Shoppers Confused on Nutrition Label’s Added Sugar, Why it Matters

The FDA wants to require listing the amount of “Added Sugars” on the new version of the Nutrition Facts label. We wrote about this and the FDA’s other proposed changes here. But will this change make it easier to make healthy choices or just cause further confusion?

A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics attempts to find out how consumers interpret “Added Sugars” on proposed versions of the Nutrition Facts label. AICR recommends limiting processed foods high in added sugar because these foods are energy-dense and can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight gain is a cause of ten cancers.

The many names of sugarThe study included a qualitative interview phase and a quantitative phase, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,088 adults.

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Like Seaweed and Quail Eggs? How trying new foods may link to a healthy weight

Polenta, quinoa, kimchi or seaweed – have you tried these foods, or even cooked with them? If so, you might be an adventurous eater – getting a thrill from seeking out and trying foods less familiar to most Americans. According to a new study, you might even weigh less than people who are less adventurous. And a healthy weight is one important factor for keeping risk low for many cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast and kidney.

Published in the journal Obesitythe study authors set out to look at whether being willing to try new or different foods might relate to weight (BMI). Although some earlier studies found that eating more of a variety of foods links to higher BMI, in those cases variety meant eating more foods at one time. Here, the researchers wanted to look at women they describe as “neophiles” – adventurous eaters who enjoy trying new foods.

The 501 women in the study ranged from age 20-35 and they averaged slightly above a healthy weight, 43% Caucasian, with about one-quarter each Black and Hispanic. Continue reading


Does drinking red wine prevent obesity? No, no it doesn’t.

When you read that you can lose weight by drinking red wine, that’s a statement that you should interpret cautiously.

The headlines on red wine and weight loss stemmed from a recent animal study investigating the effects of a purified form of the phytochemical resveratrol on preventing obesity and related complications. The authors determined that resveratrol converts a type of fat called white adipose tissue into brown fat, which is a more metabolically active (and energy-burning) type of fat that can lead to weight loss.

So why the leap to red wine in recent headlines? Resveratrol is  primarily concentrated in grapes and a limited number of other foods such as peanuts and some berries. And red wine makes a catchy headline.

Sources of ResveratrolBut although red wine is a source of resveratrol, it carries side effects with it such as being highly concentrated in calories and alcohol, all of which can promote weight gain and increase risk for disease when Continue reading