July 18, 2012

Oreos Look Big As Hockey Pucks

1 Diet Goggles Make Food Look Larger

Are "Diet Goggles" a technological breakthrough in weight reduction, or the latest weight-loss gimmick destined for obscurity? The goggles, developed at the University of Tokyo, employ a shape-altering algorithm to make certain food items look larger than they are relative to the diner's hand. The idea is that a food item that appears larger than it is will lead the eater to feel sated sooner. It is claimed that a 50 percent increase in the apparent size of cookies resulted in goggle-wearers consuming 10 percent less of them. Unfortunately the goggles currently work primarily with food items in easily recognized shapes (round, oblong) and not with odd shapes such as bananas, require a human hand holding them to appear larger, and are still in experimental, and bulky, form.

More at Youtube.com | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Tags: Portion Sizes, Diet Goggles, University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and, Professor Michitaka Hirose, Dieting Technology

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

1 in 10

2 Inactivity Raises Death Risk Worldwide

Physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths worldwide find new studies that suggest that public health officials regard this as a pandemic. Harvard researchers say inactivity raises the risk for heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancers and caused more than 5.3 million deaths worldwide in 2008. Inactivity varies from country to country with the lowest levels in Bangladesh and the highest in Malta. They also found that inactivity rises with age and is higher in women and high income countries. Researchers commend the use of mass-media campaigns to promote exercise saying these have an effect on activity levels. They also promote the creation of public environments that are conducive to exercise, including bike lanes and walking trails.

More at CNN.com | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Walking Prevents Brain Shrinkage, Memory Decline

Tags: Death, Exercise, Food and Drug Administration, Harvard University, Malta, Walking, Inactivity, Inactivity and Death, Biking, Bangladesh

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Fight Fire with Fire

3 Eggs Reduce Egg Allergies in Children

A new study reveals that gradual exposure to egg whites can reduce or eliminate egg allergies in children, but there’s a long way to go. A study that included children ranging in age from 5 to 11 had 40 children eat gradually increased doses of egg white power mixed with food while 15 kids in the control group had cornstarch as a placebo. 11 of the 40 subjects completely lost their hypersensitivity to eggs, with most displaying a significant reduction in sensitivity. However, more research needs to be done to improve the success rate and develop the safest procedure and parents are advised to not try similar techniques at home because of the risks involved. Both mild and severe adverse reactions were reported in 25% of the doses and several children withdrew because of allergic reactions.

More at Yahoo News | Posted 5 years ago by Marty Shaw

Tags: Egg Allergies, Egg Allergy, Eggs, Food Allergies, Food Allergy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Qnexa Renamed

4 Qsymia Approved for Weight Loss by FDA

Severely obese Americans have a new drug available to them: Qsymia, approved today by the FDA. Formerly called Qnexa, the new drug is part stimulant (phentermine) and part anti-seizure drug (topiramate). Qsymia is the second obesity drug that's gained approval from the FDA this summer. In June, the FDA approved Belviq. Qsymia experienced a long road to FDA approval due to concerns over side effects like metabolic acidosis, which can cause kidney stones, bone damage, coma or death. The drug may also cause a fast heart rate. MSNBC notes that while the FDA approves drugs for certain uses in particular groups of people, doctors can prescribe approved drugs how they see fit. Yet, drug manufacturer Vivus says they'll restrict who can prescribe the new weight loss drug and how it's prescribed.

More at MSNBC | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Belviq, Phentermine, Topiramate, Virus, Qsymia Approved, New Weight Loss Drug, Drugs Severe Obesity, Qnexa Renamed, metabolic acidosis

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Don't Ya Still Love Me?

5 Potato Board Trying to Undo Atkins Damage

The U.S. Potato Board is hoping to make you fall back in love with potatoes. They recently made spuds the star of a seven-course dinner for journalists and some "potato-friendly dieticians and nutritionists" at an upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant, notes NPR. Taters were used in gnocchi, mousse and a confit. The potato board is hoping to turn things around since the USDA notes that potato consumption in America fell from 145 pounds a person in 1996 to 118 pounds per person in 2011. The potato board blames the most recent decline in 2005 on the rise Atkins diet when the potato seemed to become suddenly vilified for causing high scores on the glycemic index. Yet, Meredith Myers with the potato board says that potatoes can be enjoyed in moderation. So, are you going to have fries with that?

More at NPR | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: New Atkins Diet Adds More Veggies

Tags: Potato Reputation, Potato Image, Potato Board, Atkins Diet Affects Potato Consumption, Chef Nate Garyantes, Glycemic Index, Potato Consumption in America

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (39%) / No! (61%)

Increased Ability to Clear Virus

6 Vitamin B12 Boosts Hepatitis C Treatment

Preliminary results from a new study involving 94 patients with hepatitis C found that adding vitamin B12 to the standard treatment of pegylated interferon and ribavirin make the drugs more effective. Individuals either received the standard treatment or the standard treatment plus 5,000 micrograms of vitamin B12 monthly for 6 months to a year. The sustained viral response which is the body’s ability to clear the virus six months after treatment has ended was boosted by 34 percent. Individuals with strain 1 and higher infection levels seemed to have a higher response with vitamin B12. For strain 1, a protease inhibitor is now part of the standard regimen and researchers want to determine if adding vitamin B12 to the three-drug combination would further increase the viral response.

More at Yahoo! HealthDay | Posted 5 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: New Drug Plus Standard Treatment Improves Outcome

Tags: Hepatitis C, Pegylated Interferon, Ribavirin, Vitamin B12

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Could Help in Prevention

7 Study Supports Ceramides As AD Biomarker

New research supports the idea that ceramides, a type of fat molecule that circulates in the bloodstream, may be a reliable biomarker to determine who is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Ninety-nine 70 to 79 year old women without dementia participating in the Women's Health and Aging Study II had blood samples measured for ceramides and were classified as having high, medium or low levels. Over the nine year study period, 27 developed dementia and 18 developed probable AD. Women with the highest and middle ceramide levels were 10 times and eight times more likely to develop AD, respectively, compared to women who had the lowest levels. A simple and inexpensive test would give researchers and doctors an opportunity to prevent or delay the disease instead of treating it.

More at Science Daily | Posted 5 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Fatty Acid Ratio May Predict AD Progression

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Ceramides, Alzheimer's Biomarker

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Wacky Wansink Is Back

8 Plate Color Determines Serving Size

"So … they're saying to use green plates on red tablecloths if you want to increase your veggie intake?"
- Rodrigo in the comments

Diners serve themselves smaller portions when the color of the food contrasts with the color of the plate that it's put on, and the effect is magnified when the plate color is close to the color of the table. These are the conclusions of Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University and Dr. Koert van Ittersum of Georgia Tech from an experiment they performed on unwitting attendees at a college alumni dinner (although the subjects probably knew in general that some sort of study was planned). Prof. Wansink had previously determined that larger plates lead to larger portions. The researchers believe that a plate that is similar in color to the food put upon it makes it harder for diners to judge the portion size, while a table that blends in with the plate reduces the urge to fill up the plate.

More at Cornell University | Hat tip to The Atlantic | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Tags: Brian Wansink, Cornell University, Portion Control, Portion Control Ideas, Portion Size, Koert Van Ittersum, Plate Color, Serving Size, Portions, Georgia Tech

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Stanford University Researchers

9 Longterm Fukushima Cancer Toll Pegged at 130

The cancer toll from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor accident after the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake will be about 130, according to a new paper in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. An additional 242 might have died had the reactor area not been evacuated, although ironically the evacuation itself is blamed for 600 deaths of elderly and infirm evacuees. This paper echoes the UNSCEAR report earlier this year that found that the health impact from Fukushima would be low. Over 15,000 died directly as a result of the Tohoku tsunami. Putting Fukushima in perspective, New Scientist pointed out last year that most nuclear deaths are among uranium miners, coal particulate matter kills 13,000 annually in the U.S., and hydroelectric dam failures killed 230,000 in China in 1975.

More at The Los Angeles Times | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Previously: Fukushima Nuclear Site Declared Stable, FDA Says No to Foods from Near Japan's Nuke Plant, Two Workers in Japan's Nuclear Plant Hospitalized

Tags: Cancer, Fukushima Daiichi, Stanford University, Fukushima, Nuclear Accidents, Mark Z. Jacobson, John E. Ten Hoeve, UNSCEAR

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

A Satirical Expression

10 $666 Douche Burger a Disgusting PR Stunt

The owner of New York's 666 Burger food truck admits that his $666 Douche Burger is a publicity stunt designed to poke fun at expensive hamburgers with too many toppings. The Douche Burger has a fois gras-filled Kobe beef patty wrapped in six sheets of gold leaf, topped with lobster, truffles, caviar, Gruyere cheese melted with champagne steam, and a barbecue sauce made from $600 per pound Kopi Luwak coffee beans, gathered from the fecal matter of the wild Asian palm civet, a cat-sized mammal native to Indonesia that eats and excretes the beans. Food truck owner Franz Aliquo told Bloomberg that it is "the most expensive, disgusting burger ever," and he's only sold one so far. His normal 666 Burger sells for $6.66 and features a bun branded with a pentagram.

More at Bloomberg Businessweek | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Tags: Fast Food, Hamburgers, 666 Douche Burger, 666 Burger

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

United States Edges Out Mexico

11 Americans Top the Worldwide Soda Rankings

Americans drink an average of 170 liters of soda per year, the most of any country in the world. Mexicans come in second at 146 liters, according to a new analysis by Slate.com and the New America Foundation. The only other countries to exceed 100 liters are Chile, Argentina, Uraguay, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, and Canada. Indians and Indonesians drink only three liters per year. Data was not available for all countries, including most of Africa. This ranking comes in the wake of New York Mayor Bloomberg's initiative to ban large servings of soda at eating establishments in New York City. There are about 85,000 calories in 170 liters of soda, which if not otherwise burned off would result in a weight gain of about 25 pounds per year.

More at Slate | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Tags: Soft Drinks, Soda Pop

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

Condition Is Medium Rare

12 Tick Bite May Trigger Red Meat Allergy

Hours after being bitten by a lone star tick Michael Abley of Surry, Ill., swelled up in itchy hives, experienced shortness of breath, and passed out. His condition was diagnosed as red meat allergy, an allergy to mammalian meats discovered in 2006. According to the NIH the condition is rare in the general population and does not happen to everyone bit by the lone star tick. The most famous victim of red meat allergy is novelist John Grisham, who contracted it in 2002. During one of his early allergy attacks Grisham suddenly became so hot and itchy he frantically stripped down to his boxer shorts, turned up the car air conditioner to the max, and drove to the hospital. Red meat allergy victims can still eat chicken and fish, unless they also have a poultry allergy or fish allergy.

More at Chicago Tribune | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Previously: The Big-8 Food Allergies, Fish and Shellfish Allergies

Tags: Red Meat Allergy, Mammalian Meat Allergy, Lone Star Tick, John Grisham

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

City Mandates GPS Spy Units

13 Chicago Food Truck Wars Continue

As if being only the third largest U.S. city after New York and Los Angeles were not enough of an indignity, Chicago also lags behind the big two in trendy food trucks. In fact, arguably even Seattle beats out Chicago in food trucks these days. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is butting up against the political muscle of the anti-food truck Chicago restaurant industry by pushing through an ordinance that would finally allow food trucks to cook food in the truck itself, as well as creating food truck zones and allowing trucks to operate on private property and in parking spaces. Nevertheless, the environment is still extremely unfriendly to food truck operators. They must stay 200 feet away from any restaurant and buy $600 GPS units to install in each truck so that the city can enforce this provision.

More at Chicago Tribune | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Tags: Food Trucks, Chicago Restaurants, Rahm Emanuel

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Pet Owners Need Respite

14 Geriatric Care Grows As Pets Live Longer

Two percent of Japan's dogs and cats are covered by pet health insurance, and owners are opting for more blood tests, drugs, surgery, and advanced treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, according to the Kyodo News. More and more Japanese are acquiring dogs and cats, particularly smaller breeds that can be kept indoors. And with veterinary diagnosis and treatment options increasing these animals are living longer and reaching geriatric ages where they need more attention than younger pets, often from owners who themselves are seniors. Hank, a shiba inu breed dog had a stroke two years ago, and owners Akira Ishii, 57, and his wife sleep next to the dog, turn him over to prevent bedsores, soak his pet food, and take him for walks in a pet stroller. Medicine has cost them almost $1,000.

More at The Japan Times | Posted 5 years ago by James Anderson

Previously: Stairlift for Fat Dogs Coming Soon

Tags: Geriatric Pets, Veterinary Care, Pets in Japan

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (56%) / No! (44%)

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