Shape Up America! Newsletter
Shape Up America!
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 Shape Up America! Newsletter . Real Help for Real People 
July 2004 
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Greetings!

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!

In this issue
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  • An Open Letter to Low Carb Dieters from Shape Up America!
  • Attitudes Toward Childhood Obesity
  • The Shape Up America! eMailbag:
  • Taste of Music

  • Attitudes Toward Childhood Obesity
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    The California Endowment funded a study that measured the level of concern held by Californians about the childhood obesity epidemic. According the study: 92% of Californians consider childhood obesity a serious problem 80% believe the problem has worsened over the last five years 96% favor enforcing current school requirements to teach students about nutrition and physical activity in the classroom 92% support requiring physical education K-12. 68% support prohibiting the sale of soda and junk food in school 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

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    The Shape Up America! eMailbag:
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    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 lifestyle under 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), become a member of Shape Up America! and get your password to our "Members Only" portion of our website.

    Taste of Music
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    If you are having trouble enjoying vegetables, check out the first Vienna Vegetable Orchestra music with taste can be found on their website www.gemueseorchester.org 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 nutritional value. 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 purchase. 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.

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