FDA Tells Food Establishments to Post Calories

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff December 2, 2014

Pretty soon there won’t be a place to eat or get food from where the calories won’t be readily accessible. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new regulations that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters, pizza parlors and many other food establishments nationwide post calorie contents of their foods in the clear vision of the consumer.

Venues such as convenience stores and supermarkets are also included in these new rules. The FDA has issued a November 2015 deadline for the necessary adjustments to be made by the companies. Establishments that fall under these rules are nationwide companies that have 20 or more locations. This could potentially be a ground breaking policy that can be a real contributor to the country’s battle with obesity.

The FDA is proposing these new rules in hopes that if the consumer has a more in depth analysis of food available to them, they will do a better job at selecting healthier foods and healthier alternatives. There are few eating entities that aren’t included. Even vending machines and amusement parks will have calories of their food clearly visible to the consumer.

However, I ask that we keep some things in mind. Let’s not limit our knowledge of these items to just calories. Foods high in fat and sugar can still seem to have an acceptable calorie amount. Under these new regulations, additional nutritional information will be available upon request, don’t hesitate to ask.

As Americans, one-third of what we consume (either eat or drink), is consumed away from home, lessening our chances to really know how much we are eating. This is an opportunity to better track your calories, and creates better conditions for people trying to lose weight to adhere to their diet.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, New York Times

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Healthy Lifestyle

Take it Off, Keep it Off

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff November 12, 2014

Once we have lost our desired weight we sometimes find that keeping it off maybe equally as difficult as losing it. We’re often told that a gradual weight loss process would be more conducive to keeping the pounds off as compared to more rapid weight loss. However there’s a recent study that combats that thought process.

Recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology concluded that the rate you lose weight at has little to no bearing on regaining the weight. When it comes to regaining weight you lost it maybe more of a matter of bad habits developed during losing weight as opposed to how long it took you to lose it.

You may alter your diet strictly to lose weight instead of leading a healthy lifestyle, meaning your diet may not acclimate well when you reach your target weight. It’s possible that you slip right back into those food pitfalls that you were once in, causing a regain of weight.

It could also be the “I made it” factor, where you reach your goal and think the job is done. Once you reached your goal of a target weight, you’re next goal should be doing what it takes to keep it off. Remember, journeys like this don’t necessarily end, but you don’t want to have to keep going back to the starting point either.

I say all this to say that although studies like this aren’t on a person-by-person basis, the results do make sense. Hopefully while we’re losing weight we are developing good habits along the way that will be beneficial for keeping the weight off.

 Links: The Lancet, Diabetes in Control, Medical Xpress

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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Setting Goals

Halloween TIPS-for-Treats

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff October 30, 2014

The ghouls and goblins are sure to be out tomorrow as Halloween is upon us. Gives us, and the kids, an opportunity to act and look goofy, scary, or really however we want to look.

The question is: how do you emerge from this holiday indulging in the abundance of Halloween candy? Whether you are accompanying your little one(s) on the door to door quest or awaiting the arrival of the trick-or-treaters coming to your front porch, here’s some ways to scare away the pounds.

Trick-or-Treat Workout: We’re starting to see more and more parents driving their child(ren) around to trick-or-trick. However, that’s squandering a golden opportunity to get in some exercise. When chaperoning on Halloween stroll around the neighborhood.

Save them for the kids: You bought the candy for the trick-or-treaters, not for yourself. Don’t indulge in the candy while waiting for the next knock on your door. If you feel the temptation will be too strong buy candies you aren’t fond of, or even make some healthier treats for yourself such as popcorn or a fruit bowl.

Out of sight, out of mind: The candy is for Halloween, not for the days and weeks after. Don’t buy so much candy that you can’t give out most to all of it in one night. And when you are in the grocery store and you’re walking by the blowout candy sale the days after Halloween, continue to walk pass it.

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Filed Under: For Dieters | Healthy Eating

Signs You May Need to Lose Weight

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff October 21, 2014

There are times that we are on the fence about whether or not we should (or have to) lose weight. It’s understandable to blame those now non-fitting jeans on drying them in the dryer instead of air-drying, or saying you’re are tired just because you had a long day at work. However, what if weight gain is the underlying issue and weight loss is a simple, albeit arduous, remedy?

Here are some, but not all, signs that you may need to shed some pounds:

Measure your waist:  If you were to measure your waist right now how would the measurements compare to your waist size a month ago? 6 months ago? A year ago? Increased inches in the waist is a good barometer for showing if you gained weight and how much you may need to lose since fat has a propensity to go to areas around our waist and midsection.

Your doctor’s visit didn’t go too well: Weight gain many times is accompanied with other ailments and health conditions. What was your blood pressure measurement when you visited the doctor? Did your latest doctor’s visit show that your cholesterol maybe high or you could be developing type 2 diabetes? Any of these and more could be caused by weight gain, but the good news is weight lost will also help these conditions almost immediately.

Ouch! That Hurts: Weight gain tends to add strain to certain parts of the body, resulting in pain in those areas. Body parts like the back, knees, and hips are the typical areas that fall victim to aches and pains from weight gain.

It’s in the genes: Sometimes ailments and medical conditions are passed down from generation to generation. Decrease the chances of you getting those ailments by living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight.

Links:  Cosmopolitan, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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

Give Me 10: The Benefits of 10 Percent Weight Loss

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff October 21, 2014

Article by Sandra Melloni RN, BSN, BA: Can be found on DiabetesCare.net.

Most patients with type 2 come into my office wanting to lose weight.  Often, their goals are lofty:  “Nurse, I really need to lose 130 pounds”  or “Nurse, I’ve gained 80 pounds over the past decade; I need to lose it all.”  They are often frustrated and overwhelmed. Where do they begin?

We know that weight gain is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and that more than 80 percent  of type 2s are overweight. If we study the incidence of type 2 diabetes in America, the statistics are staggering.  With over 29 million people with diabetes in the U.S., the disease is booming. Past forecasts and studies predicted 30 million diabetics in the US by the year 2030, so we are well ahead of schedule. The truth is Americans are becoming increasingly less active and consuming more calories. The result? Our waistlines have increased and so has the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

We have long known that obesity is responsible for the development of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.  Weight gain exacerbates these conditions.  Has your patient put on an extra twenty pounds?  Chances are they will need an adjustment in their diabetes medication, often a dose increase or the addition of another pill. The same goes for their cholesterol and blood pressure.

During the 2013 meeting of the ADA, Philipp Scherer, PhD, professor and director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas, was interviewed on his latest research. He studies diabetes on a cellular level, and obesity’s effects on diabetes, describing fat tissue as a “solid tumor,” containing adipose cells. He explains that when a patient gains weight, fat tissue expands rapidly. This rapid expansion does not allow time for proper vascularization--in other words, the blood supply cannot keep up. The adipose tissues become hypoxic (lack of oxygen) leading to fibrosis of the tissue, and eventually, cell death.  This cell death produces surrounding inflammation, which in turn, damages pancreatic beta cells and causes insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the main mode of pathophysiology in type 2 diabetes. (1)

And if weight gain compromises patient health, certainly weight loss will improve it. However, striving for your patient’s weight as a high school junior just isn’t realistic. Sheri Colberg, PhD, author, exercise physiologist and professor at Old Dominion University discusses in a recent article about weight loss and insulin resistance.  “Just a seven percent loss of body weight (only 14 lbs. if you are 200 lbs.) will improve insulin action by 57 percent. That is a bigger benefit than a patient would get from most diabetes pills.” (2)  The American Diabetes Association confirms that a 10-15 pound reduction in body weight will lower blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce stress on knees and hips.  And a 10 percent weight loss may decrease the risk of certain complications like sleep apnea or particular cancers.

In my diabetes self-management classes, I often suggest to patients that they view healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss as importantly as taking their prescribed medications. These are the tools we have to control diabetes, and overlooking them is like not using all the weapons in our arsenal.

Setting a goal to lose 80 pounds can be overwhelming, but requesting they lose just 10 percent of their body weight is definitely achievable. I often ask a patient to mentally calculate what 10 percent of their body weight is. So if a patient weighs 230 pounds, then a 10 percent weight loss would be about 23 pounds, certainly an achievable goal over a one year time period. Weight loss would average about two pounds per month or a half pound per week. Most projects in life are better managed by splitting them into smaller tasks. At the end of the year, your patient would realize an improvement in blood sugar and no new additional medications.  

So let’s imagine that 23 pounds is our patient’s weight loss goal. This could be achieved with a reduction in calories of about 230 per day. That might be a small bowl of ice cream or a can of soda with some chips. These small changes will add up. Add some physical activity to the mix, and your patient may only need to reduce their calories by 100 per day.

First there are some considerations, particularly if your patient is taking certain medications like insulin or insulin secretagogues, like Glimepiride or Glipizide. Losing weight and eating less may require a change to those medications in order to prevent hypoglycemia. I often suggest that those patients meet with their dietician or diabetes nurse educator before embarking on their weight loss journey. Below are some tips that my colleagues and I often share for weight loss.  Remember, your patient doesn’t have to be perfect but make small changes which will add up.

Weight Loss Tips for Diabetes Patients:

  • Think Do, not Don’t. If I tell a patient to quit eating chips, it’s often the first thing they crave when they get home.  They begin to focus on the “forbidden goodies.”  But when we ask them to add three vegetables and two fruits per day, they don’t feel cheated.  Mixing it up with some frozen grapes or some crunchy snow peas with dressing with their lunch will keep things interesting.
  • Water, Water, everywhere. We know water is great but try having your patient drink a tall glass ten minutes before meals.
  • Lose the tube. When we watch TV and eat simultaneously, we eat more due to the distraction. Ask them to shut off the television and sit at a table.
  • Eat to Live.  We have all heard the saying “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”  Ask your patient which hobbies they miss. If food is the only source of pleasure, it’s a recipe for disaster.  Suggest music, drawing, volunteering or calling an old friend.  Yes, even sex. To read more about how food can replace sex and intimacy in some relationships, check out a recent DiabetesCare.net blog here.
  • Park Farther and Take the Stairs!  Old, but good advice.
  • Don’t forget Fido. Just walking the dog twice daily for fifteen minutes each time will help your patient reach their goal of 150 minutes per week of exercise.
  • Choose an Exercise you like. If you hate walking, don’t choose it as your exercise.  Aqua classes, biking, and Zumba are becoming more popular for men and women alike. Remind patients that gardening and raking burn calories, so put that leaf blower away!
  • Put the box down and back away.  Everyone is going to cheat sometimes.  If they want some ice cream or chips, have your patient measure it out and put the box away.
  • Catch some ZZZZZ’s.  Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones and cause overeating during the day.
  • Sugar-free gum. If you have a chewing fix, break out the gum and save on calories. 
  • Keep a food diary.  We all know it—we eat more than we think we do. Writing it down in black and white can help to think more about what and how much you consume. 
  • What’s Eating You? If your patient suspects that he or she is an emotional eater, you may want to ask them to keep a journal for one week. Before eating or binging, they might record how they feel, what happened at work, any conversations replaying in their mind and then what they ate. It can certainly be a reflective exercise in why we eat and a great way to become more conscious of the connection between food and emotions.
Again, most people with type 2 want to lose weight. This doesn’t have to be a formidable task or race.  Ask patients to “give you 10.”

Sources: 1, 2

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

CVS Takes the "Health" Plunge

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff September 17, 2014

CVS recently made a move that could catapult them to the top of the retail pharmacy food chain.  It was recently decided that “CVS Caremark” will be now called “CVS Health”. Although the change in name maybe subtle, it’s some of the accompanying changes that will have more of an impact on the consumer and the company.

While waiting in checkout lines we’ve grown accustom to seeing an array of tobacco products the franchise had to offer. That will no longer be the case. Effective immediately, CVS will not carry tobacco products in any of their 7,700 plus stores nationwide. These shelves will be replaced by products such as nicotine gum and other tobacco using habit-kicking products. 

The removal of tobacco products furthers CVS’ efforts in becoming your go-to place for anything healthcare. There’s also a financial gain that is expected to come from this, that they hope results in surpassing Walgreens as the number one retail pharmacy in the country.  

However, it also removes any potential hypocrisy that would come with the yearning of being on the frontlines of healthcare retail, and selling a universally unhealthy product.  We all know the dangers that are attached with the use of tobacco.  And ultimately goes against the image and direction that CVS sees itself going in. 

What are your thoughts on this decision CVS made? Do you feel other stores should follow suit? Leave a comment in the box below and let us know what you think. 

Source: Investorplace

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Filed Under: For Dieters | Health and Money | Healthy Lifestyle

Product Spotlight: 15 Gram Meal Replacement Bars

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff September 15, 2014

When dieters don’t have time to prepare a meal, it often leads them to choose unhealthy options. We have an assortment of meal replacement bars that are not only delicious, but also give your dieters all the nutrients and minerals they would receive with a typical meal. Best of all dieters just open the wrapper and enjoy! 

Our best-selling bars include:

Fudge Graham Bar
  •       15g Protein
  •         160 Calories
  •         Aspartame Free
  •         Gelatin Free
  •         Kosher Product
Cinnamon Bar
  •      160 Calories
  •      15g Protein (13g Soy Protein)
  •        Gelatin Free
  •        Aspartame Free

Peppermint Cocoa Crunch Bar

  •        15g Protein
  •        160 Calories
  •         Aspartame Free
  •         Gelatin Free

·      These bars are also available in a variety pack. To take a look at these as well as the rest of Robard's products, browse our Product Catalog, or contact one of our Territory Sales Managers at 800-222-9201.

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Filed Under: About Robard | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Weight Loss Programs

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With more than three decades of field-tested experience in the weight management industry, Robard Corporation’s comprehensive medical and non-medical obesity treatment programs, state of the art nutrition products, and executive level business management services have assisted a vast network of physicians, large medical groups, hospital systems and clinics to successfully treat thousands of overweight and obese patients. Our turnkey programs offer significant business growth potential, and our dedicated team provides hands-on staff training, services and education to add a new, billable service line for safe and effective obesity treatment within 60 days. For more information, visit us at www.Robard.com or call (800) 222-9201.

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