Healthy Nibbles: 18 July 2011 Edition

24 Jul

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of July 18th, 2011:

Canadians are generally pretty quick to point out the many factors that distinguish us from our American counterparts. Now, we can add soup to that list – Campbell’s Select Harvest to be exact. Due to diminished sales, Campbell’s American division will be increasing the sodium content of this particular line. Though their commitment to offering low-sodium options is unwavering, they just won’t be as “solely focused on sodium reduction.” Really America? REALLY? I wonder what Michelle Obama thinks of this (see next link). [Globe & Mail]

On behalf of America’s little people, Michelle Obama’s battle against childhood obesity is endeavouring to tackle food deserts. That’s deserts, not desserts (as in an area devoid of healthy, affordable food, not a yummy after dinner treat). With help from Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative, a collection of major American retailers aims to make healthier foods more accessible. Let’s just hope that this revamping doesn’t include much of Campbell’s new sodium-added soups (see previous link) because, well, that would just be counter-productive, non? [NY Times]

Blanket public health policies beware! Researchers at University College Dublin are set to launch a massive nutrigenomics initiative, dubbed the Food4Me study, to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of personalized diets. When it comes to improving health, because different people respond differently to various nutrients, diets customized to an individual’s specific genetic make up could prove advantageous over the more generic public health policy. Either that, or they’ll just prove WAY more expensive (fingers crossed it’s the former and not the latter). [Science Daily]

Perhaps variety isn’t quite the spice of life you’re looking for … especially when it comes to losing weight. In fact, according to a study by researchers at the University of Buffalo, too much variety may in fact be adding more to your typical caloric intake. In this case, perhaps too much of something may not be such a bad thing after all. [TIME Healthland]

Hi, my name is Marisa and I’m a … err, food addict? Recent research out of Yale University suggests that, much like alcoholism or drug dependency, people can exhibit a compulsive pattern of food consumption. What’s more, ‘food addicts’ share a common clinical profile, including increased impulsivity and reactivity to palatable foods. Although the results of this study should be interpreted with caution, I’m thinking that given the current obesity epidemic, psychometrics is looking like a MUCH more lucrative career path all of a sudden. [Science Daily]


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