Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some Reading

"Only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day, [the Center for Disease Control and Prevention] concluded. (And no, that does not include French fries.) These results fell far short of health objectives set by the federal government a decade ago. . . only 23 percent of [American] meals include a vegetable. . ." From this article. Says one person interviewed: "'I’m not afraid of zucchinis, but I just don’t know how to cook them.'” "Women, as well as people who are older and more educated and have higher incomes, tend to eat more vegetables." ". . .students who gardened ate one and half servings more of fruits and vegetables a day than those who [didn't]."

"All of this raises the possibility that those cafeteria ladies, with their hairnets and their soup ladles, may be doing more to change the way America eats than all the independent documentaries and Michael Pollan books and Whole Foods markets combined. It’s an astonishing fact considering they operate on a food budget of $1 per meal." I'm glad to hear that some schools are getting lunch right. But wow, that's a small amount of money to work with.

"Diet and exercise do matter, they now know, but these environmental influences alone do not determine an individual’s weight. . ." " "Struggling against the brain’s innate calorie counters, even strong-willed dieters make up for calories lost on one day with a few extra bites on the next. And they never realize it. “The system operates with 99.6 percent precision,” Dr. Friedman said." From this article. I haven't read enough to support this, but my theory is that the body has two goals: given that the body has a target number of calories, it likely also has target nutrition levels. If a body is consistently getting fewer nutrients than it needs, perhaps that is what causes it to consistently demand more calories. And on top of this, I doubt a body can emit the proper urgings to eat genuinely nutritious foods, such as kale, if it never gets a first taste of it to begin with.

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