Reading List: Flu-Fighting Foods, NJ Restaurants to Post Nutrition Info & High Cholesterol Undertreated

by in Food News, November 27, 2009

In this week’s nutrition news: Whole Foods employees get discounts for becoming healthier, obese university students mandated to take fitness class, and new research shows many folks aren’t going to the doctor — is that you?

Flu Fighters on Your Plate
Look no further than your own dinner plate to battle the flu. New research shows that nutrients such as vitamin A — found in yams, pumpkins, carrots and dark orange fruits and dark leafy greens — and zinc — found in seafood, nuts and whole grains — play various roles in helping your immune system fight off the flu. Pile these foods on your plate to help build up your immunity.

Whole Foods Employees Rewarded for Losing Weight
Starting in January, employees of Whole Foods Markets can opt into a voluntary program where they receive 20 to 30% discounts based on changes in their blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and smoking habits. The more positive healthy changes they make, the bigger the discount. Whole Foods is not known as the cheapest place to shop, but they carry many healthier products that are tough to find. The discount can come in handy to employees trying to eat healthier.

High Cholesterol Under Treated in Many Adults
A new study released in the Journal of the American Medical Associations look more closely at the rates for high cholesterol. From 2005 to 2006, researchers checked on high-risk individuals, namely those with a history of heart disease, chest pain, heart attack, stroke or diabetes, and found that more than a third hadn’t been screened for high cholesterol in the past five years and nearly 40% either went untreated or didn’t receive adequate treatment. The take-home message: If you haven’t checked yourself out in the past five years, make an appointment today!

Obese University Students Must Take Fitness Class
Lincoln University in Pennsylvania is mandating students to get their body mass index (BMI) checked. If they are categorized as obese (BMI of 30 or above), they’re required to take a fitness course, which combines exercise with nutrition education. The university claims they’re worried about the high incidence of obesity and diabetes and are trying to fight the obesity epidemic head on. Students, however, feel it’s not the university’s responsibility to mandate their weight. What are your thoughts on this debate?

NJ To Post Nutrition Info on Menus
New Jersey joins New York City and Philadelphia by having mandatory nutrition info posted on menus. Any restaurant with 20 or more locations must post the calories for what they offer. There has been much debate as to whether providing this info actually makes a difference in what folks order. What do you think?

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Comments (3)

  1. julo says:

    Go Whole Foods! I think it's a great idea for employers to reward their employees for getting or staying healthy. I hope those discounts also apply to employees that are already healthy!

    While I'm all for America getting healthy, I don't agree that any sort of fitness classes should be mandatory after high school. People are adults. They can do with their bodies what they want, and it's not my business. However, if they want to offer education, encouragement, and rewards to students who get fit, more power to them! Sounds like they need to take a page from Whole Food's book.

    I'm in California, and having nutritional information available at chain restaurants has been invaluable! My husband makes such better choices now, opting for salads and sandwiches rather than pizza. And while I try to make a healthy decision regardless of whether the nutritional information is available, I LOVE knowing exactly what I'm getting so there are no surprises. Sometimes something sounds healthy that really isn't.

  2. Samantha Cernock says:

    I agree with the post above. These are such great changes to be reading about! Educate Americans.

  3. Danielle says:

    Last month I went to Yankee Stadium for a game and made MUCH better choices knowing what the calorie content was in each item than I would have last year! And didn't even feel deprived of any ballpark fun traditions.

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