Category Archives: Good Reads

Parents…your kids are watching what you do

From Health Day News:

Parents Should Lead By Example in Weight Loss, Study Finds

When parents shed pounds, overweight kids on weight-loss plan slimmed down, too

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) — Losing weight themselves is the best way for parents to help their children shed excess pounds, new research suggests.

The study included 80 parent-child sets with an overweight or obese 8- to 12-year-old. The participants took part in a parent-only or parent/child treatment program for five months.

The researchers assessed the effectiveness of three types of parenting skills taught in the family-based treatment programs for childhood obesity. The skills included: leading by example, or parents who took steps to lose weight themselves; changing the home food environment; and parenting style, such as encouraging the child to take part in the weight-loss program or helping limit what the child ate.

As in previous studies, this one found that parents’ weight loss was the only significant predictor of children’s weight loss.

“The No. 1 way in which parents can help an obese child lose weight? Lose weight themselves,” Kerri Boutelle, an associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, said in a UCSD Health Sciences news release. “In this study, it was the most important predictor of child weight loss.”

The findings were published online in the journal Obesity.

“Parents are the most significant people in a child’s environment, serving as the first and most important teachers,” said Boutelle, who is also head of the eating disorders behavioral treatment program at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. “They play a significant role in any weight-loss program for children, and this study confirms the importance of their example in establishing healthy eating and exercise behaviors for their kids.”

About 31 percent of children in the United States — between 4 million and 5 million kids —  are overweight or obese, according to recent data.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains how parents can help overweight children.

— Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences, news release, March 14, 2012

Last Updated:  March 22, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

More Info on Icky “Pink Slime”

From The Daily:  “Aisle Be on the Safe Side”

School districts nationwide will be able to opt out of serving “pink slime,” after the USDA announced March 15 that beginning next fall, schools involved in the national school lunch program will have the option of avoiding the product.

From ABC News:  “Where to Get ‘Pink-Slime’- Free Beef

1. Safeway “Safeway is committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality products.  While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean, finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product.  Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef.”

2. Ahold (Stop & Shop/Giant) “Stores operated by the divisions of Ahold USA do carry ground beef made with Finely Textured Beef, although we are not purchasing any fresh ground beef that includes Finely Textured Beef produced using ammonium hydroxide. Finely Textured Beef is 100 percent  lean beef and is absolutely safe for consumption. To make the product, beef companies use beef trimmings, which are the small cuts of beef that remain when larger cuts are trimmed down. These trimmings are USDA-inspected, wholesome cuts of beef. This process has been an industry standard for almost 20 years. Alternatives to the conventional ground beef supply, in the form of Certified Angus Beef and Nature’s Promise  ground beef products, are available to customers in stores across the divisions of Ahold USA. These products do not include the use of Finely Textured Beef. Customers are being encouraged to ask any meat associate should they have any questions or would like to be directed to meat that does not include Finely Textured Beef. Our labeling is in compliance with USDA regulations. Finely Textured Beef is USDA tested and approved ground beef and therefore does not require labeling.”

3. Costco Costco told ABC News it does not use “pink slime.” “Anything that we sell at Costco we want to explain its origins, and I personally don’t know how to explain trim treated with ammonia in our ground beef,” Craig Wilson, vice president of quality assurance for Costco, told ABC News. “I just don’t know how to explain that. I’m not that smart.”

4. Publix “We have never allowed the use of LFTB (pink slime) in our meat. It’s 100 percent ground beef with no LFTB.”

5. H-E-B “All our ground beef sold at H-E-B is 100 percent  pure with no additives.”

6. Whole Foods Whole Foods told ABC News it does not use pink slime.

7. Kroger “Kroger carries ground beef both with and without lean finely textured beef. For customers who choose to avoid it, we offer a variety of options including Kroger’s Private Selection Angus Ground Chuck, Round and Sirloin; Private Selection All Natural Ground Beef and Private Selection Organic Ground Beef solid in 1 lb. packages, labeled 80 percent  lean and above; Laura’s Lean Ground Beef; and ground beef prepared in store. All ground beef you find at your local Kroger is USDA-regulated, inspected and approved for food safety and quality. That includes beef products made with lean finely textured beef.”

8. Tops Markets Tops Markets told ABC News it does not use “pink slime.”

9. SUPERVALU “Effective today, SUPERVALU has made the decision to no longer purchase fresh ground beef containing finely textured beef for any of our traditional retail stores. These stores include Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ‘n Save  and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.  We are currently working with our suppliers to implement this change. While it’s important to remember there are no food safety concerns with products containing finely textured beef, this decision was made due to ongoing customer concerns over these products. All current beef products in our stores meet strict safety and quality standards approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

10. Food Lion “Food Lion has made the decision to no longer carry fresh ground beef products that contain lean finely textured beef (LFTB) or boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT) as a result of current consumer preferences and feedback. We are currently working with our suppliers on an immediate transition plan based on product availability.  In the interim, we encourage customers who wish to purchase ground beef that does not contain LFTB or BLBT to choose our 80 percent lean ground beef, which we guarantee is free of LFTB or BLBT. While we understand that both the USDA and food industry experts agree that LFTB and BLBT are safe and nutritious, Food Lion is committed to offering high-quality, wholesome products for our customers based on their preferences.”

11. Walmart and Sam’s Club “We spend a lot of time listening to customers and adjusting our product assortment to ensure we have the right products at the right prices. Recently some customers have expressed concerns with lean finely textured beef (LFTB) and, while the USDA and experts agree that it is safe and nutritious, Walmart and Sam’s Club will begin offering fresh ground beef that does not contain LFTB. We’re committed to providing our customers with quality products at the right prices.”

Low Calorie Cocktails? Yes please!!!

Mojitos, sangria, margarita, and pom martinis!  There are also some great non-alcoholic beverages.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/drinks/wine/low-calorie-summer-drink-recipes/?sssdmh=dm17.587843&esrc=nwmhl032112&email=4239409737

Going Electronic to Maintain Diet/Exercise

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/243007.php

The American Heart Association (AHA) just released the results from their SMART (Self-Monitoring And Recording with Technology) study.  Of their participants, those who used smart apps “significantly better…for attendance, self-monitoring and energy and exercise goals.” Those who received reminders/feedback saw a 5% reduction in weight over those who did not receive those messages.  Interesting and hopefully, insightful/inspirational for anyone interested in making a healthy lifestyle change.

LoseIt is a great one to try!  I’ve heard great things about MyFitnessPal, but I have not used it myself.  It’s on the list of things to do next month.  These are both free applications.

If you use or try one of these programs, let me know what you think!  I’m curious.  And if you have not tried one, check them out!!  I’ve seen great results from them!

Bad Day for Paleo Enthusiasts

Turns out the RDs were right alllllllll along.  Stop meat binging and add some whole grain fiber!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/health/research/red-meat-linked-to-cancer-and-heart-disease.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/archinternmed.2011.2287

Beer on the Run…Still in the Clear?

On Blast:  Beer as an Ergogenic Aid

Pic Source

I’ve posted recipes, gadgets, and food deals…it’s time for an article.  My latest reads are on ergogenic aids.  No, I’m not talking about those expensive, modern-looking chairs that make your back feel better– those are ergonomics.  I’m talking about supplements and enhancers that people take to improve their physical performance.  :o)

According to a great article in American Family Medicine, 76 to 100 percent of athletes in some sports are reported to use them. Typically, these include vitamins, steroids, amphetamines, creatine, caffeine, and various others.  The one that struck my eye was…alcohol.  I have been noticing an upward trend of runners being offered beer as ergogenic aid during various races.  These were time-chipped races, so I have to ask why?  And this is what I’ve found.

Side Effects

  1. Alcohol is not the greatest for energy balance.  One beer will afford you about kcal 150, CHO 13g, and 13g alcohol, which is metabolically costly. It requires more oxygen to metabolize each gram of alcohol than any of the other substrates involved.  This can affect the rest of the body’s energy metabolism. 
  2. Although it reduces anxiety, it also acts as a depressant. 
  3. During events of long distance running, alcohol can decrease the liver’s glycogen production, as well as the stomach’s release of glucose.  Science jargon…what does that mean for me? It means that the runner can have lower blood sugar later in the event, which can affect performance.
  4. The end result of alcohol intake is dehydration, which is detrimental for muscle performance, energy level, and runner safety.

The Verdict:  Save it for the after party.

Great Magazine

This is one of my favorite magazines and there are several reasons why I feel that way (and no I’m not receiving any money for saying this–haha!).  You can also sign up for free weekly recipes and info on their website.

  1. Great recipes!!
  2. The recipes are budget friendly and easy to prepare
  3. All of the recipes are edited by Registered Dietitians
  4. These diabetic recipes are usually lower in saturated fat, use whole grain products, and include fresh ingredients
  5. It’s inexpensive– $16 for 2 years!
  6. I trust the info that is relayed
  7. There is plenty of info included other than diabetic information, such as general health, exercise, current news, gadgets, etc.

Introducing the New Meat Label!

Finally, the New Meat Label

I like it!!  Something to remember:  “the numbers are based on 3-ounce cooked portions of meat…and raw beef shrinks by about 25% in cooking.” 

Source

Simple math.  If you buy 1lb of ground beef, that is the same as 16 oz (because 1lb = 16 oz).  Beef shrinks by 25%.  That means that the edible portion of what you have just bought is approximately 75% of 16 oz, which is 12 oz.  One serving of meat is 3 oz, so you will have cooked 4 portions (12oz/3oz = 4 servings).  Just remember that when you buy meat, you will only be serving 75% of what you are buying.

1lb meat = 16 oz meat

16oz x 25% (percent shrink) =12 oz

12oz / 3 oz portions = 4 portions of 3 oz (about the size of a deck of cards)

Another reason to buy from farmers…

Butterball workers arrested on animal cruelty charges

I can’t wait to see how the company addresses this.  Should be interesting

Childhood Obesity

Why is it so hard for kids to lose weight?

This is a great read, especially for parents.  The article talks about childhood obesity, obstacles, and environmental/social pressures.  Kids are faced daily with the pains of growing up.  Why not give them a leg up and make things a little easier on them?  When preparing snacks and meals, show kids they are your investment and teach them while they’re young to make healthy choices.  Food should never serve as a reward, especially unhealthy food.