Just because a health claim is on a label does not mean the food is better for you or superior to another brand. Consumers may get duped and end up paying more money than they have to when sneaky marketing is employed.
As a mom of two girls growing up in a weight-obsessed society, I can’t tell you how nervous I am of them developing eating disorders. Whether we notice or not, our kids are taking notice of our self talk and food choices. They overhear us say, “Ugh, my pants are too tight”, or “time to get on a diet”. The last thing they need, is for us to food shame them when they make a less-than-healthy choice for a snack or when packing their lunch. If you didn’t want them to eat something, why is it in your pantry to begin with? FOOD IS FOR EATING! My philosophy is that any food can be part of a healthy diet. Our food should not be punishment or used for reward. The more food shaming we do, the more likely our kids are to sneak food, feel guilty about food and potentially develop eating disorders.
The article below is a great reminder of why we need to just shut up when it comes to our kids’ food habits. Like mom used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.
Several studies have shown that being overweight or obese is linked with risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Even a 5-10% reduction in weight can prevent the development and aid in the control of hypertension and diabetes as well as lowering blood cholesterol. 1 Beyond trimming your weight and waistline, there’s an even more important benefit to reducing calorie intake. New research out of Duke University in Durham suggests that biological aging can be stalled with calorie restriction. Biological aging, according to the study author Daniel Belsky, is “the gradual and progressive deterioration of systems in the body that occurs with advancing chronological age”. Belsky believes if biological aging can be slowed, it may help to prevent or delay chronic age-related illnesses and disabilities.2
The scientists at Duke University in Durham evaluated a total of 220 subjects over 2 years-145 who reduced calorie intake by 12% compared with 75 controls who did not limit calorie intake. The average biological age of both groups was close to 38 years. Readings that included total cholesterol, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels were used to calculate biological age.2
In the calorie-restricted group, biological age increased by an average of .11 years each year compared to .71 years in the control group, over a two year follow up. This was statistically significant according to the researchers. Previous studies have shown that calorie restriction slows aging in worms, flies and mice. This was the first human study to test if calorie restriction can reduce measured biological aging in a randomized control study. The authors believe this study can serve as a model for developing and testing treatment designed to copy the effects of calorie restriction to delay or prevent debilitating diseases.2
In 2014, the Obesity Society put out an official statement to raise awareness of the availability and consumption of energy-dense food contributing to weight gain and obesity. Foods high in energy include high sugar foods like soda, ice cream and high calorie desserts as well as fried foods, large servings of meat and full fat cheese. A diet containing foods rich in nutrients such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy products can help support weight management efforts. The Obesity Society urges companies to test and market products that are lower in calories that will help consumers with weight management. The position paper can be found at: http://www.obesity.org/publications/energy-density-of-foods-influences-satiety-a-total-caloric-intake.htm. 3
1. Klein, Samuel. Effects of Moderate and Subsequent Progressive Weight Loss on Metabolic Function and Adipose Tissue Biology in Humans with Obesity. Cell Metabolism, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.02.005
2. Belsky, Dan W., Huffman, Kim, Pieper, Carl, Shalev, Idan, Kraus, William. Change in the Rate of Biological Aging in Response to Caloric Restriction: CALERIE Biobank Analysis. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci glx096. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glx096 Published:22 May 2017
3. Shu Wen Ng, Barry M. Popkin. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Pledge. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2014; 47 (4): 520 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.05.030
This delicious recipe is loaded with cancer fighting nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber. The yogurt dressing adds a boost of protein as well as calcium with a light, tangy taste. Pecans can be substituted for almonds and dried blueberries, raisins or apricots could be used in place of cranberries. Enjoy!
¼ cup sliced raw almonds
1 (12 oz) package of broccoli slaw (Manns or Kroger brand)
½ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey (or agave nectar)
3 Tbsp. plain, Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1. In a small, non-stick frying pan, toast the almonds over medium heat shaking the pan frequently until they start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add broccoli slaw and cranberries.
3. Combine remaining dressing ingredients in a large measuring cup or mixing bowl. Whisk together until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
4. Pour dressing over broccoli slaw and mix. Add cooled almonds and stir to combine.
5. Chill for at least 30 minutes to 4 hrs before serving.
Makes 4 servings. Nutrition facts per serving: 117 calories, 7 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, 1.5 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 124 mg sodium.
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that “metabolically healthy obese”- a subset of obese individuals, who were initially thought to not be at high risk of heart and other chronic disease, still might be.
Study author Kristine Faerch from the Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen states that while it was once thought that it was not unhealthy to be overweight or obese if you lived a healthy lifestyle, research suggests differently. Overweight and obese individuals face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To lower risk, keeping a healthy weight throughout the lifecycle is vital. 1
Faerch and her researchers evaluated data in over 6200 men and women that joined a Danish study where they were tracked for over 10 years. The subjects’ initial BMIs and 4 risk factors for heart disease including HDL (“healthy” cholesterol), high blood pressure, triglycerides and blood glucose were monitored. “Metabolically healthy” subjects had none of these risks, while “metabolically unhealthy” were defined as having at least one risk factor. In the follow up period, 323 subjects developed heart disease. Men who were metabolically healthy, but obese, had 3 x the risk of heart disease versus metabolically healthy men with normal weight. Women that were metabolically healthy but obese had double the risk. Overweight men that were metabolically healthy had equivalent risk as their normal weight counterparts. Overweight women at the outset had a slightly higher risk than normal weight subjects. The authors note that only 3% of male and female subjects were obese, but considered metabolically healthy. Over a 5-year period, 40% of those considered metabolically healthy because metabolically unhealthy. 1
Joshua Bell from the UK’s University of Bristol is not surprised. He and his colleagues published a paper in February nothing that obesity increases age-related disability and decline, even in metabolically healthy individuals. His research found that after 2 decades, physical ability declined two times more while pain increased 6 times more in obese individuals compared to normal weight individuals. He stresses that heart disease is not the only risk factor to consider in healthy aging. 2
Matthias Schulze at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbruecke, who did not participate in either study, believes other measurements such as waist-hip ratio, waist circumference and body fat could be looked at to determine “metabolically healthy” obese. 3 Healthy and obese can change to unhealthy and obese very quickly. More research is needed to find how to decrease disease risk in both groups.
1.Louise Hansen, MSc, Marie K Netterstrøm, MSc, Nanna B Johansen, MD, PhD, Pernille F Rønn, MSc, Dorte Vistisen, MSc, PhD, Lise LN Husemoen, MSc, PhD, Marit E Jørgensen, MD, PhD, Naja H Rod, MSc, PhD, DMSc, Kristine Færch, MSc, PhD. Metabolically healthy obesity and ischemic heart disease: a 10-year follow-up of the Inter99 study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab jc.2016-3346. Published March 7, 2017.
2. J A Bell1,2, S Sabia1,3, A Singh-Manoux1,3, M Hamer4 and M Kivimäki1, Healthy obesity and risk of accelerated functional decline and disability. International Journal of Obesity advance online publication 14 March 2017; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.51
3.Kristin Mühlenbruch, Tonia Ludwig, Charlotte Jeppesen, Hans-Georg Joost, Wolfgang Rathmann, Christine Meisinger, Annette Peters, Heiner Boeing, Barbara Thorand, Matthias B. Schulze. Update of the German Diabetes Risk Score and external validation in the German MONICA/KORA study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. June 2014 Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 459–466