Next year, New York City public schools will initiate "Meatless Mondays" as part of their lunch program. Students will be served all vegetarian food for breakfast and lunch. (Note: photo above for illustrative purposes only. Not representative of actual school cafeteria menu.) From CNN:
"Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers' health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," de Blasio said at a news conference. "We're expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come..."
School leaders in New York said doing this just makes good sense.
"For those who scoff at this notion, I have some simple advice: Look at the science," Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said. "Look at the data. Look at the childhood obesity. Look at pre-diabetes diagnoses. Look at the fact that 65% of American kids age 12 to14 shows signs of early cholesterol disease. Then, perhaps you will embrace the fact that we can't keep doing things the same way, including welcoming the idea of Meatless Mondays."
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Researchers at Flinders University knocked out a gene known as RCAN1 in mice, hypothesizing that this would increase "non-shivering thermogenesis," which "expends calories as heat rather than storing them as fat" -- the mice were fed a high-calorie diet and did not gain weight.
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The Game Changers is a new documentary about the vegan movement within sports and physically demanding occupations. It's by Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove) and executive produced by James Cameron. Read the rest
A long time ago, obesity was often used as a shorthand for wealth, but over the decades obesity has become more and more correlated with poverty, both in culture and science (while wealth is increasingly correlated with being slim).
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Researchers have developed a flexible sensor meant to be rolled up into a dissolvable capsule and swallowed so it can detect gastrointestinal problems and monitor food intake and digestion. The sensor is a 2 x 2.5 centimeter polymer that's printed with electronics, eventually to include wireless radio circuitry. Additional piezoelectric material enables the device to convert the movement from the stomach into enough electrical energy to power itself. The scientists from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital tested a wired version of the device on pigs. From MIT News:
“For the first time, we showed that a flexible, piezoelectric device can stay in the stomach up to two days without any electrical or mechanical degradation,” (Canan) Dagdeviren says.
This type of sensor could make it easier to diagnose digestive disorders that impair motility of the digestive tract, which can result in difficulty swallowing, nausea, gas, or constipation.
Doctors could also use it to help measure the food intake of patients being treated for obesity. “Having a window into what an individual is actually ingesting at home is helpful, because sometimes it’s difficult for patients to really benchmark themselves and know how much is being consumed,” (Giovanni) Traverso says.
(via IEEE Spectrum)
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Alex Lambert used to be head chef at the Littleover Lodge Hotel in Derby, UK. That was before he posted on Instragram that he enjoys feeding meat to unsuspecting vegans.
From NZ Herald:
The chef and father-of-one has since denied he ever fed meat to anybody against their will. He claimed he only made the comment on Instagram to irritate a vegan woman he'd gotten into an argument with.
In his bitter exchange, he wrote to the woman: "Well you should find a better way to spend your time, my personal favourite is feeding vegans animal products and them not knowing."
The woman replied: "Hope you get caught one day, would love to see that. I know we're a minority and really don't give a sh*t because that has no relevance. Enjoy the heart disease."
After a group of vegans threatened a boycott of the hotel, Lambert was fired. He insists he doesn't really give animal products to unsuspecting vegans, and only claimed that he did to wind the woman up. He issued a statement, saying:
"I have been a chef for nine years. I have never in this time done anything like feeding a vegan animal products or slipped in contaminated food.
"My job has always been my passion and something I have always taken very seriously. It was a stupid comment said out of anger.
"For the record I have no issue with vegans." Read the rest
Scientists are recruiting thousands of women for a large clinical trial to find out if weight loss should be prescribed as a treatment for breast cancer in some patients.
The trial will put obese and overweight women who are 18 and older and recently diagnosed with breast cancer on diets and track exercise to see if losing a little weight could help prevent a cancer recurrence.
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Sugar Film from Paul Tuffery. The Video Guys on Vimeo.
That Sugar Film is a 2014 documentary about sugar in food, and the effects of a high sugar diet. You can watch the entire movie on Vimeo.
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That Sugar Film is one man's journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. That Sugar Film will forever change the way you think about 'healthy' food.
Michael Graziano, a psychologist, lost 50 lbs in 8 months by experimenting on himself to see how different dietary choices affected his feelings of hunger, reasoning that the major predictor of weight control isn't calories consumed versus calories burned -- but the extent to which your unconscious mind exerts pressure on you to eat more and exercise less. Read the rest
The Effects of a Year in Ketosis by James McCarter from Quantified Self on Vimeo.
At the most recent Quantified Self conference, geneticist Jim McCarter talked about the effects of going on a ketogenic diet for a year.
In this fascinating short talk by geneticist Jim McCarter, we see detailed data about the effects of a ketogenic diet: lower blood pressure, better cholesterol numbers, and vastly improved daily well being. Jim also describes the mid-course adjustments he made to reduce side effects such as including muscle cramps and increased sensitivity to cold.
Jim begins: “When I tell my friends I’ve given up sugar and starch and get 80% of my calories from fat, the first question I get is: Why?”
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This 110-year-old man says he managed to keep living for more than a hundred years in part by eating sensibly. Read the rest
Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Read the rest
Sugar water company Coca Cola is funding scientists who "shift blame" for obesity away from diets, reports The New York Times.
The company supports a new nonprofit, the Global Energy Balance Network, that promotes a “science-based” approach to weight control: Get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.
A big lie built on a small truth. Read the rest
Here's a CBC science piece quoting several obesity experts argues that long-term weight loss is almost impossible, saying that (uncited) meta-analyses of weight-loss intervention found that in the 5- to 10-year range, most weight-loss was reversed. According to Tim Caulfield, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, this is an open secret in scholarly and scientific weight-loss circles, but no one wants to talk about it for fear that it will scare people off of healthier eating and exercise regimes, which have benefits independent of weight-loss.
I found the article frustrating. While I am willing to stipulate that the data on long-term weight-loss suggests extreme difficulty, I wish the journalist had found biologists or doctors to discuss the issue, and had cited actual, specific research to support the claims made, which would make it easier to parse the nuances in the piece. It's not that I think that interdisciplinary lawyers with an undergraduate science background have something to say on this (I am 100 percent for interdisciplinary researchers, especially on complex questions like obesity), and while I think that psychologists like Traci Mann have a lot to say about some dimensions of weight-loss, it would have been great to find out what endocrinologists and other bioscience-types had to say about the phenomenon.
For my part, I went from about 250 lbs to about 170 in 2002/3, by eating a very low-carb diet. This morning, I weighed in at 176 lbs. I attribute my sustained weight loss to daily swimming (which I do for physiotherapy for chronic back pain) and a moderate-carb diet, as well as a two-day-a-week 600 calorie fasting regime. Read the rest
Here's a crazy fact: Thanks to soda and the sneaky added sugars in store-bought foods, 25% of Americans consume a diet that is 25% sugar. In fact, all it takes to hit that is three cans of soda on top of an otherwise sugar-free diet. What does eating like that mean for your health in the long term? Scientists are still trying to figure that out. Scicurious breaks down a recent study in mice that successfully demonstrates both why our sugar intake has health experts concerned AND why we don't yet know exactly what we're doing to ourselves. Read the rest
Raphael Brion: "the website Vegan Sellout List ... is a refined mix of unchecked self-righteousness and threats of actual physical violence." [Eater] Read the rest