“Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco.”
That’s what Belgian professor Olivier de Schutter of the World Health Organization (WHO) told the organization’s annual summit. It’s also a pretty bold statement considering tobacco has been held as one of the highest risks to global health for years.
He went on to say, “Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed.”
Just like people prefer certain tastes over others, we all tend to have texture preferences when it comes to food. Take for example the chocolate chip cookie. Some will insist the best cookies are thin and crisp, while others will argue soft and chewy is the way to go.
Texture can influence a lot more than food preference. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research revealed texture can also affect how people perceive the number of calories in food.
Study authors Dipayan Biswas, Courtney Szocs (both of University of South Florida), Aradhna Krishmna (University of Michigan), and Donald R. Lehmann (Columbia University) wrote, “We studied the link between how a food feels in your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of food we choose, and how many calories we think we are consuming.”
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.
Supersizing—though the official term, created by McDonald’s in the 1990s, has disappeared from fast food places, the concept never really left. Consumers will still purchase, and generally eat more food if they feel like they are getting a better deal.
“We know the health implications of a giant latte or supersized fries, so a little justification through feeling financially savvy and saving money makes us feel better about our decision and increases consumption,” said Kelly L. Haws, a marketing researcher Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt University.
Haws is part of a research team that recently found consumers aren’t just looking for deals on unhealthy fast food meals. In fact, Haws and co-author Karen Winterich found that the supersizing effect works just as well on healthier food choices.
Welcome to the weekend! Saturdays and Sundays may mean relaxed diet and fitness rules during much of the year, but the timing of this specific weekend—right between Christmas and New Year’s Eve—may inspire you to get in a few final acts of health in 2013. If you’re feeling like you could use a health reboot right now, here are 10 ways to have a healthy weekend.
1. Limit your coffee intake. Inherently, coffee is full of all sorts of health-promoting properties. The beverage has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. However, regularly loading up on caffeinated coffee can make you moody and dependent on its energy boosting effects; what started as one cup can quickly turn into three or four if you don’t keep your habit in check. So, if you need extra pep have a single cup, then switch to decaf, which has many of the same health-protecting properties but isn’t addictive.
It’s in ranch dressing, Doritos, canned soups, and french fries. You’re eating it if you go to KFC, have green bean casserole, or take a swig of Diet Coke. Really, any processed food likely includes some form of it. What is this ubiquitous food product? Monosodium glutamate, most commonly known as MSG.
For years, MSG has been the subject of debate. The Food and Drug Administration calls it safe, MSG-sensitive persons think it causes headaches and asthma, and scientists show conflicting research on the effects of MSG. What’s the truth? Should everyone stop eating it? Are the food companies and government in conspiracy against the public? Or is this product a safe and healthy flavor enhancer?
First, it is helpful to go over what monosodium glutamate is. MSG is added to foods to enhance flavor without giving a flavor of its own, according to the FDA. It was first discovered in Japan in 1908 by a scientist named Ikeda, who isolated the compound after wanting to know the secret of his wife’s delicious soup. Along with branding his product and making millions, he also came up with the idea of umami, a fifth taste translated as savory or deliciousness that is distinct from the senses of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. (more…)
Happy Cupcake Week! Let’s celebrate with a nice sundae, and then next week, we can celebrate Run on the Treadmill for 10 Hours a Day Week!
Gourmet cupcakes have become all the rage, but Hostess cupcakes will always be the original, offering delicious little treats in one easy to eat package.
While an occasional indulgence is encouraged for mental health and for the safety of others around you, it isn’t an excuse to go buck wild. For some reason, as the obesity epidemic continues to grow, the trend of combining already unhealthy foods with other even more unhealthy foods continues to get more and more extreme. At first, we thought the KFC Double Down was bad, but one look at Epic Meal Time makes the sandwich look like a grilled chicken salad.
This week is Cupcake Week and Hostess isn’t content to just push their cupcakes. They’ve jumped on the how-ridiculous-can-we-get bandwagon by offering you an exciting new recipe sure to rot your teeth out and add a few inches to your hips: the Hot Fudge Cupcake Sundae.
Parents of children in the Los Angeles School District have something new to talk to their children about when discussing healthy lifestyle choices: the absence of flavored milk in school lunches. On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted 5-2 to remove flavored milk options from its school menus.
Many school districts – including Washington D.C. – have passed similar acts in their efforts to make the meals they serve their students healthier while also combating childhood obesity. Los Angeles is the largest school district to ban sugar-laden, artificially flavored milks from their lunches. This district serves 650,000 meals a day at 1,000 different locations. In addition to removing milk from their menus, Los Angeles schools will be removing other unhealthy options such as corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and other fast food items. In their place, the district is adding more vegetarian options, such as spinach tortellini with butternut squash and California sushi rolls.
“Absolutely, by the fall the district will be a national leader,” said a senior advocate for the California Food Policy Advocates, Matthew Sharp.
Now that Americans, food manufacturers and restaurant chains have made trans-fats part of their every day vernacular and a daily avoidance in their diets, enter a new unhealthy fat also found in processed foods: Interesterified fat.
A bit more difficult to pronounce than “trans fatty acids,” but equally dangerous, interesterified fats are liquid oils, rather than a semi-solid fat, like the now taboo, trans fats.
To get a jump on this new addition to the health dictionary, read on to learn where this additive may be lurking in your kitchen and how it might be hurting your health.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of saying you should completely avoid a food or listing foods in a good or bad list. I think it’s more important to practice moderation, with an understanding that sometimes moderation means once a week, but with other foods it should mean once a month. However, there are a few foods that I personally tend to avoid 100% of the time because they provide little-to-no nutritional value, or the fat/calorie component exceeds any potential positives of the food.
My list of foods to avoid include:
Chicken Pot Pies. The flaky pastry and meat-filled center sounds good and comforting, but you are doing more harm then good when eating these. Most of the time you will see that these pot pies have around 500 calories and 10 grams of fat, but after looking closer you will see that is for only half of the pie. So for those of you who would normally eat the whole thing, you’re consuming ~1000 calories and 20g of fat! (more…)