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June 12, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A day after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Health Department went to court to defend its proposed cap on the sale of super-sized sodas, a published study has offered evidence that Bloomberg's plan would reduce average calorie intake among those most likely to buy large drinks, and would have its greatest effect on overweight and obese kids. The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, also found that low-income consumers were no more affected by a portion cap than were those of higher income -- a major challenge to opponents of the proposed cap, who have argued it unfairly targets the poor.
June 8, 2013 | By Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times
You already know you should keep a food journal if you want to lose weight, right? So why don't you do it? One weight-loss expert thinks he knows the answer. "It's just not sexy enough," said J. Graham Thomas, a research professor at Brown Alpert Medical School who helps oversee the National Weight Control Registry, the nation's longest-running weight-loss research study. "It can feel like homework. " The registry studies thousands of Americans who have maintained weight loss for at least one year and looks for common denominators that can help the public.
June 3, 2013 | By Jenn Harris
Stop the presses and alert all cardiovascular surgeons. Dunkin Donuts is launching a new breakfast sandwich Friday, and it's on a doughnut. Yes, the doughnut chain has in its own words "gone and changed breakfast forever. Again. "  The new sandwich consists of slices of bacon and a well-peppered fried egg between two halves of a glazed donut. But they left out the cheese. What gives, Dunkin' Donuts? The sandwich is listed on the company's website as having 360 calories and 20 grams of fat. But that's not the most caloric thing on the breakfast menu -- not by far. The breakfast chain also serves a Big N' Toasted sandwich on buttery Texas toast with an egg, cheese and bacon.
May 14, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Want to satisfy your full day's requirement of salt, fat and calories? Sit down in a restaurant and order a meal. After an exhaustive analysis of 3,507 possible ways to order 685 meals at 19 restaurants chains in Canada, researchers found that the average meal contained 151% of the recommended daily value of sodium. That means a single breakfast, lunch or dinner had enough sodium to get you through an entire day and a half. Overall, more than 80% of the meals studied contained at least a full day's supply of sodium, according to a report published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
May 8, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
At chain restaurants across the country, the ink is scarcely dry on new menus posting the calorie counts of food and beverage options. But already, public health experts are debating whether there might be better ways to influence Americans' nutritional choices when they're out and about. How about posting a menu item's calorie content in "sweat equivalents" (it'll take you 90 minutes of power-walking to work off the calories in this piece of cheesecake and 30 minutes to work off the fruit-and-yogurt combo)
May 7, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Adolescents who went to McDonald's and Subway in Los Angeles bought about the same number of calories at each, despite Subway's reputation as a healthier place to eat, researchers said. The menus are not the point, lead researcher Dr. Lenard Lesser of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute said by phone. “Our study was not based on what people have the ability to pick, our study was based on what adolescents actually selected in a real-world setting.” The adolescents bought an average of 1,038 calories at McDonald's and 955 calories at Subway.
May 1, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Sugar. Honey. Maple syrup. Molasses. High fructose corn syrup. All of these are “added sugars,” and you are probably eating -- and drinking - too much of them. So says the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics examined survey data from thousands of American adults to figure out whether we're following the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans . These guidelines advise us to limit our total intake of added sugars, fats and other “discretionary calories” to between 5% and 15% of total calories consumed every day. It should come as no surprise that Americans as a whole are blowing past the 15% limit.
April 8, 2013 | Adolfo Flores
In college, Christopher J. Reed discovered meditation and healing herbs, including ginger, which became his favorite. So when he went into business for himself, Reed chose to launch a brand of ginger-based drinks. He said he spent hours at UCLA's library researching century-old recipes that would extol the root's health benefits, such as muscle recovery and nausea relief. Some 90 recipes and a messy Venice kitchen later, Reed crafted his first non-alcoholic Original Ginger Brew in 1987.
March 16, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Fast-food chain Carl's Jr. is known for its bosomy brand ambassadors, debaucherous burgers and a clientele that leans toward young, hungry dudes. But the wizard behind the curtain isn't a frat boy with a salad allergy. It's Andy Puzder, a 62-year-old jogger and devoted grandfather of six who has never met "celebutante" Paris Hilton. Remember her? Nearly a decade ago, she shimmied into a slinky bathing suit, lathered herself up with soap suds and downed a burger atop a car in an infamous Carl's Jr. television ad. Puzder has spent the last 12 years approving similar marketing efforts as the chief executive of CKE Inc. The company is based in Carpinteria and owns Carl's Jr. and its sister chain Hardee's.
February 27, 2013 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
In a finding certain to put new pressure on the purveyors of sugary foods and drinks, a worldwide analysis shows that regardless of its effect on obesity, the ebb and flow of sugar in a country's diet strongly influences the diabetes rate there. The new study provides compelling evidence that obesity isn't driving the worldwide pandemic of Type 2 diabetes as much as the rising consumption of sugar - largely in the form of sweetened sodas, experts said. Increases in sugar intake account for a third of new cases of diabetes in the United States and a quarter of cases worldwide, according to calculations published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. In the 175 countries studied, a 150-calorie daily increase in the availability of sugar - about the equivalent of a can of Coke or Pepsi - raises the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes by 1.1%, a research team from Stanford University and UC San Francisco found.
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