Reading List: Weight Loss Wagers, Calorie Confusion & Tiger’s Labeling Mishap

In this week’s nutrition news: Study shows that watching TV shortens life span, the versatility of maple syrup and find out which country is under the most pressure be thin

In this week’s nutrition news: Watching TV shortens your life span, the versatility of maple syrup and find out which country is under the most pressure be thin.

Calorie Counts Aren’t Always What They Seem

Researchers set out to determine if the calories in fast food restaurants and frozen meals are actually what the labels say. Turns out not always! They checked their lab analysis (the most precise way to determine calorie counts) against the published nutrition facts and the results showed some foods listed lower tallies and some food manufacturers over estimated. The FDA does allow a 20% wiggle room for nutrition data, but researchers had some results that were really frightening. For example, Denny’s grits were marketed as 80 calories but tested at 258 calories! Although the study only took one sample from the places they tested, it shows that there are still errors that need to be ironed out.

Weight Loss Wagers
A new weight loss site called Lose It Or Lose It has you forking over money as an incentive to lose weight. You sign up and set your goals, and if you have not reached them in 10 weeks, you’re out the cash. If you reach your goal, the money is returned to you. In order to discourage rapid weight loss and unhealthy techniques, the maximum goal you can set is three pounds per week. You can put up between $5 and $100 per pound (so the cash can really add up). Would you risk money as an incentive to lose weight?
Hot New Sugar: Maple Syrup

Although most folks think of it as a pancake topper, there are so many more ways to enjoy maple syrup. Don’t get confused by those imitation syrups containing high-fructose corn syrup -- you want 100% pure maple syrup. This Fox News article talks to Chef Kathleen Daelemans, who provides tips on how to use maple syrup on things like Pan-Seared Salmon with a Maple Glaze.

Watching TV Shortens Your Life

Okay, that's a scary statement, I know. A new study, published in an American Heart Association journal, examined the association between hours spent watching TV and the risk of death. The study looked at nearly 9,000 men and women who were divided based on how many hours of boob tube they sit through a day. The results showed that those who watched more than four hours of TV per day had an 80% greater risk of death from heart disease compared with those who watched fewer than two hours per day. Overall, the study concluded that for each hour a day spent watching TV, there’s an 18% greater risk of dying from heart disease and a 9% increased risk of dying from cancer.

Which Nation Feels the Pressure to Lose Weight?

The desire to be thin isn’t just an American thing. Reader’s Digest recently conducted a poll around the world and found that Brazilians are under the most pressure to lose weight. Among the 16,000 participants, 83% of Brazilians said they felt compelled to be thin while only 62% felt the same way in the U.S. The poll asked how folks lost weight and 18% of Russian women said they turned to smoking while Mexicans preferred to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Additionally, the French blame all the American fast food fare for their growing waistlines (and Americans agreed!).

Tiger’s Unfaithful Label

I couldn’t resist adding this article about peculiarly labeled Gatorade bottles to this week’s Reading List. The bottles' labels contain the word “unfaithful” with a picture of Tiger Woods and his wife. The drinks showed up in a Denver Safeway, where they were later taken off store shelves. Seems the FDA is investigating the situation.

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