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


Men’s Health and Weight Loss: Why a Salad is Cool

A few months ago I wrote about some challenges women face when it comes to weight loss – menopause, pleasing your family, and post-partum weight retention. Obesity is linked to cancer, so it’s important to think about how we can all maintain a healthy weight to decrease our cancer risk. With this being National Men’s Health Week, I’d like to focus on ways to overcome some unique challenges I hear from men who are working to lose weight and stay healthy.canstockphoto

1. “There’s usually lots of beer, nachos or other unhealthy foods when I go out with my friends.”

Whether its watching sports or other get togethers, it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re surrounded by indulgences. Distractions like TV make it even harder to pay attention to what (and how much) you’re eating.

Solution: There are a few ways to make a situation like this easier. First, you can eat before you go. If you aren’t hungry, enjoy the event and the company around you without all the eating and drinking. If you want to drink alcohol, make sure to have a tall glass of water before or after a drink. That’s a good way to stay hydrated and just slow down a bit to limit the number of drinks. Another strategy if you’re at a house gathering, bring healthier foods like raw cut veggies and salsa, and drinks like seltzer water.

2. “A salad isn’t cool.”
You might know what the healthier option is, but it’s hard to select the greens if your friends give you a hard time for ordering something healthy. Continue reading