Study: Processed foods may be expanding, hurting your gut

7 final

A recent study has linked food additives to chronic inflammatory diseases. Choosing a smoothie for breakfast instead of a bowl of cereal or granola bar will minimize the amount of additives you consume.

Researchers find link between additives
and chronic inflammatory diseases

By Klaudia Dukala

Despite the guilty feelings that come with them, sugary, processed breakfast foods like cereals and granola bars usually top the list of most people’s morning must-haves. But those guilty feelings are about to get a whole lot worse because with those types of breakfast foods come additives, and with additives may come various chronic inflammatory diseases, including those associated with obesity, according to research published last month in the journal Nature.

The Georgia State University study suggests that a commonly used group of chemical food additives, called emulsifiers, may have the ability to alter or “disturb” the bacteria and mucus found in people’s intestinal tracts, and disturbed gut bacteria and mucus, the study says, is linked to a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases, like inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome, which has been associated with obesity.  Therefore, emulsifiers may have the ability to cause those types of conditions.

The researchers came to this conclusion by giving mice two types of emulsifiers – carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 – ­in their water for 12 weeks. Emulsifiers like the two the researchers used are found in a broad range of products, including chocolate flavored syrups and baked goods, according to the Food and Drug Administration. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the additives given to the mice had altered their intestinal bacteria and mucus in ways that have been associated with the diseases already mentioned.

Though you’re not a mouse and the study’s results haven’t been linked to humans just yet, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So ditch that granola bar, toss that bowl of cereal and let go of those breakfast foods laden with additives and instead make a sweet smoothie (with minimal amounts of emulsifiers) that you won’t regret starting your day with. (Before you watch, make sure you have these ingredients: 1 banana, 1 cup of raspberries, 1 cup of strawberries, ½ cup of ice and 1 cup of milk.)

Reflection

This assignment was challenging for me.

I especially had trouble with jump cuts. It was hard for me to shoot a scene from far away and then shoot it in the same exact way from a different angle (and make it look natural). I also had trouble with timing. I ended up cutting a lot of the footage I took because, as I was creating my video, I noticed that it was getting extremely long. This timing issue also led me to speed up the footage of me combining and blending the smoothie’s ingredients. However, I reasoned that speeding up the footage was appropriate in this case because I thought it was unnecessary for the video’s viewers to watch me put things into a blender and then blend those things for 45+ seconds.

Besides those two major problems, I noticed that my Adobe Premier skills have grown. For this project, I worked with six levels of video and three levels of sound, which impressed me because at the beginning of the semester I had trouble working with just one level of video. I look forward to seeing myself improve even more as the semester goes on.

My smoothie how-to story board.

My smoothie how-to story board.

I also noticed how much easier this project was to complete on Premier with the use of a story board that was created way before the video actually was. It gave me a template to work with and helped me choose the clips that I wanted to use and in what order. It made this project a lot more organized.

Overall, I appreciated this assignment because it taught me that multimedia can be used to enhance any news piece. My article focuses on a study about the adverse effects of a specific group of food additives, which is a pretty dry topic. The how-to video, though, gave the study some color (by relating it to breakfast foods) and provided readers with an extra level of information (by letting them know how they can avoid food additives during breakfast by making a smoothie instead of eating processed foods).

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