Ring In the New Year with “Gain-Framed” Resolutions

Ending a blogging drought to wish you a happy and a healthy 2011. Yes, it’s that time again, a time that many see as an occasion to set goals for the coming year – goals we hope will make our lives richer in some way, so that when next December 31 rolls around, we can say, “I’m a better and a happier person than I was last year at this time.” Alas, we all know New Year’s...
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French Women DO Get Fat

I marvel at how exportable American culture is.  What is so seductive about our way of life?  Why do others so readily adopt – and sometimes even improve on – our gadgets, our language, our clothing, our food, our habits both good and bad? Having just spent two weeks in the U.K., I’m here to report that we Americans have no hammerlock on overweight and obesity.  Clearly the British...
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Your Dinner Plate as a Weight Management Tool

I recently noticed that my son-in-law had lost the “baby weight” he’d put on a few years ago when my daughter was pregnant and regained his sleek rock musician physique.  So when I saw him serving his own meals on the salad-size plates used by their nine-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter, I suspected there might be a connection.  Sure enough, he told me he was on the “small...
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Move a Little, Lose a Lot: A Review

I rely on regular attendance at aerobics classes to help keep my weight under control.  But although a recent week of babysitting my grandchildren (the reason, BTW, for no blog post last week) kept me too busy to visit the gym, the needle on the scale held steady.  James A. Levine, MD, PhD would undoubtedly call that a textbook example of NEAT (nonexercise activity thermogenesis) in action ...
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Food Addiction?

Take a naturally-occurring mildly addictive substance (there are many), then refine and redesign it so it’s more addictive – maybe much more addictive. There are lots of ways to do this.  You can combine it with other substances that enhance its addictive properties, you can modify the vehicle so that it’s easier to ingest or can be ingested via a route that reaches the brain...
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“Let’s Eat Out Tonight”

Inns providing food along with a place to curl up for the night have undoubtedly existed for as long as people have been traveling in large enough numbers to justify the effort.  Establishments where people go for better or fancier food than they eat at home, however, or even just for gastronomic variety, are a more recent phenomenon.  Some historians trace the rise of the modern restaurant to...
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How Sweet It Is

It tastes good and lifts our spirits.  It comforts us and quells our appetite.  Yet we know it’s bad for us and sometimes suspect we may be addicted to it. I’m talking about sugar – and the love-hate relationship many women have with it.  Unfortunately for many of us, Mother Nature didn’t provide us with brakes when it comes to consuming sugar.  In the wild, it’s probably a good...
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The Not-So-Big Meal

Most people’s lists of life-changing books focus on great works of literature, philosophy, and religion.  Prominent on mine is Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big House. Susanka popularized the notion that when it comes to living spaces, bigger is not necessarily better, and showed the world how to put it into practice. She convinced us we didn’t need to duplicate functions or devote a lot of...
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Salt Worse than Smoking? Here We Go Again

You saw it on webmd.com – you know, the folks who pride themselves on “bring[ing] you the most objective, trustworthy, and accurate health information on the web. “ Cutting salt, shouts the headline, is “as good as quitting smoking.”  “Half a teaspoon less salt a day,” they continue, “would prevent 92,000 deaths, 99,000 heart attacks, 66,000 strokes.” Hmmm, you may be asking...
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The End of Overeating: A Review

I have read many explanations for the so-called “obesity epidemic” in the U.S. The phenomenon is undoubtedly multifactorial, with the success of anti-smoking public health campaigns and consequent postcessation weight gain numbering among the culprits.  Other possible contributors include the aging population and ethnic shifts that increase the representation of groups that place...
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