It was Hippocrates who first said “Let thy food be thy medicine.” And while it may have taken a few thousand years for this to really catch on, doctors in New York City have finally started applying this concept to their patients.
NYC docs involved in the Wholesome Wave program have now started writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables for their patients battling obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high-cholesterol, and other weight-related diseases. Instead of drugs for weight loss, doctors provide these patients with a “prescription” of sorts to eat more vegetables and fruits.
It is this program’s goal to empower under-served and low-income communities with access to healthy foods in efforts to manage obesity and its resulting health conditions. In recent coverage from the New York Times, success stories are popping up throughout the 1200 different low-income families enrolled in the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, or FVRx, in four major hospitals throughout New York City.
At this point, it should be abundantly clear that there are no quick fixes to the obesity problem in America. Though there is plenty to be done to stop or reverse a course of obesity, when it comes to preventing it in the first place, most focus on healthy diets and plenty of exercise.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with either of those; here at DietsInReview, we fully support both. However, we may be missing a solution to the obesity problem. One that isn’t physical in nature, but mental.
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, wrote in a LinkedIn post, The Obesity Fix, his belief that the obesity problem can be fixed by a shift in how we think about health and obesity. He also acknowledges change won’t be easy, saying that no one seems to mind when super sugary cereals are marketed to children, or when it’s revealed how some foods are designed to be as addictive as possible.
He believes in order for this to change, people must see health and obesity differently than they do now, in two different ways.
HEALTH IS WEALTH (more…)
The question of whether or not the government should regulate the food industry seems like a simple one, but it’s really an incredibly complex topic. Variables like price, availability, variety of offerings, and quality of products are all involved. Also, there’s the issue of how much regulation the food industry should have. Should it all be regulated? None? Or maybe somewhere in the middle?
To help us make sense of the issue, Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) has produced its latest White Paper, Regulation Nation. Through their research, they’ve learned the issue of food regulation comes down to a lot more than a simple yes we should have it, or no we shouldn’t.
Regulation Benefits: Food is safer, healthier, better-quality.
Regulation Negatives: limit choices, restrict freedoms, and ultimately drive up costs.
Millions of well-intentioned American parents, unbeknownst to them, are over-fortifying their kids with too many nutrients. That’s according to a report published earlier this year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG, an American-based health and research organization, analyzed the nutrition facts labels for 1,550 breakfast cereals and found that 114 cereals were fortified by the manufacturer with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value of vitamin A, zinc, and/or niacin. They also looked at 1,000 snack bars and found that 27 common brands were fortified with 50 percent or more of the Daily Value of at least one of those nutrients.
Among the most fortified cereals were:
The most fortified snack bars included
When foods are fortified, vitamins and minerals that aren’t originally in a food are added by the manufacturer. Classic examples include adding vitamin D to milk, iron to flour, fiber to cereal, and iodine to salt. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to breads, cereals, and other products that use enriched flour in an effort to reduce Spina Bifida and other serious birth defects. The idea of fortification was developed almost 100 years ago to treat common nutrition-deficiency diseases.
But it is possible to consume too many fortified foods, especially by children, because the Daily Values are set for the needs of adults not kids. Furthermore, the Daily Value standards were set in 1968 and so some are higher than levels currently deemed to be safe. (more…)
It’s a fact some schools have been cutting physical education classes and other activities like recess and team sports in order to save money and allow more classroom time. However, removing physical activity from school kids’ days may actually have a detrimental effect on their scholastic abilities.
Carolyn Wassell, M.Ed. is the principal of the West Charleston Enrichment Academy (WCEA) where staying active is seen as an integral part of the school day. The long-time teacher and administrator feels physical activity has an incredibly positive impact on her students’ academic performance.
“Children have many academic periods at school where they must be cognitively focused,” she told DietsInReview. “Physical activity provides a break from concentrated instruction. Instead of going from one mental task to another, physical activity serves to relieve stress and actually lessen distractions. This allows students to return to academic tasks with increased focus and with the ability to do better on their assignments.”