In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar—and not fat—was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?
Our waistlines aren’t expanding because people aren’t exercising intelligently or vigorously enough. You don’t need a new personal trainer, another Insanity workout video or a more aggressive CrossFit regimen. What you need is the truth, and here it is: Exercise — no matter how many gym memberships you buy or how often you wear your Fitbit — won’t make you lose weight. [more inside]
Ever wondered what a days worth of calories looks like in fast food form? Well wonder no more!
Here, we show you what roughly 2,000 calories looks like at some large chains. (Depending on age and gender, most adults should eat between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day.) Researchers have long understood that people are more likely to finish what’s on their plate than to stop eating because they’ve consumed a given amount of food. It’s “the completion compulsion,” a phrase coined in the 1950s by the psychologist Paul S. Siegel.[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."
The food desert has been a regular topic here on MetaFilter, posts about which often highlight a particular narrative about the effects of meager food choices for poorer urban communities, negatively affecting health and choice among low income people. Though not always. Some new studies indicate the situation in the US might be more like the latter, not quite as dire as is usually asserted. [more inside]
"Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, Life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go... empty."
Taxpayers in the San Francisco area spend $2,762,295 each year in junk food subsidies, but only $41,950 each year on apple subsidies. [LATIMES] A new report released this week has found that, among the billions of dollars spent each year in federal subsidies for commodity crops, a steady flow of these taxpayer dollars are going to support high fructose corn syrup and three other common food additives used in junk food. The report, “Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food” by CALPIRG and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, studies the interesting question of whether the nation's problem with obesity is fueled by farm subsidies.
Food Fight: Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive? In which the blog Get Rich Slowly chronicles an argument about nutrition vs cost and then invites readers to chime in.
Obesity Epidemic Grows: [CNN.com] "Two-thirds of all adults and about a third of all children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese according to a report release Thursday by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). According to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011,"[PDF] adult obesity increased in 16 states during the past year and rates soared to 30% or more in these 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Four years ago, only one state - Mississippi - had an adult obesity rate of more than 30%. No state showed a decrease in it obesity rate in Thursday's report."
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."
Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, and.... fat? Dr. Russell Keast, an Austrailian scientist who studies "perceived flavour, consumer acceptance and preference of foods and nutrition," has conducted research exploring humans' apparent sixth taste perception: fat. The kicker? Sensitivity to the taste of fat was negatively correlated with fat intake and BMI. Dr. Keast discussed the results of his latest research with Slashfood, and The Sydney Morning Herald. (via) [more inside]
No running in PE. I was talking to my kids about school the other day. We were discussing what they do in their different classes and the conversation came around to physical education (PE). I was shocked when they told me that their gym teacher forbids running in PE class. What?! No running in PE? It’s true.
NutritionData.com is a free and very useful website for detailed nutrition information, including the in-vogue Glycemic Index; their own Fullness Factor, a measure of how filling foods are per calorie; and others. Their Better Choices Diet makes use of the Fullness Factor to make consuming less energy than you use easier to do without going hungry. Previously mentioned in response to this AskMe question.
Yesterday the World Health Organization launched a report on diet and nutrition, saying that sugar should be restricted to 10% of caloric intake. Predictably, the sugar industry (press releases) threw fits and called on their cronies in Congress to cut off WHO funding. Apparently they're fighting and clawing even more than the tobacco industry in similar circusmtances, and WHO fears that lobbyists have more power with the Bush administration. The SA believes that inactivity, not our increased sugar consumption, is the primary cause of the obesity epidemic. Are we in for another few years of declarations of junk science and endless gov't investigations into what seems obvious, a la most environmental and health concerns?