© 2012 Sedef Örsel Özçelik

Oct 12, 2010

Here are 2 interesting articles about food and nutrition... FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN WE NEED TO KNOW!!!

First article is from USA Today:

Most American women underestimate their ability to prevent obesity in their children, according to a new survey.

Research has shown that mothers have a stronger effect than fathers on a child's weight. But this survey found that while 87% of women believe a parent's obesity affects a child's risk of becoming obese, only 28% "assign that responsibility to themselves."

The WomenTALK online survey of 1,037 women 18 and older also found that only 11% of respondents know that a child's risk of becoming obese more than doubles if the mother is obese during her first trimester of pregnancy.

The survey was released Oct. 4 by HealthyWomen, an independent health information source for women.

Mothers are role models for their children's eating habits and also act as "gatekeepers" of food, explained Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, the group's executive director.

"From an early age, children tend to eat the same foods as their parents, especially mothers, so exposure to nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables is not only setting a good example, but also positioning your child on a lifelong course of good health," she said in a HealthyWomen news release.

The survey was conducted in order to assess women's understanding about obesity and its impact on them and the health of their families. It found that most respondents know that obesity leads to an increased risk for health problems such as high blood pressure (93%), type 2 diabetes (89%), and heart disease (88%).

However, less than one-third of the women know that obesity is associated with increased risk of colon cancer (26%), gallstones (30%), and breast cancer (23%).

Most of the respondents (80%) agree that other people's obesity can influence their risk of becoming obese, but only 28% recognize the important role played by friends. Research has shown that a person is more likely to become obese if they have a friend who is obese (57% increased risk) than if they have a sibling (40%) or spouse (37%) who is obese, according to HealthyWomen.

"Women need to be their own advocates in the fight against all of these diseases, and understanding the influence that family and friends have on the likelihood that they will become obese is part of what's slowing them down," Battaglino Cahill said. "We need to help women understand that they have the opportunity to positively wield their influence by taking charge of their own nutrition and physical activity habits."

HealthyWomen has created an online resource center (healthywomen.org/womenTALK) that offers advice and health tools such as exercise videos, family-friendly recipes and calculators for body mass index and target heart rate.

"Empowering and educating women is the best way we know to break the cycle of obesity and promote healthy habits for the life of any woman and her loved ones," Battaglino Cahill said."

The next article is from Yahoo News:


McDonald’s Happy Meal resists decomposition for six months

Vladimir Lenin, King Tut and the McDonald's Happy Meal: What do they all have in common? A shocking resistance to Mother Nature's cycle of decomposition and biodegradability, apparently.

That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.

The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock," Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.

She proceeded to photograph the Happy Meal each week and posted the pictures to Flickr to record the results of her experiment. Now, just over six months later, the Happy Meal has yet to even grow mold. She told the Daily Mail that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it."

[Related: 'Double Down' among the worst fast food of 2010]

Davies -- whose art has been featured in numerous films and television shows and is collected by several celebrities -- told The Upshot that she initiated the project to prove a friend wrong. He believed that any burger would mold or rot within two or three days of being left on a counter. Thus began what's become known as "The Happy Meal Art Project."

[DIY: Make happier meals for your kids at home -- just don't forget one key tip]

"I told my friend about a schoolteacher who's kept a McDonald's burger for 12 years that hasn't changed at all, and he didn't believe me when I told him about it," Davies told us. "He thought I was crazy and said I shouldn't believe everything that I read, so I decided to try it myself."

[Did you know? Before the Happy Meal, there was the Fun Meal]

Some observers of the photo series have noted that the burger's bun appears at different angles, and therefore aired suspicions that the Happy Meal may not in fact be as "untouched" as the project's groundrules stipulate. Davies says there's a simple explanation for the mobile-bun effect. "The meal is on a plate in my apartment on a shelf," she says, "and when I take it down to shoot it, the food slides around. It's hard as rock on a glass plate, so sure, the food is moving."

Click image to see more photos of the unchanging Happy Meal

Photo courtesy of Sally Davies

Davies' friend was the person who should have done the additional research. Wellness and nutrition educator Karen Hanrahan has indeed kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to show clients and students how resistant fast food can be to decomposition.

As for Davies, she said that she might just keep her burger and fries hanging around for a while as well.

"It's sitting on a bookshelf right now, so it's not really taking up any space, so why not?" she said. It ceased giving off any sort of odor after 24 hours, she said, adding: "You have to see this thing."

[Video rewind: Gay-friendly McDonald's ad goes viral]

In response to Davies' project, McDonald's spokeswoman Theresa Riley emailed The Upshot a statement defending the quality of the chain's food. Riley's email also blasted Davies' "completely unsubstantiated" work as something out of "the realm of urban legends."

"McDonald's hamburger patties in the United States are made with 100% USDA-inspected ground beef," Riley wrote. "Our hamburgers are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else -- no preservatives, no fillers. Our hamburger buns are baked locally, are made from North American-grown wheat flour and include common government-approved ingredients designed to assure food quality and safety. ... According to Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, 'From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald's hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen.'" "

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