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Posts Tagged "nutrition"

Absolutely Maybe

Resveratrol Hangover: Waking Up After Hypothesis Bingeing

Cartoon of a tottering house of cards

Outbreaks of science myth-busting can be a bit of a puzzlement. The science behind a popular headline-maker might be a tottering house of cards, but it can be impressively sturdy nevertheless. New studies might re-arrange it a little here or there, but it doesn’t usually topple. Only those studies that reinforce the narrative seem to [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Nutrient X prevents disease? Sorting the wheat from the bran

Cartoon of a disappointing treatment from promising larval stage

It started, as many issues do, because we didn’t get enough roughage in our diets. Before dietary fiber gained currency in the ‘70s as a way to protect against serious disease, people who believed we were eating ourselves into early graves weren’t taken very seriously. We’ll meet the interesting Irishman who turned that around shortly. [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Satisfy Your Curiosity with Our New E-Book, Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food

Future of Food Cover

Still hungry after devouring our September 2013 single topic issue: Food? Engage in some guilt-free gluttony with our new companion eBook: Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food. With global population numbers projected to increase by 2 billion by 2050, a veritable food crisis is on the horizon. In this eBook, we examine [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

The Basics of Good Health Is the Subject of New E-Book–Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

While many of us strive to live healthy lives, the task can be daunting and the information overwhelming. Should we be more concerned with our diet or with keeping our weight down? How important is exercise? What kinds of diseases should we really be worried about? In this eBook, “Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy,” we’ve [...]

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Bering in Mind

Breasts in Mourning: How Bottle-Feeding Mimics Child Loss in Mothers’ Brains

After a successful birth, opting not to breast-feed may trigger evolved mourning behaviors

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Brainwaves

The Food Fight in Your Gut: Why Bacteria Will Change the Way You Think about Calories

There’s a food fight in your guts. Not the Tater-Tot-chucking, spoonful-of-mashed potato-flinging, melee-in-the-cafeteria type of food fight. Rather, your intestines are the site of an ancient and complex war between your own cells and trillions of bacteria—a war over what happens to your food as it moves through your body. Some of the bacteria form [...]

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Food Matters

Judging Food By Its Cover: Nutrition Labels Are One Area Where Consumer Is Not King

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 3.48.51 PM

It’s a tired refrain: “It’s all about consumer choice, we can’t limit choice, the consumer is king.”  Every time some pesky public health advocate wants to try to reform the food environment, the industry starts to shriek about limiting choices and taking away people’s freedom.  New York City’s attempt to remove “bucket” as an acceptable [...]

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Food Matters

An Open Letter to Dr. Oz: You’re Cheering for the Wrong Team.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 9.34.04 AM

Dear Dr. Oz: I caught the senate hearing earlier this week during which you answered for using “flowery language” to describe a number of weight-loss supplements that do not have (as you admit) the scientific backing for your claims. I’d like to think that you mean well. You are called “America’s Doctor.” You have huge [...]

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Food Matters

Follow #SodaSummit14 For a Few Thousand Reasons Not to Drink Sugary Beverages

sodaSummit500

Today marks the beginning of the 2014 National Soda Summit, a conference hosted in Washington D.C. by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The summit runs through June 5th. Researchers, policy makers, and public health advocates are gathering to share the latest science, policies, and practices related to reducing sugary beverage consumption. If [...]

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Food Matters

Beyond medicine: Delivering on the promise of food security in the context of the AIDS epidemic

Facilitating HIV prevention, care, and treatment through dance and drama, TASO, Kampala. Photo Credit: Terrance Roopnaraine

The relationship between HIV/AIDS and food security is incredibly complex. For this guest post, I invited two experts on this issue to share their knowledge, insight, and experience. I’m delighted to introduce the article’s two authors. Suneetha Kadiyala is a Senior Lecturer in nutrition-sensitive development at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in [...]

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Food Matters

Book Review: The Diet Fix–Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work

the diet fix cover

  The Diet Fix: why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work, by Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is available March 4, 2014. It starts with a prescription for chocolate. Clearly this is not your average diet book. Over nearly ten years and thousands of hours working with patients with weight management issues at his Bariatric Medical [...]

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Food Matters

The 4 Billion-Year-Old Story of Obesity

Source: genome.gov, captivating DNA diologue by author

Once upon a time some amino acids got smooshed together and stuck inside a tiny bubble of lipids. Inside the bubble these molecules were safe and free to duplicate themselves without getting gobbled up or broken down by the reactive acidic environment outside the bubble.  No one knows for sure just how or where this [...]

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Food Matters

Astronaut nutrition: staying healthy for a year in space

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 36 flight engineer, gets some nutrients aboard the International Space Station. Photo courtesy of NASA.

When NASA astronaut Scott Kelly leaves the earth for his International Space Station mission in 2015, he won’t walk the aisles of a grocery store for a year.  To ensure he and other long-term astronauts stay healthy, NASA must make certain they have the proper food in tow. I caught up with NASA nutritionist Scott [...]

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Food Matters

It Is Not True That Kids Won’t Eat Healthy Food: Why The New USDA School Food Guidelines Are Very Necessary

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Children in the U.S. are eating poorly and not getting enough physical activity, and this is contributing to higher rates of childhood obesity and related health issues. To help stem this problem, in 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The legislation gave a green light to the USDA to update, for the first [...]

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Guest Blog

Will Carrots Help You See Better? No, but Chocolate Might

Bunches of carrots

I can’t count the number of times I have been asked by patients if carrots really can improve their eyesight. I think some are looking for carrots to be a magical cure for their refractive error. They want to eliminate their need for glasses and want carrots to give them perfect 20/20 vision. While proper [...]

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Guest Blog

Can sitting too much kill you?

We all know that physical activity is important for good health—regardless of your age, gender or body weight, living an active lifestyle can improve your quality of life and dramatically reduce your risk of death and disease. But even if you are meeting current physical activity guidelines by exercising for one hour per day (something [...]

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Observations

Cultured Beef: Do We Really Need a $380,000 Burger Grown in Petri Dishes?

cultured-beef-patty

For the first time, the public has been treated to the spectacle of lab-grown meat cooked and eaten via live Webcast. Backed by Google billionaire Sergey Brin, Dutch tissue engineer Mark Post unveiled his “cultured beef” at a press event on August 5, answering the question posed by a 2011 Scientific American feature: “When Will [...]

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Observations

Food Delivers a Cocktail of Hormone-Like Signals to Body

The chicken pesto pasta on your plate is more than just tasty fuel to keep you going. The dish has carbohydrates, fats and proteins to be sure, but it also contains other nutrients and chemicals that send subtle cues and instructions to your cells. More and more researchers are arguing that to better grasp how [...]

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Observations

Translating Calorie Counts into Exercise Equivalents Leads to Healthier Choices

By mid-2012, coffee shops and burger joints across the country will be required to prominently display nutritional information about their food products. Many of the larger franchises are already doing this. But does knowing the number of calories in a caramel latte make you more likely to choose a fat-free coffee? Unfortunately, no—most studies have [...]

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Observations

Feel the Burn: How Do Scientists Count Calories?

Counting calories today is as easy as checking the label in a grocery store, or perusing the menu in a restaurant. But how accurate are these numbers, and how do food manufacturers and restaurants come up with them in the first place? In a study published July 19 in the Journal of the American Medical [...]

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Observations

Mummy Says John Horgan Is Wrong about Fat and Carbs in Food

I was struck today by the juxtaposition of two recent articles here at ScientificAmerican.com. In “Thin Body of Evidence,” John Horgan expresses his skepticism about journalist Gary Taubes’s claims that carbohydrates, not fat, are the cause of obesity, heart disease and other health problems faced by many Americans. In “Mummy Says Princess Had Coronary Disease,” [...]

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Observations

Child nutrition law will require use of scientific dietary guidelines in serving up school lunches

child nutrition bill will institute nutrition guidelines for school lunches

Greasy French fries and calorie-dense pizza slices are common items on public school cafeteria trays across the U.S. But a new child nutrition bill, signed into law Monday by President Obama, will dedicate more federal funds to improving the health of school meals—and making sure the meals standards are based on solid science. "The act [...]

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Observations

FDA to beef up standards for “health” food labeling

fda smart choices food healthy labeling

Currently abundant on most grocery store shelves, seals of approval for purportedly healthful food selections may become scarcer in the coming year. Some labels claiming foods are "smart choices" or "heart healthy" are patently misleading, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has threatened to prohibit such promotional labeling when it ignores [...]

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Talking back

Got (Skim) Milk?: Maybe a Recipe for Obesity and Cancer

The USDA, the American Academy of Academy of Pediatrics and other august institutions recommend that all calorie-containing beverages, except low-fat milk, should be limited in people’s diets. The dairy industry made the “Got Milk” slogan one of the most famous of all time—and guidelines for healthy eat/drink incorporate that entreaty: three cuppa a day, less [...]

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Talking back

16-Ounce Cokes and 40 Joints a Month: When Government Dictates to Consumers

José Mujica is the Uruguayan Bloomberg. Like the mayor of New York, the president of Uruguay is a social engineer, convinced to the core that he knows best by getting citizens to do the right thing. Bloomberg and Mujica even have a mutual fan club going. Bloomberg donated $500,000 and called the Uruguayan leader nearly [...]

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