Can your kitchen layout cut your calories and help with cancer prevention?

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Can seeing food in your kitchen and easy serving make a difference in how much you eat? A study authored by an architect and an environmental psychologist published this month suggests that may be an unintended outcome of the popular open kitchen design in homes.

That’s important because how many calories you eat affects your weight, and that affects cancer risk.

Published in Environment and Behavior the authors looked at how much the open plan – easy to see the food and get to the buffet – affected the amount of food participants (57 university students) ate, compared to a closed plan. For one dinner they ate in the open plan, for another they ate in the closed plan. They used a university food and dining research lab and made it mimic a closed plan by putting decorative wooden screens to block the diners’ view of food. Read more… “Can your kitchen layout cut your calories and help with cancer prevention?”

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    Changing Habits is Hard – Why Our Challenge Will Help

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    I’m so excited for the launch of our newly designed and updated New American Plate Challenge website! I love this program because it takes you on a journey of eating and physical activity changes, rather than a prescribed, one size fits all weight loss diet. Each week you’ll take on a new challenge for a healthier life – the goal is to find a way that works for you and practice it until eventually you make it a lifelong habit.

    Making changes is hard, especially long held eating habits and trying to get more active, so we provide plenty of tips, recipes and support from the NAP Challenge dietitians and other participants to help you succeed. You may also decide to go at your own pace and just work on a few of the challenges and skip some as we go along. Read more… “Changing Habits is Hard – Why Our Challenge Will Help”

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      Frequent weighing, small changes, can help young adults avoid that creeping weight gain

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      Weight gain tends to creep up on us: studies show that young adults typically gain about a pound and half a year. This might not be noticeable from year to year, but over decades it can add up to significant extra weight if it goes unchecked. Gaining weight can be particularly harmful for young adults, perhaps because it’s tough to lose weight, meaning these individuals live with excess body fat for longer. Excess body fat is linked to many types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

      The good news is that young adults may not need dramatic changes to diet and exercise to prevent weight gain, as a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests. This randomized clinical trial followed nearly 600 young adults ages 18-35 for an average of three years. About half of the participants had BMIs within the normal range, while the other half were already overweight or obese. The study compared two approaches—small, daily changes to diet and physical activity vs. more dramatic diet and exercise changes—to a control group.

      Both intervention groups started with ten in-person meetings, while the control group had only one in-person meeting to provide an overview of the study and the issue of weight gain. Read more… “Frequent weighing, small changes, can help young adults avoid that creeping weight gain”

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