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Online Feature

Budget: Did universities get their fair share?

By Tim Mazzarol

Stronger higher education spending will help Australia become a ‘clever country’.

The Gillard Government has reiterated its commitment to education in this year’s budget, and universities in particular.

Universities with regional campuses were the biggest winners, receiving $110 million.

The budget offered some useful investments in strategic projects, such as the square kilometre array (SKA) telescope and a boost to the CSIRO. There were also some useful tax incentives for small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Whole grains are better for you but they're no panacea

By Kristina Nelson, Lily Stojanovska and Michael Mathai

Eating whole grain foods is considered better for your health than refined grain foods, but whole grains may have a role in inflammation.

Eating whole grain foods, such as oats and grainy breads, is better for health than refined grain foods such as white bread or pizza. But whole grains are also thought to have a role in inflammation.

Whole grains comprise three main parts: germ (the embryo), bran (husk), and endosperm (the part of the seed that’s the food store for the embryo). They have more fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds than refined grains, which have the germ and bran removed.

Food for fitness: is it better to eat before or after exercise?

By David Bentley

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding food intake and exercise – is it better to eat beforehand or afterwards? And what type of exercise benefits most from eating?

Eating before exercising is important for preparing to and recovering from exercise, especially in athletic competitions. Food contains potential energy or fuel that helps muscles continue to contract during exercise, especially exercise of long duration (more than 60 minutes).

But it’s common for people to not eat before exercise because they tend to be concerned it will make them feel sluggish, or cause cramps or an upset stomach.

Informed consent: why some foods should carry a cancer risk warning

By Clare Collins

It’s time to begin making consumers aware of the cancer risk associated with regular consumption of particular foods and drinks through front-of-pack warning labels.

The evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is definitive. It took a few decades, but cigarette packs now carry prominent health warnings to alert us to this risk.

When it comes to dietary patterns, convincing evidence collated by the World Cancer Research Fund also shows that regular consumption of some foods and drinks increases the risk for specific cancers.

US set to restrict trans fats, but should Australia follow?

By Gary Sacks, Helen Trevena and Shauna Downs

While Australia has few specific regulations around trans fats, US food manufacturers will soon need permission to include them in their products. Should Australia be doing more to remove trans fats from its food supply?

The increased supply and marketing of processed food high in fat, sugar and salt are recognised as the major drivers of obesity and diet-related diseases globally.