Obesity in the News and a Summer Tip

The HealthGal Health Guide

    Here are some of the most recent health news headlines:


    No More Cupcakes in the Classroom

    The days of celebrating birthdays in the classroom with birthday cake, cupcakes, and other junk food pleasures may be over – at least in some school districts across the nation.  Schools are now requiring parents to offer healthier celebratory foods OR to avoid food celebrations entirely.  Suggestions to replace celebratory food include using games, small gifts like stickers, crafts or other methods to make the celebration special sans caloric foods.


    People Turn to High-Calorie Food After Fasting

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    The Jewish holiday called Yom Kippur and some other religious fasts require food and liquid deprivation for as long as 24 hours.  In the world of nutrition, food gaps similar to a fast are a common phenomenon among dieters.  Who hasn’t skipped breakfast, lunch or gone a whole day without eating in the hopes of justifying a food fest at night, or simply to “save up calories” for night-time enjoyment without the added fear of gaining weight from too much food.  A new study suggests that when you do that, going many hours without food, you are more likely to turn to high calorie starches or higher fat proteins to chow down.  Of course, a better choice might be fruits and vegetables first to “calm your hunger,” and then select portion sized choices of other foods.  But in the observational study that looked at fasting students, French fries, chicken and cheese were first choice selections post food gaps or food fasts.  Experts conclusions were that we need to make fruits and vegetables more appetizing (prettier presentation or accompanying dips) so that when we experience real or perceived desperate hunger, we turn to high fiber or high water volume, lower calorie options instead of these more caloric foods.


    Atkin’s-type Diet - More Weight Loss with a Downside

    Two new studies on diets, performed independently, showed provocative results.  Compared to a low fat diet, an Atkin’s-type diet may indeed help individuals to shed pounds and even keep them off a bit longer than traditional low fat diets.  The caveat is that it may be at the expense of raising certain blood markers that indicate a heightened risk of developing heart disease.  And especially when it comes to older women, a diet rich in plant-based foods and especially plant-based proteins may be a healthier choice, when it comes to long term health implications and dieting to lose weight.


    Summer entertaining tip:

    Instead of traditional sodas, diet sodas and juices, why not create a water bar?  Set up pitchers of water with floating lemon, lime slices, or orange slices.  Then display club soda and flat water and set up bowls with featured cut up fruit, cucumber slices, frozen ice cubes that contain berries, and frozen juice cubes.  Come up with your own healthy flavorings to offer a refreshing beverage bar that is pretty much calorie free!!

Published On: July 16, 2012