Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before, but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Oliver‘s healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our American health habits!)
But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countries, as of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.
I’ve often joked that the only reason baked chips are listed as healthier than their traditional counterparts is because you get less product per bag. Apparently, my jokes weren’t too far from the truth.
We’ve discovered that Baked Cheetos in particular actually have 70 more calories than their crunchy counterparts. It’s an excellent example of how “positive” branding can make a consumer assume a product is healthy, even when it isn’t.
This is what’s known as a health halo. It’s the perception that one thing is healthy or has healthy qualities because something with similar qualities is healthy. Using the Cheetos example; we know baked foods are usually healthier than fried foods, so when consumers see the word “baked” on a label, they assume the product is better for them.
It used to be that eating disorders were just about being thinner than everyone else. But that’s no longer the case. Now you have to be stronger, fitter, and healthier than everyone else too. Since this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 24-March 1) it seems like the perfect time to talk about the new ways disordered eating is surfacing.
Though not an officially recognized eating disorder, there is a growing trend in orthorexia or an obsession with health. Many people, especially teenagers, associate health with the number on the scale or how they look in the mirror. Both of those can be good baseline for determining health, but there’s a lot more to it than how big your thighs are.
Eating before a workout can help prevent low blood sugar and fatigue—both of which can greatly decrease your exercise performance! What you eat will vary based on the time of day, what you’re doing for exercise, and how long you plan to be active. Prior to exercise, your main focus should be carbohydrates. It’s good to have little bit of protein and fat as well- make sure that your carbohydrate ratios are a little higher. It’s best to eat both simple and complex carbohydrates before working out to get a good balance of quick and slow-released energy.
Fats and proteins take more time to digest, so they will help keep your stomach satisfied so that it’s not growling while you’re at the gym. Protein will work on repairing muscles after your workout is over (and at that point, it’s good to consume more). In general, fiber is your friend—but not before a workout. Ingesting too much fiber before a gym session could leave in a pretty uncomfortable situation! If you have no problems digesting dairy, having a little bit before you exercise is just fine. However, just like fiber—stay away from it if you have any digestion issues.
Here are a few simple options to eat before exercising:
Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter and Honey
One slice of whole grain bread or toast topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter and one teaspoon of honey (or sliced banana) provides a great source of carbohydrates, plus a little bit of protein and fat. This snack is easily digestible and will provide a quick source of energy.
The minds behind Sullivan Higdon & Sink’s (SHS) FoodThink are at it again, and this time they’re taking a good look at the how and why of eating healthy. Their new white paper, “Our Appetite for Healthy Eating,” covers everything from attitudes about healthy foods to our attempts to eat right.
According to research conducted by SHS, 61 percent of Americans make the commitment to eat healthy. Of course, there’s a lot of variation in that claim.
From “Our Appetite for Healthy Eating”: Organic shoppers, for instance, are 31-percent more likely to say they’re committed to healthy eating. On the other hand, those who believe their cooking skills to be sub-par are 13-percent less likely to say they’re committed to healthy eating.