|By image by Ute Frevert;false color by Margaret Shear CC BY 2.5|
Christie Aschwanden in Five Thirty Eight interviewed 8,500 Internet commenters about why they do what they do.
Rob Stein in NPR on the promise of "Gene Drives" on malaria.
|By image by Ute Frevert;false color by Margaret Shear CC BY 2.5|
During my annual winter blogging break, I'll be posting some of my favourites from back in 2013.School vending machines peddle junk. Whether it's health-washed junk (which I've reported before is likely worse for kids given their health halos misinforms children about nutrition), or true junk, when I was a kid, there certainly weren't any school vending machines, there were just water fountains.
To be honest with you, vending machines haven't really been on my radar until June. The Super met with us in April, and he mentioned that he and the District Education Council were taking a closer look at school compliance with vending policy. The council member who sits on my local parent committee is passionate about healthy eating, so we are certainly going to be under the microscope.
My view regarding the absence of machines in my school is similar to my battle with drugs. As soon as you suspend the drug king pin there are five others waiting to take his/her place. It's a constant Game of Thrones. I see a similar path for vending. They will take off to the nearby convenience stores. Why pay $1.10 for 10 small carrot sticks and dip at the cafeteria when you can get chips at the pizza place 50 ft. from the school property line? I find that kids that really care about what they're eating are bringing bagged lunches. The rest are up for the quick fix. Tim Hortons, McDonald's, Pizza Pizza, St. Hubert's, and China Wok are all within a 5-minute walk from us.
I am in total agreement with you regarding water fountains, but these are viewed as unsanitary by many of the kids. Springfield water is very good as we are on a well system. I do see kids using the fountains. I'll be the first to admit that they are not aesthetically pleasing- they're not as sexy as the machine that picks up the drink and beams it to a vacuumed tube. But they certainly work. Don't forget- some schools are almost 100 years old, with old pipes and hardware. Springfield Elementary was built in 1930. My school had a flood and was repaired in 1986. You push the button, let the water run for a while, then get a drink. It takes a while for the cold water to run through the pipes to the actual fountain. I'm not making excuses by any means, just trying to give you the picture. This is not lost on the teenagers.
We have a very successful hot lunch program on Thursdays. We were so proud of ourselves, we thought we would create a free breakfast program at school. We had a community supermarket partner step up to help us out. We offered a variety of healthy choices, and guess what? The kids didn't eat it. It was open to all 480 students and nobody came. I bet if we had offered Froot Loops and Eggos we would have had a full house. It shut down after a five-week attempt. We were shocked. Let me get this straight, "You would rather pay at the cafeteria than eat for free down here in the culinary tech room?" Unreal. I have been teaching for 15 years- I can count the number of times I have eaten at the cafeteria on one hand. I kid you not. I dry heave just thinking about it.
From my point of view, the money from vending isn't really on my radar. That money would barely cover my biology/physics/chemistry budget for the year. And the gym spends that amount in consumables (shuttle cocks, rackets, balls) yearly. The money comes in, but it's in such small increments that it's just thrown into the kitty.
I don't go the vending/back machine route for disposable income. I'm sure some might, but we certainly don't talk about it in admin. meetings, and we talk about just about everything. Get rid of them? I guess we could, but I don't see this as the answer. Many schools are community partners, with a variety of clubs/organizations using the facitlities in the evenings. The vending offers them a last minute snack or drink, if needed. I'm guilty of using the one at the gym when I have forgotten my bottle for spin class. Those using the gym at school may find themselves in the same boat. I just don't want you to have the perception that we have vending for profit- the profits are not lucrative. We have them because we have them- they've always been there, I guess.
On the flip side, you would be hard pressed to find a teacher that doesn't have a file cabinet full of snacks for kids who have forgotten their lunch.
The quality of these snacks? Well, that's classified information...:)
During my annual winter blogging break, I'll be posting some of my favourites from back in 2013.Today's badvertising comes from Barilla Plus Omega-3 pasta.
During my annual winter blogging break, I'll be posting some of my favourites from back in 2013. I'm also changing my daily posting time to 9:00amSo I was putting my four year old to bed two nights ago. We were reading Kevin Henkes' Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. It's the one where Lilly adores her teacher Mr. Slinger, but when Mr. Slinger doesn't let her show off what she brought for show and tell, she gets mad.
During my annual winter blogging break, I'll be posting some of my favourites from back in 2013. I'm also changing my daily posting time to 9:00amthe latest in Coca-Cola's anti-obesity ad campaign. It's a commercial called, "Grandpa", and in it they juxtapose Grandpa's then life (which according to Coca-Cola included more walking, smaller meals, biking to work, snacking on fruit, taking the stairs, enjoying the outdoors, homemade meals, eating at the dinner table) with his grandson's now life.
Today's guest post comes from Dr. Dylan MacKay who agreed to writing it after I sent him a breathless press release that claimed that raisins were a great snack choice for people with diabetes. Dylan's perspective is borne out not only of his work as a nutritional biochemist with an interest in functional foods, but as well of the fact that he himself has type 1 diabetes. He also has an open mind, and if need be, a sharp pen.Last month was National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM), the month when everyone cares about people with diabetes. Diabetics (I can use that term because I am one) are especially popular in November, and it seems that it is a great month to dispel diabetes myths. In an email that was forwarded to me, by Yoni, the PR team Ceres was really trying to dispel the diabetes and dried fruit myth.
“Now, California Raisins debunks the myth that people with diabetes cannot eat raisins and other dried fruit.”And
“In fact, scientific research demonstrates that regular consumption of raisins rather than many popular processed snacks, can actually positively influence both blood glucose levels and systolic blood pressure”Well this sounds amazing, I should eat raisins, all the time.
“compared to snacks, those who consumed raisins had reduced postprandial glucose levels by 36 mg/dL (P = 0.072), reduced fasting glucose levels by 32 mg/dL (P = 0.066), reduced fasting glucose levels by 19% (P = 0.062), and reduced HbA1c by 0.12%, although statistical significance was not achieved.”Additionally both studies used last observation carried forward to deal with missing values, a technique which Ben Goldacre referred to a “dodgy” and biased towards showing a treatment effect in his book Bad Pharma. The reporting off the “trending” p-values makes me think of this tweet I saw recently,
Full disclosure: Each of the items I'm mentioning today I purchased myself, use regularly, and love. I was not asked or paid by anyone to provide these reviews. You should know too, that if you use the links to purchase them on Amazon, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).The Cookbook: Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi
|Photo Source: Nick Solari, Michael Vadon CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mario Santor, Georges Biard CC BY-SA 3.0|
Today's guest post comes from my friend and colleague Dr. Dan Flanders and it's about a topic that has in fact received a fair bit of attention over the past few years - full fat vs. skimmed fat milk and the proposed impact which you choose might have on your child's weight. If you're looking for Dan, you can usually find him on Twitter.Last week, Target Kids!, a distinguished group of Toronto pediatric researchers, published a study on the relationship between the types of milk that young children drink and their weights. They demonstrated, quite convincingl,y that young children who routinely drink fattier milk (e.g. 3.25% whole milk) tended to be leaner than those who drank lower fat milk (e.g. skim or 1%). Likewise, children with overweight and obesity, were found by them tend towards drinking lower-fat milk than children who were leaner.
A correlation has been found between the type of milk that young children drink and their weight status. The study was unable to determine whether the type of milk consumed caused changes in body size or whether existing body size influenced the type of milk consumed. Future studies are needed to establish any causal connection.Instead, here’s but a sampling of irresponsible headlines cranked out by some well-respected news publishers in response to this study:
"We're going to train 100,000 ten year old CEOs. Raise money for schools? Check. Provide business education for kids? Check. All I'm asking of you is your old couch".Awesome!
|Not a Snapchat filter|
"unrealistic and highly regimented bodies as some sort of an ideal of ‘beauty."The campaign, titled, "We Move You", features members of the Toronto Ballet in poses in and around Toronto's subway stations, street cars, buses, and trains.
“We can’t deny that there is a lot of body-based discrimination that happens … within our moves around the city”,isn't the suggestion that the bodies depicted in these pictures are somehow wrong or unhealthy a form of body-based discrimination?
Good Morning Dr. Freedhoff,Here's hoping that over time, the military, and everyone else, starts to wrap their heads around the straightforward fact that scales (or BMIs) don't measure the presence or absence of health, and that the truism of "eat less, move more" is no more helpful to obesity than "buy low, sell high" is to wealth.
Please let me start by thanking you for your efforts on promoting bariatric health (I own your book and subscribe to your blog).
It took me some time to work up the courage to write you on the issue surrounding obesity in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as we are not meant to air our dirty laundry in public. However, I thought you might be interested in some of the recent media attention surrounding obesity in the CAF and how the issue is dealt with in our organization.
First, please note that I am obese. I weigh approximately 230lbs and am 5’7". I am active (running, cycling) and do not have any issues meeting the minimum fitness standards in the CAF. I would describe myself as someone who is carrying extra fat (read not a body builder).
This article (along with a couple of variants) have been getting media attention inside my organization of late and the issue of obesity is something that the organization wants to address (adding weight and waist circumference measurements to our fitness testing routine, introducing incentives to motivate members to improve their fitness scoring, and general fitness promotion). The article discuses more stringent fitness standards for a deployment when, in fact, the battle fitness test is a more specific assessment (marching with a “heavy” pack, fireman’s carry, etc.).
I was provided with some advice on how to lose weight from the CAF health services organization:
Needless to say, there is a negative connotation with being obese in the CAF. It is my opinion that the organization could find better ways to support its members in their efforts. As an example, at my most recent medical appointment I was happy to find that I had lost 15lbs over the past year (largely due to increased activity) but I was told that it was probably just water, not fat and that there was much more work to do to reduce my BMI to a healthy level.
- Establish a starting weight (i.e. 230 lbs), and by the next week aim to be at 229. If by the next week I am not at 229, do not eat until I am. Repeat as required until I achieve goal weight (Medical Officer)
- Restrict calories (especially carbohydrates) in the evening (Medical Officer)
- After reviewing my food log (that didn’t contain ice cream) I was advised to reduce caloric intake by eating a bowl of ice cream each night instead of a full pint (Dietitian).
As someone who is struggling to improve my fitness/health, it is fairly obvious that my organization does not understand the complexity of the issue they are trying to address. I appreciate your efforts to promote bariatric health and to advocate for obese/overweight people.
|Picture by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt|
"indicates foods that are a good or excellent source of important nutrients and are low in fat, sugar and/or salt. These foods are considered nutrient dense relative to the energy they provide. These foods should be offered on a daily basis and comprise the majority of foods/beverages served in schools."And it's not just a New Brunswick inanity by the way. When writing this blog post I noticed that Slush Puppie Plus is making the rounds in US schools as well where it is reported to meet the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation” Guidelines for 100% Juice in Elementary, Middle and High Schools.
"introducing new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those now in place in Quebec; bringing in tougher regulations to eliminate trans fats and to reduce salt in processed foods, similar to those in the United States; and improving food labels to give more information on added sugars and artificial dyes in processed foods."What is surprising though is the announced timeline of 5-10 years to implement.