Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. [more inside]
The American Diet in One Chart: "American eaters have gotten a windfall from the the era of cheap meat that dawned in the early '80s. Meat prices tumbled as small farms shuttered, to be replaced by massive factory-scale farms that stuffed animals with cheap, subsidized corn and soy and kept them alive and growing to slaughter weight with daily doses of antibiotics. ... Consumers put some of the savings into eating more meat, and shifted some out of the savings out of food purchases altogether ... But what what they mostly did was shift cash that once went to meat into processed food."
That the conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong. The body changes as you lose. Interestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one. [more inside]
Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour blog was seen previously on MeFi) responds insightfully to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat."
Swole.me is a completely free automated diet planner that creates meals according to your goal calorie intake and how many meals you’d like to eat per day. [more inside]
Ask for Amazing WATE-ON. Retronaut's collection of dietary supplement ads offers some historical perspective on the obesity epidemic. [more inside]
The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor (sl Cracked list) [more inside]
A study conducted at Newcastle University (UK) shows that type 2 diabetes can be completely reversed, not with medication, but through following a 600-calorie diet for two months. [more inside]
Here are a few articles discussing Dr. Pessler's new study (.pdf). The researcher says that “food is the main cause of ADHD.”
The USDA has ended the pyramid scheme. For the first time, the USDA advises Americans to "eat less." The previous design abomination (previously) is archived for comparison.
Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
A dude eats nothing but Christmas candy for a week.
From the journal Nutrition, a paper(pdf) criticizing the new American dietary guidelines. [more inside]
Vegan No More: For 3 years I built my entire life on the premise of veganism. It was my life’s passion, my guiding light. Being a vegan was everything to me. I believed my actions made me an animal rights crusader; I was saving lives, and changing the world. Now, I know otherwise. And now, after 2 full months of non-veganism, I can honestly say that I feel reborn.
While many government organizations are pushing a healthy lifestyle complete with a low-fat diet, one marketing group formed by the USDA, called Dairy Management, is making a case for more cheese in America's menu items. [more inside]
A major study was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine from Harvard. In approximately 85,000 women who were followed for 26 years and 45,000 men who were followed for 20 years, researchers found that all-cause mortality rates were increased in both men and women who were eating a low-carbohydrate Atkins diet based on animal protein. However, all-cause mortality rates as well as cardiovascular mortality rates were decreased in those eating a plant-based diet low in animal protein and low in refined carbohydrates. [Previously in MeFi]
Atkins was right?! According to a meta-study of nearly 350,000 people, "there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of (heart disease) or (vascular disease)... However, replacement with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, can exacerbate ... insulin resistance and obesity that includes increased triglycerides, small LDL particles, and reduced HDL cholesterol. Dietary efforts to improve ... (cardiovascular disease) risk ... should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and (losing weight)." [more inside]
One thing is going to become clear in the coming years, Braun says: if you want to lose weight, you don’t necessarily have to go for a long run. “Just get rid of your chair.” "...Exercise does have an important role in weight loss. That role, however, is different from what many people expect and probably wish." And quite nuanced too. Turns out it's different for men and women and it matters what kind of exercise you do. [more inside]
Is Vitamin C worth taking or not? Does Echinacea kill colds? Am I missing out not drinking litres of Goji juice, wheatgrass extract and flaxseed oil every day? A generative data-visualisation of all the scientific evidence for popular health supplements by David McCandless and Andy Perkins. (Still Image) (data) [via] [more inside]
Ellie Krieger is a well-known registered dietician and author of The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life. Her bio says she was "director of nutritional services at the prestigious La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine for several years where she worked with a team of physicians, psychologists and fitness specialists to create a multi-faceted obesity treatment program." She's also the host of "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger" on the Food Network. With this kind of pedigree, you'd assume her recipes would be the paragon of nutritious, healthy eating, right? Wrong. [more inside]
On the heels of Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey’s op-ed about health care reform (previously, previously) comes the Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program, in which the employee discount will be increased from 20% to 30% for those who meet criteria for body mass index (BMI), nicotine use, blood pressure, and cholesterol. [more inside]
Breaking news, Taco Bell will make you skinny! Not unknown for low-brow branding, Toxic Bell is following it's hedonistic Fourthmeal campaign with an appeal to "sensible choices". [more inside]
Jesus ate primarily natural foods in their natural states - lots of vegetables, especially beans and lentils. He would have eaten wheat bread, fruit, drunk a lot of water and also red wine. And he would only eat meat on special occasions, maybe once a month. The Jesus Diet [more inside]
Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, discusses the biochemical properties of fructose and makes the case for why it should be considered, essentially, a poison. [Youtube, 1.5 hours] [more inside]
American Heart Association: American men should not consume more than 150 calories of sugar a day[pdf], American women 100 calories. paper[pdf]
An expose of non-vegan ingredients in pancakes at LA Vegan Thai inspired the QuarryGirl.Com writers to conduct their own extremely thorough investigation of LA vegan restaurants, testing their meals for traces of casein, egg, and shellfish. Over $1000 and a chain of interviews up to Taiwan later, they find that half the restaurants aren't as vegan as they claim, with half registering Positive or High and one registering Overload. Some restaurants vowed to conduct their own tests or requested further assistance; one banned them from the establishment.
"People lose weight if they lower calories, but it does not matter how." According to recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, "For people who are trying to lose weight, it does not matter if they are counting carbohydrates, protein or fat. All that matters is that they are counting something." [more inside]
A single nutrient may have turned early humans into civilized man. Has stripping it from our diet given rise to cancer, diabetes, and other civilized diseases? "There has been a thousandfold increase in the consumption of soybean oil over the past hundred years. The result is an unplanned experiment in brain and heart chemistry, one whose subject is the entire population of the developed world." A series of epidemiological studies showed that populations that consume high levels of omega-3s in the form of seafood are the least afflicted by the major diseases associated with the Western diet. (via) [more inside]
If you don't see any patterns in your data, yet day-to-day fluctuations persist, he is reacting to something you aren't tracking. Look elsewhere. A heartrending (and long) online log of one father's 10-year struggle to make sense of his child's ADHD and find a way to treat it without medication.
Nicholle, Amy, Melanie, and Jenny are "in no way affiliated with, endorsed by or sponsored by the products reviewed , its partners, or subsidiaries."
Via Amazon, you can read the first few chapters[PDF] of Carol Lay's new graphic novel-cum-diet book The Big Skinny. Blogger and fellow cartoonist Ampersand/Barry Deutsch doesn't object to the weight loss she documents, he just isn't convinced that it's actually all that healthy. [more inside]
Have you seen the new ads for Diet Pepsi Max? Reactions have not been kind. Some are comparing it to The Book of Bunny Suicides. The images in the Pepsi links are the same, the comments are not. [more inside]
How many calories did you drink last night? Alcohol intake, rendered in food equivalents. [more inside]
The Twenty Worst Foods in America. There's something for everyone!
Scientists are testing a new diet pill that expands to the size of a tennis ball in your stomach. When taken with two glasses of water, the slow-growing 'gelatinous blob' gives one the feeling of having eaten a plate of food. Although it's no replacement for diet and exercise, it could help some people control their urges.
See, not many people know this, but there are two kinds of fat people. There are people that were born fat, and then there are people that were once thin, then became fat.
"Being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat." According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. "The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined," said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain's Medical Research Council.
Tim Ferris claims to have gained 34 lbs. of muscle in 28 days while exercising for only four hours, total.
Obesity and the Farm Bill. Michael Pollan continues his series of articles on the state of the American food supply by looking at the connection between the obesity epidemic and the federal farm bill (NYT, reg. required, blah blah blah). Previously.