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From The Cooper Institute and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

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    Monthly Archives: October 2008

Healthy Eating Made Easy
Written by October 30, 2008

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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  Just last week, a new section of www.mypyramid.gov was revealed – MyPyramid for Preschoolers. Now, specific healthy eating information exists for four groups: preschoolers (ages 2-5), kids (ages 6-11), adults, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you haven’t seen one or more of these sections, you should really take a look. The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) has done an excellent job of developing practical dietary recommendations from current nutrition research findings. Here are some of the things you’ll find for each of the “featured” groups: Preschoolers – MyPyramid Plan (customized eating plan based on age, gender, and

No Image
Written by October 27, 2008

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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  In an earlier blog we shared how walking workstations are helping sedentary office workers burn extra calories while doing computer work, talking on the phone, or attending meetings.  And research shows that this innovative approach to multitasking may just work.  But the video clip provided in this blog shows that you can take healthful multitasking too far.  Host of “Let’s Paint TV,” John Kilduf, is shown running on a treadmill, making a soy smoothie, and painting a picture of a soy plant.  None of which he does very well.  The bottom line?  There might be limits to multitasking.  Still,

Busy Families Fueling the Forkless Food Movement
Written by October 23, 2008

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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When there’s a niche and a need, food companies will fill it! The niche? Families on-the-go. The need? Meals and snacks that are healthier than fast food. The result? Dozens of new healthful (or seemingly healthful) handheld foods. With breakfast paninis and pocket bread sandwiches and portable snacks like pretzels and salsa, many families are joining this forkless food movement that makes eating away from the dinner table easy. While some forkless foods are made with whole grains and other healthy ingredients, caretakers do need to read more than the claims on the front of the box. For example, just one of Kraft’s Bagel-fuls microwavable frozen bagel sticks filled with

Your Tax Dollars at Work – Really!!!
Written by October 20, 2008

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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In this day of billion dollar bailouts of collapsed financial institutions that have the gall to still send executives on extravagant “retreats,” wouldn’t it be nice to hear good news about how your tax dollars are being spent?  Well, would you believe that there is one single federal program that promotes healthier living for kids, reduces traffic congestion, conserves fuel, and improves air quality? It is the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that was established by Congress in 2005.  With funding through 2009 at a 5-year total that is less than one-tenth of a percent of the recent federal bank

The 100 Calorie Pack: Portion Control Supporter or Saboteur?
Written by October 16, 2008

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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If you walk down the chip, cracker, or cookie aisle of the supermarket today you will see shelves stocked with 100-calorie "snacks." While many calorie-conscious consumers believe these single-serving packages are perfect for controlling portions, new research shows that the 100-calorie "snack" can quickly turn into a 400- or 500-calorie "meal."    In a previous post we described research that found that people consume more when given more and that one way to cut down on high-calorie foods is to serve them on smaller plates. Given this, you would think that eating chips from a 100-calorie snack pack instead of 28-ounce bag would be a good choice. While the verdict's still out, some marketing studies are saying "No!" After performing a series of experiments

Be Active Your Way
Written by October 13, 2008

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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For the first time ever, the federal government has issue a single, unified set of guidelines specifically focused on getting Americans to move more. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is an important document because it sets forth recommendations that individuals, organizations, communities, policy makers, and legislators should use to promote better health through increased physical activity. Americans’ current inactivity puts us at unnecessary risk for a multitude of health problems and premature death. The new guidelines are the result of a comprehensive review of the latest research on the benefits to body and mind of regular physical activity. The

Friends and Family May "Spread" Obesity
Written by October 9, 2008

Ruth Ann Carpenter, MS, RD

Lead Integrator
Health Integration, LLC

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While we know that the physical environment (fast foods, portion sizes, elevators, etc.) influences our eating and physical activity behaviors, new research from Harvard University indicates that our social environment may also be linked to our behaviors, attitudes, and weight status.   In this study, weight and height data from more than 12,000 socially interconnected adults who had participated in the Framingham Heart Study were analyzed. Researchers found that thin and overweight people tended to be clustered together, and that a person's odds of becoming obese increased by 57% if he/she had a friend who became obese over a certain

Walk To School This Wednesday
Written by October 6, 2008

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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On October 8th – this Wednesday – thousands of children in America will burn extra calories walking or biking to school for Walk To School Day.  For some of us boomers, walking to school was a daily “workout.”  In fact, in 1969, 42 percent of students walked to school.  In 2001 (the most recent year for which data are available), only 16 percent of kids walked to school.  Hmmm.  Childhood obesity rates have soared since the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Wonder if there is a connection? Walk to School Day is a part of an international movement (pun intended) to encourage

Picking the Right Dinner Plate
Written by October 1, 2008

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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If you've purchased new plates (for yourself or maybe a bride-to-be) in the past couple of years you've probably noticed the trend toward supersized tableware. Dinner plates that used to be 8 or 9 inches across have expanded to 11 or 12 inches. Some mugs and glasses hold 15-plus ounces and bowls are so wide and deep you could fill them with five cups of dry cereal. What's wrong with large plates, cups, and mugs? Nothing if you're filling them with leafy greens, water, and broth-based soup! Research from Cornell University and Penn State has shown over and over that the larger

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