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    Monthly Archives: April 2009

Get Your Fiber Fix First Thing Each Day
Written by April 30, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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You've probably heard that breakfast is an important meal that shouldn't be skipped – especially for those trying to lose weight. And you've probably been encouraged to fill your breakfast bowl with cereal, fruit, and low fat milk. Well, new research takes this recommendation a step further by showing that the type of cereal you fill your bowl with matters. Canadian researchers studied the effect of low-fiber cereal vs. high-fiber cereal on appetite, calorie intake, and blood sugar in 32 healthy adults. Study participants were given 60 grams of either Fiber One (high-fiber; 120 calories) or Kellogg's Cornflakes (low-fiber; 21

Turn It Off to Burn It Off
Written by April 27, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Worried about your children gaining too much weight? Have difficulty finding time to fit physical activity into your hectic life? Want to spend more time doing things as a family? There’s a single solution to all these challenges  – click off the television and move more.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 6-18 spend over three hours a day watching television.  As you can see from the graph at the top of this blog, children also spend a lot of time in front of other screens playing video games and using the computer.  But still, TV watching is

Can't Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables? Call them X-Ray Vision Carrots and Power Peas!
Written by April 23, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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According to research presented by Brian Wansink, of Cornell University, at the School Nutrition Association’s Legislative Action Conference (March, 2009), kids eat more vegetables when they’re given cool names. In his study, 186 four-year-olds were given regular carrots on some days and “X-Ray Vision Carrots” on other days, as part of a preschool lunch. What did they find? Kids ate nearly twice as much when given “X-Ray Vision Carrots” than regular, unnamed carrots! Furthermore, the kids continued to eat about 50% more carrots, even on the days when they were no longer labeled. To make vegetables tastier, researchers suggest “playing the name game”

Retiring Soon?  Skip the Rocker.
Written by April 20, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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For many people, thinking about retirement brings visions of relaxation, sleeping in, and perhaps, gently rocking on the front porch while people who are still working hustle by.  Few retirees foresee a growing girth as another retirement outcome but that is what is in store for many  – but not all – retirees.  Just who  are we talking about?  Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have identified that those who retired from physically demanding jobs and with lower wealth were at greatest risk of gaining weight1 and decreasing physical activity level2.   Unfortunately, the double whammy of increased weight

Some Schools Getting Kids Pumped Up for PE
Written by April 16, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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For those of us who grew up playing badminton and bocce ball, and climbing the rope during PE class, this is almost unimaginable. Skateboarding in PE class?!? When did PE become so cool? When teachers realized that kids are more likely to remain active if they are exposed to an activity they enjoy and can do at home! In 2005, Colorado-based Skate Pass developed and piloted a skateboarding curriculum designed to engage students who may not be interested in the organized sports traditionally taught in schools. The curriculum teaches safety skills, and participating schools are required to purchase helmets, wrist guards,

Spring Into Physical Activity
Written by April 13, 2009

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In the northern hemisphere, spring is on it’s way.  Depending on location, you may have buds on trees or fully fledged foliage.  No matter where you live, spring is a great time to stretch your legs (and arms and back and abs) to burn calories and gain health benefits.  Here are common springtime activities and the amount of calories each burns if done for 30 minutes*: Watering lawn or garden – 63 calories Bird watching – 104 calories Playing croquet – 104 calories Fertilizing yard – 104 calories Maypole dancing – 209 calories Frisbee – 125 calories Trampoline – 146 calories Mopping

Reduce Kids’ Calories by Cutting Calorie Density
Written by April 9, 2009

Ruth Ann Carpenter, MS, RD

Lead Integrator
Health Integration, LLC

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With rates of childhood overweight/obesity skyrocketing, healthcare practitioners and parents alike are constantly searching for ways to improve kids’ calorie balance.     Increasing physical activity to 60 minutes or more each day is key to increasing the ‘calories out’ side of the balance scale. But, what works for reducing ‘calories in’?     A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that reducing the calorie density of kids’ foods and beverages may be the answer. Calorie density is the amount of calories per gram of food. For instance, 28 grams (1 ounce) of potato chips

A Gut Reaction to Physical Activity
Written by April 6, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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It has been well-established from many individual studies that being physically active reduces colon cancer risk.  That’s a big deal since about 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. Scientists Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have compiled 52 different studies to quantify the possible extent of the risk reduction gained by being an active person compared to someone who is sedentary.  It turns out to be about 24%1.  A rough calculation is that if everyone in the U.S. became physically active, there would be about 24,000 fewer new cases of colon cancer each year.  Wow! Now

Walking = Calories Burned = Less Weight Gain
Written by April 2, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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  The title of this blog may seem like a “duh” statement and yet, few studies have documented such an equation.  Until now. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study followed nearly 5,000 men and women, who at baseline were between 18 and 30 years old.  They had periodic, comprehensive assessments including dietary intake, health habits such as smoking, education attainment, and marital status so that these factors could be controlled in the walking and weight change analyses. What the researchers found was that when they averaged the whole group together, everyone gained weight over the 15-year

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