Habits

Quick notes

We are still in the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody. Apparently a lot happened in 2015 too! Three notes of interest.

The British Journal of Nutrition published a study on nut consumption and cardiovascular disease mortality, coronary heart disease mortality and all-cause mortality. They found an inverse relationship – meaning as nut consumption INCREASED disease/mortality rates DECREASED. The “sweet spot” was four servings/week. This came from a compilation of 29 studies; glancing at the abstract suggests the “dose” is about one ounce. Darn, isn’t quantity where we often go off the rails?

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine linked TV viewing to mortality from cancer, coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, diabetes, flu/pneumonia, Parkinson’s, liver disease and suicide. Crazy right? And we had intended to eat those nuts while watching TV.

You might guess inactivity and your penchant to eating/drinking while sedentary is the problem. But many of us can also agree, TV content is not healthy either!

The  third study uses data from the US’ largest and longest study which translates to conclusions applicable to most of our population. This study highlighted the importance of central obesity and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

We’ve long sought for the “perfect” predictor of how weight effects our health. Data has been accumulating that hip:waist ratio is key. Briefly, if your hip and waist measurement are the same, you are carrying your weight in the wrong place for your health. Ideally, 0.8 or less for women and 0.95 or lower for men is best. That visceral fat (around your viscera, or organs or waist) is predictive of diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

So, nuts, limited TV (or screen time) and watch your waist to be well,

Marcia

 

 

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If you build it…

This may sound worse than it is, but I’ve been sorting through stacks of paper and apparently 2016 had some interesting nutrition findings. And I’d like to take this Minute to share two articles.

The first was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. A short pilot study and then a longer trial attempted to see if grocery shoppers can be influenced to buy produce. Researchers included control grocery stores and they matched demographics and poverty levels in the study.

The variable was green arrows stuck to the perimeter of the grocery floor pointing the way to the produce section. Arrows had healthy messages like, “follow the green arrow for health”.

Did you guess? Shoppers DID buy more produce but did NOT increase their total food budget. A win-win.

We know groceries can lure us to high margin, low nutrition items but this is remarkable. The shortcoming of the studies was its short duration. More research needs to be done to see if this is short- or long-term change. I’ve advocated this approach at a local food bank but haven’t been taken up on the idea.

Our second study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (yes, 2016) showed location matters in the school cafeteria. Salad bars within the regular lunch line had significantly greater use than salad bars located in a different area. I know you think, of course! Convenience matters to everyone.

I loved that these were low/no cost ways to encourage healthier eating. You can arrange your kitchen/fridge/cupboards similarly. Make the healthy choice the easy choice to be well,

Marcia

PS Who knows what happened in 2017 – stay tuned!!

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