Author: lbc78985

Fad Diets- the most popular girl in school

In today’s culture there seem to be a new fad diet coming into the scene pretty regularly, weight loss products are heaven sent, and people get sucked in to believing that these things will magically burn fat. There is so much focus on weight loss in our society that people will seriously try anything to shed a few pounds. But according to the academy of nutrition and dietetics, people should stay away from fad diets. They make claims that can influence and persuade consumers into not researching the validity of the diet. Something that today’s society just can’t grasp is “if a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. So how does one lose weight in a world filled with “popularity diets”. According to this study people should steer clear of diet plans, pills and products that make erroneous claims.


There is a journal by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that did research on Long- Term Weight Loss Maintenance. There is this general consensus that long term weight loss programs are so difficult to maintain and so short term, like “rapid weight loss” programs are popular right now. We live in a society that expects immediate results, thanks polaroid cameras… But a journal by registered dietician Sharon Denny said that a steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes, it just takes time. If a person loses weight quickly, they are more likely to lose muscle, bone and water and are also more likely to regain the pounds. Doesn’t sound very effective to me. The bigger picture needs to be looked at in regards to weight loss and people can’t get sucked into quick results and what is popular.


The National Weight Control registry is a great resource to use for recommendations on weight control. It encourages members to participate in high levels of physical activity, eating a low calorie, low fat diet, and maintaining consistency. With this type of regimen, individuals have successfully kept their weight loss for 2-5 years which creates a better, healthier lifestyle. Sure it wasn’t immediate results, but with statics proving how counterproductive pills, fast working diet plans and products why do people still buy in to their claims?



Juice cleanses- the new “slim fast”

Have you ever done a juice cleanse? Well I have, and I’m just now learning that apparently they aren’t all what they are hyped up to be. I used it more of a detox, I thought it made my skin clear up and almost felt like hitting a reset button on my diet. According to this article, they have been used for a quick way to slim down. Are they effective to the body? Theoretically, yes they should be. Full of nutrients, 100% juice, no heavy carbs, sounds amazing right? But is there any scientific evidence behind this? As a person who has juiced before, I have to confess I never actually researched if it was a hoax or actually had health benefits, I was sucked into the fad of believing it was a good idea. I didn’t know there could actually be some potential health risks to be mindful of.

Caroline Cederquist who is a physician specializing in nutrition brings up the point that juice cleanses can severely restrict calorie intake. She even goes so far to state that they are neither effective nor safe. That’s quite the statement. Cleanses may appear to work in the short term because you are heavily restricting calorie intake for a designated time length. The issue comes when once people are done with the cleanse, they tend to put weight right back on. That negates the whole juice cleanse, right? But when you really think about it, it makes sense. A person does a 4-day juice cleanse full of natural sugars, natural calories, and nutrients and then revert right back to all the foods that were eaten before the cleanse. Cleanses are also not full of protein, and so if a person is an avid “juicer”, cleanses can actually cause a loss of muscle and not fat.

So with all the research out there, and articles titled “6 Potential Dangers of Juice Cleanses and Liquid Diets” why do people still do them? Is it just because of the short term “feel good” results? Maybe, but it could also be a good way to clean out the GI system, but my opinion is to just “cleanse” your diet. I believe a person will see better results that actually stick.



I heard gluten free diets are so healthy, so it’s true…. right?

“Putting kids on gluten-free diets even if they don’t have celiac disease or a wheat allergy may carry more risks than benefits” according to this journal. Before we go any further, what constitutes gluten free? A gluten free diet is where a person does not eat any wheat, rye or barley. Most reasons for this type of diet is due to celiac disease, which is an immune condition that makes people sick and less than 1% of people in the US have been diagnosed. Gluten free diets have become more popular in the last few years, and there is a lot of misconceptions about the nutritional value of them, especially for children.

There is no scientific evidence that a gluten free diet brings health benefits to people who don’t have celiac disease, a wheat allergy or a sensitivity. People do not take into account that gluten-free packaged foods are more likely to be higher in fat and sugar than gluten products. A gluten free diet means no breads, no fried foods, and no baked goods, sounds extremely healthy right, except for the fact that any of those items gluten free will be more processed because of the ingredients that are made in place of wheat. Dietitian Dr. Norelle Riley mentioned that many gluten free-foods are not fortified with vitamins and minerals, and following this diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

I am one of the less than 1% of the United States population that has celiac disease, and I didn’t get diagnosed until I was a senior in high school. I completely agree with this journal and the study that was done. I get frustrated when people go gluten free because they want to “lose weight”, it’s actually at times harder to eat healthy being gluten free because the premade meals are so high in sodium. Or parents that are into fads and trends think that a gluten free diet can prevent celiac disease, there currently isn’t a link between the two. If a child grows up on a gluten free diet, and they don’t know if they are allergic, their parents just made a decision for them, they could potentially end up having an extremely bad reaction and they wouldn’t know what to do.  I think that unless young children are presenting with symptoms of a gluten allergy or has been diagnosed with one they shouldn’t abide to this diet. It is expensive and has the potential to make a child feel socially isolated because of the strict food restrictions, although now thankfully, there are increasingly more restaurants that offer gluten free options. If there are parents or even adults that are intrigued by a gluten free diet, I really would encourage them to do the research and to not believe all the misconceptions.



Company wide flu shot party?!?

“I don’t have time to get a flu shot”, “I don’t want to wait in line”, “I haven’t had the flu or been sick in years”, “Last time I got a flu shot, I got sick”.

These are all thoughts and statements that I have said, as well as ones I have heard other people say. Well, there would be no room for excuses if your workplace held in-house flu shot clinics, and this seems to be the new trend. According to Alan Kohll in a study done by the Huffington Post, the widespread nature of the flu can cost businesses $7 million worth of sick days, 5%-20% of our population will contract the flu, and that is why the flu can definitely be considered a concern for companies, large and small. There is an increase in companies that are offering wellness programs, and in general these programs seem to have a positive impact on company culture. Flu shot clinics are just another example, they are convenient and encourages the whole workplace to be involved.

The biggest misconception in our culture during flu season is that “flu shots don’t work & sometimes you can even end up getting the flu”. Not only do the flu shot clinics come to your work place for the ease of receiving the vaccine, but they also educate their patients. There is no scientific evidence that backs up the “anti-vaccine” myths, and so the vaccine administrators are given an opportunity to debunk those myths and also educate the employees on the importance of this vaccine and other factors of why being healthy is important. Healthy bodies have a better shot at avoiding influenza and accepting the vaccine as a defense against the influenza. According to the CDC, vaccine effectiveness can vary, but recent studies show that the risk was reduced by 50%-60% among the overall population. That’s a huge percentage and can impact an entire workplace in a positive way.

I wonder if a majority of the people took advantage of the accessibility. Even if they didn’t get a flu shot and are still skeptical about the validity of them, would they take the time to hold a conversation with a practitioner and become more educated on why they are important and how they are beneficial, would the employee be convinced? Would sick day rates during flu season decrease? I would love to see a study with some of the results from a company that invited a flu clinic in to see if it produced positive results.



Is wine the cure to all?

“Is red wine really good for you?” The question I would like the answer to be a definitive “Yes” and no one argues the validity of it and no one actually looks at research and the health components of why it benefits the body. With me being a “wanna be” wine sommelier these articles always grab my attention especially if the tag line is positive and encourages that red wines are beneficial. This study looked at the contradictory journals about wine benefits and was medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH and she broke down the physiology.  We all are in the healthcare profession, or at least attempting to get there one day, and so we understand that yes, excessive drinking can adversely affect your health, career and social relationship. But a glass of red wine before bed most nights, how does that produce positive effects? Or is it just a placebo effect?

Red wine is full of antioxidants, known as polyphenols. Polyphenols can protect cells and tissues against the development of diseases. Halpern, a profession in pharmaceutical sciences explains that red wine tends to have a greater number of polyphenols because of the greater pigment of color and a higher concentration that have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. So if I were to stop reading there, I would guilt free drink a glass every night to keep my cardiovascular system healthy.

But since I didn’t just stop reading there, I come to find out that in 2014 a study published by the JAMA internal medicine, researchers studied Italians who consumed large amounts of polyphenol and found that it did not protect from developing heart disease or cancer. Reading that was a bummer, but as I dived into that statement more, the phrase larger amount stuck out. I’m not consuming a large quantity, or am I? What is considered a large amount? In one sitting? Over a week’s span? Month? Year? Unfortunately, it doesn’t specify.

As I kept reading and read more additional benefits of red wine, I noticed a common trend. The chemical make-up of red wine may prevent head and neck cancer, it may help prevent age-related memory decline, it can block cellular processes that allow fat cells to develop and grow & it may kill dangerous bacteria in your mouth.

All these benefits are so subjective and a possibility. The percentages aren’t quantified, sure it could be beneficial or it could just be another liquid that is consumed and excreted in the body. I would have loved to walk away with from this study with a rolodex of positive examples of what wine does, but as of right now I’ll just stick with, I enjoy the taste and it could have health benefits.



So, stress is good?!

A stressful job could be good for your health?? That has got to be a joke right?! This seems crazy and something I truly don’t want to believe, who even likes being stressed?! Not me! In the culture we live in, all we have heard is how detrimental stress can be, and when I feel overwhelmed at work and it’s been non-stop, I of course have the only rational thought out there: “This job is taking years off my life.” But according to this study, stress may actually be more beneficial in a long term sense than we think. Strange thought, right.

Erik Gonzalez-Mule was the lead author of this study and his team from Indiana University tracked thousands of workers who were in their 60’s to gauge the stress that is caused from their jobs over 6 years. The most interesting part of this study for me was that the researchers categorized stress in two different ways: those who had freedom and control in high-stress roles vs employees that have little freedom to make their own decisions in high-stress roles.

When stress is divided into categories like those I agree that there are clear negative consequences for employee health when it is paired with a small amount of freedom for decision making as opposed to when an employee has more freedom that can be favorable. When you have freedom to choose in stress it causes you to find a way and figure it out how you would like. Gonzalez-Mule suggested that reconstructing jobs to give more control to employees could have double benefits because not only would it be good for the employee but also could improve the business itself.

There are several other quotes and statistics that I agree with, but I also do have a few concerns with this study. Why did they look at employees that were in their 60’s? What type of jobs were the researchers looking at? With this type of article out in the media it can be construed and misunderstood very easily. Employee’s may not even read the study but assume that their sleepless nights, long days, and insane workload amount will benefit them, when in reality that is not what this study is saying.