November 17: National Healthy Lunch Day

healthy-lunchObesity and type 2  diabetes are epidemics in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents  between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. And over 1/3 of adults are considered obese, plus 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, which is about 9.3% of the population.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is looking to change those statistics by starting the first National Healthy Lunch Day. They are hoping to raise awareness of how lifestyle changes, especially what we eat, can make positive impacts on our lives. Figuring out what is healthy and what is not can be a challenge. On their website they provide useful tips to help you make the right choices.

If you are one of many Americans who never has time to pack a lunch, you may want to find some time. Packing your lunch and using smart choices can save you money, calories and most importantly, your life.

Here are some easy and quick tips from the ADA on how to pack a healthy lunch. Continue reading “November 17: National Healthy Lunch Day”

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Reduce the Risk of Childhood Obesity

According to a new study, getting your children to eat five meals per day could reduce the risk of obesity. Researchers in Finland followed 4,000 participants and gathered information from the prenatal stage to the age of 16.

They found that eating five regular meals per day, consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks, reduced the risk of obesity for both boys and girls. This was even true for children with a genetic predisposition to obesity.

It seems that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, because skipping it was associated with higher body mass index and wider waist circumference in study participants.  Continue reading “Reduce the Risk of Childhood Obesity”

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Flavored Yogurt: Sweet as Candy

yogurtFirst let’s get some perspective.

A Snickers bar has 30 grams of sugar. Two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (1 package) have 21g of sugar. Two Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts – 32g. One cup of Froot Loops with ½ cup of skim milk – 18g.

Stonyfield Low-Fat Smooth and Creamy Banilla (that’s banana vanilla) yogurt has 35g of sugar per serving. Chobani 0% Black Cherry has 21g of sugar. Yoplait Original (you know, with the foil top) Pina Colada – 27g… and the list goes on. And then you add granola!

The point I’m trying to make, as you can see, is that many varieties of yogurt marketed as healthy breakfast or snack foods have as much sugar per serving as some of our most popular candies and notoriously unhealthy breakfast competitors.  Continue reading “Flavored Yogurt: Sweet as Candy”

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Why the Rise in Childhood Obesity?

With more than 50% of children already overweight, childhood obesity is more prevalent than ever. Many of these children are suffering physically, mentally and emotionally because of the habits and lifestyles they’ve gotten used to. Why are so many kids overweight and obese these days? Here are a few reasons why.

* Many kids are over-scheduled as they race from school to clubs, activities, teams, etc. They need to eat and often they’re given high sugar, highly processed snack foods and drinks that are easy to travel with and that they can eat in the car. In an effort to save time, many parents go through the drive-thru to pick up their children’s meals, going from one activity to the next.

* Some kids are extremely sedentary. A major portion of their diets consists of unhealthy food/drinks and they’re spending hours in front of a television or computer screen vs. being outside and active. This combination of poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for poor health and obesity. Continue reading “Why the Rise in Childhood Obesity?”

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Pregnant Woman’s Diet Can Affect Childhood Obesity

A new study published recently in the journal Diabetes has shown that what a woman eats when she is pregnant can affect her child’s risk of obesity, regardless of how fat or thin she is, and what her baby weighs at birth.

According to Dr. Jill Hamilton, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, emerging research shows pregnant women with high cholesterol or fatty acid levels are more likely to have children who later become obese and develop type 2 diabetes.

“Some of these molecules can be transmitted to the baby and influence how the baby develops,” Hamilton said. “It may impact on programming pathways in the brain related to appetite.” Continue reading “Pregnant Woman’s Diet Can Affect Childhood Obesity”

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  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
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    Teri Cochrane
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    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
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    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
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March 2023