Flavour of the Week

TGIF


  • The chocolate hoax heard ’round the world! A journalist *purposefully* perpetuated nutrition misinformation to highlight just how easy it is for junk science (or poorly interpreted science) to be spread when it comes to food. Though the chocolate study was real, it was intentionally flawed, not peer-reviewed, and virally written about without seeking outside expert opinion.
  • TGIFTime to get a place in the country – exposure to road noise linked to increased risk of abdominal obesity! While the data is only correlational, the results were independent of sociodemographic factors and overall BMI. Researchers suggest that noise exposure may be physiological stressor leading to increased cortisol levels, which have been highly correlated with waist circumference in previous studies.
  • Gut bacteria and the “terrible twos”. Researchers at Ohio State University found the abundance and diversity of intestinal microflora was associated with behavior in toddlers, particularly extroversion in young boys. Researchers believe stress hormones may play a role in modulating gut bacteria types and levels, so make sense that nervous or shy kids might have very different microbes than those who are more sociable or impulsive. The study did not do a great job of capturing the impact of diet, instead looked only at introduction and frequency of foods.
  • Another week, another interesting article from Dr. Brian Wansink at Cornell! And this one is particularly relevant for all the health professionals out there… counsel “do” not “don’t”.

    In a systematic review of 43 studies looking at either negative or positive nutrition messages, “do” messages are more effective and actually preferred vs. their “don’t” counterparts. Although negative messages – think “don’t eat chocolate bars if you want to lose weight” – tended worked with knowledgeable experts like RDs or doctors, most people would rather be told what they should eat and why it is good for them. The next time you are with a patient or client, catch yourself when you start making a “don’t do this…” type statement and switch it around!
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