If you are part of a group, organization, or community
participating in an effort to promote increased activity
please share the news with us so that we can share it
with the world!
|Attitudes Toward Childhood Obesity
The California Endowment funded a study that
measured the level of concern held by Californians
about the childhood obesity epidemic. According the
92% of Californians consider childhood obesity a serious
80% believe the problem has worsened over the last
96% favor enforcing current school requirements to
teach students about nutrition and physical activity in
92% support requiring physical education K-12.
68% support prohibiting the sale of soda and junk food
87% support posting of nutritional information on menus
in fast food restaurants
83% suggest creating a public advertising campaign to
raise awareness of the influence that food and
beverage advertising has on children's food choices.
The full report is available online at www.calendow.org
|The Shape Up America! eMailbag:
One of our members wrote to us:
"I recently (1 month and three days ago) quit smoking,
and have gained about eight pounds. I was already
overweight. Now, my own metabolism, which has for so
many years been running on nicotine, is very slow and
will be for a good while, according to my doctor. Have
you any tips for those of us who quit smoking and
experience the inevitable weight gain? Also, I was in an
auto accident in April, so haven't been able to exercise
as usual. What can I do?"
Shape Up America!'s reply:
First of all -- congratulations on quitting. The good
you do by
quitting MORE THAN OFFSETS the risk of your
additional weight gain. Our
goal now is to stabilize your metabolism and get your
control -- both eating and exercise -- so that you can
reach a healthy body
composition. Here are a few things to consider:
1) First, don't think about dieting in the sense of
restricting your food
intake. You don't need to stress yourself out that
way. Instead -- think
about taking up a new skill that will keep your hands
busy. You might need
a substitute for smoking that will relax you. We know
of someone who quit and took up knitting -- but hated
it. So she switched to crocheting and liked that much
more. Others make sure that a good book is available
to relax and reduce the stress of quitting. Keep trying
different things until you figure out what works for you.
2) Focus on healthy eating -- more veggies in
particular. Figure out how
to keep carrots and celery in the house for snacking, if
you are someone who
likes to snack. If you like desserts - choose a piece of
fruit with some nonfat
yogurt or a glass of skim milk. To manage your hunger,
aim for three meals a day
3) Plan to keep the right food in the house so that you
get plenty of whole
grains, fruits, veggies and lowfat or nonfat dairy each
day. Go to the
store to pick out some whole grain cereals that deliver
5 or 6 grams of
fiber per serving. Make sure you understand (read the
label) what a serving
size is and stick to that size serving.
4) If you are still working with a physical therapist
because of your car
accident, find out what strength training exercises you
can do. If you can
strengthen and tone your muscles while you are
recuperating from your
accident, this will be good for restoring your metabolism
to its normal
level. Your physical therapist can help you ease into
more aerobic activities once you are ready and
physically able. The goal here is to strengthen and
tone all of your large muscle groups. In a few weeks or
months, you should see results.
5) Lastly, take the long view. You should be in no
rush to build a
healthy lifestyle that you can sustain for the rest of
your life. There is
no hurry. Just take it one small step at a time and be
kind to yourself if
you slip up. Develop a loving attitude toward your
body and be good to it as you recover your metabolism
and your health.
To learn about how to Shape Up & Drop 10(TM),
a member of Shape Up America! and get your password
to our "Members Only" portion of our website.
|Taste of Music
If you are having trouble enjoying vegetables, check
out the first Vienna Vegetable Orchestra music with
taste can be found on their website
The first Vienna Vegetable Orchestra plays music
exclusively on vegetable instruments: carrots and
cucumbers instead of guitars and drums. Or, with their
new CD automate, a cuke-o-phon and radish-marimba
instead of laptop and sampler. The music presents a
transfer of electronic music pieces and structures to
the instruments of the vegetable garden.
The first Viennese Vegetable Orchestra consists
exclusively of vegetable-based instruments, although
where necessary, additional kitchen utensils such as
knives or mixers are employed. This creates an
autonomous and totally novel type of sound that
cannot be achieved with conventional musical
instruments. Marinated sound ideas and canned
listening habits beg for expansion! This music is a
playful departure from the conventional way of looking
at vegetables as mere means to still an appetite. The
instruments are subsequently made into a soup so that
the audience can then enjoy
them a second time.
|An Open Letter to Low Carb Dieters from Shape Up America!
Americans are eating 300 calories more each day than
they did in 1985 (Putnam et al. USDA, Economic
Research Service. Food Reviews (2002) 25:2-15), and
most of us are less active [US Surgeon General's Report
on Physical Activity and Health (1996)].
Calorie creep and weight gain is driven by too little
physical activity and eating too much of everything -
too much protein, too much fat and yes, too many
carbs. So to lose weight, cutting back carbs or
choosing different carb-rich foods is sometimes
warranted, but cutting out carbs altogether is not.
Shape Up America! convened a group of nonprofit
organizations - the Partnership for Essential Nutrition --
at a press conference in June, 2004 to discuss the
dangers of low carb dieting. Low carb is the latest
form of unbalanced dieting. Ten years ago, we went
through a low fat frenzy and today we are witnessing a
virulent low carb craze. The Partnership launched a
website dedicated to a level headed discussion of
unbalanced low carb dieting. The site -
www.essentialnutrition.org - went live on June 22 and
has received thousands of visitors since that date.
The Partnership press conference discussed some of
the fundamentals of dieting. Here are a few things to
keep in mind.
1. For weight loss, it is always CALORIES that
count. That is a scientific truism.
2. Ounce for ounce, fat contains twice as many
calories as carbohydrate or protein.
3. You need 130 grams of carbohydrate each
day for proper brain function. To obtain this amount of
carbohydrate, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole
grain cereals, breads and pasta, and choose low fat or
nonfat dairy products.
4. EAT LESS of certain carbohydrate-rich foods
like cakes, cookies and doughnuts that are loaded with
calories from sugar and fat and deliver very little of
5. To cut back on calories, reduce the SIZE of
the portions, but continue to maintain a balanced diet
that includes all food groups.
6. Choose HIGHER FIBER cereals, breads and
pasta by aiming for products made from whole grains.
The amount of dietary fiber will appear on the nutrition
label on the food product. Compare labels before you
7. Carbohydrate foods do deliver many valuable
essential nutrients and fruits and vegetables and other
fiber rich foods, in particular, offer cancer protective
effects as well as protection against heart disease.
8. Beware: Low carb and net carb claims on
food products are not standardized or approved by the
FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
9. Carbohydrate foods do NOT cause diabetes.
Each and every food found in nature has something
valuable to contribute from a nutritional standpoint --
including carbohydrate containing foods. A June, 2004
national survey field by the Partnership for Essential
Nutrition showed that many low carb dieters are eating
no fruit or dairy products at all and yet they are eating
more steak, ham, bacon and eggs. Low carb dieters
are cutting out fruits because they are carbohydrate
rich foods. Yet the July, 2004 issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition (see Drapeau, pages 29-37)
includes a study of eating patterns and weight gain.
They found that eating MORE FRUIT was associated
with the LOWEST weight gain over a six year period.