Saturday, February 19, 2011

Headline Fail: High Fiber Diets and Death: Reuters


Here's what we read:  
"People who eat a lot of fiber every day might be less likely to die prematurely from a range of illnesses -- including heart disease, cancer, and infection -- a new study suggests."

The benefits of fiber in promoting weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and protecting against heart disease have been well established by previous studies. However, the finding that fiber may also prevent other common killers is a new and interesting one, researchers say.

"The results from this study suggest that fiber may have broader health benefits than what has been found before," Dr. Frank Hu, who studies nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "the bottom line is that fiber should be a staple in our diet, and we should strive to eat as much fiber as possible."
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Here's why this is a FAIL. 
This article says that, if you just eat fiber, you will be less likely to die of any cause. But the consumption of fiber BY ITSELF has never been tested! Take beans, for example, which have lots of fiber in them. Beans are also packed with amazing antioxidants -- is it the fiber that is keeping you alive, or is it the antioxidants ... or the unique combination of the fiber with the antioxidants with the vitamins they contain with the enzymes and cofactors and on and on. 


This is like saying: sport socks are associated with longer lives. Yes, those who use sport socks are more likely to be fit and so are more likely to live longer ... but it's not just about the sport socks. And if you ran out and purchased a 12-pack of sporty ankle socks, it wouldn't do you any good unless you had all the other parts of fitness (like getting out there and moving).   


Our culture of health is in search of the magic molecule (fiber?, omega 3s?, resveratrols?) that will solve our problems. Even at the level of this Harvard-led research, the researchers talk about how vitally important one single element of food is. But a better way to think about things is in terms of the entire package that constitutes food: like beans, greens, and grains. 









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Friday, February 18, 2011

Calories on menus don't affect kids' food choices | Reuters

Requiring fast-food restaurants in New York City to post calorie counts on menus did little to cut the number of calories children and teens consumed, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
They found that children and adolescents noticed the calories posted on the menu but the calorie counts made little difference in what they chose to order. The researchers said taste was the most important factor the children and teens gave for their menu selections.
The study, published online in the International Journal of Obesity, challenges the notion that calorie labeling affects purchasing behavior of teens or parents buying food for their children.
"It means we're going to have to rethink what other sorts of interventions might be more effective," ... Click Here To Read More

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Who is really surprised by this? Children won't be as likely as adults to moderate their eating behavior due to a calculus of fats, carbs, points, proteins, calories, and on and on. Why is that? Because they're CHILDREN. Again, who is really surprised by this? 


It's hard to get even adults to change their behaviors based on a more seasoned and reasoned approach. To ask that of kids who still think their immortal, is naive and certainly didn't come from anyone who has raised kids!! 


Will

Calories on menus don't affect kids' food choices | Reuters

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Smoking explains why Americans don't live longer | Reuters

(Reuters) - Smoking and, to a smaller degree, obesity explain why Americans do not live as long as the French or Japanese, U.S. experts reported on Tuesday.
Even though just 20 percent of Americans smoke now, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 1960 and the population is still paying the price, the report from the National Research Council found.
"Other factors, such as obesity, diet, exercise, and economic inequality, also have likely played a role in the current gap and divergence between the United States and other countries," the panel of experts appointed by the council wrote.
Many experts have tried to explain why the United States, which spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country and which has a relatively wealthy and well-nourished population, should rank so poorly against ... Click here for the rest of the article. 

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I don't get this article at all. The Japanese smoke MORE than we do. So how is it that the lack of smoking in Japan is responsible for the fact that they live longer than anyone on Earth? 


Here are the data that this article didn't give you. 

  • As of 2010, the total smoking rate in Japan is 24%. In the mid 1960s it was around 50% of people. 
  • As of 2010, only 20% of Americans smoke. In 1960, over 40% smoked.

So, they smoke more than we do now, and have always smoked more than us. There are tons of reasons why our longevity is less than that of the Japanese, and cigarette smoking is certainly one of the factors. 


All that said, the title of the article: "Smoking explains why Americans don't live longer" is a drastic over-simplification. 


For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CNN Money: Starbucks to roll out 31-ounce drink: the Trenta

(CNNMoney) -- Starbucks will offer a new plus-sized iced drink beginning this week.
The "Trenta" will be 31 ounces -- one ounce shy of a quart -- and available for iced coffee, Tazo shaken iced tea and iced tea lemonade.
Starbucks is rolling out the Trenta in 14 states in the South and Southwest beginning Tuesday. In early May, the Trenta will be sold in all U.S. Starbucks stores, the company said
The Trenta-sized drinks will cost 50 cents more than its current tallest drink, the 24-ounce "Venti Iced," according to Starbucks. The tallest hot drink is ... Click here to read the entire article. 

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I think we need to rename the new size they're calling the "Trenta". This sounds too trendy and almost cool to purchase something that you could literally bathe in. Just thinking out loud here, but we can call it the Bucket ... or the Bath Tub ... or the Ridiculous.

If you want to coach your body to be a big consumer, and to crave high volumes of whatever you're putting in your mouth, a good solution for you is to purchase The Bucket whenever you can. Biggie size every every everything. You'll find yourself hungry for more and more over time. Good luck.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Do video games fuel mental health problems? | Reuters


(Reuters Health) - There might be trouble brewing behind the glassy eyes of kids who spend too much time and energy on video games, according to a controversial new study.

In the 2-year study of more than 3,000 school children in Singapore, researchers found nearly one in ten were video game "addicts," and most were stuck with the problem.

While these kids were more likely to have behavioral problems to begin with, excessive gaming appeared to cause .... Read here to get the whole story. 
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But isn't this the same story as we hear for everything from wine to chocolate to work to play to .... [fill in the blank]? A little is good, but you can overdo any any anything. Overconsumption will always be bad for your and moderation will save your life. 
And, just because this has to do with a relatively new cultural phenomenon doesn't exempt it from this time-tested truism. Here's one more truism that is proven to be consistently true over time: the more things change, the more they stay the same. 
Will



For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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