Flavour of the Week


  • TGIFHave we been wrong about diet beverages? A recent study published in Obesity suggests that diet beverage consumption may help weight loss, not hinder it. Researchers conducted a 12-week randomized controlled trial investigating caloric restriction and exercise, participants were randomized to either a “diet drinks okay” or “water only” group. While both groups achieved significant and clinically meaningful weight loss, the diet beverage group lost more weight and reported feeling more full.

    Of note, the study was funded by the American Beverage Association (ABA), but the findings are interesting. Our take? Diet beverages along with a healthy diet and exercise can be a part of a weight loss plan BUT there is still a growing body of evidence that artificially-sweetened drinks are not totally benign and may – for some people, at least – induce negative metabolic changes and alter satiety cues. For our money, we’d still bet on water, unsweetened teas and other unsweetened beverages to quench our thirst!
  • For women with breast cancer treated with hormonal and/or steroid therapies, caloric restriction not only reduces weight gain caused by these treatments but may also reduce risk of metastasis and recurrence. For more information on cancer and nutrition, check out this month’s special issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism devoted to “The role of diet, body composition, and physical activity on cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship
  • Although obesity rates seem to be stabilizing in North America, they are growing worldwide. Scary new statistics – across the globe, 1 in 3 adults are overweight or obese. Though all is not lost. Here’s a very interesting post from Obesity Panacea about “healthy” weight gain and the important difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat.
  • Are schools doing enough to combat pediatric obesity? Interestingly, parents of overweight and obese children are twice as likely to “fail” schools on their efforts to promote nutrition and physical activity when compared with parents of healthy weight children. When asked about the healthfulness of school lunches, however, there was no difference. But how are those lunches doing?

    Maybe not so great. According to researchers, the veggies and fruit most kids choose at school lunches are heavily processed – like 100% juice – or only loosely classified as vegetables, such as pizza (!!!) and lasagna. This same research team from University of Vermont is employing a new technique to find out whether healthy choices get dumped in the garbage – photographs. They take a photo of  kid’s lunch trays when they leave the line and then again when they’re finished eating. This validated method was recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and can accurately estimate nutrient intake within 2 grams! Hopefully there won’t be too much broccoli in the trash…

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