Tag Archives: obesity

Smart Snacks!

Lilia Smelkova, Food Day (10/24/2014) Campaign Manager, is reporting school lunches are improving! “This is due to the groundbreaking Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which set nutrition and health standards for school food.”
Check out the new UDSA Smart Snacks guidelines too!

Lilia Smelkova, Food Day (10/24/2014) Campaign Manager, is reporting school lunches are improving! “This is due to the groundbreaking Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which set nutrition and health standards for school food.”

Check out the new UDSA Smart Snacks guidelines too!

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The Health Toll of Immigration

Lisa Says: Sabrina Tavernise’s NY Times article detailing how those immigrating to the US adopt poor health habits and carve years off their lives, their children’s lives.  Once again, this reveals health is fundamentally about life style not genetics.  Lifestyle drives genetic expression, for health or disease, as Dr. Ornish’s research has shown.  Enjoy the [...]

Lisa Says: Sabrina Tavernise’s NY Times article detailing how those immigrating to the US adopt poor health habits and carve years off their lives, their children’s lives.  Once again, this reveals health is fundamentally about life style not genetics.  Lifestyle drives genetic expression, for health or disease, as Dr. Ornish’s research has shown.  Enjoy the article.

The Health Toll of Immigration 

By     Published: May 18, 2013

BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — Becoming an American can be bad for your health.  

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.

The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. It also demonstrates that at least in terms of health, worries about assimilation for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants are mistaken. In fact, it is happening all too quickly.

photo by J. Michael Short for The New York Times

Esther Angeles, 41, with her daughter, Johanna Marisol Gomez, 7. Ms. Angeles has developed diabetes since coming to the United States and struggles to see that her daughter eats healthfully.   Continue reading »

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A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

Lisa Says:  Really clear article from Princeton on their research of High Fructose Corn Syrup, how it differs from other forms of sugar, and how it affects the body differently.  Enjoy.
A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
Posted March 22, 2010; 10:00 a.m.by Hilary Parker
 
A Princeton University research [...]

Lisa Says:  Really clear article from Princeton on their research of High Fructose Corn Syrup, how it differs from other forms of sugar, and how it affects the body differently.  Enjoy.

A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

Posted March 22, 2010; 10:00 a.m.by Hilary Parker

 

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. 

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

  A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. 

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.
Continue reading »

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How stress can make us overeat

Lisa Says:  Good info from Harvard Medical School on the physiology of how stress hormones can influence our food cravings PLUS practical steps you can take to reduce the stress ergo the cravings.
How stress can make us overeat      
January 3, 2012      Harvard Medical School Newsletter      healthbeat@mail.health.harvard.edu
It’s been another hectic day. On impulse, you grab an [...]

Lisa Says:  Good info from Harvard Medical School on the physiology of how stress hormones can influence our food cravings PLUS practical steps you can take to reduce the stress ergo the cravings.

How stress can make us overeat      

January 3, 2012      Harvard Medical School Newsletter      healthbeat@mail.health.harvard.edu

It’s been another hectic day. On impulse, you grab an extra-large candy bar during your afternoon break. You plan to take just a few bites. But before you know it, you’ve polished off the whole thing — and, at least temporarily, you may feel better.

Rest assured you’re not alone. Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward overeating.

Effects on appetite

In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. A structure in the brain called the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone, which suppresses appetite. The brain also sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Epinephrine helps trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold.

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Some Lessons From Declining Childhood Obesity in New York

Lisa Says: Working with others to achieve their optimal health is our passion, and children are the priority.  Here is an encouraging article posted in The Atlantic on how specific programming CAN reclaim health.
Some Lessons From Declining Childhood Obesity in New York        
TheAtlantic.com     Dec 23 2011, 6:05 PM ET
by Marion Nestle – Marion Nestle is professor [...]

Lisa Says: Working with others to achieve their optimal health is our passion, and children are the priority.  Here is an encouraging article posted in The Atlantic on how specific programming CAN reclaim health.

Some Lessons From Declining Childhood Obesity in New York        

TheAtlantic.com     Dec 23 2011, 6:05 PM ET

by Marion Nestle – Marion Nestle is professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics 

The interventions that show the most promise are just like those in New York: physical activity and curriculum additions in public schools.  

Just in time for the holidays, we get some good news. The New York City Health Department reports that rates of childhood obesity are falling.  If the rates were staying constant, I’d consider it a step forward. But these results show rates going down, even if only by a few percentage points.   Link to article

Continue reading »

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Why Sugar Makes Us Sleepy (And Protein Wakes Us Up)

Lisa Says:  Great article from Wired.com on how what we eat affects us at the most fundamental levels.
Sugar Makes Us Sleepy (And Protein Wakes Us Up)
By Jonah Lehrer
December 6, 2011  
John Updike, in his short story “Plumbing,” summarized human nature thusly: “We think we are what we think and see when in truth we [...]

Lisa Says:  Great article from Wired.com on how what we eat affects us at the most fundamental levels.

Sugar Makes Us Sleepy (And Protein Wakes Us Up)

  • By Jonah Lehrer Email Author
  • December 6, 2011  
  • John Updike, in his short story “Plumbing,” summarized human nature thusly: “We think we are what we think and see when in truth we are upright bags of tripe.” This is a tragic fact that we spend most our lives trying to forget. Although we like to imagine ourselves as the driver – our consciousness is in full control – that belief is a lovely illusion. In reality, we are mere passengers aboard the body, strapped to a fleshy engine that is driving us.

    Consider the orexin system. Secreted by a small cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus, orexin is a neuropeptide that regulates an astonishing array of mental properties, from sleepiness to hunger. People with chronically low levels of orexin suffer from narcolepsy and obesity; many also have cataplexy, which occurs when the experience of strong emotions triggers a sudden weakening of skeletal muscles. (Laughter makes them go limp.) Studies have shown that injecting mice with orexin increases metabolism, largely because it makes the animals more active. The reverse is also true: low levels of orexin make people feel rundown and tired. This helps explain the mechanics of sleep deprivation, as keeping monkeys awake for extended periods all but silences their orexin cells. (However, studies show that the exhaustion can be quickly cured with an injection of the peptide.) In many respects, orexin acts like an internal gas pedal, as even slight twitches in the system can dramatically shift levels of activity.

    The reason the orexin system is so important is that it links the needs of the body to the desires of the mind…… Continue reading »

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    They Say it’s Safe – But it’s Unknowingly Destroying Your Liver

    Lisa Says: I don’t usually post directly from other websites, but this is good info from Mercola.com about the physical effects of consuming fructose and high fructose corn syrup and how it contributes to multiple health issues, sometimes permanent.  See the brief but compelling news video in the link provided below.
    They Say it’s Safe – But it’s [...]

    Lisa Says: I don’t usually post directly from other websites, but this is good info from Mercola.com about the physical effects of consuming fructose and high fructose corn syrup and how it contributes to multiple health issues, sometimes permanent.  See the brief but compelling news video in the link provided below.

    They Say it’s Safe – But it’s Unknowingly Destroying Your Liver

    Posted By Dr. Mercola | August 19 2011

    Obesity levels are now so high that many children are suffering from disease more commonly associated with alcohol abuse.  Many of them will develop cirrhosis, and some will require liver transplants.

    Studies show that millions of children in the U.S. are suffering from “non alcoholic liver disease” which is caused by a build-up of fat within liver cells. This prevents the organ from functioning properly.

    According to the Telegraph:

    “The condition increases the risks of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, and can lead to cirrhosis — scarring of the liver — which is often not detected until it is too late … There is no medical treatment for the disease, but the extent of it can be reduced by weightloss and improvements in diet.”

    Sources:

    Click here  to see the SHORT NEWSCLIP INTEVIEW WITH DR. LEVINE and the rest of the article.
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    School Lunch Programs Begin to Change Their Menus for the Better

    Lisa Says: No one denies that the nation’s health continues a rapid decline, with our children at the front of the pack.  Here is a CLEAR example of how grass roots movements make a fundamental difference !  Enjoy the article.
    School Lunch Programs Begin to Change Their Menus for the Better
    NaturalNews.com by Cindy Jones-Shoeman, citizen journalist   [...]

    Lisa Says: No one denies that the nation’s health continues a rapid decline, with our children at the front of the pack.  Here is a CLEAR example of how grass roots movements make a fundamental difference !  Enjoy the article.

    School Lunch Programs Begin to Change Their Menus for the Better

    NaturalNews.com by Cindy Jones-Shoeman, citizen journalist   Originally published October 5 2010

    (NaturalNews) While there is plenty of room for improvement, changes across the nation in local school lunch programs can give parents hope.

    It wasn’t long ago that Morgan Spurlock, in his documentary film Super Size Me, pointed out the sad state of most public school lunch programs. He found that many children weren’t getting fed nutritious meals at school; and in fact, most foods served in school cafeterias came out of boxes stored in the freezer. In addition, ubiquitous candy and soda machines merely exacerbated the problem.

    Fortunately, he along with many other people seem to have “stirred the pot” enough to effect change. Many people have wanted healthier options for kids at school, and the outcry is becoming harder to ignore. One of the more notable online opinions has belonged to a woman who goes by the name of “Mrs. Q,” an anonymous teacher with a blog entitled Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project. She has vowed to eat the cafeteria food at her school for lunch for an entire year (January through December). She has been documenting the meals with honest commentary in spite of fear for her job or exposing her identity. She feels strongly that the general public needs to know what their children are being served every day at school. Jamie Oliver, with his television show and website, is leading a Food Revolution, in hopes of raising awareness about the sad state of school lunches. Continue reading »

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    Japanese Woman: Skinnier but not Healthier

    Lisa Says: This is a great example of “skinny” does not necessarily equal “healthy”. In America’s concern over the obesity explosion and subsequent chronic diseases, we need to understand that the opposite extreme is exactly that – extreme. Look to balance the body and your health. Here is the article from the Washington Post.
    Big in [...]

    Lisa Says: This is a great example of “skinny” does not necessarily equal “healthy”. In America’s concern over the obesity explosion and subsequent chronic diseases, we need to understand that the opposite extreme is exactly that – extreme. Look to balance the body and your health. Here is the article from the Washington Post.

    Big in Japan? Fat chance for nation’s young women, obsessed with being skinny
    By Blaine Harden
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Sunday, March 7, 2010
    TOKYO — As women in the United States and across the industrialized world get fatter, most Japanese women are getting skinnier.

    Still, many view themselves as overweight.

    “I am quite fat, actually,” said Michie Takagi, a 70-year-old grandmother and retired clothing store executive. She has a body mass index (BMI) of 19.9, which is at the thin end of normal. While the average American woman has gained about 25 pounds over the past 30 years, Takagi has gained 4.5 pounds, typical for her age cohort in Japan, according to U.S. and Japanese government figures.

    Skinnier still are Japanese women younger than 60, who were thin by international standards three decades ago and who, taken as a group, have since been steadily losing weight.

    The trend is most pronounced among women in their 20s. A quarter-century ago, they were twice as likely to be thin as overweight; now they are four times more likely to be thin. For U.S. women of all ages, obesity rates have about doubled since 1980, rising from 17 percent to 35 percent.

    Social pressure — women looking critically at other women — is the most important reason female skinniness is ascendant in Japan, according to Hisako Watanabe, a child psychiatrist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo.

    “Japanese women are outstandingly tense and critical of each other,” said Watanabe, who has spent 34 years treating women with eating disorders. “There is a pervasive habit among women to monitor each other with a serious sharp eye to see what kind of slimness they have.”
    Public health experts say that younger Japanese women, as a group, have probably become too skinny for their own good. Restricted calorie consumption is slowing down their metabolisms, the average birth weight of their babies is declining, and their risk of death in case of serious illness is rising.

    “I would advise these women to eat when they are hungry,” said Satoshi Sasaki, a professor of preventive epidemiology at the University of Tokyo School of Public Health. “They should be satisfied with a normal body.”

    Fatter men and children

    Japan has long been the slimmest industrialized nation, thanks, in part, to a diet that emphasizes fish, vegetables and small servings. But what makes people fat around the world — sedentary workplaces, processed food and lack of exercise — is also making many Japanese fat.

    Adult men and children of both sexes are gaining weight at a pace that worries the government. A quarter-century ago, 20 percent of men in their 50s were overweight; now, 32 percent are.

    Attempting to head off heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses, the government imposed waistline standards in 2007, requiring girth measurements at work-funded physical examinations and encouraging the rotund to diet and exercise.

    Doctors say that for men, who are gaining weight in all age groups, the program makes considerable sense but that for adult women, it sends exactly the wrong signals. “The issue of skinny ladies is being overshadowed,” said Sasaki. “Middle-aged women have the mistaken view that they are all getting fat.”

    Sakiko Ohno, a cosmetics wholesaler in Tokyo, is one of those worried women. She is 40 and has a BMI of 19.5 — low, but still in the normal range.

    “I think I am very fat,” Ohno said repeatedly during an interview. “If I have a Starbucks muffin, that night I will skip rice and have vegetables.”

    ‘The critical eye’

    Ohno, who is single, said women pay attention to their weight because Japanese men prefer petite women and because fashionable clothes are sized for thin women. “But the real reason why women want to be thin is so they can look at themselves in the mirror and compare themselves to other women,” she said.

    Researchers have found that Japanese women in urban areas are significantly thinner than those in rural areas. In their first year of college, the weight of young Japanese women falls, unlike that of American women, which increases.

    “When population density is high, women are busy checking out body weight,” Watanabe said. “They want other people to be fatter than themselves. It is complicated, competitive and so subtle. The critical eye is ubiquitous.”

    Japanese government data show that since 1984, all age categories of women from 20 to 59 have become more thin (BMI of less than 18.5). The percentage of those women who are overweight (BMI over 25) has declined, as well. Women in their 60s have neither gained nor lost weight. The only group of women that has become slightly more overweight is those 70 and older, and that increase is about 2 percent.
    Studies in Japan have found little evidence that rates of serious eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia, are higher in Japan than in the United States or Europe. But government-funded research studies have shown that many women of child-bearing age have a misconception of what it means to be overweight, with up to 40 percent saying that a normal BMI measurement of 20 or 21 looked fat to them.

    Those studies have also found that daily calorie consumption among young women was often two-thirds of the average adult’s actual energy intake. Smoking rates among women in their 20s nearly doubled in the 1990s, jumping from 10 to 20 percent.

    As in the United States and elsewhere, Japanese women are bombarded by media images of gorgeous, very thin women — and public health experts say they believe those images have played a substantial role in increasing pressure on Japanese women to be skinny.

    The American response to such media images puzzles many people in Japan.

    “In the United States, you see all these beautiful skinny people on television, and yet Americans keep getting fatter anyway,” said Sasaki, the public health expert at Tokyo University. “Why is that?”

    Special correspondent Akiko Yamamoto contributed to this report.

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    No Shortcuts to Health

    Lisa Says: The Virginian Pilot printed my letter to the Editor today (copied below) in response to the front page article that ran 2/25 on “America’s ‘queen of coupons’”.
    Virginian Pilot 12 March 2010 | 5:00 AM
    No shortcuts to health
    Re ‘Grocery coupon queen,’ front page, Feb. 25: The report shows the disconnect in understanding what gets us [...]

    Lisa Says: The Virginian Pilot printed my letter to the Editor today (copied below) in response to the front page article that ran 2/25 on “America’s ‘queen of coupons’”.

    Virginian Pilot 12 March 2010 | 5:00 AM
    No shortcuts to health

    Re ‘Grocery coupon queen,’ front page, Feb. 25: The report shows the disconnect in understanding what gets us ’sick’ and how to save real money.

    Americans need to choose between saving pennies at the grocery store and promoting chronic disease or saving thousands in medical care and enjoying robust health.

    The article lists items clinically shown to promote such issues as diabetes, obesity and cancer, and shortsightedly promotes using these products and lowering your food budget, while medical costs are bankrupting you.

    But you can eat healthy foods you enjoy and save money at both the grocery store and the doctor’s office. With a little research, you can learn to stretch your food dollar with healthier choices.
    Lisa G Hamaker, Co-Director, Hunger For Health
    Virginia Beach

    Here’s the original article that ran. ‘Nuff said.

    America’s ‘Coupon Queen’ shares her supermarket savvy
    By Carolyn Shapiro
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © February 25, 2010

    Susan Samtur stands in the cereal aisle and calculates.

    A box of MultiGrain Cheerios normally costs $3.69. Harris Teeter supermarket has them on sale: two boxes for $5, or $2.50 each. Samtur has a coupon for 75 cents off, which the store will double, for a savings of $1.50. Her final price is $1.

    The self-described “Coupon Queen,” who has written books on her grocery-shopping strategies, stopped Wednesday in Hampton Roads to demonstrate her skills at the Harris Teeter in north Suffolk. Up and down the aisles, she consults her coupon filing system, which her mother helped her make decades ago, as well as her shopping list and the store’s latest advertising flyer.

    “This is another good one,” she says, heading toward the crackers. “They have the Ritz on sale for $2.99.”

    Her coupon will take an additional $2 off the crackers with a purchase of any Coca-Cola product, so her cost for the Ritz comes to 99 cents. “I’ll always use Ritz crackers,” she explains. “I use them for crust when I’m baking.”

    Her Harris Teeter visit is on Samtur’s East Coast supermarket tour. While preaching her gospel of grocery savings, she hopes to promote her fourth book, due this fall. On her Web site, she sells subscriptions to her quarterly magazine, Refundle Bundle, and a DVD called “Supershopping with the Coupon Queen,” which comes with an envelope of coupons worth $25 for the shipping price of $6.95, to cover costs, she says.

    Samtur, 65, is a petite purchasing powerhouse, standing well under 5 feet. She has big eyes and a bigger Bronx accent, from her childhood in the New York City borough. A resident of Scarsdale, N.Y., her supermarket of choice at home is A&P.

    Coupon competency requires preparation. Before shopping, Samtur says, she spends a half hour preparing a list, studying the store’s weekly flyer and comparing it against her pile of coupons to find the steepest discounts. For Harris Teeter, she also checked the chain’s Web site and other sources of online coupons. Some supermarkets don’t accept those, but Harris Teeter does.

    Good coupon shoppers, Samtur says, must dispense with brand loyalty. They must forgo favorites for the best deal. In certain categories, such as laundry detergent, she has coupons for as many as 10 brands “because I don’t know what’s going to be on sale.”

    In the dairy case, she gets six of Dannon’s Light & Fit yogurt cups Wednesday for 15 cents each. Harris Teeter had marked them down to 10 for $4, or 40 cents each. Samtur had a coupon for 75 cents off six, and Harris Teeter doubles coupons up to 99 cents. So that’s $2.40 in yogurt cups, less $1.50 with her coupon, for six for 90 cents.

    Samtur grows excited about a can of Edge shaving gel on sale for $1.99. She has a 75-cent coupon, doubled for a savings of $1.50. “For 49 cents, where are you going to get a brand-name shaving cream?” she says.

    She talks a mile a minute, scanning the shelves for sale prices and deals. Her keen eye catches freebies and value-added pitches that most shoppers would ignore.

    She notices packages that say “20 percent more!” of a product for the same price as the usual size. She spots “free DVD” on a box of cereal – for five box “tokens,” the shopper can choose from a number of movies. She points out instant coupons attached to product packages, an offer of “free bananas” on a box of Nilla Wafers cookies, and a Tropicana orange juice carton that pitches “up to $15 savings.”

    Samtur takes advantage of most of these deals. “Sometimes there are offers where you send away a part of your package and you get coupons back.”

    Many of those coupons are for free items – no strings attached or other purchase required. Samtur’s file includes several of these. At Harris Teeter, she gets a $5.19 box of Cascade dish detergent and a $7.49 container of Folgers coffee – each for the price of a 44-cent stamp.

    When Samtur reaches the cash register at Harris Teeter, she has a cartful of items culled from her list and a pile of coupons to match. While on tour, Samtur doesn’t actually buy the groceries. The store, which approves her visit ahead of time, returns items to the shelves and gives back her coupons.

    The cashier rings her up at $156.93, including the savings from her VIC (Very Important Customer) frequent-shopper card, which gives her the in-store discounts. Then the store manager scans her coupons.

    Her final total: $35.82. She saved 77 percent.

    “The longer you do it, the better you get at it,” Samtur says, promising that any consumer can excel at coupon use. “It’s not like I have some special or unique gift.”

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