Yearly Archives: 2010

The organic halo alters food and exercise choices

Nutrient-based claims on food labels are shown in some research to promote calorie underestimation.  This is often called the health halo effect; certain buzz words associated with what people consider healthy cause them to overgeneralize other attributes of a food, downplay the number of calories, and not pay as much attention to the nutrition facts panel. A couple recent studies by Schuldt and Schwarz (1) show this happens with the word "organic" on the label as well, with food and exercise. Read more [...]

Why carbonated beverages are pungent

If you've ever wondered what the biochemical pathway is that gives carbonated beverages that stinging or pungent sensation as the authors of a new paper put it, wonder no more. Ok, so probably few people other than these authors have, but I thought it was interesting enough to write about anyway. TRPV1, the most studied nociceptor (mediates the pain response to capsaicin), and the acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) were candidates for study, but other research suggested the "wasabi receptor" TRPA1 Read more [...]

Food companies and social media: disturbing trends

Chris Kenton wrote a blog post yesterday about a WSJ article on Gatorade's new "Mission Control" center that includes 4 full time employees who monitor social media networks for Gatorade mentions and respond if necessary.  They have to make judgement calls on how and when to jump into online social conversations (which can be difficult as Nestle has experienced).  As the Chief Marketing Officer says in the article, they consider themselves a person in peoples' social circles.  I am abhorred at Read more [...]

Critically evaluating Hershey’s/ADA’s The Moderation Nation campaign

Earlier this week I expressed some concern for a new health campaign by Hershey and the American Dietetic Association.  The campaign website is now launched as of Wednesday. Among my initial concerns that the number of people that will be reached by Hershey's donation for initial consultations is simply too low to make a significance in the long run.  The initial consultation is free, but will they pay for follow-up sessions?  Does one consultation make a measurable difference in health choices? Read more [...]

Do we need Hershey to lead a health campaign?

Recently i've put up a couple posts on the American Dietetic Association's recent corporate sponsor, Hershey, and other concerns about sponsorships. Hershey is not wasting any time with this new partnership.  In an e-newsletter pointed out by Marion Nestle, Hershey announces a multi-year campaign called "Moderation Nation™."  The initiative between the company and the ADA: ... will reach millions of consumers across the country with unique resources, public programs and educational efforts in Read more [...]

The complex (plasma) lipidome quantified

There are thousands of lipid species in our bodies that represent 6 categories, but we only usually hear about the subcategories of cholesterol and triglycerides.  We don't yet understand how they are all altered in response to various nutrients, dietary and lifestyle patterns and so on.  Recent advancements have made it possible to analyze a large number of lipid species from work by the LIPID MAPS Consortium, which is: LIPID Metabolites And Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) is a multi-institutional Read more [...]

The negative stigma of creatine in the media continues

Earlier this week, I caught an article in the New York Times covering a rare occurrence: 24 members of a high school football team in Oregon developed rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) from an intense workout with limited water in very hot temperatures.  Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by an increase in the enzyme creatine kinase, which is maybe one reason why reports erroneously seem to jump on the following dogma: Officials were waiting for the results of tests to determine whether the athletes Read more [...]

Choose foods, not nutrients

Last week, Yoni Freedhoff highlighted a great JAMA editorial by Dariush Mozaffarian and David Ludwig entitled "Dietary Guidelines in the 21st Century-a Time for Food." (1).  It is a short but smart commentary by 2 researchers who clearly see the big picture (and have contributed research to support it): that we should be promoting whole foods, not specific nutrients which push consumers toward processed products.  Yoni has reprinted most of it on his blog, so I will make a very short summary here: Nutritional Read more [...]

Muscle memory: it’s in the myonuclei

Previous studies have indicated that after resistance training and subsequent refrainment for varying time periods, we regain muscle force and mass more quickly in response to training compared to how long it took intially.  In fact, after discontinuing training for up to 2 years in one study, muscles remained at a greater hypertrophic status and retained a greater force compared to their untrained levels.  This phenomenon of "muscle memory" is often suggested to be from neural adaptations to exercise, Read more [...]

Ageing per se increases susceptibility to lipid induced insulin resistance in rats

I am constantly on the lookout for studies on how biochemical mechanisms shift with age, the significance of these changes and how nutrition and lifestyle interact with them to potentially affect health.  Ageing itself is clearly an immensely complex process, and teasing out changes caused from ageing itself rather than known variables that effect health is difficult. A recent paper by Francine Einstein et al. (1) examined how age influences susceptibility to free fatty acid (FFA) induced insulin Read more [...]