The Cooper Institute
 

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH

 
 
 
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Monday, Apr 20, 2015

What's In Your Lunch Box?

Energy balance is all about managing the calories we take in (food and beverages) and the calories we burn off with daily energy needs and physical activity. Increasing physical activity to 60 minutes or more each day is key to increasing the ‘calories out’ side of the balance scale. But, what works for reducing ‘calories in’? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition¹ shows that reducing the calorie density of kids’ foods and beverages may be the answer. Calorie density is the amount of calories per gram of food. For instance, 28 grams (1 ounce) of potato chips has abou...

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Friday, Feb 24, 2012

What does 100 calories look like?

My cousin told me this week that her five-year old son had learned to count to 100 recently. One of the ways he learned what 100 looked like was to put 100 Legos on a board. When he finished he exclaimed, "That's 100? Wow!" So I thought it would be fun to see what you would say if I showed you what 100 calories looks like for different foods.  Here goes: ¼ of a large bagel 2 slices American cheese 1 ounce pretzels ¼ cup premium ice cream ¾ can of regular soda 2/3 of single serving bag of potato chips 2/5 of small bag of regular M&Ms 1/32 of an apple pie (or ...

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Friday, Oct 14, 2011

Healthy Halloween?

An Andertoons Cartoon Halloween is about two weeks away. Have you bought your trick-or-treat candy yet? If not, do the kids in your neighborhood a favor and forgo candy for some of these zero-calorie "treats": Dare to be Different this Halloween Believe it or not, most kids actually prefer a trinket or small toy over candy for a "treat." Share your ideas for calorie-free "treats" on our Facebook page....

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Friday, Sep 30, 2011

Parents don't want childrens' doctors to use the words 'fat' or 'obese'

When discussing excess weight with children, researchers found that parents prefer that doctors use the terms "weight" and "unhealthy weight" rather than "fat," "obese," and "extremely obese." Parents perceive the latter terms are stigmatizing, blaming, and the least likely way to motivate children to lose weight.1 Weight stigmatization, or bias, is common in health care settings.2 And while parents report that the physician's office is the best place to seek treatment for their child's weight, some parents also report feeling blamed by providers for their children's excess weight.3 Thus,...

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Friday, Aug 12, 2011

Chew more to eat less?

Next time you sit down to enjoy a meal count how many times you chew a bite of food. 40 chews? 15 chews? 5 chews? Chinese researchers recently compared the differences in chewing behaviors between obese and lean young men to find out the effect of chewing on calorie intake and hormones associated with appetite and satiety.1 While it has been shown that eating quickly, gorging, and binge eating may be linked to increased calorie consumption and overweight, the effects of chewing foods before swallowing have not be fully studied. As food is chewed it is broken down an...

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Friday, Aug 05, 2011

Is calorie info at fast food chains making a difference?

Over two years ago we blogged about New York City's legislation that requires the listing of calorie information on menus of chain restaurants with 15 or more locations nationally. We argued that in order for calorie information to be helpful people need to know about how many calories they need (total) over the course of the day. So how helpful/effective has calorie labeling in New York City restaurants been? Researchers recently analyzed survey data from over 7,000 adult customers in 2007 (before the legislation was fully implemented) and almost 8,500 customers in...

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Friday, Jul 29, 2011

Repeat what you eat to lose weight?

Recent research reveals another promising weight loss strategy - repeating what you eat, or decreasing the variety in your diet. This is an interesting contrast to a common nutrition recommendation, "Eat a variety of foods." Research has shown that habituation, a form of learning in which repeated exposure to a stimulus leads to a decrease in responding, pertains to many behaviors, including food intake.1 For example, you are at a family-style restaurant sharing a large bowl of spaghetti. You recognize that you are full and decide not to put another portion of spaghetti on...

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Friday, Jul 22, 2011

Study compares americans' eating behaviors over 30 years

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently set out to determine which of these three factors explain why we are eating more calories today than we ate 30 years ago1: Increases in the frequency of eating/drinking occasions, especially snacking Increases in the typical portion sizes of foods and beverages Changes in the energy density (number of calories in a specific amount of food) of the foods consumed; for instance, 1 ounce of cheese has 115 calories vs. 1 ounce of grapes has 20 calories Evaluation of data from large national studies conducted in 1977-7...

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Friday, Jun 24, 2011

Factors that influence children's use of fast food and full service restaurants

Almost half of our food expenditure today is on food prepared away from home.1 And we all know that food prepared away from home is far too often high in calories, unhealthy fat, and sodium. So why are we eating out so much? The top three reasons for choosing fast foods are2: Rapid service Convenient location Good-tasting food Researchers from Texas A&M University recently investigated whether additional explanations for eating away from home exist. In particular, they looked at factors like: parental work (whether one or both parents were working), family meal rituals (like who...

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Friday, Jun 10, 2011

Saturated Fats Not That Bad?

According to nutrition scientists, "eat less saturated fat" may not be the best dietary message to promote. For many years, however, we have been telling people to limit their fat intake, especially saturated fats in foods like cheese, butter, and fatty meat. But recent studies published in reputable journals fueled a "Great Fat Debate" that was held at the American Dietetic Association's annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo last fall. Last month, transcripts from this debate were published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.1 The...

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Friday, Jun 03, 2011

USDA Goes Back to the Basics; Shows Americans How to Fill Their Plates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has had a long history with food guidance, dating back into the early 20th century. Looking back over this history, many different food guides have been used. They represented health and nutrition concerns of the time when they were introduced. In the 1940s, the wartime food guide promoted eating foods that provided the vitamins and minerals needed to prevent deficiencies. In the 1950s-1960s, the seven food groups were simplified into a “Food for Fitness” guide, which was commonly called “The Basic Four.” By...

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Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011

It's Registered Dietitian Day!

Yes, I'm a registered dietitian. And no, I'm not writing this blog to toot my own horn! I'm writing this blog to inform the highly misinformed public (health professionals included) about who registered dietitians (RDs) are and why they are the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information. Let's start with some facts: RDs have degrees (undergraduate and often graduate) in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected, accredited colleges and universities; completed an int...

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