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Category Archives: Diet
The popularity of cooking shows in the U.S. cannot be denied. According to a 2010 survey from Harris Interactive, 50 percent of Americans watch cooking shows on television either very often or at least occasionally. Also, 57 percent of those surveyed stated that they’ve purchased specific foods as a direct result of something seen on a cooking program. Newer research says the number of viewers could actually be much higher. While some TV recipes can indeed be considered healthy, many famous chefs probably wouldn’t describe themselves as “health food specialists.” For example, Paula Deen, one of the most well-known TV chefs, is infamous for the high butter content in recipes like Paula’s Fried Butter Balls. At the same time, cooking from home instead of eating out has generally proven to be healthier overall. So are cooking shows good or bad for our waistlines?
Abdominal obesity has reached near-epidemic levels in America. Just over 54 percent of the U.S. population now has abdominal obesity, which is up from 46.4 percent around the turn of the millennium. The average American’s waist size now measures 38.8 inches. Besides simple cosmetic issues, though, too much belly fat comes with the risk of more serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, and early death. Factors that contribute to an expanding waistline often include stress, poor sleep habits, hormonal imbalances and certain medications. Of course, the biggest factors usually involve poor diet and lack of exercise. Unfortunately, diet soda, intended to be a healthier alternative to a very unhealthy product, may actually be contributing to the epidemic of belly fat in older adults.
According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the U.S. It’s also the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. Risk factors often include age, ethnicity and family history. For example, over 90 percent of the people who develop colon cancer are over the age of 50, and the average age at diagnosis is 72. A person who has parents or siblings with colon cancer is two to three times more likely to develop it themselves. Sufferers of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may be more likely to develop the disease as well. The problem with these risk factors is that they’re not necessarily controllable. There’s absolutely nothing you can do about your age or family history. However, as a new study reports, you may be able to control your colon cancer risk by avoiding one thing: meat.
Simply put, sugar is one of the least healthy food items you can possibly consume, and it’s taking it’s toll on the health of thousands of Americans. While it’s not the only contributing factor, sugar intake is partly responsible for 29.1 million diagnosed and undiagnosed cases of diabetes in the U.S. That’s 9.3 percent of the entire population. Also, sugar intake can be partly blamed for the whopping 78.6 million people who are considered obese in America. It’s commonly accepted that sugar intake can be somewhat responsible for oral problems as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 50 percent of children aged 12 to 15 have experienced tooth decay. These stats make the U.S. look bad, but similar health trends are occurring all around the world. Now, the World Health Organization has called on governments worldwide to do whatever they can to reduce sugar intake levels.
“Once you pop you can’t stop” and “bet you can’t eat just one” aren’t memorable potato chip slogans simply because they’re catchy or clever. A big reason behind the effectiveness of slogans that allude to the addictiveness of certain foods is the fact that they’re usually somewhat true. It doesn’t take a scientific study to know that some foods, especially snacks, have a quality that causes people to consistently crave their taste over a longer period of time. In fact, makers of addictive foods such as Doritos and Coca-Cola have figured out a specific formula for adjusting their products’ taste to achieve maximum addictiveness. This process usually involves actually suppressing much of the flavor, as flavors that are powerful and distinct actually help your brain decide to stop eating. Aside from specific brands, though, which food types are actually most addictive?
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