More Protein, More Muscle, Better Health?

Protein has been getting a lot of attention lately. In fact, nothing short of a “high-protein craze” is taking place according to press reports, and food manufacturers of breakfast cereals to ice cream are cashing in on sudden concerns about protein deficiencies in people’s diets. The truth is that the so-called “Western Diet” provides enough protein, and more likely too much.

Posting Calorie Values on Menus Shows Long-Term Success

The idea that providing more information about food served in restaurants, such as calorie and fat content, would reduce the risk of weight problems has widely been greeted with skepticism and outright rejection. Now a new study presented at the Second Annual Obesity Journal Symposium in Boston showed that calorie labeling on menus can indeed influence the choices people make once they become aware of the differences.

For Lasting Weight Loss, Go Fast or Slow?

Shedding pounds too rapidly has long been considered by experts as a recipe for short-lived success, almost inevitably leading to reoccurring weight gain. A better approach was thought to be losing one to two pounds a week, enough time to let the body adjust and make the changes permanent. But the idea that slimming down at a reduced rate produces better outcomes long-term may be delusional, according to a new study that found no differences for participants in so-called crash diets by comparison to their counterparts who took a slower pace.

Chronic Sleep Deprivation Considered a Public Health Threat

Nearly half of American adults are regularly sleep-deprived, according to a Gallup poll that has been tracking people’s sleep habits for decades. Less than seven hours a night has become the rule rather than the exception, down by more than an hour since the 1940s. Especially those who are starting careers and young parents don’t get the amount of sleep they need, and it has long-term consequences for their health.

In Praise of Doing Less

Summer is over and it’s back to work, back to school, back to business as usual. Especially for us Americans, who labor longer hours and take fewer days off compared to the Europeans and even the notoriously industrious Japanese, being busy counts as normalcy, while leisure time is considered a luxury most can ill afford. The notion that hard work is essential for getting ahead in life is so deeply ingrained in our culture that its validity is hardly ever questioned. A rare and refreshing exception is Richard Koch, the bestselling author of “The 80/20 Principle – The Secret to Achieving More with Less.”

Our Estranged Relationship with Food

Americans feel less assured about the quality of their food than they used to. In a recent survey by Consumer Reports magazine, over 90 percent of respondents said they wanted to know more about what they were eating and would welcome detailed information about food production, including country of origin and genetic modifications. At the same time, the vast majority of consumers buys its food supply from places that offer convenience and low prices. Those are not organic grocery stores or local farmers markets. Walmart and Target are the new top destinations for food shoppers.