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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Watching food ads on TV leads to a boost in snacking among children and adults, increasing the risk of weight gain, U.S. researchers say.
Yale University researchers conducted a series of experiments to test the effects of food commercials on television. One test found that children aged 7 to 11 who watched a half-hour cartoon that included food commercials ate 45% more snack food while watching the show than children who watched the same cartoon with non-food commercials.
That increased amount of snacking would lead to a weight gain of nearly 10 pounds a year, unless it was countered by decreased intake of other foods or increased physical activity, the researchers said.
In another experiment, adults who saw TV ads for unhealthy foods ate much more than those who saw ads that featured messages about good nutrition or healthy food.
"This research shows a direct and powerful link between television food advertising and calories consumed by adults and children," lead author Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, said in a news release from the university.
The study appears in the July issue of the journal Health Psychology.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: Yale University, news release, July 1, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
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Monday, June 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
- Find another person at work who is dieting as well, go have lunch with them
- If you must eat fast food, take advantage of the "better" choices they offer. Have a salad instead of fries. Bottle water instead of soda. Grilled chicken instead of fried.
- Take healthy snacks with you, keep them in an easy to see place so you will be less tempted to get a candy bar from the vending machine.
- Make a goal to cut out 1 bad food each day. Slowly increase this until you are no longer eating any junk.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Calorie-conscious consumers who opt for diet sodas may gain more weight than if they drank sugary drinks because of artificial sweeteners contained in the diet sodas, according to a new study.
A Purdue University study released Sunday in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience reported that rats on diets containing the artificial sweetener saccharin gained more weight than rats given sugary food, casting doubt on the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners.
"There's something about diet foods that changes your metabolic limit, your brain chemistry," said ABC News' medical contributor Dr. Marie Savard.
Though Savard said more research needs to be done to uncover more information, the study does hint at the idea that the sweeteners alter a person's metabolism.
Savard said another recent study, which included more than 18,000 people, found healthy adults who consumed at least one diet drink a day could increase their chance for weight gain.
In the Purdue study, the rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to experience a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories, which drove them to overeat.
"The taste buds taste sweet, but there's no calorie load that comes with it. There's a mismatch here. It seems it changes your brain chemistry in some way," Savard said. "Anything you put in your mouth, your body has a strong reaction to it. It's much more than counting calories. It seems normally with sweet foods that we rev up our metabolism."
The information may come as a surprise to the 59 percent of Americans who consume diet soft drinks, making them the the second-most-popular low-calorie, sugar-free products in the nation, according to a consumer survey from the Calorie Control Council, a nonprofit association that represents the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry.
Because so many foods today contain artificial sweeteners, the study results may go beyond diet drinks.
"The truth is, we're putting artificial sweetener in so many different things in water, in yogurt," Savard said. It's unclear if the results only adhere to diet sodas, she said.
"We have to rethink what this artificial stuff does to us. If we put this in water it might not be so good," she added.
The Calorie Control Council issued a statement that disagreed with the findings of the Purdue study and noted that past studies indicated low-calorie sweeteners benefit weight control.
But Savard said people who consume a drink or more a day should think about cutting back their consumption.
"The truth is, if you're consuming a drink or more a day, you know it. You know that you're taking it, and you really have to think about eliminating it. You're probably the very person who needs to change those health behaviors to prevent the diabetes, heart disease and stroke," Savard said.
"If you're just taking it once in a while, fine -- no big deal. If you're consuming one or more drinks a day, you should rethink what you're doing. You might be negating the whole reason in the first place."
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Monday, December 29, 2008
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