Heavier dieters using diet drinks should look at food too, study says

Jan. 16, 2014, Los Angeles Times

By Mary MacVean

Overweight and obese adults who use diet drinks to help them lose weight need to take another look at the food they eat, according to researchers who reported Jan. 16 that those people ate more food calories than overweight people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages.

The scientists writing in the American Journal of Public Health did not say the dieters should give up on no- and low-calorie drinks; rather, they said the dieters should look at what else they’re consuming, especially sweet snacks, to find other ways to modify their diets. Continue reading

Kids’ personalities may influence food portion size

Nov. 27, 2013, Medical Daily

By Lizette Borreli

Assessing a child’s personality may be an effective way to ward off childhood obesity in unhealthy kids. Extroverts are found to serve themselves more food than introverts regardless of whether they’re given a large or small bowl, according to a recent study.

In the United States the rate of childhood obesity has doubled over the past 30 years, with more than one-third currently overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unhealthy diet and poor eating habits are the most common contributors of this nationwide epidemic. Consuming fatty foods and sugary drinks, and indulging in oversized portions leads to excessive weight gain and increases the likelihood of becoming obese. A child’s personality may even be more easily influenced by environmental cues, such as large dinnerware, which could make them more susceptible to being over-served, and could lead to overeating. Continue reading

Want kids to eat healthier? Don’t tell them, show them

July 19, 2013, Medical Xpress

If given the choice between eating a salad loaded with veggies or a burger and fries, most kids — and for that matter, most adults — would likely pick the less healthful option. But instead of telling kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, Iowa State University researchers found the trick may be to convince them visually.

Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing, and Brian Mennecke, an associate professor of information systems, did just that using a digital display featuring a rotating image of a salad along with menu information. They found salad consumption among kids increased as much as 90 percent when a digital display showed a rotating image of the salad. The results are from a field study conducted in July at the YMCA of Greater Des Moines camp in Boone, Iowa. The camp is for children with diabetes, ages 6 to 12. Continue reading