Dec 30 2016

Can You Smell This?

A report from the National Institutes of Health: Your sense of smell enriches your experience of the world around you. Different scents can change your mood, transport you back to a distant memory, and may even help you bond with loved ones. Your ability to smell also plays a key role in your health. If your ability to smell declines, it can affect your diet and nutrition, physical well-being, and everyday safety. Whether coffee brewing, pine trees in a forest, or smoke from a fire, the things we smell are actually tiny molecules released by substances all around us. When we breathe in these molecules, they stimulate specialized sensory cells high inside the nose. Each of these sensory cells has only one type of odor receptor—a structure on the cell that selectively latches onto a specific type of “smelly” molecule. There are more smells in the environment than there are odor receptors. But a given molecule can stimulate a combination of these receptors, creating a unique representation in the brain of a particular smell. “It’s estimated that the number of odors that people can detect is somewhere between 10,000 and 100 billion, or even more,” says Dr. Gary Beauchamp, a taste and smell researcher at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. We all have different combinations of odor-detecting cells in our noses, he explains, so people vary greatly in their sensitivity to smells. ...

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Sep 21 2016

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day!!!

Energize your day with school breakfast! A report from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition: Healthy students are better students and a nutritious breakfast and learning go hand-in-hand. Studies show that students who eat breakfast benefit both nutritionally and academically. Children who eat breakfast regularly consume more of the nutrients they need to thrive physically and mentally. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform better in the classroom with better test scores, behavior and attendance. The School Breakfast Program now offers healthier meals to help students energize and excel throughout the school day. STATS & FACTS The School Breakfast Program is currently available in 90,000 schools and institutions across the country. Public and private non-profit schools and institutions are eligible to participate in the School Breakfast Program. On average, 13.1 million children participate in the School Breakfast Program on a daily basis---that translates into over 2 billion school breakfasts served every year! The School Breakfast Program is a healthy way for students to energize their day. Updated breakfast standards ensure that schools provide students with nutritious choices including more fruits and vegetables, low fat or fat free milk, and whole grain-rich foods. The School Breakfast Program reaches students in a variety of ways. Breakfast can be served in the cafeteria, in classrooms, or from carts located anywhere throughout the school, allowing kids to grab their breakfast and go. 84% of ...

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Nov 29 2015

Remember The Obesity Epidemic? Still Here!

Overweight and obesity: the basics, just the facts..... Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. Obesity is preventable. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.   Overweight and obesity: definitions Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2). The WHO definition is: a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity. BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight ...

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Nov 25 2015

‘Tis The Season…For Good Nutrition!

Nutrition tips from the NIH We make dozens of decisions every day. When it comes to deciding what to eat and feed our families, it can be a lot easier than you might think to make smart, healthy choices. It takes just a little planning. The food we put into our bodies is our fuel. It provides us with nutrients—the vitamins, minerals, and other compounds our bodies need to function and thrive. Research shows that good food choices are especially important for children’s growing bodies and minds. Smart choices have both immediate and long-lasting benefits for you and your family. “My best advice is for parents to be good role models by eating healthy and being physically active with their children,” says Janet de Jesus, a nutritionist at NIH. “Keep healthy foods around the house for meals and snacks. If you save desserts and treats for special occasions, it will be more special. Involve children in the meal planning and cooking, and they will be more likely to eat the meals.” “Parents can begin teaching their children about healthy eating from the day they are born,” says Dr. Donna Spruijt–Metz, whose research at the University of Southern California focuses on preventing and treating obesity in minority youth. “Setting a good example is very important.” Try the GO, SLOW, WHOA approach to food. GO foods are great to eat anytime. They have lots of nutrients and ...

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Jul 31 2015

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans FAQs

Q: What is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy? A: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) provides advice for making food and physical activity choices that promote good health, a healthy weight, and help prevent disease for Americans ages 2 years and over, including Americans at increased risk of chronic disease. The recommendations are based on a rigorous review of relevant scientific evidence that occurs through a transparent process. The Dietary Guidelines serves as the cornerstone for all federal nutrition education and program activities. Q: Why is the Dietary Guidelines important? A: The Dietary Guidelines forms the basis of federal nutrition policy, education, outreach, and food assistance programs used by consumers, industry, nutrition educators, and health professionals. All federal dietary guidance for the public is required to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, which provides scientific basis for the government to speak in a consistent and uniform manner. The Dietary Guidelines is used in the development of print and web-based educational materials, messages, tools, and programs to communicate healthy eating and physical activity information to the public. Q: Why does the government create the Dietary Guidelines and when is it updated? A: The Dietary Guidelines is congressionally mandated under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (Public Law 101-445, Section 301, Title III). This law requires that the Dietary Guidelines are based on the preponderance of current scientific and medical knowledge, ...

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Jun 02 2015

Happy Birthday to MyPlate!!!!

Celebrate MyPlate’s 4th Birthday All Week Long! //   Today is MyPlate's birthday and we want to celebrate this milestone with you! It was exactly 4 years ago today, on June 2, 2011, that MyPlate was first introduced, replacing the food guide pyramids with which many of us grew up. MyPlate has been inspiring healthy plates for 4 years! And now we have a library of MyPlates in multiple languages for you to use and share.  Adding to the English version and the Spanish MiPlato, this suite of MyPlate icons in 20 languages is accompanied by a translated tip sheet. The translated resources can be used by educators, public health groups, and others to reach more Americans with healthy eating messages based on the Dietary Guidelines. Find tips for enjoying foods from many cultures here. Join our celebration all week long on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what MyPlate means to you!

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May 04 2015

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2015: A Presidential Proclamation!

A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA     Sports are a fundamental part of American culture.  They foster our country's competitive drive, help us stay healthy, and teach us what it takes to succeed -- not only on the softball diamond or the basketball court, but also in life. Sports and fitness reflect our national character, and they help us unlock our full potential.  During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we recognize parents, coaches, educators, and all those who instill in our children the importance of regular exercise, and we invite all people to invest in their own wellbeing by finding a way to be active each day. Physical fitness is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.  Regular exercise can produce long-term health benefits; it can help prevent chronic diseases, combat obesity, relieve stress, and increase the chances of living longer.  By making physical activity part of your daily routine -- at least 30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children -- you can put yourself on the path to better physical and mental health. This year marks the fifth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, which has helped increase opportunities for physical activity and inspire Americans of all ages to lead healthy, active lives.  To celebrate, the First Lady is challenging everyone to #GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and ...

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May 01 2014

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2014

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2014 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Sports keep children healthy, teach them to work as part of a team, and help them develop the discipline to achieve their goals. During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we encourage America's sons and daughters to get active and challenge everyone to join the movement for a happier, fitter Nation. For 4 years, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has worked with community and faith leaders, educators, health care professionals, and businesses to give our children a healthy start and empower schools to build active environments. My Administration launched the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, replacing the old Physical Fitness Test to put a stronger emphasis on students' health. We also created the new Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, which encourages all Americans to commit to eating right and getting regular exercise. Because everyone should have the chance to get active, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is expanding I Can Do It, You Can Do It! -- a program that creates more opportunities for Americans with disabilities to participate in fitness and sports. For more information or to learn how you can get involved, visitwww.LetsMove.gov and www.Fitness.gov. By leading more active lifestyles, we can invest in our futures and encourage our children to do the same. This month, ...

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Feb 28 2014

New CDC Data Shows Decline In Childhood Obesity Rates

The latest CDC obesity data, published in the February 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, show a significant decline in obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years. Though overall obesity rates remain unchanged, rates in young children improve. Obesity prevalence for this age group went from nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012 – a decline of 43 percent – based on CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. Although the JAMA study does not specifically compare 2009-2010 with 2011-2012, NHANES data does show a decline in the 2 to 5 year old age group during that time period – from just over 12 percent in 2009-2010 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012. “We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping. This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We’ve also seen signs from communities around the country with obesity prevention programs including Anchorage, Alaska, Philadelphia, New York City and King County, Washington. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.” While the precise reasons for the ...

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Nov 16 2013

Nutrition Facts Food Label-The Facts You Need To Know To Make The Right Choices!

When you're walking down the aisles of a supermarket, it's not unusual to see fellow shoppers reading the information on the back of a food package, box or can. They might want to know how many calories are in the food, or they might be watching their sodium intake. They could be trying to limit sugars and eat more dietary fiber. Or they could be parents trying to make the most nutritious choices for their children. All this information is available thanks to an important addition to food packaging that was introduced to the American public 20 years ago: the Nutrition Facts label. This familiar rectangular box provides, in a standard format, important information about the nutritional content for most packaged foods, including breads, cereals, canned and frozen foods, snacks, desserts and drinks. "It was revolutionary," says Jessica Leighton, Ph.D., senior nutrition science and policy advisor in FDA's Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. "For the first time, people had consistent information they need right at the point of purchase for the majority of packaged food products." In the years since FDA issued the final rule for this labeling on Jan. 6, 1993, the Nutrition Facts label has influenced many companies to make their foods more healthful. Additionally, notes Claudine Kavanaugh, Ph.D.,M.P.H.,R.D., a scientist at the agency, "FDA was really a trailblazer in nutrition labeling. The Nutrition Facts label has been adapted by ...

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