Serve Health to Your Friends

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Do your friends contribute to your unhealthy food choices?

According to a series of studies published in the Journal of Consumer Research, they may do just that.

In the first  study, some participants were asked to select four foods for a friend.  They could choose from 16 foods – a mixture of “healthy” and “indulgent” choices.  The other participants were to choose from the same foods for themselves.

Those choosing for themselves selected a healthy balance of healthy and indulgent foods, while the other group chose mostly indulgent foods.

The second study at a supermarket found that shoppers did, in fact, purchase more indulgent foods for friends and family.  Yet another study in the series showed that when aware of their friends’ health goals, people chose a more balanced mix of foods.

The authors note that this could be a real public health problem as it may be yet another contributor to Americans’ weight problem.  Overweight and obesity are a cause of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

How can you help your friends and family with their health goals?

Diet-Cancer News Roundup

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Steve the AICR Librarian regularly combs the net for news relevant to our mission.

We love getting these updates, because they help us keep on top of the latest developments.  They also provide fodder for discussion both internally (ie, around the watercooler) and externally (ie, in AICR publications like Cancer Research Update and eNews.)

We figured we shouldn’t keep Steve’s hard work to ourselves, so here’s his latest roundup.  Hope you find it as useful as we do.

COLON CANCER

Mayo Researchers Link Obesity To Worse Outcome In Patients Being Treated For Colon Cancer

Magnesium may decrease colon cancer risk: Study

Lifestyle factors and p53 mutation patterns in colorectal cancer patients in the EPIC-Norfolk study.

CONSUMERS

Research investigates what consumers see as ‘natural’

OBESITY

For Obese People, Prejudice in Plain Sight

Anti-obesity drugs unlikely to provide lasting benefit according to scientists

PATIENT NUTRITION

Chef d’cancer patients: Jack Shoop lovingly crafts a medical center’s meals


The Health-Alcohol Conundrum

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There’s been a lot of stories this week about a new study linking moderate alcohol intake with lower risk of weight gain. The study makes for some grabby headlines, but alcohol intake and health is a complex issue that scientists agree needs more research. For heart health — and now, possibly to avoid weight gain — moderate drinking (2 drinks for men and 1 for women a day) may have benefits. But when it comes to certain cancers: there’s no amount of alcohol that’s healthy.

The basics of the latest study: Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the study included about 19,000 women age 39 or older who began the study at a healthy weight. At the start of the study, the women reported how many alcoholic beverages they typically drank per day. Over an average of 13 years follow-up, the women on average gained weight. But normal-weight women who drank a light to moderate amount of alcohol appeared to gain less weight than  the women who did not drink at all.

For people who don’t drink alcohol, this is not a reason to start, the study authors note. More research is needed to identify the many factors than can play a role in how alcohol effects certain individuals. Read more… “The Health-Alcohol Conundrum”