Nutrition and Lifestyle

The folks over at the Environmental Working Group and NRDC must be greeting a new environmental study with mixed emotions. 

On one hand, their eternally-growing list of endocrine disruptors—chemicals that supposedly screw with your hormones—has grown by one. On the other hand, the new endocrine disruptor is salt, and despite the perennially low quality science that dribbles from their websites, even they must realize how stupid this sounds. Maybe even enough worry that remotely inquisitive individuals might wonder "Hmm. Salt is disrupting my 'endocrines?' Huh?? Maybe the other endocrine stuff they write about is garbage too."

Which is pretty much what the Council has been saying forever. 

Let's look at the evidence that led researchers at the Yale School...

Asking hard questions is one of the true delights of being a science journalist. People's assumptions, understanding of the facts, and inherent biases should be subjected to scrutiny. Therefore, I like to think of myself as the science version of HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur -- that is, without the international name recognition and striking good looks.

It is with this skepticism that I approached the announcement by ALDI, a discount supermarket chain, that it would go "full organic" in 2017. Basically, it wants to target consumers who would like to eat at Whole Foods but are...

You can go organic, or 'all natural' or non-GMO or even vegan, but what you can't do this holiday season, is avoid all the chemicals in your holiday dinner! In our classic Holiday Dinner Menu, ACSH has gone through the menu of a typical American holiday meal — from soup to nuts — and listed the chemicals that each course contains, courtesy of Mother Nature. And not only that, these chemicals have been shown to cause cancer — at high doses, in rats. 

For example, a green salad with lettuce and arugula, dressed with a basil-mustard vinaigrette, contains allyl isothiocyanate, caffeic acid, estragole and methyl eugenol. Like cherry tomatoes in your salad? Look out for the benzaldehyde, hydrogen...

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner

While you're out food shopping in the final days leading up to Thanksgiving, pulling together all the traditional dishes associated with the big meal, just make sure to take one quarter out of your pocket and leave it at home, since you won't need it this year.

That's because Thanksgiving food prices have dropped slightly as compared to a year ago. And with the country's real median household income remaining flat, this news, along with the efficient agricultural production we sometimes take for granted, is something to be thankful for.

The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people in the United States is $49.87, or 24 cents less than it was in 2015, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation...

We really *have* lost our minds. There is no longer any doubt. 

The title is real. Yes, there really is such a thing as a sustainable condom. And they have other wonderful attributes!  "Sustainable Condoms - Vegan, Natural, Fair Trade." Damn.

For any number of reasons, I have no intention whatsoever of evaluating such a product, let alone spending any time researching it. But if you do, I'm asking a favor. Please. If the idea is that you turn the damn things inside out when you're done, and reuse them I don't want to know about it.

Perhaps the late, great James Brown was onto something in 1967:

...

A year ago, our president Hank Campbell wrote a commentary when Mark Bittman vacated his post at The New York Times to sell vegan food to the masses. The last paragraph gives a sense of how he feels about Mr. Bittman:

"Still, though we have been critical of his claims in the past, the American Council on Science and Health wishes him well. The country is better off with him trying to sell eggs that contain no eggs than having him trying to use his opinions to shape food policy."

Little did he know, one year later, that Mark Bittman would already have left his position selling no-egg eggs to do exactly what Hank...

I've written before about the problems with changing people's behavior when it comes to making food selections with respect to both choosing healthy options and reducing calories. A tactic that's been repeatedly suggested is to levy taxes on foods and/or beverages supposedly responsible for over-consumption and poor nutrition, especially with respect to sugary beverages. But are these really necessary to change behavior? Probably not, if what happened in a Maryland County is any indication.

Four years ago, people in Howard County, Maryland decided to try to decrease the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks and...

As a greater number of people enter the middle class around the globe, many will turn away from plant-based diets in favor of meat-based diets. This could be a cause for concern, as meat production requires the input of substantially more resources, such as water and energy. The question of how to feed a growing world in a time when wealth is spreading and personal tastes are changing is the subject of some sustainability research.

Outside of the Western world, insect consumption is common. The Chinese, for instance, will eat just about anything that crawls on six (or more) legs. ...

It's probably the biggest issue in the nutrition world — no, not the Fat vs. Carbs dispute — but how to motivate people to make healthy food choices. You know that old saying — "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"? Well, that certainly seems to apply to many people when it comes to choosing what foods to buy. Rather than opting for relatively low calorie items that are nutrient rich (read fruits and vegetables), as most nutrition experts recommend, many of us go for the sweet- and fat-laden instead. With obesity rampant among us, what would be an effective means of encouraging other options? A group of scientists from the University of Minnesota, New York University and the University of California, Davis devised a trial to test whether incentives,...

The good news is that Americans have realized what public health experts have been sayng for years — obesity is a huge problem leading to a myriad of negative health outcomes. The not-so-great news is that many aren't realistic about their own body weight. according to a recent survey by NORC (pronounced N-O-R-C), at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The survey included about 1,500 adults over the age of 18. They were queried in person, by phone, and on the internet, and the sample was weighted to represent the national distribution of ethnic groups, ages and genders. Participants gave their weight and height, and investigators...