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Go Fish for Stronger Bones

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | June 19, 2018 |

A trip to the fishmonger can help your bones and your heart. Scientists have long noted a link between eating omega-3 fats in certain fish and improving heart function, but these mega-healthy fats are not a one-hit wonder. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition published a meta-analysis of previous research (which included 292,657 people)—and reported an inverse relationship between fish consumption and risk of hip fracture. Mechanisms still need to be sussed out, but in the meantime it’s a good idea to work fish into our diets at least twice per week.

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Environmental Endocrine Disruptors Partly to Blame for Weight Regain in Women?

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | May 17, 2018 |

Maintaining weight loss is extraordinarily difficult for most people for myriad reasons, some understood and others less so.
In February, PLOS Medicine published results of the first randomized controlled human study looking for connections between weight loss and exposure to synthetic chemicals called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The researchers found that higher blood levels of PFAS don’t affect weight loss but are associated with greater weight regain, especially in women.

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Question of the Month: McDonald’s Makes Kids’ Menus Healthier—Are They Healthy Enough?

By IDEA Authors | May 17, 2018 |

A Happy Meals makeover is underway at McDonald’s. As of June, all Happy Meals in the U.S. will contain fewer than 600 calories. By 2022, they will have less than 650 milligrams of salt, and under 10% of calories will come from saturated fats and added sugars. Water is now the default beverage. Cheeseburgers are off the Happy Meal menu, while chicken nuggets and hamburgers are served with fruits, vegetables or a 110-calorie mini-side of fries.

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Trending: Sparkling Water

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | May 17, 2018 |

Out with soda and in with . . . sparkling water. Health-conscious Americans looking for a carbonated-beverage fix are in luck as sparkling water takes over store shelves across the country. The sugar-free bubbling water is a great hydration source and is free of artificial sweeteners and other processed ingredients common in diet sodas.

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Childhood Obesity Stats Remain Grim

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | May 17, 2018 |

A February study in the journal Pediatrics debunked reports that childhood obesity rates were leveling off or in decline. In fact, the study found that despite substantial efforts to curb the epidemic in recent years, obesity rates have increased for every demographic—especially preschool children and adolescent girls. Moreover, the study cited a substantial rise in severe obesity in children.

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Cracking The Nutrition Code On Toddler Drinks

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | May 15, 2018 |

An April study looked at the marketing and promotion of toddler drinks—formulas, milk drinks and other beverages for children aged 9–36 months. The research, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found that these drinks are heavily marketed to parents, poorly regulated, and nutritionally inferior to whole cow’s milk and a balanced diet. The drinks consist primarily of powdered milk, corn syrup solids or other added caloric sweeteners, plus vegetable oil. They also have more sodium and less protein than cow’s milk.

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Summer Reading: Devoured

By IDEA Authors | May 15, 2018 |

2016) is the book for you.
Sophie Egan, MPH, RD, food writer and program director at The Culinary Institute of America, takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining connections between our eating habits and the values that define our national character—work, freedom and progress. Egan explores why these values enable such an unstable and often unhealthy food culture while, paradoxically, making America’s cuisine really impressive.

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Wansink Studies Discredited

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | May 15, 2018 |

Some of the most profound and useful study findings on the psychology and marketing of food and eating published over the past two decades may be invalid. The famed, and now shunned, Cornell researcher Brian Wansink and his Food and Brand Lab published hundreds of studies, many of which have not stood up to scientific scrutiny.

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USDA Retires SuperTracker

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | May 15, 2018 |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will retire SuperTracker on June 30. SuperTracker is a free online nutrition, goal-tracking and food analysis tool, which more than 27 million people have used since its launch in 2011. The USDA says many other private nutrition tools are readily available and that it would like to spend its resources finding more efficient and modern ways to “help Americans find an eating style that is right for them.”

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Curried Shrimp Kebabs With Spring Slaw

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | April 18, 2018 |

This recipe by Michelle Babb, MS, RD, CD, author of Anti-inflammatory Eating for a Happy, Healthy Brain (Sasquatch Books 2016), is one of 75 in an evidence-based cookbook that aims to teach readers how to use diet to improve one’s state of mind with anti-inflammatory foods. Babb opens the book by explaining the science behind this eating plan and then provides the “how-to” with tasty con­coctions ranging from simple to easy gourmet. Satisfy your taste buds, your microbiome and your mood with this dish, just right for ushering in spring.

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Question of the Month

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | April 18, 2018 |

Despite government-funded health campaigns promoting healthier eating, Americans still eat shockingly low amounts of fruits and vegetables. According to a state-by-state survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 1 in 10 American adults meets federal fruit or vegetable recommendations—at least 1½–2 cups per day of fruit and 2–3 cups of vegetables.

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When at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again . . . and Again

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | April 18, 2018 |

Persistence pays off when fostering a new generation of healthy eaters. A paper published by pediatric researchers from the University of Buffalo in the December 2017 edition of Obesity Reviews shows that repeatedly exposing infants and children to healthy foods, even when they snub their noses at them at first, is key to promoting healthy eating behaviors over the long term. This don’t-give-up attitude is particularly effective at getting little mouths to eat a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.

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Alcohol May Boost Cancer Risks

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | April 18, 2018 |

Previous studies have associated light to moderate alcohol consumption with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and maybe even diabetes, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Nutrition Source, but teetotalers may have a leg up on avoiding cancer.

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