Nutrition News: Millennial Diets, Cage-Free Taco Bell, Green Tea and Metabolism

Millennials don’t count calories or fear fat, Taco Bell goes cage-free and green tea is not a metabolic miracle.
Diet-Ditching Millennials

Ah, youth. Millennials are less concerned about calories and fat in the foods they eat than the population at large and are more inclined to use technology as a health and wellness tool, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2015 Food and Health Survey. The survey also found that millennials (born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) are more likely to believe higher-protein foods may have unhealthy attributes, are more apt to use diet-related apps and online support groups, rely more heavily on the support of family and friends in their efforts to maintain a healthy diet, and tend to trust health and nutrition bloggers and to feel more optimistic about the healthful potential of food innovations and new inventions. “Millennials are a unique generation, and their approach to health and fitness is no exception,” Sarah Romotsky, R.D., director of health and wellness for the IFIC Foundation, told Food Business News.

Happier Hens

Taco Bell is going cage-free. The fast-food chain’s parent company, Yum Brands, has announced that it will switch to using only cage-free eggs in all 6,000 U.S. Taco Bell locations by the end of 2016. The Mexican food mecca’s move to use eggs from hens not confined to small cages follows those of many other large restaurant chains, including McDonald’s and Burger King, but its transition is slated to happen far more quickly. McDonald’s has said it will complete its move to cage-free eggs over the next decade, whereas Burger King announced several years ago that it would complete its transition by 2017.

Go Green, Sure, but Not for Weight Loss

Perhaps you’ve heard that drinking green tea boosts your metabolism. In its ongoing in-depth tea series Tea Tuesday, NPR’s The Salt surveys the research and concludes that, despite its reputation as a weight-loss and weight-maintenance aid, green tea, if it raises your metabolic rate at all, probably does so only a teeny bit. "The caffeine in green tea could raise your metabolic rate ever so slightly, but it wouldn't have a different effect than coffee," Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Michael Jensen told The Salt. The studies indicate that green tea can have some health effects – helping to regulate blood pressure, for instance. But "unless you've gained or lost a lot of weight,” Jensen said, “your metabolism stays pretty stable over time.” Oh, well.

Photo courtesy of iStock

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