Diets Don't Work, Teens Don't Move, and Links Don't Stop

Photo: Colleen Fischer

Two big studies hit the press this week offering us little we couldn't guess on our own, but hey, who couldn't use a refresher course in common sense every once in a while?

In the News

New York Times - Healthy Diets Shown to Have Benefit Despite Modest Weight Losses
Check it out, as surely everyone will be talking about this study's implications. I prefer the Times' spin to the AP's, as that reporter does little but give a pat on the back to the Atkins Foundation, which helped sponsor the study. The study's low-carb program produced a greater improvement in cholesterol readings than either the Mediterranean or low-fat (if you consider up to 30 percent low) diets. The Times, however, points out that after two whole years of dieting, the subjects lost no more than an average of six to 10 pounds. What can we take away? Weight loss requires a more serious commitment than the study's authors say they demanded, for one thing. Aside from that, we have some definite good news: Even small weight loss resulting from a permanent change in eating patterns can make you significantly healthier.

New York Times - As Children Grow, Activity Quickly Slows
Who wouldn't have guessed the findings of this study? If you've been a teenager, then you know how awesome sitting and sleeping seemed back then. Once I hit junior high, active play just didn't hold a candle to books, television, and computer activities. The article notes that physical education and sport activities are less available to teens than kids as well.

Yahoo! News - Obesity ups a woman's pancreatic cancer risk: study
Another vote for the waist-measurement method of assessing weight-related health risk. It's not just heart problems or diabetes that a wide waist can set you up for. Obese men are at risk for pancreatic cancer, too, but doctors already had established that link.

New York Times - Prevention: A New Way to Gauge Heart Disease Risk
Don't feel surprised if your doctor measures your blood pressure around your ankle at the next visit!

New York Times - Too Fat and Pregnant
That's blunt. Of course, the image of pregnant women needing the loading-dock scale to measure their weight is pretty stark, too. Definitely consult your obstetrician before even considering losing weight while pregnant, even if you do have some pounds to drop.

The Guardian - Waste not . . .
Twenty tips for reducing food waste and, therefore, food spending. The only one I question is the advice to spend more on food items just so that you'll waste less of them. It's best to not buy any yogurt if you're not going to use before it rots. Still, props for mentioning meal planning, actually cooking, and packing a lunch. (Via Consumerist.)

Caught in the Web - Lose the Blogger 15: 25+ Web Apps for Dieting & Getting in Shape
Great collection of online tools to help you get in shape! I used as my food diary before I bought a standalone program. Not every choice is a winner, though: I did not like eDiets at all when I tried it last year. (Via Serious Eats.)

Hungry Girl on Yahoo! Food - Hot Tips to Cut Calories at Your Next BBQ
A barbecue survival guide, with tips you might expect: Avoid the mayo-laden sides, stick with lean grilled items, and so on. Also, she offers a few product picks that can slim down the pickin's at your next picnic, including my favorite Hebrew National reduced-fat hot dogs.

Divine Caroline - The 20 Healthiest Foods for Under $1
Under $1 for a serving, that is. Some, such as nuts and eggs, will cost more upfront for several servings but save you money in the long run. (Via Consumerist.)

Bite of the Best - A Truism Proven: Eat Slowly to Help Lose Weight
You'll feel full before polishing off multiple servings if you take your time with your food. Plus, you'll have the time to actually, you know, taste it.

The Simple Dollar - Ten Ways to Find Bargains on Fresh Food
Mostly based on the eat-local trend. You know, I miss the days when eating locally simply meant getting nice, ripe tomatoes and strawberries rather than joining a movement. Anyway, check the list for creative ideas in that vein along with a few bonuses (like the tip to try new fruits and veggies).

Good Housekeeping - 8 Exercises to Lose Weight
You won't lose weight by exercise alone, but moving more will make you look and feel better. Building muscle will also boost your resting metabolic rate, making it easier to drop pounds. (Via That's Fit.) - Dinner Rush: Week of July 21
Another meal planning resource. Epicurious' recipes are more elegant than those on many sites, what with having Gourmet and Bon App├ętit as sources. You even get wine-pairing suggestions. Just remember to double-check how much wine is in one serving before you fill your glass to the brim.

That's it for this week! Thanks for stopping by. Check back next week for information on portion sizes, reviews of select Healthy Choice frozen meals, and more!

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