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.
Recently Stanford University released a systematic review of the published literature regarding the health effects of organic foods compared with their conventionally grown counterparts. Their study found that, in general, organic products did not have significantly beneficial health effects. However, of the 237 research results they examined, only 3 actually commented specifically on clinical health outcomes and all of the rest were nutrient- or pesticide-specific studies. The average difference in pesticide presence between organic and conventionally grown produce was approximately 30%, with organic produce exhibiting less residue.
The public has had strong reactions to the study; for reactions to the Stanford review, please see the following NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/us/would-be-healthy-eaters-face-confusion-of-choices.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all.
While food is obviously required for survival, overeating can lead to poor weight control and has been a contributor to the growing obesity epidemic. This video provides a basic introduction to the innate body chemistry that is at play when we overeat.
Emory undergraduate Sandy Jiang recently presented the results of her summer research project at the SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Emory) research symposium. The SURE program provides research training opportunities for undergraduate students over the summer break. Sandy completed her research under the supervision of Dr. Cassandra Quave and the Center for the Study of Human Health. Sandy’s research project, entitled “A Comparison of Traditional Food and Health Strategies among Taiwanese and Chinese Immigrants in Atlanta”, examined traditional knowledge and practices related to food and health . Sandy plans to continue work on this project in the fall and submit a manuscript for publication.
Abstract from the study:
Introduction: Traditional knowledge (TK) systems can play a crucial role in local health strategies and outcomes, especially among migrant communities. The aims of this study are to (1) compare traditional knowledge and practices related to food and health of Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants in metro Atlanta; (2) evaluate how immigrants adapt to new medicinal frameworks; and (3) document the use of medicinal foods and local substitutes as they relate to human health in these communities.
Methods: Snowball sampling techniques were used to recruit 50 adult informants (≥ 18 years-old) from the Chinese and Taiwanese immigrant communities in metro Atlanta for participation in semi-structured interviews and structured surveys regarding the use of the local flora for medicinal and food purposes. Standard ethnobotanical methods were employed and prior informed consent was obtained for all study participants. Voucher specimens of quoted species were collected for deposit at the Emory University Herbarium.
Results: A total of 44 medicinal and/or “healthy” food plants were cited by informants as being central to their traditional health practices. Taiwanese were more likely to use Eastern medicine, plant their own food gardens, believe in the concepts of Yin and Yang, and use certain medicinal foods more than their Chinese counterparts.
Conclusions: TK concerning medical and nutritional practices of immigrant communities represents a fundamental aspect to the study of human health. Results from studies focused on the documentation and analysis of local health strategies can be used to facilitate better communication, bridging the gap between biomedical healthcare providers and users of Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) strategies in immigrant communities.
Posted in Botanical Medicine, Health Care, Nutrition, Research
Tagged botanical medicine, diet, food, health, health strategies, immigrants, Nutrition, research
In a large scale study examining the relationship between state laws regarding the types of snacks and drinks sold in public schools, researchers found that stronger laws limiting availability of unhealthy snacks were correlated with less weight gain over a 3 year period during late childhood/early adolescence. For a review of the study, please visit the following website: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/health/research/study-links-healthy-weight-in-children-with-tough-snack-and-sugary-drinks-laws.html?_r=1&smid=fb-share.
On July 4th, 2012, the United Nations food standards body strengthened regulations related to food safety to protect the health of consumers across the world. In particular, new restrictions regarding the levels of melamine in liquid milk formula and alfatoxin in figs were created. Recommendations for safe hygienic practices for the processing of melons and seafood were created and mandatory nutritional labeling practices were also part of the new plan. To learn more about action of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/codex_20120704/en/index.html
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.