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Category Archives: Diet

The Trouble With TV… You Are What You Watch!

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When it comes to eating, you are what you watch.

We’ve all been guilty of mindless munching when sitting in front of the TV, but research from Yale University suggests that what you watch may impact how much you eat.

In the study, children and adults were shown a half hour of television with different sets of advertising in each.  Children aged 7 to 11 years who watched commercials for food ate 45 percent more snack food than the children who were shown the same programming but with commercials that didn’t feature food.  The children in the study didn’t go looking for the food that was advertised, but were interested in any snack food.

Among adults, those who saw advertisements for unhealthy snack food ate significantly more than those who saw spots for healthy food or good nutrition.  The really bad news?  Those habits continued even after the television was off.

Consumer and health groups that are concerned with America’s obesity epidemic—particularly among children—endorse government regulation of food advertising during children’s programming.  But many food marketers already self-regulate.  Frito-Lay, manufacturer of Doritos, Lay’s, Ruffles, Cheetos and Fritos, does not advertise at all during children’s programming, and General Mills, which makes Trix, Lucky Charms and other cereals, only advertises products with fewer than 175 calories and 12 grams of sugar per serving.

Both companies have joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a voluntary group of companies that have pledged to shift the mix of advertising to children to include messages about healthy eating.  Other members include McDonald’s, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Hershey.

Take note of what is being advertised when your kids watch TV.  If there’s too much food advertising, consider turning the TV off or tuning in another program.  Be ready to counter triggered snacking with healthy options like yogurt and vegetables.

And watch your own compulsive eating, too.  Be aware of hunger triggers that have nothing to do with hunger like boredom, restlessness, and food smells. And you can now add food advertising to that list.

When reaching for the chips, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”  If the answer is no, skip the snack, but also try to identify the trigger so that you’re aware of it the next time it tries to sabotage your success.  Knowing why you want to eat helps you get control of your snacking triggers.

For information and to find a physician in the mountains who can help with nutritional planning, contact Mountains Community Hospital at (909) 336-3651. Mountains Community Hospital is located at 29191 Hospital Road in Lake Arrowhead.

Should You Lose Weight on Fad Diets?

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Mountains Community Hospital answers the question, "Should I lose weight on a fad diet?"

Fad diets of many varieties have been around for decades. And while people may lose weight on them, most fad dieters are prone to gaining back every lost pound almost as quickly as the weight comes off.

Throughout the years, thousands of companies have made millions of dollars promoting diet pills and drugs. But, unfortunately (a) most do little to help in the long-run and; (b) sometimes, the ingredients cause serious side effects.

The sad truth is that many people spend their lives trying to lose weight. Remember the old grapefruit and cottage cheese diet? How about the liquid diets like Slim Fast and Opti Fast, the Hollywood Juice Diet or the Cabbage Soup Diet?

The problem shared by many dieters who go on is that most diets limit nutrients as well as entire food groups like carbohydrates or fats. Since eating only two or three food groups is not practical for a lifetime, most people simply don’t stay on the associated eating plans. So they quickly regain their lost weight.

The physicians at Mountains Community Hospital encourage patients to lose weight when necessary cautioning the use of common sense. If you’re eating a high calorie diet but failing to exercise, you’re not likely to lose weight for the long-haul. Exercise for half an hour each day is encouraged. Swimming and/or walking are great ways to start.

The best way, but not necessarily the fastest way to lose weight, is to follow a healthy eating plan that includes the basic food groups that balance carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Each of these components provides something different that is vital to our bodies. Vitamin C protects against infection. Vitamin E helps support the immune system, etc. If you’re on a fad diet that eliminates necessary nutrients, you are, in effect, depriving your body of daily nutritional requirements.

In the last several years, many people have been jumping on the surgical weight-loss bandwagon, having procedures such as the Lap-Band or gastric bypass. These surgeries reduce the stomach to a fraction of what it was or bypass it completely. So they may work well for some. But drastic measures come with risks. Patients with serious diseases such as Diabetes need to seriously weigh the pros and cons about having surgery against potential complications and even life-threatening diseases.

According to WebMD, people who undergo gastric bypass surgery may lose more weight than their dieting counterparts. What’s more, “banding” tends to be safer than gastric bypass—at least in the short term.  If a patient has Diabetes and is taking a number of medications, he/she may need a more serious surgical intervention than what is afforded by a Lap-band procedure. Remember, surgical procedures are never “One Size Fits All!”

If you think you should lose weight, please discuss it with your Mountains Community Hospital physician. He or she can help you plan a diet and exercise plan that is safe and sane so you can live a long and healthy life.