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June 2012

judy's picture

"Big Food" on the Attack

"One billion people on the planet are hungry while two billion are obese or overweight". Many people are blaming "Big Food". Editors in a recent article (in PLoS Medicine) compare the food and beverage industry to the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, with one exception - they aren't being held accountable.
The companies being attacked.. "Big Food": the 10 largest food companies control half of all food sales worldwide. Three-fourths of the the world's food sales involve processed foods.

judy's picture

To quit Smoking, Try Eating More Veggies and Fruits

About 19% of Americans still smoke cigarettes. That's about 1 in 5 people! Many people trying to quit smoking have tried just about anything, from patches to plastic cigarettes, hypnosis to acupuncture. What about eating more fruits and veggies? According to a new study by University at Buffalo, it may help you quit and stay tobacco free for longer. The article was published in the Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. They looked at 1,000 smoked 25 years and older, from around the country. They followed up with the participants in 14 months. They found in previous studies that people who were abstinent from cigarettes for less than 6 months consumed more fruits and vegetables than those who still smoked. But they wanted to see if that was due to quitters starting to eat more fruits and veggies or smokers who ate more of them were more likely to quit. They found in this study that smokers who ate the most fruit and vegetables were 3 times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days. They also found that those who still smoked, smoked few cigarettes per day, waited longer to smoke their first cigarette of the day and scored lower on a test of nicotine dependence.

Some speculation on the reason for the relationship could be that the fiber helps people feel fuller and therefore they smoke less. It has been shown that smokers sometimes confuse hunger with an urge to smoke. Some foods are known to enhance the taste of tobacco (like meats, caffeine and alcohol), while fruits and vegetables do not. The researchers go as far as to say that they may actually worsen the taste of cigarettes. I'd personally rather eat some peaches and blueberries than puff on a plastic cigarette. Not to mention the many other benefits of increasing fruit and vegetable intakes on blood pressure, cholesterol and weight loss. Great fruits in season now are strawberries, blueberries, plums and peaches. Tons of vegetables are in season now like beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and tomatoes. Or are tomatoes a fruit? I guess in this case, it doesn't matter!

judy's picture

Stephen Colbert comments on Plan for Supersize Soda Prohibition

Stephen Colbert comments on New York City's Mayor, Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban supersize soda. Unlike the prohibition on alcohol, this prohibition would allow soda, but only if it's under 16 oz or if it's sold in the grocery store. You just couldn't buy them in restaurants, delis, food trucks, movie theaters and sporting arenas. In addition to soda, you wouldn't be able to buy sports drinks either. Any drink that's more than half milk or more than 70% juice would be exempt. So you can buy beer, but not gatorade. You can buy red bull, but not lemonade. You could buy a supersize milkshake with whipped cream on top, but not your favorite's restaurant's house made sweet tea. Confused? I'll let Stephen explain.
Jeatwell's picture

What is Your BMI?

Your doctor may start monitoring your BMI on your next visit. They check your blood pressure, your heart rate, and your temperature. Why not your BMI? Doctors are now being encouraged to treat your BMI like another vital sign. Body Mass Index --- the ratio of your height to your weight--- has been used to indicate whether a person is overweight or obese. Doctors are now being asked to monitor their patients’ BMIs in order to perform obesity screening and provide counseling.