The Illusion of Diet Soda

by Robard Corporation Staff September 23, 2015


Diet beverages rose in popularity primarily because they contain little to no calories. However, the calories that aren’t being consumed in these kinds of beverages are being consumed elsewhere. According to Dr. Ruopeng An, a University of Illinois Kinesiology and Community Health Professor, those calories are being consumed in the form of unhealthy foods.

Dr. An measured the caloric intake of over 22,000 individuals including their amount of consumption of five types of beverages: diet or sugar-free drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages, coffee, tea, and alcohol. An also cross-referenced people’s diets with a database created from the U.S. Department or Agriculture which included 661 foods categorized as “discretionary” — foods that aren’t important to one’s diet, such as cookies, ice cream and pastries. In other words, foods that should be avoided as part of a healthy diet.

What An found is that almost everyone from the study consumed one of the five types of beverages. Forty-three percent drank at least two. Even though coffee and diet-beverage drinkers consumed the least amount of daily calories, they also had the highest percentage of calories that came from the list of discretionary foods. What does that mean? It means that even though some of the study’s subjects had consumed less calories than some of the other study’s participants, those calories were more likely to cause someone to gain weight. Think of it like this: One person is eating donuts or cookies and another person is eating the same amount of calories (or even more) in vegetables and lean protein. Who’s more likely to gain weight quicker? Most likely the person eating the donuts and cookies.

There are times that you will see someone consuming a fast food meal that includes a double cheeseburger, medium French fries and a diet soda. That speaks directly to what the study states. It’s an illusion. Diet beverages do not allow you to eat more. Remember, it will always be a matter of what you eat or drink just as much as how much you consume.

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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Filed Under: For Dieters | Healthy Eating | Obesity

Children Eat Worse at Home than at Daycare

by Robard Corporation Staff September 14, 2015




Providing a child with a proper diet is vital for their future health. But what if we told you that daycare and child care centers are feeding children healthier foods than they get at home? That’s what a recent study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has concluded.

Let’s start with why child care centers are providing better food choices. These centers base the children’s meals off of guidelines from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These guidelines include how much fruit, vegetables, and milk a child should be consuming under their care.

The study exposed that once children left the centers, they weren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, or drinking enough milk. They were also consuming more calories than needed; In fact, the excess calorie consumption (including sweet and salty snacks such as pretzels, crackers, cookies, etc.) was to the tune of 140 additional calories. 
 
This is a dangerous recipe for childhood weight gain — and future health. A retrospective study found that as BMI increased in adolescence the probability of obesity as an adult significantly increased as well. Obese male youths are 18x more likely to become obese adults, while obese female youths are 49x to become obese adults (1).

So, where’s the disconnect? How can there be such a contrast in diet between child care centers and the home? When it comes to children, we first have to look at who’s feeding them. Centers run their diet by guidelines; however, what are the guidelines that parents or caretakers are adhering to? As obesity numbers continue to skyrocket in the United States, it appears that the poor diet habits of adults are trickling down to children. It should come as no surprise that children born to obese mothers are twice as likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life (2).

What can we do? Let’s start with having some guidelines of our own, such as the ones created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which were created to lay the foundation of the best diet possible. Sure, we can occasionally indulge in crackers or cookies, but if children are eating too many of these, it’s safe to conclude that adults are as well. Let’s apply healthy guidelines in our own diets, and do the same for children. Let’s lead by example.

Source: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


Additional Sources:
(1) Wang LY, Chyen D, Lee S, et al. The Association Between Body Mass Index in Adolescence and Obesity in Adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42(5): 512-518, 2008.
(2) Maternal and Infant Health Research: Pregnancy Complications. In U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (accessed March 2011).


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Filed Under: Childhood Obesity | Eating Habits | Education | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating

For Providers, Weight Loss is all in a Day’s Work

by Robard Corporation Staff September 1, 2015


What is a healthcare provider’s role in helping a patient lose weight? How about the general health of the patient? Ultimately, healthcare providers are best equipped to diagnose what is ailing a person and, perhaps more importantly, they are well educated in recommending and administering the correct procedures and advice to alleviate ailments.

This is well illustrated in a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers where 300 overweight people partook in a medically supervised weight loss clinical trial. At the end of the trial, regardless of how much weight was lost, the sentiment of the participants was overwhelming: The support of the provider was extremely helpful.

There can be a push/pull relationship between the patient and the provider, and when discussing weight, it could become an arduous one. However, in this study, once that barrier was broken and the patient was accepting of the provider’s tutelage, there were better results in medication schedules, appointment keeping, and improved outcomes in overall weight loss.

What does all of this mean? With many things in life, people are willing to help you along the way. For some, it’s what they do for a living. Healthcare providers are more than willing to help; it’s an oath that they took. Are you, the dieter, willing to accept their assistance?

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

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Filed Under: Education | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Treating Obesity

Eat More, Exercise Less...?

by Robard Corporation Staff June 29, 2015

Quick: What’s the first thing you think of after you eat a Clif Bar or a bowl of Wheaties? Do you want more? You wouldn’t be the only one according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marketing Research which states that not only will you eat more of these “fitness foods,” but you will also exercise less. Researchers believe the root of this comes from “fitness branding” where marketers promote their products as “fitness foods” resulting in the mental relaxation of how much food you’re actually consuming, and you’re your physical activity.

I was a little taken back when I saw this. I’m a fan of Quest Bars personally, as well as Robard’s very own protein supplement bars. But I tend to limit myself to one bar a day, and in the case of me eating more than one, I certainly wouldn’t charge it to “well, its fitness food, so it must be OK.”

But then I noticed that “restrained eaters” were used as the subjects of the study. Restrained eaters are eaters who are chronically concerned about their body weight and, probably most importantly, they are susceptible to overeating. This is a stark contrast from a “natural eater” who “usually eats when hungry, stops when sated, and doesn’t think much about food in-between meals.”

Participants were given trail-mix marked both “Fitness” and “Trail Mix,” and were told to “pretend that they were at home helping themselves to an afternoon snack.” Then, they were given eight minutes to taste and rate the product. Now even though the study wanted to see how the branding of the snacks would affect the eaters, wouldn’t the type of eater they are also play a factor into how they would react?

Studies have been conducted between the correlation between obesity and restrained eating, partially because being a restrained eater could lead to overeating. Signals of hunger, satiety, and other factors that play a role in how you eat aren’t necessarily concise with a restrained eater. However, it is in the natural eaters’ nature to only eat when they have to, no more no less.

The study’s ultimate goal was to have marketers of these products do a better job of including other fitness cues that are a part of being healthy as well as letting people know that there is more to fitness than just the products they are marketing. But don’t we know that? What do you think?

Source: American Marketing Association, Calorie Count

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Meal Replacements

Asthma Severity Lessens with Weight Loss

by Robard Corporation Staff June 18, 2015




The chronic lung disease, asthma, affects one out of every 12 people in the United States with varying levels of severity. For some, treating asthma can be as simple as using an inhaler when they begin to wheeze; for others, it can be serious enough to completely restrict breathing and result in a trip to the hospital.

The role of being overweight and obese has been frequently studied in regards to the severity of one’s asthma with a universal conclusion: There is a link between how extensive your asthma can be and how much you weigh. However, something that has rarely been studied is how weight loss affects someone’s asthma. Until now.

A Canadian study published in the June issue of the journal CHEST found weight loss reduced asthma severity as measured by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in obese adults. In what is considered one of the more accurate studies on the subject, it was discovered that the incidence of asthma is 1.47 times higher in obese people than non-obese people, and a three-unit increase in body mass index is associated with a 35 percent increase in the risk of asthma. The study supports the active treatment of comorbid obesity in individuals with asthma.

“This study is unique because of its strict adherence to an accurate diagnostic criteria and study outcome (AHR), resulting in purer results to support weight loss as a strategy to normalize or reverse asthma in this group of people hit hard by the condition,” says Smita Pakhale, MD.

The comorbidities associated with obesity are numerous. Yet, asthma and other chronic conditions spurred by obesity are consistently treated with prescriptions and costly office visits. However, it seems like getting to the root cause of these conditions is the best medicine after all. Obesity treatment works.


Source:
American College of Chest Physicians

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Filed Under: Education | For Dieters | For Providers | Obesity | Weight Loss Programs

More Protein Can Improve Appetite and Diet in Teens

by Robard Corporation Staff June 8, 2015


Controlling your appetite is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and weight. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri shows that protein in the afternoon can reduce your appetite for the rest of the day and reduces unhealthy snacking among teenagers.

“Our research showed that eating high-protein snacks in the afternoon helps teens improve the quality of their diets as well as control appetite,” says Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU.
 
The study observed male and female teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19. The snack of choice for the study was a soy-protein pudding. Their findings indicated that including more protein throughout the day helped people consume less fat and improved certain facets in mood and cognitive function.

The study confirms the tangible benefits of snacking healthy as opposed to grabbing the more “convenient” treats, which are often high in fat and sugar. The study also reinforces how protein is immensely beneficial to a healthy diet, showing marked improvements in mood, appetite, and the overall management of weight.

“Our study demonstrated that the positive effects on appetite and satiety can be extended to consuming soy-protein products,” says Leidy. Protein’s role in snacking is similar to its role in weight loss; it can provide satiety for a dieter and be a deterrent from less healthy alternatives.

Source: University of Missouri

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating

In Good Company: How Much You Eat Depends on Who You Eat With

by Robard Corporation Staff May 20, 2015


You are the company you keep. We’re sure you have heard the saying before — probably from your parents when you were growing up in an effort to make sure that you were surrounding yourself with good people and staying out of trouble. Or maybe they meant what and how much you eat.

A recent study published in the journal Social Influence surmised that how much food a person consumes can have an impact on how much another person eats. Researchers believe this is caused by social modeling, a psychological effect that would lead a person to eat less simply because the person they are dining with is eating a small amount of food.

“Internal signals like hunger and feeling full can often be unreliable guides,” says Lenny Vartanian, Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales’s School of Psychology, and the study’s lead author. “In these situations people can look to the example of others to decide how much food they should consume.”

Hunger pangs and satiety have less of an influence on how much we eat than someone eating in front of us. That’s an interesting thought in itself, that external factors are used more than internal factors when we decide how much we want to eat. People have the unique ability to affect change in another person by merely being around them. It’s not unusual to start using the same words or develop a habit your friend has simply because you’ve been around to see them do it. It’s also no surprise that such social influence could be prominent in dieting.

“The research shows that social factors are a powerful influence on consumption,” says Vartanian. “When the companion eats very little, people suppress their food intake and eat less than they normally would if alone.”

Source: University of New South Wales


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Hunger

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