Flavour of the Week

TGIF


  • Gut bacteria, they go well beyond your digestive health. The New York Times gives a great overview of the current research TGIFregarding gut bacteria and mood. It makes sense when you think of how closely your stomach and brain are connected AND did you know that most of the serotonin in your body originates in your stomach! Read Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain our Mood? for some more interesting tidbits. 
  • Best bang for the buck when targeting childhood obesity? Sounds like we need policy change but which policies? Researchers evaluated: 1) taxes on sugar sweetened beverages, 2) eliminating the tax subsidy on advertising on children’s television, 3) increasing physical activity in schools and 4) healthier habits in preschool settings. All have their merits but on a cost to benefit (the benefit being a lower BMI), they suggest the US go with the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and eliminating the tax subsidy on TV advertising. Of course, if you consider the multitude of other health benefits associated with exercise, it may move up on the list.
  • Dietary fat, no longer the villain! Well sort of, it depends on the type – quality not quantity is the focus. BUT dietary guidelines are definitely moving away from blanket statements regarding the healthiness of low-fat diets; especially when they turn out to be high in simple carbohydrates. Go olive oil, nuts, yogurt, avocados, and fatty fish. Even eggs make the cut in the new recommendations but stay away from trans-fats and the bakery products.
  • Computer gaming for weight loss? Researchers tested a computer game where people had to resist an unhealthy snack and respond to other images in an effort to train them to associate unhealthy snacks with stopping. We’re not convinced yet though, the weight loss was 0.7kg over a week (reasonable) and 220 kcal less per day but a week is pretty short and honestly, not that we’re gamers, but this one doesn’t seem likely to hit # 1 on Steam. Still a little positive brain training can’t hurt…
  • It’s all in the marketing. Apparently, branding food as “fit” (sport foods) caused people who where watching their weight to eat more (we get this, because it makes the food seem healthy and people may not pay attention to the nutrition information) and exercise less – apparently eating ‘fit” food is viewed as a substitute for exercise (here we are confused eating = exercise?).

 

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