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Kraft – Healthy Living RDN Recipe Contest – About

Description:

Submit your recipe into one of four categories and you could win $500 gift cards and more from Kraft’s Healthy Living RDN Recipe Contest.

Sweepstakes Links:

Click Here to Enter this Sweepstakes
Click Here for the Official Sweepstakes Rules
Click Here for the Sweepstakes’ Home Page

Note: If the sweepstakes entry link doesn’t work for you, try entering through the home page and looking for a link to the sweepstakes.

Category:

Creative Contests, Food Drink Sweepstakes, Gift Certificates Sweepstakes, House Garden Sweepstakes, Recipe Contests, Small Sweepstakes, One Entry Sweepstakes

Eligibility:

USA, 18+

Start Date:

October 15, 2014

End Date:

January 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Entry Frequency:

One time per person.

Sweepstakes Prizes:

Grand Prizes (4 – 1 per category): A $500 gift card to winner’s choice of Williams Sonoma, Sur la Table, or Crate + Barrel and a Kraft gift basket. (ARV: $550)

Runners-Up Prizes (4 – 1 per category): A $100 gift card to winner’s choice of Williams Sonoma, Sur la Table, or Crate + Barrel and a Kraft gift basket. (ARV: $150)

Honorable Mentions Prizes (4 – 1 per category): A Kraft gift basket. (ARV: $50)

Additional Comments:

To enter, submit a recipe which uses a Kraft product in one of four categories along with a photo that answers the question, “why is your dish a healthy living recipe?”

You can enter once per category for a total of four entries.

The categories are:

  • Entrees/main dishes
  • Soups, salads, and side dishes
  • Snacks and appetizers
  • Sweet treats

There are a number of additional guidelines and restrictions, including the maximum number of calories each category is allowed to contain per serving. See the rules for more information.

Ten finalists per category (for a total of 40 finalists) will be chosen on the basis of Ease of Preparation (30%), Appetite Appeal (30%), Appropriateness to Theme, meets the calorie cut offs, and aligns with dietary recommendations (30%), and whether Kraft is an integral part of the recipe (10%).

Article source: http://contests.about.com/od/housegardensweepstakes/p/150115-kraft-healthy-living-rdn-recipe-contest.htm

Healthy living CATCHing on at schools

Henderson, Ky – As they edged up to the starting line, the Spottsville Striders didn’t seem to mind the blustery autumn day.

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Article source: http://www.courierpress.com/gleaner/news/making-the-grade/healthy-living-catching-on-at-schools_09917237

HPB makes healthy living accessible to all

Reaching out to the population in the community, workplace and schools is an ongoing focus for the Health Promotion Board, and we welcome Mr Darren Chan’s comments in “HPB can do more to spur healthy lifestyles” (Oct 8).

In these settings, promoting healthy eating, physical activity and good mental health are key priorities. Our general health promotion efforts adopt a life-cycle approach to ensuring physical and mental well-being from young to old.

The HPB also designs targeted programmes to address specific needs within the community.

Leveraging the environments where Singaporeans live, work and play, some of these programmes include bringing healthier food options, physical activity programmes and subsidised health screenings to the doorsteps of residents in constituencies and workers at their workplaces.

This will be extended beyond the current Sembawang and Chua Chu Kang constituencies and Mapletree Business City.

In schools, our young are benefitting from healthier meals, in which wholegrain options, fruits and vegetables are served. This is an ongoing programme that will be expanded to include even more students.

The wider community also has access to healthier dining options from more than 700 food outlets island-wide offering 500-calorie meals, with more outlets coming on board.

With Singapore’s ageing population, education programmes on dementia are in place, and for the general public, mind-body programmes such as Sundays @ The Park bring the community together to keep fit physically and mentally.

More information on how healthy living is being made accessible and natural for all Singaporeans can be found in The Healthy Living Master Plan on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Information on specific health promotion programmes can be found on the HPB website. We encourage all Singaporeans to take charge of their own health today and partake in the healthy lifestyle programmes and options available.

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Article source: http://www.todayonline.com/voices/hpb-makes-healthy-living-accessible-all

Health tips on offer at session

Health tips on offer at session



First published


in News


Last updated


SPEAK to a health trainer at a good advice stall held in Bradford later this month.

Good Food Advice Stall — Health Trainers will be in Oastler Market, John Street from 9.30am to noon on Friday, October 31.

The NHS Health Trainer Service will be at the Good Food Advice Stall giving information on healthy eating, exercise, balance diets and measuring a person’s body mass index.

A health trainer at the session will support people to make lifestyle and behaviour changes.

One-to-one sessions are available on Friday mornings. To book an appointment, call 01274 777527.

Article source: http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/11546410.Health_tips_on_offer_at_session/

Diwali 2014: 8 simple tips for a safe and healthy Diwali

Article source: http://www.thehealthsite.com/news/diwali-2014-8-simple-tips-for-a-safe-and-healthy-diwali/

Tips for optimal oral health

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association(1) defines optimal oral health as “a standard of health of the oral and related tissues which enable an individual to eat, speak, and socialize without active disease, discomfort, or embarrassment, and which contribute to general well-being and overall total health.” Kristy Menage Bernie, RDH, a Colgate Enamel Health brand ambassador, has shared a few oral health tips to share with your patients to ensure a white, bright, and healthy smile.

Bacteria and cavities can have an impact on your overall health; so encourage your patients to do what they can in between dentist visits to ensure a healthy, beautiful smile!

Tips to share with patients

  1.  pH matters in the mouth! Foods and liquids that are acid based can rob your smile of the minerals that maintain smooth, healthy teeth. Sour candies, soda pop, even citrus fruits can lower the pH of the saliva and create an environment that bacteria love! Your best defense is minimizing consumption of acidic foods and brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Acids can also erode the surfaces of teeth, making them look dull. Be kind to your smile and adjust your pH!
  2. Keep it smooth! Everyday life takes a toll on us. Our teeth are no exception. When our enamel isn’t properly maintained, it becomes rough and more susceptible to damage. But your hygienist has the secret to keeping your smile beautiful. By polishing your teeth, he or she can go beyond cleaning to help replenish natural calcium and smooth out your enamel, making germs less likely to stick. And, now you can help maintain the work your hygienist does in between visits everyday with Colgate Enamel Health toothpaste.
  3. Approximately 90% of bad breath is caused by bacteria residing in the mouth!(2) Especially the tongue! Bacteria accumulate on the surface of the tongue and then those bacteria produce smelly gasses, or volatile sulfur compounds, from proteins in the food we eat. Be sure to clean your tongue at least once a day to freshen your breath! There are many toothbrushes now that have a cheek and tongue cleaner built in that can be picked up at your local drug store.
  4.  Strengthen your teeth with every brush! Fluoride treatments have long been given at your dental appointment to help prevent cavities. Toothpastes can now help you achieve those results at home. The fluoride in the toothpaste helps replenish natural calcium back into weakened enamel to strengthen teeth in between dental appointments.

“Remember, enamel is the hardest substance known to man, and yet acidic, sugary, or gooey foods provide a feast for the smallest of bacteria, which cause the enamel to loose precious minerals and can lead to tooth decay and dull looking teeth. Protecting enamel on a daily basis is easy! Be sure to use toothpastes that will replenish minerals and keep bacteria at bay,” Menage Bernie said.

Colgate Enamel Health is a new line of products uniquely formulated to replenish and polish teeth for stronger, healthy enamel. The ColgateEnamel Health Toothpaste helps replenish natural calcium and other minerals back into weakened enamel, filling in rough spots, and gently polishes the enamel surface so germs are less likely to stick to teeth.

Kristy Menage Bernie, RDH, BS, RYT, is the immediate past president of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, an international featured speaker on a variety of oral health-care topics since 1989 and a recent recipient of an appointment as an assistant clinical professor of oral epidemiology and dental public heath, Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. As a speaker at major dental and dental hygiene conventions, Kristy is known for facilitating interactive, fast-paced sessions based on the latest technologies and research with a focus on fresh breath, aesthetic and gum health. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s in dental hygiene, Kristy is also a registered yoga teacher and is currently based out of San Ramon, Calif.

References

  1. American Dental Hygienists’ Association Policy Manual, Updated 10.25.13
  2. American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs Report, Vol. 134, February 2003

 

Article source: http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/10/tips-for-optimal-oral-health.html

Mental health record may be predictor for Baker




Charlie Baker walked in unannounced to tour Danvers State Hospital, and his face grew ashen as he witnessed patients jammed in rooms with little space, worn bedding, and most everything in disarray.

It was early 1991, Baker was Massachusetts’ new undersecretary for health, and the 34-year-old Harvard grad was having his first look at the state’s decrepit mental hospitals.

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“It was almost like he was thinking, ‘My God, I have never seen anything like this,’ ” said Bernie Carey, executive director of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, who joined Baker for that tour.

Soon after, a special state commission recommended closing nine of the state’s most antiquated institutions, including Danvers and two other hospitals for mentally ill patients, and moving much of that care to the community. It was Baker’s job to get it done. His strategy involved a first-in-the-nation use of a for-profit company with power to approve or deny treatments for low-income mental health patients.

Baker’s blueprint saved Massachusetts millions of dollars at a time when the state was staring at a nearly $2 billion deficit, but it left thousands of mental health patients often waiting weeks for treatments. The controversial approach became his template for rescuing financially ailing Harvard Pilgrim Health Care a decade later.

The aftershocks of both initiatives are still being felt as the now 57-year-old Republican runs for governor, and those experiences, say Baker supporters and critics, provide a window into how he might handle similarly fraught and costly issues if elected.

Republican William Weld was elected governor in 1990 with promises of shrinking the state’s growing deficit, and health care costs were a large part of that crisis.

Mental health services, with their burgeoning budgets, were a ripe target for Baker’s team. And unlike other health services, mental health treatment lacks easy measures, such as X-rays or blood tests, to pinpoint problems and gauge effectiveness.

The for-profit company brought in to manage mental health would make money only if it saved Massachusetts money in the process.

At the same time, Baker’s team seized on a loophole in federal rules that allowed Massachusetts to collect more Medicaid money from the federal government if patients were moved from hospitals to local treatment programs.

So Massachusetts got millions of dollars by closing state psychiatric hospitals and treating patients in community settings. A quirk in the Medicaid law also made it possible for low-income patients in Massachusetts to gain short-term psychiatric treatment in prestigious private hospitals that had been beyond their reach.

“It was a huge win for consumers because they got greater choice,” said David Matteodo, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems, the trade group for psychiatric hospitals.

But the separate move to privatize mental health care, with a for-profit company controlling treatment and costs, meant 800 state mental health workers were laid off and their work farmed out to private clinics that received less state money. Long waiting lists ensued for community services.

“It was a disaster,” said Dr. Matthew Dumont, former director of the Chelsea Community Counseling Center, where the number of psychiatrists and other caregivers, including Dumont, was cut from 23 to six. Dumont said the clinic was no longer able to provide a critical service he believes was a lifeline for mental health patients — home visits.

Over the next several years, suicide rates among mental health patients who had received state services soared. That prompted a blistering 1997 report from a legislative panel that criticized the Weld administration for lax monitoring of patients and failing to investigate their deaths in a timely way.

Two years later, a Brandeis University study gave the state high marks for innovative community-based mental health programs launched during the 1990s, but found too many patients waiting for services. The researchers also found that claims were paid more quickly, the state reaped savings, and some health care providers felt that Massachusetts’ long-fragmented mental health services were better coordinated.

Yet the state sorely lacked data to measure the impact of its new system on patients, the Brandeis report concluded. And it said many patients were being discharged too quickly from psychiatric hospitals, only to end up back again within a month.

“It’s still a revolving door,” said Dumont, the former director of the Chelsea counseling center who lives with the legacy of privatizing mental health services when he evaluates patients for the state’s public defender agency. He said he has to scrounge to find places that will take indigent defendants who have been in and out of mental health facilities.

Matteodo, the director of the psychiatric hospitals’ trade group, said more than 70 patients are typically on a waiting list for admission to state-subsidized, long-term psychiatric care. After two decades of working with the mental health insurance system that Baker’s team put in place, health providers have learned to adjust, he said.

“We have been able to come to a lot of détentes with them,” Matteodo said. “But sometimes, they get out of whack and start denying too much.”

Baker, whose push for more efficiency in state government is a hallmark of his campaign for governor, notably does not include mental health services when he talks about potential cuts and consolidations.

Instead, he would put more money into home-based services and community support for mental health patients in state care, he said in a recent interview.

“That is one of the big missing pieces here,” Baker said. He would also appoint a task force to evaluate the supply of psychiatric hospital beds and community services.

“There are clearly issues and gaps in the system that need to be addressed and dealt with,” he said.

He defends his decision to bring in a for-profit company to manage mental health services in state government, noting in an interview, “If it was such a bad idea, how come the Commonwealth is still running the same model 20 years later?”

After Baker left state government and became chief executive at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in 1999, he continued to champion privatizing mental health services. With Harvard Pilgrim teetering on bankruptcy in 2000, Baker clamped down on mental health costs by bringing in ValueOptions — the same for-profit company that managed those services in the state’s Medicaid program.

Within months, a number of mental health specialists dropped Harvard Pilgrim patients because of low reimbursements for services. That exacerbated a phenomenon known as “stuck kids,” children who were deemed well enough to leave psychiatric hospital units but had nowhere to go because of a lack of community-based services.

Baker made other controversial changes throughout the company, but by the time he left in 2009, Harvard Pilgrim was consistently voted the top-ranked health plan in the country by a major standards-setting organization.

There is one thing Baker said he would do differently if elected governor. He would use an independent task force to track the progress of initiatives, whether that would be changes he believes necessary to the state’s troubled Department of Children and Families, Health Connector, or medical marijuana program.

“We didn’t have that,” Baker said. “Having some sort of independent group that can actually provide feedback and guidance about how it’s going with respect to pursuing what it is you are choosing to do . . . would be a good idea.”

Kay Lazar can be reached at Kay.Lazar@globe.com Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKayLazar.

Article source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/massachusetts/2014/10/20/could-past-prologue-for-charlie-baker-earlier-handling-mental-health-services-may-offer-clues/WGwWbVCET8bAUxUKPeT9aN/story.html

Experts: Why wearable tech could pose health risks

GoogleGlassFront1.jpg

File photo. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Wearables have arrived. But some doctors and scientists say the latest must-have technology may pose serious health risks to the people wearing them.

Internet-connected glasses, smart watches and health monitoring gadgets put wireless technology right on the body, increasing exposure to radio waves among consumers who are already carrying wireless smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Make no mistake … Wearables like Google Glass, Samsung Gear Live and the upcoming Apple Watch are a growing tech category. Wearable smart device shipments will more than quadruple globally by 2017, reaching 116 million units, compared to an estimated 27 million this year, according to a September report from Juniper Research, a U.K-based market research firm that specializes in wireless technology.

The good news is that most wearables use Bluetooth technology, which emits much lower levels of radiofrequency, or RF, than cellular-based smartphones and other devices that use Wi-Fi.

For example, wearables from Fitbit use Bluetooth Low Energy, which is a “lower power technology than classic Bluetooth typically used in headsets, and operates at powers dramatically lower than cellphones,” a company spokeswoman told Foxnews.com in an email.

In fact, she added, the output power of Fitbit’s trackers is so low, the FCC does not require them to be tested for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to RF radiation, including microwave radiation). Cellphones and laptops, on the other hand, must pass strict SAR testing requirements, since they operate at higher power levels.

But many wearables don’t limit their radiation to Bluetooth. Products like Google Glass, Recon Instruments’ Recon Jet and Optinvent’s ORA use Wi-Fi, too. And that is sounding the alarm for some health professionals.

“Wi-Fi is very similar to cellphone radiation. You definitely don’t want to put these devices near your head or near your reproductive organs” for extended periods of time, said Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the UC Berkeley Prevention Research Center School of Public Health.

Because Google Glass operates on Wi-Fi, it has a relatively high SAR of 1.42, Moskowitz said. (The upper SAR limit that is considered safe is 1.60.)

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

But does a low SAR rating make a wearable safe? Moskowitz has his doubts.

“The SAR in itself is a problematic standard, because basically it was derived to protect against the acute effect of heating from microwave radiation,” he said. “It’s kind of a bizarre standard, because the effects the health community are concerned about are not thermal in nature. They’re the lower intensity exposures that are chronic over time. So the whole SAR framework is outdated.”

And outdated standards can be a problem for consumers looking for guidance from health professionals, because “Many in the medical community are oblivious to the potential health risk of microwave radiation,” Moskowitz said.

There are reasons that the medical community is not waving their arms about the risks of RF radiation exposure, however.  A study of about 360,000 cellphone users in Denmark, for example, concluded that there is no increased risk of brain tumors based on long-term use.

And the intensity of a Wi-Fi signal is generally less than that of a cell phone.  

Health Canada, a Federal department that advises Canadians on health issues, has published guidelines “based on scientific evidence” that “determined that low-level exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy from Wi-Fi equipment is not dangerous to the public.”

But there is something called the precautionary principle that states when an activity is potentially harmful to human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.

One who is being cautious is Hugh S. Taylor, MD, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale School of Medicine.  Though wearables emit lower energy levels than smartphones, some people should still consider themselves at risk, he said.

“My warning is that we should be particularly cautious in pregnant women,” Taylor told Foxnews.com. “Especially something such as a watch if you have your arm straight down or resting on your belly.”

And sporting a wearable in addition to carrying a smartphone and tablet could have a cumulative effect, he said.

“I worry that wearables may increase our total exposure. All that radiation will be adding up. Wearables are something you’re more likely to keep on your body, so you’re more likely to have a sustained close exposure.”

Taylor, most of whose work focuses on fetal development, said fetuses exposed to radiation from their pregnant mothers’ cellphones can develop behaviors such as hyperactivity, poorer memory and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in childhood.

But the effects of RF radiation on the average consumer are what concern Moskowitz.

“If [you] were to go to the NCI (National Cancer Institute) website, [you] would probably read that there’s been a lot of research. [They would say that] we really don’t know the answer, and more research is needed,” he said. “That’s the conventional party line of our government and many governments around the world.”

Echoing Taylor’s concerns, he added: “Besides the peak RF exposure from Bluetooth devices, which is what the SAR measures, we need to be concerned about the cumulative RF exposure, as people may keep these devices on all day long.”

For example, he said, one of the effects of daylong, very low intensity exposure to microwave radiation from Wi-Fi is that it “opens the blood brain barrier. So if you have any toxins in your blood system, those toxins can now penetrate your brain tissue with very, very low exposure to microwave radiation.”

Even Bluetooth, where the SAR is low, “could be problematic leaving [the device] near the head, because of the blood brain barrier phenomenon,” Moskowitz said.

But the risk of RF radiation is insignificant when a wearable can help a person in dire need of medical care, said David O. Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany (N.Y.).

“You have to evaluate what the risk is. It has to be balanced against the benefit. If you have a wearable that’s monitoring a disease state, that’s a very different issue,” Carpenter told Foxnews.com.

He brought up the case of a girl with a severe form of Type 1 diabetes.

“She has to have a finger prick with the blood glucose level measured every two hours. And there’s a new device that can be implanted that will monitor glucose and then feed back with wireless technology to a pump that would inject insulin. And there’s also a feature that, by wireless technology, will project information to a monitor that could be in the parents’ bedroom.”

In cases like this, Carpenter said, it’s very likely that the benefit “grossly exceeds the risk.”

Beyond the debate about RF radiation exposure, safety experts have expressed concerns about the likelihood of accidents, because wearables distract the attention of people who are driving, bicycling and even walking.

Earl Miller, a professor of neuroscience at MIT who specializes in multitasking, told NPR that people are fooling themselves if they think it’s safe to drive with Google Glass.

“You think you’re monitoring the road at the same time, [but] that’s an illusion. It can often lead to disastrous results,” he said.

And a report in Forbes cited an ophthalmologist, Sina Fateh, saying products like Google Glass can cause visual confusion.

“The problem is that you have two eyes and the brain hates seeing one image in front of one eye and nothing in front of the other,” Fateh said. Documented problems include binocular rivalry, visual interference and phoria, a misalignment of the eyes that is a result of both eyes no longer looking at the same object.

But RF radiation remains the biggest concern. For the first time, wireless devices are being worn on the human body, which means there is a potential for extended exposure. And cumulative exposure adds up if consumers are already using a cellphone, tablet and laptop.

“It’s the total dose and it’s the dose over time,” Carpenter said. “The more things you put directly on your body, the greater the exposure.”  

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/10/20/experts-why-wearable-tech-could-pose-health-risks/

Think you’re eating healthy? You’re probably not.




We’re lingering over breakfast at the Kendall Hotel when we notice a man watching us. He looks distinguished, not creepy, so we get back to our food. My tablemates finish their meals — plates of fruit and bowls of oatmeal. I dig into some scrambled eggs with a side of melon half-moons.

We are journalists from Kansas City, Chicago, London, Toronto, Baltimore, and New York, and we’re in Cambridge for MIT’s annual Food Boot Camp, part of the school’s Knight Science Journalism programs. We’ve come to learn about all aspects of food science, from our increasing resistance to antibiotics to why it’s so hard to remove dangerous bacteria from spinach. Mostly, though, I suspect we’re here to learn why people get fat.

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We had already spent two days learning about the history of e. coli, the regulatory holes in the food safety net, and the connections between climate change and crops by the time we encountered the breakfast spy. Later that day, we saw the man again.

His name is Gary Taubes, the bestselling author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health” and “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.” He is the founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative, and one of the few people not afraid to go on Dr. Oz’s show and tell him he’s wrong. And he was about to call me out for eating cantaloupe.

“You were the one eating melon this morning, right?”


I told him I was.

He smiled, and then he launched in: Everything we thought we knew about nutrition is wrong, he said. We have no reason to restrict saturated fat; we should be cutting sugar instead. There is sugar in melon, and in all fruit. Given the choice, I should have picked bacon, not melon.

Taubes revealed that he had eaten eggs and bacon for his breakfast. He might drop dead of a heart attack someday, he said, but he will not get diabetes.

What Taubes didn’t know was that I had recently lost 40 pounds. I chose the melon after calculating the harm of consuming the Kendall’s other appealing choices — the scones, the granola, the yogurt. I had come to Food Boot Camp, in fact, to learn not just why Americans got fat, but why I had.

So I told Taubes and the 20 other journalists in the room. I explained I had given up so many tastes that had given me pleasure — crusty bread, sweet lemon cake, even my morning cereal. Fruit was all I had left. Take it away, and my diet would be grilled chicken, eggs, cashews, and spinach. And after our recent e. coli lesson, spinach was not long for the list.

I felt relief after my confession. My new friends at MIT only knew me as an average-size woman. They hadn’t seen who I had been, a woman who could just barely still shop at the regular clothing stores.

I was embarrassed that I was fat, but mostly, I was just confused.

I’m 42 years old and I’ve never had a fast-food hamburger. I don’t like french fries. I don’t drink soda, or lemonade, or really anything but water and coffee. I exercise regularly, too. Yet I seemed to put on a few pounds every year.

Then I had my first child. I gained 27 pounds. I hung onto the weight for five years, finally losing it just before becoming pregnant with my second child. This time, I gained more than 40 pounds.

Just when I had decided it was easier to be fat, my older daughter and I went to an amusement park, where I couldn’t fit on a ride. Granted, it was a children’s park, and most of the problem stemmed from my engorged breasts. But feeling fat at an amusement park is a recipe for depression. The next day, I stopped nursing my 1-year-old and vowed to lose the weight.

I attacked the problem like a reporter and sought out the facts. During this research I discovered Taubes and his books. And I realized that what I’d been told my whole life about food was a lie.

Specifically, all calories are not created equal. Sugar is the culprit for our increasing obesity, not fat, Taubes and other nutrition experts now say. And nothing good comes from consuming white flour.

And exercise? It is good for you for all sorts of reasons, but exercise alone does not lead to weight loss.

My diet of foods I thought were good for me — things like whole-grain crackers and breads and low-fat sweets — would slowly kill me if I did not change it.

I wanted to know more. So I applied to Food Boot Camp, where we learned that Americans are eating an average of 523 more calories each day than they did in the 1970s. Sugar makes up most that difference, and it’s in everything.

Sodium, too, is a contributor to weight gain. Most people assume that if you don’t add salt to your food, you’re fine. But sodium is a preservative. Insidious and often tasteless, it lurks in products like milk, cheese, and cookies. On average, we eat 3,500 milligrams per day. We should eat 2,000. One turkey sandwich on wheat bread with hummus — hold the sprouts — contains about half of our daily allotment.

My confession about my weight loss led others to open up. Two fellow Boot Campers had lost 40 pounds and gained it back. A woman my age lamented her frustrating battle against her metabolism. Another confessed she had reached her ideal weight after giving birth, only to find she had to starve herself to maintain it.

We were all navigating this difficult terrain. And if we, the science journalists, couldn’t figure it out, we didn’t have much hope of communicating a path to wellness for our readers.

Food Boot Camp crystallized something I had long suspected: Our weight gain as a nation was in some ways pre-ordained. Even if we all follow the same guidance on balanced eating, we are not all built the same. In many cases, we were doing what we were told; but we had gotten bad information.

I returned home from the week-long camp committed to reducing sodium in my diet but confused about fruit. I checked labels. If an item had more than 100 milligrams of sodium, I put it back. Within a few weeks, I’d lost about 10 pounds. Good thing — MIT had fed us well and I had gained four pounds during Food Boot Camp.

Without sodium-laden cheese and cold cuts and with limited pathogen-prone spinach, my diet was sparse. Breakfast might be an apple with peanut butter and a handful of cashews, lunch a salad with more cashews, and dinner a piece of chicken with a baked sweet potato.

I e-mailed Taubes with questions about fruit, and he graciously replied. I knew that fruit has sugar, but I don’t think it was what made me fat. How could it? Isn’t “Five Fruits a Day” a healthy-eating mantra?

Taubes explained that, for people who are naturally slender (like Dr. Oz), fruit might be fine, especially if those people cut more dangerous refined carbohydrates from their diets. But as I could clearly see, not all metabolisms are created alike. Taubes said he tends to gain weight when he eats fruit, but not, apparently, when he eats bacon.

About five months after the boot camp, my father had a mild heart attack and his doctor told him to lose 20 pounds. He planned on doing it on a low-fat diet, as he’d done before: Cottage cheese and cantaloupe, whole-grain breads and low-fat crackers, grain-rich breakfast cereals, and 100-calorie granola bars.

He looked at me from his hospital bed and told me that my weight loss had made me almost unrecognizable. I told him I’d never worked harder to lose weight, but I was now convinced that the only way to do it was to nearly eliminate carbohydrates and sugar. I did it and he could, too.

But my dad said that wasn’t an optimal diet for heart patients. Given his condition, I didn’t want to argue.

But the next week, my father called to tell me I had been right: He’d been researching, too, and the science literature had changed. It was the carbs that had to go from his diet. He had already started a new eating plan and had lost two pounds.

When my father spoke of the “literature,” he meant the scientists who study nutrition and the writers who have helped spawn a more honest dialogue about it. They are people like Robert Lustig, author of “Fat Chance”; Michael Moss, author of “Salt, Sugar, Fat”; and of course, Gary Taubes. I’m grateful to them all, especially Taubes. His work is upending decades of nutrition science. His legacy will be one of reducing obesity and weaning us from a sugar addiction we hardly knew we had.

Still, I’m really hoping he’s wrong about the melon.

Related:

Understanding your willpower

Whole grains for the halfhearted

Adults over age 45 should be screened for diabetes

Which diet is best for long-term weight loss?

Obesity treatments differ for different people

Rona Kobell is a staff writer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal and a Baltimore radio commentator. She can be reached at rkobell@bayjournal.com.

Article source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/10/20/foodcamp/4lzySPCI1OGQITHIhJmTKL/story.html

Good Health: A life-changing sleep video

WHO SAID 60 SECONDS. Evrod: WE’LL ENROLL HIM WITH HER! [LAUGHTER] Rhonda: IT’S A VIDEO GAME THAT IS BRINGING SOME PATIENTS TO TEARS, A VIDEO OF THEM IN THEIR SLEEP. Evrod: DR. FRANK McGEORGE IS HERE TO EXPLAIN WHY THE VIDEO IS SO DISTURBING AND HOW IT COULD SAVE LIVES. TAKE A LOOK. Dr. McGeorge: MORE THAN 20 MILLION AMERICANS SUFFER FROM SLEEP APNEA. PATIENTS ARE SUPPOSED TO WEARING A MASK WHILE THEY SLEEP. MANY WHO HAVE THEM DON’T USE THEM, BUT SOME DOCTORS HAVE FOUND A WAY TO CHANGE THAT. JOHN SAYS HE DIDN’T LIKE HIS C-PAP MASK, TOO CUMBERSOME TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. MOST NIGHTS HE WOULDN’T WEAR IT UNTIL HE WATCHED 60 SECONDS OF VIDEO THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING. A POWERFUL MOMENT IN MY LIFE THAT MADE ME CRY WATCHING IT. STILL VIVID IN MY MIND SEEING WHAT MY BODY WAS GOING THROUGH AT NIGHT. YOU DON’T REALIZE IT. Dr. McGeorge: WHAT SHE SAW WAS VIDEO OF HIMSELF SLEEPING AND TRYING DESPERATELY TO BREATHE OUT HIS MASK. THEY’RE IMAGES THAT ARE INCREDIBLY DISTURBING AND HIGHLY EFFECTIVE. SLEEP APNEA IS A DISORDER YOU NEVER NOTICE IN YOURSELF. YOU’RE CONSCIOUSLY NOT AWARE OF WHAT’S HAPPENING TO YOU. Dr. McGeorge: TO HELP PATIENTS UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE GOING THROUGH, RESEARCHERS MONITORED THEM OVERNIGHT IN A SLEEP LAB AND RECORDED WHAT HAPPENED. I WAS ON THE BED STRUGGLING. MY STOMACH WAS CONVULSING, TRYING TO GET AIR. THEN I WOULD GET AIR AND IT WOULD START ALL OVER AGAIN. WE REALLY CREATE A SORT OF A PERSONAL SENSE OF URGENCY IN THIS PATIENT IN ORDER TO CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR. Dr. McGeorge: AND THE CHANGE WAS PROFOUND, THEY USED IT AN ADDITIONAL TWO HOURS PER NIGHT AND STILL USING IT THREE MONTHS LATER, INCLUDING JOHN. TO SEE MYSELF BASICALLY DROWNING IN MY BED MADE ME DETERMINED TO FIX THAT. Dr. McGeorge: THEY TRIED SHOWING VIDEOS OF OTHER PEOPLE WITH SLEEP APNEA, BUT IT DIDN’T HAVE THE SAME EFFECT. SO IF YOU HAVE A SPOUSE OR A

Article source: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/good-health-a-lifechanging-sleep-video/29229254