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Annual Editions: Nutrition, 27/e
1. Have a Bite, It's Natural, Chris Sorensen, Maclean’s, 2012.
Consumer demand for natural ingredients is leading to significant changes in the operations of some food companies. Also, increased attention to the ethical treatment of animals is changing the foods that are offered in popular restaurants and the nature of how some farmers raise their animals.
2. Go On: Eat Your Heart Out, Bruce Horovitz, USA Today, 2012.
With increased access to information, viral videos, and documentaries of food production in the United States, consumers are experiencing a new emotion related to food: fear. Products that are grown naturally, ethically, and safely are at increasing demand. U.S. consumers’ emotional attachment to food is leading the food industry to change the way it produces and markets food.
3. Fresh Fruit, Hold the Insulin, Scientific American's Board of Editors, Scientific American, 2012.
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (i.e., "Farm Bill") is up for renewal. This ignites conversation about the impact of the federal government’s degree of financial backing for industrial growers of commodity crops in relation to the lesser support of fruit and vegetable production. This editorial report discusses the outcome of the Farm Bill on the U.S. food supply and, secondarily, its food intake.
4. The New Healthy, Amy Winterfeld, State Legislatures, 2012.
Lawmakers of state governments are creating initiatives that support the USDA’s latest nutrition education campaign, My Plate. Legislative support for improving access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, and dairy is becoming more prevalent at the state level. These efforts serve to improve not only the health of the states’ people, but also their economies.
5. Cause + Effect, Elisabeth A. Sullivan, Marketing News, 2012.
Sara Bleich and colleagues investigated how consumer behavior is impacted by the way calorie information is presented. Bleich et al. tested three ways of presenting calorie information, a calorie count, percentage of daily intake, and physical activity equivalent. Information presented as physical activity equivalents had the most impact on purchasing behavior among low-income black adolescents in Baltimore, Maryland.
6. Can Social Media Produce Wellness Results?, Michelle V. Rafter, Workforce Management, 2012.
A recent trend in corporate wellness programs is the use of social media platforms to support employees adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors. Social media programs can provide a venue for participants to journal, create fitness challenges, and offer support to fellow participants. It provides social support and motivating factors such as accountability and friendly competition.
7. Tea's Good for the Heart: Studies Show a Few Cups a Day Keep Heart Disease at Bay, Lori Zanteson, Today’s Dietitian, 2013.
Green tea has been the rave for several years. Does it really provide greater heart-health benefits than oolong and black teas or are all teas the same? This article describes the differences between white, green, black, oolong, and herbal teas and highlights recent studies about the benefits various teas have on heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
8. FDA to Investigate Added Caffeine, Michael R. Taylor, FDA Consumer Health Information, 2013.
Caffeine, once found only in beverages, is being added to chewing gum, jelly beans, marshmallows, sunflower seeds, and other snack foods. Is this going a bit too far? The FDA, whose role is to protect the health of Americans, is concerned about the influence caffeine can have on children and adolescents.
9. The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food, Michael Moss, The New York Times, 2013.
Do you remember the slogan "Bet you can’t eat just one"? Food scientists at the potato chip giant spent hours determining the exact amount of salt to use on their chips to make people crave more—and it worked! The same is true when it comes to the amount of sugar (and other flavoring) required to make us addicted to spaghetti sauce, soft drinks, breakfast pastries, and other foods with hidden sugar. This selection provides the history behind many of America’s favorite junk foods.
10. Childhood Obesity: Is It Being Taken Seriously?, Honor Whiteman, Medical News Today, 2014.
Childhood obesity continues to be a global problem. The author reviews the prevalence and causes of obesity and points out that many children and teens do not recognize their weight status and more than half of parents of obese children do not consider their children to have a weight problem.
11. Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy: A Global Problem, Maia V. Dutta and Janet Colson, International Journal of Childbirth Education, 2014.
This report discusses the consequences of mild to moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy. The authors describe the cognitive and psychomotor delays that may occur in the offspring of women who are mildly or moderately iodine deficient.
12. Ultimate Food Fight Erupts as Feds Recook School Lunch Rules, Nirvi Shah, Edweek, 2011.
The recent passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has prompted the USDA to modify the standards for the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. The new standards for breakfast and lunches served in school cafeterias are addressed in this article.
13. Feeding the Kiddie: A Brief History of the Children's Menu, Michele Humes, Slate, 2013.
Do children’s menus in America influence what kids eat, or do restaurants plan their kids meals to satisfy young palates? The standard kids’ menu consists of chicken fingers, fries, and mac–n-cheese. It’s logical why these foods are chosen, but if restaurants raised the bar on food quality and included grilled fish, asparagus, and brown rice, would American children opt for these foods?
14. The Use of Caffeine in Energy Drinks, Amelia M. Arria, et al., The New York Times, 2013.
Caffeinated energy drinks are popular among children, teens, and college students. This selection is a letter written by 18 medical doctors, researchers, and public health officials urging FDA’s commissioner to restrict the amount of caffeine in energy drinks and to require manufacturers to list caffeine content on the products.
15. Vitamin K2: A Little-Known Nutrient Can Make a Big Difference in Heart and Bone Health, Aglaée Jacob, Today’s Dietitian, 2013.
Vitamin K does more than function in coagulation, especially vitamin K-2 (menaquinon) the form of the vitamin that is produced by bacteria in the gut. (K-1 [phylloquinone] is derived from plants). Recent research focuses on vitamin K-2 and its roles in bone and heart health.
16. Paranoia about Fats Is Driven by Junk Science, Jill Richardson, AlterNet, 2013.
Over the last century, Americans have become increasingly confused about fat. Early Americans ate real butter, lard, and whole fat milk; in the 1960s, we were told to stay away from any saturated fat and were encouraged to use shortening and margarine made from vegetable oils. Nutritionists taught us that saturated (animal) fat is bad while unsaturated (vegetable) fat is good. But was this advice based on sound research? Jill Richardson traces the ever-changing recommendations about dietary fat and recommends the right balance of omega-3 to omega-6.
17. Antioxidants: More Is Not Always Better, Consumer Reports on Health, 2013.
Antioxidants are powerful nutrients and can work for or against you, depending on the amount you consume. Do we need to eat pomegranates, blueberries, and kale to get our daily dose of antioxidants or are supplements just as good? Are all antioxidants vitamins—or are all vitamins antioxidants? These and other questions are discussed in this selection.
18. Athletes and Protein Intake, Densie Webb, Today’s Dietitian, 2014.
Protein requirement of athletes is one of the most debate topics between registered dietitians and athletes. In this article, Denise Webb, PhD, RD, provides her opinion on the best types of proteins for athletes, how much they should consume, and the best time to eat proteins.
19. Virtual Nutrition Counseling, Lori Zanteson, Today’s Dietitian, 2014.
With the advances in technology, dietitians are branching out of the traditional office and clinical setting and are offering virtual nutrition counseling services remotely. This article introduces several innovative dietitians who provide services via a cell phone and the Internet.
20. The Quest for a Natural Sugar Substitute, Daniel Engber, The New York Times, 2014.
Journalist Daniel Engber traces the history of various sugar substitutes and focuses on stevia, one of the newest sweeteners on the market. He questions if stevia is more healthful than other sweeteners and if it should be marketed as "natural."
21. The Eating Disorder You've Never Heard Of, Karen Lindell, The Fix, 2014.
"Diabulimia" is the name given to people with type I diabetes that tampers with their insulin doses in an effort to lose weight. Many clinicians call it “ED-DMT1,” the dual diagnosis of an eating disorder and diabetes. Although the condition is not officially considered a medical or psychiatric disorder, the condition is a growing problem.
22. We Will Be What We Eat, Meryl Davids Landau, U.S. News & World Report, 2010.
If the U.S. population continues to eat the "typical American diet," our country will see higher risk for and prevalence of osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, dementia, arthritis, and certain cancers. This article addresses how foods and diet play a role in these diseases.
23. Insulin Resistance, Rita Carey Rubin, Today’s Dietitian, 2013.
Insulin resistance appears to play a role in the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). While much remains to be discovered about the exact causes of the condition, this selection reviews the current theory and research regarding the condition’s etiology and major risk factors as well as the role it may play in the development of diabetes and CVD.
24. Sugar Belly: How Much Is Too Much Sugar?, Bonnie Liebman, Nutrition Action Health Letter, 2012.
Research supports the link between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, gout, and weight gain. Added fructose has been tied to increased levels of triglycerides in the blood, decreased fat oxidation, increased LDL cholesterol, increased uric acid in the blood, and an increase in visceral fat.
25. A Diabetes Cliffhanger, Maryn McKenna, Scientific American, 2012.
The incidence of type 1 diabetes has been increasing at rates of 3 to 5 percent per year. This article reviews competing hypotheses that attempt to explain the rise in type one diabetes: the hygiene hypothesis and overload hypothesis.
26. Be Kind to Your Kidneys, Gary Curhan, Nutrition Action Health Letter, 2014.
Kidney disease is a problem, especially among older adults. This article describes what the kidneys do, the prevalence and causes of kidney disease and discusses ways to protect the kidneys.
27. How to Save Your Brain, Nikhil Swaminathan, Psychology Today, 2012.
Scientific evidence supports the link between healthy lifestyle behaviors and delaying or preventing the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants, consistent intake of a variety of nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids all play an important part in preserving brain health.
28. Soothe the Fire in Your Belly, Consumer Reports on Health, 2012.
More than 50 million people in the United States experience heartburn at least once per month. What a person eats can contribute to the unpleasant symptoms of this condition. Often people get temporary relief from over-the-counter medications. However, if the condition persists, it may mean that a more serious chronic condition is occurring.
29. Some of My Best Friends Are Germs, Michael Pollan, The New York Times, 2013.
Michal Pollan describes his experiences as a participant in the "American Gut" project, a national initiative to identify the number and strains of bacterial species that reside in a person’s gut. He describes the benefits of bacteria (also known as probiotics) and how a diet based on unprocessed or lightly cooked plant foods serve as a food (prebiotic) for the bacteria.
30. Can Skinny Fat Beat Obesity?, Phillip A. Rea, Peter Yin, and Ryan Zahalka, American Scientist, 2014.
Two new discoveries may help determine the relationship between obesity, diet, and exercise. The first is beige fat, an intermediate between brown and white fat and the other is the hormone irisin, which is produced after exercise and thought to have the ability to help maintain body weight, improve cognition, and slow aging.
31. The Hungry Brain, Dan Hurley, Discover, 2011.
The reward mechanism and pleasure sensation of consuming energy-dense food is wired in our brain as a primal method of survival and a way to make us feel good. This article describes the physiology of how the brain impacts our food choices.
32. Obesity Rates in U.S. Appear to Be Finally Leveling Off, Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times, 2012.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates that the prevalence of obesity in the United States remains unchanged compared to the 2005–2006 data. More than 78 million Americans are obese (BMI >30) and an additional one-third of the population is overweight.
33. The Subtle Knife, Samantha Murphy, New Scientist Magazine, 2012.
Weight loss after bariatric surgery has been contributed to the smaller size of the stomach and/or malabsorption. This article discusses additional factors that lead to weight loss such as altered taste perceptions, diminished hunger cues, and altered relationship with food.
34. How Many Bites Do You Take a Day? Try for 100, Sumathi Reddy, The Wall Street Journal, 2014.
This article describes the new diet monitor developed at Clemson University. The wrist-worn device tracks the number of bites a person consumes at each meal. The invention may help people lose weight by indirectly tracking caloric intake.
35. My Anorexic 9-Year-Old, Kristi Belcamino, Salon, 2013.
We typically think of anorexia nervosa as a disease of teenage girls or young women. Kristi Belcamino describes the heartbreak she experienced after she realizes her 9-year-old daughter was anorexic; she outlines the medical intervention her daughter received and the support given to her by the nurse, teachers, and nutrition staff at her daughter’s school.
36. Prescription Medications for the Treatment of Obesity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), 2013.
Currently, there are only a few FDA-approved drugs to help Americans shed unwanted pounds—and most have adverse side effects. This article provides information about these products, how each type works, and describes what is meant by "off-label" drugs.
37. What's behind New Findings That It's Healthy to Be Overweight?, Jill Richardson, AlterNet, 2013.
Results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that overweight people live longer than people with "healthy" weights and that even moderate obesity is not that bad. So why are Americans obsessed with being labeled "overweight" and what has fueled this obsession? Could it be the multibillion dollar weight-loss industry?
38. What's the Catch? Why the Latest Study Is Rarely the Final Answer, Bonnie Liebman, Nutrition Action Health Letter, 2014.
We are constantly being bombarded with headlines about the latest nutrition studies, and a study published one week contradicts the one published the previous week. How do you know what to believe? This article helps the reader understand which results are important and which are not.
39. Four of the Biggest Quacks Plaguing America with False Claims about Science, Cliff Weathers, AlterNet, 2014.
Nutrition quackery abounds on the Internet and television. Cliff Weathers, senior editor of Alternet, considers Dr. Joseph Mercola, "Health Ranger" Mike Adams, "Food Babe" Vani Hair, and Dr. Oz to be the leading quacks of the
40. Beyond the Buzz: Is What You've Heard True...or Just New?, Stephanie Scarmo, Nutrition Action Health Letter, 2013.
Should you drink chocolate milk after your daily jog? Does skipping breakfast make you fat? If you cut out all wheat, will those extra pounds melt away? We are bombarded with overload nutrition information and it’s hard to know what to believe. This article provides the truth about some of the latest nutrition hot topics.
41. Answers to the Seven Big Questions Everyone Asks about Gluten, Jill Richardson, AlterNet, 2014.
"Gluten-free” is seen on many food labels today. This article answers the following questions about gluten: What is it and what foods contain it? Is it genetically engineered? What groups of people really benefit gluten-free diets?
42. Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label, FDA Consumer Health Information, 2014.
The FDA is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts label found on most food packages in the United States. Revisions to the label are designed to help consumers make informed food choices and maintain healthy dietary practices.
43. Is The Popular Paleo Diet a Bunch of Baloney?, Jill Richardson, AlterNet, 2013.
Dr. Loren Cordain, founder of the Paleo Diet, claims that it’s "the healthiest diet that mimics the diets of our caveman ancestors." Paleo includes meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Jill Richardson questions if people who follow a grain-free paleo diet really eat like the Stone Age ancestors; she uses the well-documented diet of the Kumeyaay tribe in Mexico to describe the probable foods consumed by cavemen. She points out the benefits paleo eating—for the dieter as well as for businesses that generate profit from the sales of books, diet plans, and memberships.
44. The Future of Food: Five Frontiers, Elizabeth Weingarten, Slate, 2012.
Advances in food technology are leading to radically different methods of producing and preserving food. Principles of genetic engineering, vertical farms, lab-grown meats, bacteriophages, and nanotechnology provide ways to increase production with fewer burden, enhance food safety, and keep foods fresh longer. These principles are shaping the future of food.
45. Engineering the Future of Food, Josh Schonwald, The Futurist, 2012.
Genetically altered food has elicited fear and pockets of global opposition. Often the positive aspects of GM foods do not make it to mainstream media. This article explores the possibilities of GM foods. With the technical advances of genetically modified foods, food can be made to look and taste different, grown more easily, stay fresh longer, and possibly improve health.
46. Who Should You Believe When It Comes to the Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods?, Jill Richardson, AlterNet, 2013.
Are genetically engineered (GE) foods safe to eat or should we avoid them? Journalist Jill Richardson describes conflicting studies that have attempted to determine the safety of GE foods; she explains the things that we should look for when attempting to decipher the clashing views about GE foods.
47. The Organic Foods Debate: Are They Healthier Than Conventional?, Judith C. Thalheimer, Today’s Dietitian, 2013.
Many consumers believe organics are healthier than conventional options, as some studies show certain organics contain more nutrients and less pesticide residues. One negative aspect of organic foods is that they do cost more than conventionally grown products. The question most consumers ask is if the benefits of organic foods justify the higher cost.
48. Food That Lasts Forever, Deborah Blum, TIME Magazine, 2012.
Would you eat a barbequed chicken sandwich that was prepared four years ago or a pork chop that is six years old? Advancing technology in food preservation, most notably high-pressure processing, is stretching the concept longer shelf life. The use of water-absorbing ingredients and edible polymers are also being used to create convenience foods that will not be soggy in the years that the food is on the shelf.
49. FDA Taking a Closer Look at 'Antibacterial' Soap, FDA Consumer Health Information, 2013.
Do antibacterial soaps kill germs and reduce illnesses better than plain soap and water? The FDA acknowledges that the studies and EPA are investigating the effect of triclosan (the ingredient thought to kill germs).
50. Antibiotic Resistance: Wasting a Precious Life Saver, David Shardt, Nutrition Action Health Letter, 2013.
As the amount of antibiotics given to cattle, poultry, and pigs increases, more bacteria are becoming resistant to them. Why are animals given antibiotics? What causes certain bacteria to resist the antibiotics? How are they spread through the food chain? In addition to answers for these questions, this selection explains how consumers can lower the odds of contracting food poisoning from resistant bacteria.
51. Arsenic in Your Juice, Consumer Reports, 2012.
Recent reports of high levels of arsenic and lead in juice have consumers concerned about the safety of drinking juice, especially by children. Although there is a federally enforced limit on the amount of arsenic and lead in drinking water, no limits exist for juices. Chronic low-level consumption of arsenic has been linked to slower cognitive development, various cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, and infertility.
52. Food Fears: Which Ones Should You Worry About?, David Schardt, Nutrition Action Health Letter, 2013.
Reports in the media make many of us afraid to eat certain foods. This article answers the following questions: Is farmed salmon contaminated? Should we wash bagged leafy greens before eating? Does microwave popcorn damage your lungs? Do raw bean sprouts make you sick? The article actually deals with meat glue. Is ground beef safe to eat? Does arsenic in rice cause cancer?
53. The Side Effects of America's Growing Obsession with Greek Yogurt, Jill Richardson, AlterNet, 2014.
Greek yogurt is growing in popularity. Jill Richardson describes how Greek yogurt is made gives suggestions of how to use the whey that is strained off during the yogurt making process.
54. Behind the Label: How Fair Are Organic and Fairtrade Bananas?, Tom Levitt, The Ecologist, 2012.
This article describes the lives of two men who are trying to survive by working in the organic and fairtrade banana industry in the Dominican Republic. One perspective is from a banana farm owner and the other is from an illegal immigrant laborer. The story portrays realities of the organic and fairtrade banana industry that are often neglected.
55. Rising Prices on the Menu: Higher Food Prices May Be Here to Stay, Thomas Helbling and Shaun Roache, Finance & Development, 2011.
The price of food is influenced by many different factors. Policies and laws affecting agriculture, government subsidies, imports/exports, and global food supply are factors that impact the price and supply of food.
56. Taking the SNAP Challenge, Sharon Palmer, Today’s Dietitian, 2014.
The authors describe how five registered dietitians describe the challenges face when trying to eat on the SNAP allotment and the appreciation they gain about families who are food insecure.
57. More College Students Battle Hunger as Education and Living Costs Rise, Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post, 2014.
Although food insecurity is not typically associated with college student, the problem is increasing in the U.S. This author describes how students who have trouble following a budget combined with the stigma associated with seeking assistance lead to hunger among college students.
58. The Food Crisis and the Deregulation of Agriculture, Bill Winders, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2011.
The international food supply is a complex global process that is impacted by unpredictable weather, government regulation, tariffs on trade, economics, and technology. Although we may scoff at paying $6 for a gallon of milk or $4 for a quart of orange juice, the populations that feel the most effect of rising food costs are the poorer areas of developing countries.