Weight Loss, Cancer Prevention and Health: Why Vegetables and Fruits Matter

If you’ve been working hard to eat more broccoli or blueberries, headlines like “Fruits and vegetables don’t lead to weight loss, study says” can drive you crazy. You may wonder if it’s worth the effort. I certainly hear from people questioning whether they can trust any nutrition and weight loss messages when they see headlines like these.NAP-Plate-v02

Make no mistake about it, fruits and vegetables are a key part of a cancer-preventive diet. And they can play a role in getting to and staying a healthy weight – important for lowering risk for eight cancers and other chronic diseases. Even the authors of that recent study acknowledge that in their paper. So why the confusing messages?

Here’s what that study was about: The authors say that health organizations promote increasing veggies and fruit for weight loss without explaining the need to also decrease overall calories. So they looked for studies that tested the idea that simply adding vegetables and fruit to your diet will lead to weight loss. Continue reading


Survey: Diners – Especially Women – Using Posted Menu Calories

If you spot calorie information on your restaurant menu, does it help you decide what to order?http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-woman-ordering-food-image21147851

For about six of every ten adults living in select states, that calorie information does help them decide what to order. At least sometimes, that is, with about one of every ten diners using that nutrition information for every purchase, according to a new government survey.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study comes from residents of 17 states that have menu labeling and completed a 2012 phone survey about it. In 2010, a federal law required chain restaurants to display the calories of their menu items, and some states started those requirements quickly.  Given that some studies show Americans eat up to a quarter of our calories at restaurants, using calorie information may help restaurant-goers make healthier choices. That, in turn, can reduce cancer risk.

Respondents were only counted if they visited fast food or chain restaurants and noticed the menu labeling. Among the findings: Continue reading


Study: How Your Colleagues, Family and Friends May Impact Weight Loss

With all the weight loss support groups out there, it’s no surprise that having support can make a difference when it comes to eating healthier and exercising. A new study now suggests that coworkers, friends and family can undermine weight loss or increase it over two years, depending upon their support.Lowsection of two businesspeople walking up stairs with bags in

The study is important for cancer prevention – along with overall health – because overweight and obesity increases risk of eight cancers, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

Published in Obesity, the study included 633 high-school employees who were participating in a weight gain prevention study. About a third of the participants were overweight and another quarter were obese.

At the start, participants were weighed and then answered questions about how supportive or unsupportive their friends, family and colleagues were about their diet and exercise behaviors. Continue reading