

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Program for its efforts to combat hunger, foster conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war. This choice starkly underscores growing concern about increasing global food insecurity and the clear connections between hunger and conflict.

Today, more than 820 million people – about 1 in 9 worldwide – do not have enough to eat. They suffer from food insecurity, or not having consistent access to the right foods to keep their bodies and brains healthy.

Humans need a varied diet that includes a range of critical nutrients. Food insecurity is especially important to young children and unborn babies because improper nutrition can permanently stunt brain development and growth.

Hunger has many causes. It can be a weapon of war; the result of a global pandemic like COVID-19 that disrupts production; or the result of climate change, as extreme weather events and shifting climates increase crop failures around the globe.

Meeting a global need

The World Food Program was created in the early 1960s at the behest of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. “We must never forget that there are hundreds of millions of people, particularly in the less developed parts of the world, suffering from hunger and malnutrition, even though a number of countries, my own included, are producing food in surplus,” Eisenhower said in a 1960 speech to the U.N. General Assembly. “This paradox should not be allowed to continue.”

While the U.S. was already providing direct food aid to needy countries, Eisenhower urged other nations to join in creating a system to provide food to member states through the United Nations. The WFP is now one of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies. In 2019 it assisted 97 million people in 88 countries.

The WFP both provides direct assistance and works to strengthen individual countries’ capacity to meet their people’s basic needs. With its own fleet of trucks, ships and planes, the agency carries out emergency response missions and delivers food and assistance directly to victims of war, civil conflict, droughts, floods, crop failures and other natural disasters.

When emergencies subside, WFP experts develop programs for relief and rehabilitation and provide developmental aid. Over 90% of its 17,000 staff members are based in countries where the agency provides assistance.

World map showing countries with highest rates of undernourishment and child wasting, stunting and mortality.
The Global Hunger Index attempts to assess the multidimensional nature of hunger by combining four key indicators of malnutrition into a single index score.
Our World in Data, CC BY

Links between hunger and conflict

The Nobel award recognizes a key connection between hunger and global conflict. As the U.N. Security Council emphasized in a 2018 resolution, humankind can never eliminate hunger without first establishing peace. Conflict causes rampant food insecurity: It disrupts infrastructure and social stability, making it hard for supplies to get to people who need them. Too often, warring parties may deliberately use starvation as a strategy.

Food insecurity also perpetuates conflict, as it drives

D.C. hunger report details pandemic’s effects in city

Nearly 150,000 District residents have filed for unemployment insurance as business closures during the coronavirus pandemic led to reduced hours and layoffs. And many residents have applied for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“I’m saddened by the fact that the numbers spiked up,” said George Jones, chief executive of Bread for the City, a nonprofit group that provides food, medical care and legal services to low-income D.C. residents. “But I’m not surprised, because we’ve seen similar spikes in our own food pantry and demand for food there.”

Before the pandemic, Bread for the City served 400 households in the District on its busiest days, Jones said. Now, the organization is distributing food to 1,000 households a day. The Capital Area Food Bank’s nonprofit partner network, which includes Bread for the City and serves the Greater Washington region, has seen increases between 30 and 400 percent, according to a spokeswoman for the food bank.

The D.C. report released Tuesday comes months after the Capital Area Food Bank’s hunger report from July, which projected an increase of up to 60 percent in food insecurity across the region this year. That report said the pandemic would push up to 250,000 people into hunger in the District, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, and Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria in Virginia.

The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in communities of color, data shows. The Office of Planning report refers to a survey from April that found that Black households in the District were 13.5 times more likely to report that they sometimes did not have enough food to eat than White households in the city.

And Latino households were 6.5 times more likely to report they sometimes did not have enough food to eat than White households. The projected increase in hunger is consistent with what the Capital Area Food Bank found for the Washington region.

“This new reality magnifies the urgency of achieving true health equity in the District, with every resident having meaningful access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food,” Ona Balkus, the food policy director at the D.C. Office of Planning, said in a news release.

The report recommends increasing healthy food options in Ward 7 and Ward 8, which are the District’s poorest wards. Each has more than 70,000 residents, but Ward 7 has just two full-service grocery stores and Ward 8 has one, said Calvin Smith, the chairman of the Ward 8 Health Council.

“Because the median income is between $30,000 and $35,000 a year in Ward 8, there is not a great business case, as they tell us, for supermarkets to make their level of investments,” Smith said.

Hunger in the city appears to be growing most in Ward 7 and 8, which signals that other wards in the city are probably better managing the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The report also references a Feeding America report that estimates the child food insecurity rate will be