Healthy Nibbles: 05 September 2011 Edition

11 Sep

It’s (already) September, which means the start of a whole new school year. Here’s hoping that the new 2011/2012 HHNS cohort is off to a healthy start!

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of September 5th, 2011:

Funny thing about school, no matter how on top of things you are at the beginning of the semester, assignment deadlines have a way of inevitably creeping up REALLY fast (talk to me when you’re working on your HHNS*6320 Lit Review). Regardless of whatever stress this semester might throw your way, don’t be fooled by the myth that stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, can improve academic performance. In healthy persons, it could in fact end up doing more harm than good. [Health Zone]. Instead, …

… when crunch time hits and your already maxed out attention span can use some help, rather than reaching for Ritalin, how about upping your intake of some common brain boosting foods? To ensure that your brain cells are receiving a sufficient amount of the various fuel sources it needs to function at its best, registered dietitian Leslie Beck offers some healthy food suggestions. Alternatively, you could just put off procrastinating (get it?? :)). [Globe & Mail]

The efficacy of the Weight Watchers diet program is now backed not only by Jennifer Hudson’s celebrity endorsement, but also by results from a recent randomized clinical trial. Specifically, compared to attending monthly weight loss meetings with a physician, Weight Watchers participants lost twice as much weight, and lowered both their cholesterol and fasting insulin levels after one year of being on the program. Could it be … a believable celebrity endorsement? [TIME Healthland]

To help encourage more adventurous eating in tots, researchers from Lougborough University suggest that eating together as a family is more effective than pressuring (nagging) little ones to eat their brussel sprouts (or as my nephew calls them, mini brains). According to UofG’s own Prof. Jess Haines, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, eating together is in fact just one way that parents can promote healthy eating behaviours in children. Just make sure that as an adult role model, you’re setting a good example by eating your own brains … I mean brussel sprouts. [Science Daily]

In nutrition circles, sun exposure is synonymous with vitamin D (hence its moniker, the sunshine vitamin). But when it comes to dietary sources, the availability of vitamin D is rather limited. Thanks to a new commercial processing technology, however, food scientists have found a way to pack the abundance of UVB synthesized vitamin D into a tiny little mushroom. Combining safe sun practices AND adequate nutrient intake by tanning the food instead of the consumer – brilliant! [Science Daily]

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