Keep Calm and Breathe On
Finals week is challenging for everyone, and this week students affiliated with the Center for the Study of Human Health provided an opportunity for their peers to decompress through yoga, meditation, and art therapy. The promotional video (follow the link above) was created by Taylor Werkema as part of his final project for a class on Empowerment, Life Balance, and Stress Relief offered through the Center. More than 30 students turned up for the event, and many others joined in as word spread across the library!
The Center for the Study of Human Health and Emory Dining recently sponsored a Talk & Cooking Demo by Registered Dietitian Wendy Jo Peterson at Food EU.
With final exams right around the corner, over 100 students turned out to hear her talk about how to fuel your body and mind for optimal health and energy. The students learned how to make a great tasting green smoothie, a health boosting kinky kale salad and a tropical chia pudding. Her recipes require few ingredients and no cooking at all! They were simple, quick and easy to make. Best of all, they passed the student taste test and were declared delicious!
Wendy Jo’s green smoothie is as simple counting 4-3-2-1.
- 4 handfuls of fresh spinach
- 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 2 bananas
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- Milk of your choice (cow, almond, coconut, soy are common choices)
Put all ingredients in a blender, add milk until the mixture blends smoothly and is a consistency you like. Enjoy!
Ms. Peterson is a Registered Dietitian who works to inspire others to cook more, eat smarter, and approach life as though it’s worth tasting. She is the author of the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies and hosts a radio show on nutrition.
Author: Lisa DuPree, Center for the Study of Human Health
Previous studies on caloric restriction in animal models like mice and nematodes found that the reduction in consumption lead to an increase in longevity. Thus far, the impacts of such dietary restrictions in primate species have been mixed, with at least one major study finding no such association between life span and calorie restriction and another concluding that the restriction did in fact add years.
While longevity is still being debated, these studies are finding that the animals “health span”, or the number of years they live before showing signs of age-related disease, is extended among primates living on calorie restricted diets. To learn more about the concept of a “health span”, as well as specific findings related to health outcomes such as cancer and heart disease among the study cohorts, please visit: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/08/caloric-restriction-in-monkeys.html.
Sales on large sodas and sugary drinks at movie theaters, restaurants, and other locations are now restricted in New York City after a vote by the Board of Health. This is part of the city’s bold move to curb obesity rates; estimates indicate that at least 5,000 city residents die from obesity-related causes each year.
The ban, however, does not include all sellers in the city and doesn’t capture all sugary drinks. For example, only stores and venues that receive health department inspection grades are impacted by the restriction, leaving vending machines and convenience stores like 7-11 untouched. Diet sodas are exempt from the ruling, but restaurants with self-service soda fountains can no longer provide cups larger than 16 ounces.
For more on New York City’s new food-related regulations, please visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/nyregion/health-board-approves-bloombergs-soda-ban.html?_r=1.
Emory University kicks off the 2012-2013 school year by fully implementing a tobacco-free policy on campus. Watch this video interview with Dr. Jeff Koplan, Director of Emory’s Global Health Institute and former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about why the campus should be proud of this recent policy change.
If you need smoking cessation support, please visit: http://www.tobaccofree.emory.edu/cessation/index.html. Additionally, you can anonymously report violations of the tobacco-free policy by going to: http://apps.hr.emory.edu/TobaccoFree.
“Screen time” activities like playing video games and watching TV have been described as key factors in the rising childhood and adult obesity epidemic. However, companies like the nonprofit organization Hopelab are using the interest in technology to their advantage to promote healthy behaviors.
Their program Zamzee is designed to get kids moving by letting them log “pointz” that they can redeem for prizes. Activity is logged electronically via an accelerometer worn by the child and transferred to the computer by USB, where the user can view their progress and activity in relation to other users in a virtual competition.
For more information about a variety of technology-backed approaches to engage kids and adults alike in healthy behaviors, see this story by CNN: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/08/tech/gaming.series/obesity.html?hpt=he_c1.
In recent decades, body mass index (BMI) has been rising globally due to many societal changes, including changes in eating and physical activity habits. Using data from the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the average BMI for 177 countries and created a tool that enables you to see where your BMI fits in compared with individuals in your own country and others.
The calculator is available through the BBC.
Nutrition is not just what you eat, but also how much of each item you consume. One major change that is cited as a reason leading to the overwhelming overweight and obesity epidemic seen in the United States is portion size which is increased in the presence of larger plates and food containers. In a study of obese adults with type 2 diabetes, patients using a portion-controlling plate (with segments labeled for starch, protein, and vegetables) lost significantly more weight than their non-portion controlled counterparts, and 26% were able to be taken off of their diabetes-related medications.
To help Americans learn more about portion control, as well as see how portion sizes have changed in the last 10 to 20 years, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides a quick reference portion guide, as well as two “Portion Distortion” interactive quizzes where you can test your knowledge of nutrition.
The controversy over the proposed banning large-sized soft drinks in New York City has also sparked interest among consumers over whether all sweeteners are created equal. In particular, are the replacement sweeteners like Sweet’N Low or Spenda better than consuming real sugar? The New York Times recently addressed this issue, with the ultimate conclusion: “Eat and drink less sweet stuff.”