Here’s your weekly roundup of the latest health and wellness news! This week, our team shares these stories.
U.S. BANS TRANS FAT
In three years, the U.S. food supply will not contain artificial trans fat (at least, in theory). Research shows that partially hydrogenated oils, used for frying and in baked goods, aren’t safe and contribute to heart disease. According to last week’s Food and Drug Administration ruling, companies must start to phase out trans fat from products. Many have already begun to switch to palm, coconut, or soybean oils. Trans fat will probably not completely disappear. If food companies can prove that artificial trans fat is not a health risk, then they can gain approval from the FDA for specific uses of the oils. As of right now, no one has shown data to support this. Read this story on bloomberg.com…
EATING LESS IS MORE IMPORTANT TO WEIGHT LOSS THAN EXERCISING
If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser, you’ve seen the trainers push contestants to run, jump, and lift harder. In reality, exercise may not be as determinant of healthy weight as we think. Diet and eating less is far more important studies show, though combining exercise and a healthy diet can lead to more sustained weight loss over time. This writer argues, if people spent half their exercise time trying to cook a healthy, home-cooked meal, they would be more likely to see better results. Though admittedly, watching people try not to overeat is way more boring than watching them heave a giant ball up a sand dune. Thanks, Biggest Loser. (Caution: don’t try that at home.) Read this story on nytimes.com…
TODAY’S AMERICAN WOMAN WEIGHS AS MUCH AS A 1960S MAN
Yes, Americans are getting bigger. But what really brings it home is this stat released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The average woman in the U.S. weighs 166.2 pounds, and that’s almost exactly as much as the average man in the 1960s. Weight gain in men since that time period has been almost as high. This is attributed to three things: we’re eating more, but also less healthy food, and we’re not moving around as much. Read this story on washingtonpost.com…
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU TRY TO CHEAT SLEEP FOR A YEAR?
During his doctorate, a young scientist conducted an experiment on himself, wanting to know if adopting a polyphasic sleep schedule, like Leonardo da Vinci or Kramer from Seinfeld, would lead to greater productivity. He chose what’s called the “Everyman” schedule—3.5 hours at night and three 20-minute naps during the day. After a year on this schedule, he developed a new appreciation for sleep, but also for the mind-cleansing power of naps. Why did he end up quitting? The Everyman made it difficult to socialize, since most events clashed with the crucial naps. He gained some fascinating insights into why we have the schedule that we do, and why we feel so horrible when we don’t get enough sleep. Read this story on qz.com…
Fat-Talk Nation: The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat
By Susan Greenhalgh
We talk about weight all the time. Just take a look at this week’s roundup—three out of six stories are focused on the subject of weight. It’s tough to go even one day without hearing about “America’s obesity problem,” especially if you’re a health and wellness professional. So how does all this “fat talk” affect us and those around us, especially young people who grew up in time when heavy people were constantly badgered about their weight? In her book, Susan Greenhalgh features 45 narratives from those who do not fit the “ideal” body type and feel much of the time like the object of abuse, discrimination, and even revulsion. Read this story on cornellpress.cornell.edu…
INFOGRAPHIC OF THE WEEK
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About our weekly news roundup
As a health promoter and educator, it’s important to keep up with the latest health and wellness news. That’s why each week, we scour the Web to bring you the best stories on health research, corporate wellness, fitness, nutrition, wearable tech, and more. Share these articles with colleagues and employees, or simply stay on the cutting edge yourself!