Friedman Sprout Nutrition News Bites

We are pleased to announce a new feature of the The Friedman Sprout: Nutrition News Bites! Every week, we’ll bring you a healthy digestion of the week’s most important nutrition news, composed by new writer Lindsey Toth, plus a glimpse of what our staff has been reading.
Let us know what you think of this new feature by writing to friedmansprout@gmail.com. We appreciate your feedback!

Does Paying with Credit Make Us Fat? Researchers say credit cards lead to poor food choices

Researchers analyzed the shopping habits of 1,000 households and found that those using credit or debit cards shopped more impulsively than their cash-carrying counterparts, and impulsivity lends itself to unhealthful foods.  There may be a correlation between how we pay for food and obesity in the U.S., noting that 40% of all purchases in the U.S. were paid with credit in 2006, and that 34% of Americans are obese.

Researchers find discrepancies in weight and behavior among women
attending two-year and four-year colleges

In one set of schools, sales of fruit increased by 100% when it was moved to a colorful bowl. Salad bar sales tripled when the cart was placed in front of cash registers.

Guiding Stars adds a search engine for online comparisons
The Guiding Stars nutrition ranking system has teamed with Wellness Layers to launch the Food Finder search engine for its website, allowing users to compare foods, review nutrition information and comment on products. The partnership is also developing a food-shopping tool called The Smart Shopping Planner, which will be available as a portal on partner websites.

New dietary guidelines address overweight, obese population
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans contain distinct differences from 2005 recommendations, especially in the area of reducing excess body weight, says Linda Van Horn, who heads the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. She says the new guidelines are entirely evidence-based and address vulnerable population subgroups — such as pregnant women and infants — for the first time.

Foods high in bad fats may reduce sperm count in men
Men who eat a lot of foods high in saturated and monounsaturated fat may produce fewer and less active sperm, according to Harvard University researchers. On the flip side, those who eat foods with polyunsaturated fats may produce healthier sperm, the study suggested.

Study: Whole grains may cut diabetes, heart risks
People who eat whole grains instead of refined ones develop less of the fat associated with heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, researchers say. In a study of 2,800 people ages 32 to 83, they found 10% less visceral adipose tissue in those who ate three or more servings of whole grains a day compared with those who ate less than one serving a day.

Trade groups announce front-of-package nutrition information
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute have issued a joint statement saying that a number of large food manufacturers will put nutrition information on package fronts in a “fact-based, simple and easy-to-use format.” The voluntary labeling system will be launched in early 2011.

Gut bacteria affect calorie absorption, study shows
Microorganisms in the gut affect calorie absorption and possibly weight gain and loss, researchers said. The study, which included lean and obese men, found rapid changes in gut microbiota when the men were overfed relative to their body size.

2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report Offers Food And Nutrition Practitioners Insights On Helping Americans Combat Obesity Epidemic

Key features and findings of the 210 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report announced in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Report addresses an unhealthy American public, includes evidence for specific sub-populations, and two new chapters including “Total Diet” and “Translation/Implementation.”

Large study sees no breast cancer benefit from green tea
No link was found between green tea consumption and reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a Japanese study of 53,793 women, contradicting previous research suggesting a benefit. The study followed women over 14 years and “found no overall association between green tea intake and the risk of breast cancer among Japanese women who have habitually drunk green tea,” said the lead researcher.

IOM to issue new vitamin D, calcium guidelines
The Institute of Medicine will release new recommendations next month on how much vitamin D and calcium people need each day. Data show many Americans may be deficient, and studies are looking into the role of vitamin D in preventing cancer and other diseases.

Lindsey Toth is currently finishing up her time in the joint Dietetic Internship/MS Nutrition and MS Nutrition Communications program. Boston’s beautiful scenery has turned Lindsey into an avid runner, and she just recently finished her first half marathon in September.  When Lindsey isn’t yogging, she is content sitting down with a close group of friends, baking some delicious treats, and watching a classic Disney movie.

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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