Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Lower calorie foods – it’s just good business

 

 

UnknownLower calorie foods – it’s just good business

In this landmark study, researchers examined NPD restaurant servings and traffic data, and Nation’s Restaurant News sales trends, to analyze whether or not growing sales of lower-calorie menu items in 21 national restaurant chains, accounting for half of the top 100 chain sales, resulted in superior business performance.

The study concluded that quick-service and sit-down restaurant chains that grew their lower-calorie servings delivered better business results. In short, sound strategic planning with a commitment to growing lower-calorie items is just good business.

The findings of this study clearly demonstrate that between 2006 and 2011 lower-calorie foods and beverages were the key growth engine for the restaurants studied. Restaurant chains growing their servings of lower-calorie foods and beverages demonstrated superior:

• Same-store sales (SSS) growth
• Increases in restaurant customer traffic • Gains in overall restaurant servings

Increasing lower-calorie menu portfolios can help quick-service and sit-down restaurant chains improve the key performance metrics demanded by their shareholders and Wall Street, while at the same time providing lower-calorie foods and beverages for families and children.

 

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May 2, 2013 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Nutrition | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Good News?

FOOD, FACTS and FADS

At last, some progress may be occurring when it comes to calories in restaurant foods.  If it catches on and continues (and it might due to some new regulations from the government) we just might see some help occurring with the obesity epidemic.

Also, reducing portion sizes is even more good news.  When compared to the 1970’s, it’s astounding how many portion sizes have increased since then.  I can remember a box of popcorn at the movies, but now it’s a bucket, for example. A previous post compares portion sizes in France versus the U.S. which I found to be very interesting.  Check it out.

Plates, bowls, and cup sizes have increased too.  A dinner plate (standard) increased from 10 inches to 12 inches, for example.  When people were given larger bowls and spoons they served themselves larger amounts of food (in this case ice cream) and often consumed the…

View original post 45 more words

March 22, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

30 Minutes Of Exercise Each Day Is Better Than One Hour

Working Out

Working Out (Photo credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums)

From the 24 August 2012 article at Medical News Today

According to a study published in theAmerican Journal of Physiology, 30 minutes of daily exercise is just as effective for losing weight as 60 minutes

30 participants were assigned to engage in exercise for one hour per day, wearing a heart-rate monitor and calorie counter. The other 30 participants were assigned to 30 minutes per day. The team found that 30 minutes of daily exercise was enough to lose weight.

Mads Rosenkilde, Ph.D. student, Department of Biomedical Sciences said: “On average, the men who exercised 30 minutes a day lose 3.6 kilo in three months, while those who exercised for a whole hour only lost 2.7 kg. The reduction in body mass was about 4 kg for both groups.”

Rosenkilde continued:

“Participants exercising 30 minutes per day burned more calories than they should relative to the training program we set for them. In fact we can see that exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat. The men who exercised the most lost too little relative to the energy they burned by running, biking or rowing. 30 minutes of concentrated exercise give equally good results on the scale.”

According to the researchers, one explanation for their findings is that half an hour of exercise is so doable that study participants had the desire and energy for more physical activity after their daily exercise session. Furthermore, those who exercised for 60 minutes per day probably ate more, thus their weight loss was slightly less than anticipated.

Rosenkilde said:

“The participants in our study trained every day for three months. All training sessions were planned to produce a light sweat, but participants were expected to increase the intensity and give it gas three times a week.

Another interesting scenario is to study exercise as a form of transport. Training is fantastic for your physical and mental health. The problem is that it takes time. If we can get people to exercise along the way – to work, for example – we will have won half the battle.”

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  • Why weight loss advice may be unethical (KevinMD.com)

    An issue of Newsweek quotes me as saying, “A lot of our weight-loss recommendations are unethical because we shouldn’t be saying lose weight when there is no chance people will keep it off.“

    This quote appears in the context of a lengthy article by Daniel Heimpel that examines whether or not the obesity epidemic is being oversold.

    While I personally do not think that the obesity epidemic is being oversold, I do stand by my statement that most of the weight loss advice given to patients with overweight or obesity is unethical.

    In medical school, I was thought the principle of “primum non nocere” or “first, do no harm.” This principle begs us to always consider the possible outcomes (including the unintended ones) of any actions that we take with our patients, including of course the advice we give them.

    So what are the potential ethical concerns about telling someone to lose weight?..

    [Read the rest of the article here]

     

  • ‘Fitness and Fatness’: Not All Obese People Have the Same Prognosis; Second Study Sheds Light On ‘Obesity Paradox’(Science Daily)

People can be obese but metabolically healthy and fit, with no greater risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer than normal weight people, according to the largest study ever to have investigated this seeming paradox…

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“There are two major findings derived from our study. Firstly, a better cardio-respiratory fitness level should be considered from now on as a characteristic of this subset of metabolically healthy obese people. Secondly, once fitness is accounted for, our study shows for the first time that metabolically healthy but obese individuals have similar prognosis as metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, and a better prognosis than their obese peers with an abnormal metabolic profile.”

The researchers say their findings have important clinical implications. “Our data suggest that accurate BF% and fitness assessment can contribute to properly define a subset of obese individuals who do not have an elevated risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease] or cancer,” they write.

Dr Ortega added: “Physician should take into consideration that not all obese people have the same prognosis. Physician could assess fitness, fatness and metabolic markers to do a better estimation of the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer of obese patients. Our data support the idea that interventions might be more urgently needed in metabolically unhealthy and unfit obese people, since they are at a higher risk. This research highlights once again the important role of physical fitness as a health marker.”..

[Read entire article here]

 

Studies suggest you should be squeezing in some heart-pumping cardio, no matter how little time you have to spare

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Calorie-restricted diet keeps heart young

From the EurkAlert of 5 June 2012

People who restrict their caloric intake in an effort to live longer have hearts that function more like those in people who are 20 years younger.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a key measure of the heart’s ability to adapt to physical activity, stress, sleep and other factors that influence the rate at which the heart pumps blood, doesn’t decline nearly as rapidly in people who have significantly restricted their caloric intake for an average of seven years.

The study is available online in the journal Aging Cell.

“This is really striking because in studying changes in heart rate variability, we are looking at a measurement that tells us a lot about the way the autonomic nervous system affects the heart,” says Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD, the study’s senior author. “And that system is involved not only in heart function, but in digestion, breathing rate and many other involuntary actions. We would hypothesize that better heart rate variability may be a sign that all these other functions are working better, too.”…

June 7, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Cut Calories With Fast Foods

How To Cut Calories With Fast Foods.

From the 19 December Medical News Today article

Dr. Bartfield’s Fast-Food Tips:

  • “Select grilled rather than fried. A fast-food grilled chicken sandwich has 470 calories and 18 grams of fat while the fried version has 750 calories and 45 grams of fat.
  • Hold off on cheese, mayonnaise and salad dressings unless low-fat options are available. Cheese can add an additional 100 calories or more per serving, as does mayonnaise and, often, you won’t miss the taste when ordering the plainer versions.
  • Order the smallest size available. Go for the single burger rather than the double and for the small fry rather than bonus-size.
  • Skip sugar-sweetened drinks, which are usually absent in nutritional value and don’t make you feel more satisfied. These calories quickly add up leading to excessive calorie consumption, especially at restaurants offering free refills on drinks.
  • Save half of your order for your next meal. You save calories, save time and also save money.”

December 21, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Nutrition | , | Leave a comment

Study: Displaying calories as ‘physical activity equivalent’ leads to healthier choices

A Marine of the United States Marine Corps run...

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Study: Displaying calories as ‘physical activity equivalent’ leads to healthier choices
by Patricia on Dec 16, 2011 in the Public Health Newswire

Excerpts from the article

Displaying calorie information on sugar-sweetened beverages may lead to better health choices among low-income black adolescents, especially when it also shows how many minutes of exercise would be needed to burn off those calories, says a new study….

Researchers discovered that when caloric information was provided as a physical activity equivalent, this intervention reduced the odds of the adolescents purchasing a sugar-sweetened beverage. The researchers found that providing easily understandable calorie information — particularly in the form of physical activity — may be an effective strategy for lowering calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages among low-income black adolescents and encouraging increased water consumption.

“In general, people are very bad at estimating the amount of calories in food they consume,” said study researcher Sara Bleich, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health in an interview with FOX News. “If we give them easy ways of examining it…I think we can be effective in reducing calories in purchases.”

“Because of the inclusion of mandatory calorie labeling in the recent health reform bill, it is also important to explore

the most effective strategies for presenting caloric information to consumers on fast food restaurant menu boards,” suggest the study’s authors.

December 17, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Coffee, energy drinkers beware: Many mega-sized drinks loaded with sugar, MU nutrition expert says

From the February 3, 2011 Eureka news alert

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Starbucks recently announced a new-sized 31-ounce drink, the “Trenta,” which will be in stores this spring. The mega-sized coffee joins the ranks of other energy drinks that can pack plenty of caffeine and calories. Ellen Schuster, a University of Missouri nutrition expert, says that Americans should be wary of extra calories and sugar in the quest for bigger, bolder drinks.

“The sheer size of new coffee and energy drinks increases consumers’ potential for unhealthy calorie and sugar consumption,” said Schuster, state specialist for MU Extension and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “A ‘Trenta’-sized Starbuck’s lemonade could include 21 teaspoons of sugar – much more than should be consumed at one time, or in one day.”

Excess sugar is common in many prepared beverages. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who consume drinks with added sugars consume more total calories, and studies have found that drinking sweetened beverages is related to weight gain.

Health experts at the Mayo Clinic note that moderate consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages is unlikely to cause harm, but large quantities in excess of 500 mg, or more than four cups of coffee, can cause difficulty sleeping, irritability, restlessness, stomach problems and irregular heartbeat. Especially of concern is caffeine consumption among children and adolescents.

“Energy and coffee beverages are subject to the same nutrition rules as other foods and drinks; it’s all about moderation,” Schuster said. “Ideally, it’s best to avoid drinking calories, because drinks leave you less full than solid foods. By eating calories in the form of high-calorie, high-sugar drinks, people crowd out other nutritious foods. However, like any indulgence, it’s fine to order a ‘Trenta’ drink as an occasional treat.”

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These tips are based on findings from MU research conducted throughout the year. For more information, visit: missourifamilies.org and nutritionmythbusters.blogspot.com. The research is conducted through MU Extension and the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology – a joint department in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the School of Medicine and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at MU.

 

A few other recent nutrition related press releases


During the cold winter months, Minnesotans know how to stay warm. They also know how to stay healthy! Try one (or all) of these recipes from the Minnesota state government this month.


February 4, 2011 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New USDA Dietary Guidelines (released January 31, 2011)

The US Dept of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 - cover

Some excerpts from the Introduction

The ultimate goal of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to improve the health of our Nation’s current and future generations by facilitating and promoting healthy eatingand physical activity choices so that these behaviors become the norm among all individuals….

… The recommendations contained in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans traditionally have been intended for healthy Americans ages 2 years and older. However, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is being released at a time of rising concern about the health of the American population. Its recommendations accommodate the reality that a large percentage of Americans are overweight or obese and/or at risk of various chronic diseases. Therefore,the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is intended for Americans ages 2 years and older, includingthose who are at increased risk of chronic disease….

…Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recognizes that in recent years nearly 15 percent of American households have been unable to acquire adequate food to meet their needs because of insufficient money or other resources for food.10 This dietary guidance can help them maximize the nutritional content of their meals within their resource constraints….

Chapters include Balancing Calories to Lose Weight, Foods and Food Components to Reduce, Foods and Nutrients to Increase, Building Health Eating Patterns, and Helping Americans Make Health Choices.

In the coming days and weeks, links will be added here to related news items, commentaries, and additional informational resources.

Links a few media news items (the author does not endorse the views in these links, they are provided for informational purposes only)

Alex Wong/Getty Images

 

 




February 1, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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