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    Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Fantastic Four (Health Habits)
Written by August 31, 2009

Ruth Ann Carpenter, MS, RD

Lead Integrator
Health Integration, LLC

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What if I told you that if you did four things, you might be 36% less likely to develop cancer than a person who did none of these?  Or 50% less likely to have a stroke? Perhaps 81% reduced risk for a heart attack would get your attention?  Would you do these four things if it meant you might be able to lower your risk of diabetes by 93%?  93%!!! What are these “Fantastic Four?”  Health factors that far too many of us skip or ignore.  They are: Never smoked. Body mass index is less than 30. (Check yours out

There’s No Myth About Exercise
Written by August 24, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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You might have read or heard about the brouhaha concerning the August 17th TIME magazine cover article titled, “The Myth About Exercise.” In it the author claimed that exercise doesn’t help you lose weight and may even cause you to gain weight.  Oh my!! The American College of Sports Medicine immediately sent out a press release to rebut the assertions made in the article.  “The statement ‘in general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless’ is not supported by the scientific evidence when there is adherence to a sufficient dose of physical activity in overweight and obese adults” stated John Jakicic,

Better Brown Bag Ideas for Kids Headed Back to School
Written by August 20, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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It’s that time again… shopping for school supplies, clothes, and healthy foods that your kids won’t throw away in the cafeteria. Start this year off right by substituting the boring turkey on white bread, apple, and baggie of pretzels with some of these fun, good-for-them foods: Sandwich Substitutes Whole-grain* pita pocket stuffed with tuna or chicken salad (made with a little mayo, dried cranberries, and finely chopped nuts) Rainbow pinwheels made by spreading cream cheese on a whole-grain* tortilla; topping it with roast beef or turkey, thin carrot strips, and a few leafy greens; rolling it up; and cutting it into slices Whole-grain* bagel (or 2 whole-grain mini bagels) with small

Yoga – Your Path to Enlightenment?
Written by August 17, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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  The term, “enlightenment,” in the title of this blog is not refering to wisdom but to lower body weight.  A study from a while back1 showed that doing yoga on a regular basis was associated with lower risk of gaining weight over time, especially in overweight people.  A recent study2 has teased out why this may be true.  And it has little to do with the calories burned during yoga practice.  Rather, it seems that it is all in one’s head. Celia Framson and colleages at the University of Washington – Seattle conducted a study to develop and test

Watch Not Only Who Your Children Play With, But Also Who they Eat With!
Written by August 13, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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In a previous blog, we described a study that showed that adults who have obese friends and family members are more likely to become obese. Well, a new study shows that this may be true in kids, too!   Researchers from The State University of New York at Buffalo found that some social factors, such as the presence of friends, may put overweight children at greater risk of overeating (which may contribute to increases in weight). In their study, researchers paired both normal weight and overweight children with a friend or an unfamiliar person and put them in a room filled with games,

A Wii Bit of Physical Activity
Written by August 10, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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“Boy, I am really getting a good workout playing Wii Tennis,” a friend was heard to say.  Oh really? Really. According to a small study completed at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, subjects who played tennis using the Wii video game platform burned calories at a rate only about 35% less than a person playing a real tennis game.   So in 30 minutes, Wii Tennis burns about 159 calories versus 243 for the real deal.  Here are other Wii/sport comparisons:   Calories Burned in 30 minutes   Actual Sport Wii Sport Golf 117 93 Bowling 216 117 Baseball 219 135

'Organic' Not Necessarily Healthier
Written by August 6, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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For those of us who wince at the $5.00 half-pint of organic raspberries and sneakily throw the $1.99 package of conventional berries into our carts, a new scientific review may give us some comfort. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently published a review of studies conducted over the past 50 years that compared the nutrient content between organic and conventional foods.1 Comparing 55 studies that were at least "satisfactory quality", researchers found no noted differences between conventional and organic crops with regard to vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc and copper content. Organic crops did have higher

Can You Outwit Your Genes?
Written by August 3, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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In the preventive medicine field, the focus of many interventions is on modifiable risk factors.  That is, things you do or conditions you have that you can change.  For example, you can quit smoking, be physically active, and eat a healthy diet to reduce risks for many chronic diseases.  You can further reduce risks by controlling things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes by taking medications as well as adopting healthier habits.  Then there are those unmodifiable health risks – age, race, gender, and family history (aka genetic make up).  These are things we are stuck with.  Or

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