Tags: diet*

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  1. The implications of this study are important. Only 2% of Americans do not eat any animal products. (This number has not changed appreciably for 20 years). Further, the fact that five out of six vegetarians go back to eating meat suggests that an all-veggie diet is very hard for most people to maintain over the long haul. Hence, the authors of the report argue that animal protectionists would be better off concentrating their efforts to persuade “the many” to reduce their consumption of flesh than trying to convince “the few” to take the absolutist route and give up meat completely. Sounds right to me.
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  2. Britain’s obesity epidemic is fuelling devastating numbers of amputations - almost all of which could have been prevented, experts have warned.

    Official figures show the number of cases have reached an all-time-high, with more than 8,500 procedures carried out last year as a result of diabetes.

    Nine in ten cases of the condition are type 2, which is linked to obesity and inactivity.
    Tags: , , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-09-29)
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  3. the whole Juicero phenomenon is really symptomatic of how misguided and removed nutrition is becoming, and it’s all based on the presumption that eating well and eating right somehow takes a lot of time and effort. The Soylent hype is based on this. But this approach simply removes people further and further away from the reality of the food they eat. It comes in a closed, pristine package, the contents of which aren’t even visible. It erases the fact that food grows in the soil and feeds on the soil, it’s part of our ecosystem and part of our culture. I think this concept of food as an abstraction, not tied to the reality of the earth or the labour that goes into it, is what promotes conspicuous consumption and a disregard for our common environment. For me, it’s actually the opposite of mindful nutrition.
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  4. Silicon Valley has just the thing for you. For a fee, more than a dozen well-funded startups will overnight you a box with a simple recipe and all the ingredients, even perishable stuff like meat, precisely measured and ready for the pan.
    These "meal kit" services exist to deliver the thing we miss about cooking—the thrill of transformation with fire—while stripping away much of the drudgery.

    These "meal kit" services, as they're known, exist to deliver the thing we miss about cooking—the thrill of transformation with fire—while stripping away much of the drudgery. "Throw a dart," and you can find a company catering to just about any food preference, says Brita Rosenheim, founder of a consulting firm focused on food-related tech companies. In addition to big names like Blue Apron, there's Sun Basket, catering to paleo and gluten-free tastes, and Purple Carrot, whose vegan kits are fronted by home cooking champion Mark Bittman. Chef'd woos the starry-eyed with recipes by culinary celebrities. Even Bittman's former employer, the New York Times, is getting into the game. As part of a new partnership with Chef'd, fans of the Times food section can order meal kits based on recipes ripped from the pages of the "paper of record."

    Venture capital firms—eager to disrupt the trillion-dollar US food economy—are drenching the space with cash.
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  5. “There are two basic ways to reduce nitrogen emissions from European agriculture,” said Potocnik, who was environment commissioner under Jose Manuel Barroso until 2014. The Slovenian is now co-chair of a UN body on international resources.

    The first way is to reduce emissions per unit of product, i.e. per piece of meat, dairy product, or egg. The second one is to reduce consumption.

    “The first one is the one which we are normally focussing on in our policy life. Why? It's easier. It's not contagious,” noted Potocnik.

    “The second one is problematic, because it's addressing people's dietary choices and has major consequences also on the structure of European agriculture. That's why nobody is pretty much from the policy trying to address it,” he added.

    But dietary changes would have great effects.

    According to the authors, if all Europeans cut their meat consumption in half, this would result in 43 percent lower ammonia emissions, 31 percent lower nitrous oxide emissions, and 35 percent lower nitrate emissions - that is if the cuts are accompanied by a reduction in European livestock, and not a shift to exports.
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  6. people today are about 10 percent heavier than people were in the 1980s, even if they follow the exact same diet and exercise plans.

    The suggestion is plainly that "there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise," but it's not clear what.

    The three main suspects: exposure to chemicals that alter hormonal processes (think pesticides and food packaging), the dramatic increase in prescription drugs linked to weight gain (such as SSRIs), and changes in gut bacteria.
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-10-05)
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  7. what people choose to eat is more often dictated by class and their purses than clinical decisions about what is good for them.

    Malnutrition, diabetes, hypertension and cancer are feasting increasingly on South Africa’s poor as a result of eating unhealthy energy dense food. More often than not, this is all they can afford.

    Yet 14 million people, that is one in four, go to bed hungry in South Africa every day. Another 15 million are on the verge of joining the ranks of the chronically hungry.

    Research shows that 40% of South Africans are suffering from malnutrition. Although the food they eat has the recommended 2000 daily calories, it does not provide sufficient nutrients to sustain health. Insufficient nutrition results in both under and over-nutrition, micro-nutrient deficiencies such as iron and vitamin A, low blood pressure and stunted growth.

    Indications are that unless we tackle the underlying causes of unhealthy eating habits, the situation will only get worse.

    The reality is that poor people are more concerned with filling stomachs and feeding their families than monitoring what they eat.

    The challenge is that for many people, the choice is not theirs. The diet of poor people is limited: high in calories and low in nutrition value. These choices are exacerbated by high food prices and accessibility. Both drive people towards food with high fat and sugar content.

    Higher food prices pose a particular challenge to vulnerable groups. The cost of food has in some instances almost doubled in rural settings compared to cities.

    Our bodies need food to fulfil several functions. It provides energy for daily activities and protects the body against diseases.

    We eat because our bodies need nutrients - the vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables - which are necessary for stimulating growth and maintaining life. There are also essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which are needed daily. Problems arise when these form the bulk of someone’s diet.

    To satisfy hunger, larger portions of unhealthy food are often consumed. This invariably leads to obesity which in turn puts people at risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and some cancers.
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-06-07)
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  8. The point here is not that Ornish’s diet—a low-fat, whole food, plant-based approach—is necessarily bad. It’s almost certainly healthier than the highly processed, refined-carbohydrate-rich diet most Americans consume today. But Ornish’s arguments against protein and fat are weak, simplistic and, in a way, irrelevant. A food or nutrient can be healthy without requiring that all other foods or nutrients be unhealthy. And categorizing entire nutrient groups as “good” or “bad” is facile. “It’s hard to move the science forward when there are so many stakeholders who say ‘this is the right diet and no other one could possibly be right,’” Bazzano says. Plus, discouraging the intake of entire macronutrient groups can backfire. When people dutifully cut down on fat in the 1980s and 1990s, they replaced much of it with high-sugar and high-calorie processed foods (think: Snackwell’s). If we start fearing protein, too, what will we fill our plates with instead? History tells us it’s not going to be spinach.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-06-02)
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  9. Are we really willing to eat the ‘real’ palaeodiet, even if it means munching on grandma when she passes away?

    What we do know about hunter-gatherers around the world, ones studied by European ethnographers during historical times and those whose lifestyle we have managed to reconstruct in a very patchy way from the archaeological record, is that flexibility and diversity were the keys for our species.

    No single diet fitted any single group, and everything eaten depended on where in the world people lived, keyed into local climate and environmental diversity, and seasonal availability.

    One universal seems to be that people everywhere ate meat, from all kinds of animals; including even humans.
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  10. “At 6 a.m., I gotta get my kids up, grab my things. Sometimes I grab a sandwich, sometimes I grab nothing.” This is the voice of a mother and resident of Far Rockaway, New York, as recorded by her 18-year-old son Joshua Miranda. He produced a radio segment about her efforts to eat and cook healthy food, in this under-resourced neighborhood on the outskirts of New York City.

    According to census data, one in three households in Far Rockaway earns less than $25,000 a year, and the neighborhood would be referred to by many, including the government, as a “food desert” (a term some food activists dislike). Time to cook a meal from scratch or even just sit down to eat is a precious commodity in many households here.

    By focusing on the personal, their stories began to take on a candid quality that trained journalists don’t often have. “The students spoke from the heart and it ended up being really compelling,” Fairbanks says. The students illuminated many of the topics food advocates focus on, “But it wasn’t because they had a strong background in food or policy,” she says. “They were just telling it like it is.”

    The radio pieces explore topics like the impact of good food on physical performance, a stepfather’s struggle to eat healthy, or how a lack of time can change a mother’s eating habits. In a media landscape where food access is often discussed by advocates and doctors focused on policy change, the Scholars’ radio pieces are a breath of fresh air for their direct line into people’s daily lives. But that doesn’t mean the students aren’t curious about the forces that shapes their community.

    While discussing her story, for instance, Utionkpan expressed curiosity about the part of government that might be responsible for making healthy food easier or cheaper to purchase.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2015-04-27)
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