Excerpt from The Daily Mail
Ever since she was a toddler, Stacey Irvine has eaten little else but chicken nuggets and the occasional portion of chips.
Now, at the age of 17, she has been warned by doctors to change her appalling diet or die.
The factory worker – who says she has never tasted fresh fruit or vegetables – had to be taken to hospital earlier this week when she collapsed after struggling to breathe.
…. Nutritionist Dr Carina Norris said that, during her ten years of experience, she has not come across such an extreme case of food addiction.
She believes Stacey’s diet will have serious long-term health implications, as her body will be lacking iron, calcium, antioxidants, vitamins and good fats.
‘She should view her health scare as a warning – a wake-up call that she needs to drastically change her diet.
‘Fruit and vegetables are integral to long-term health. Without them, you greatly increase the chances of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
‘So the sooner you can get children eating them, the better. It is also important that you eat lots of different colours. Stacey’s diet is going to be very beige and high in saturated fat.
It’s important to know that this is an extreme case, but millions suffer from some form of food addiction. While we’re ultimately responsible for our choices, there’s a reason why fast foods, foods high in fats & sugars, and other foods classified as ‘junk’ taste good to us. Our bodies are programmed to like these foods, and they can affect our brain chemistry (like a high). The more you eat them, the more you’ll want to eat them.
Often, when people tell me they can’t give up soda, or they can’t give up their daily chocolate bars or favorite snacks, it’s a sign of some sort of dependency. If you have a certain “treat” that you can’t imagine living without, living without that treat is exactly what you should do… for awhile. It’s amazing how free you might feel to not ‘need’ a certain food or treat to get through your day. And it can free up your ‘schedule’ for other foods that you have been neglecting: it’s harder to choose a salad when that spot is being taken up by another type of food.
I never thought I could give up coffee. It was my daily habit, and lord help the people who dare stood between me and my caffeine. But going a month coffee free really helped me kick my dependency: I still enjoy a coffee every now and then, but I don’t need one. I can go days without and not even notice: mind-blowing to the girl who would go to sleep dreaming of her morning coffee. And I was amazed at how one simple change affected my life: I was sleeping better, my mood improved, I saved money and I lost my ‘jitters’. I also started to enjoy green tea more (I’d never opt for it when coffee was around, so going coffee free gave me the oomph I needed to give other things a try). I started stretching and exercising in the morning for energy instead. One change started a string of others, some of which I’ve kept and some of which I’ve learned from.
Every now and then, if I’ve been over-doing it, I know that going coffee free is not only possible, but is the best thing for me. Just for a short while: thinking about giving it up completely freaks me out, but I’m down for a week or two. It’s not about being perfect: it’s just about making small tweaks and keeping yourself accountable. Ask yourself where you can make a small tweak or two, and see where that takes you!
These. Are. Hilarious.
Note to McDonald’s: maybe twitter campaigns are something you should re-consider.
After they launched a campaign to promote their new product, people took to the Twitterverse to share their hilarious, horrible, disgusting and funny #McDStories. Some of them are pretty funny, and some are just flat out gross.
The hype about McDonald’s being unhealthy isn’t all about the calories: proper nutrition requires fresh veggies, non-processed foods and chemical free fare. When it comes to health, McDonald’s is simply NOT the healthiest choice you can make. If you eat there a lot, consider cutting that down. If you eat there seldom, consider giving it up altogether. If you never eat there, keep doing what you’re doing. (Using McDonald’s as an example, but there are plenty of offenders out there! Learn about the foods you’re eating and make the healthiest choices you can).
Hey, it happens. Either cravings take over, you’re somewhere unfamiliar or you happen to be hanging out with a group who’d prefer McDonald’s to Whole Foods.
Despite even the fittest person’s intention, occasionally fast food creeps in. It might not be the best, it makes us feel guilty, but if you’re stuck on the road and forgot to pack a lunch? You may starve before you find yourself a healthy, homecooked meal. And starving’s no good either.
So do your best to avoid it, but if you must, you must. There are many studies suggesting that denial of cravings for too long can lead to over-consumption. Use these tricks to lighten up your fast food experience, avoid guilt & move forward.
- Feeling guilty does nothing but make you feel bad. It doesn’t burn off those calories, it doesn’t make a plan, it doesn’t help at all. If you’re doing fast food, accept it, enjoy it & move forward.
- Just because it’s fast food, doesn’t mean you need to go all out. This is an interesting phenomenon: once people make the decision to eat fast food, they automatically decide ‘well, I’m already here, so I might as well get everything I want’. Not true. You can compromise. The biggest changes? Have a salad instead of fries, with light dressing on the side. Ask for no mayo on your burger, and choose an option that doesn’t include heaps of bacon & cheese. When in doubt, try the vegetarian options. Think of it this way: instead of a trio of bad choices, choose one part to enjoy balls out & make the other two as healthy as possible.
Good thing? Bad thing?
Making meals healthier is a step in the right direction, but may encourage more and more parents to bring their children to McDonalds. What many health advocates would like to see is a shift away from fast food, towards healthy meals with fresh produce made at home.
However, you can’t disagree that this is a step in the right direction, specifically for parents & children who ALREADY go to McDonald’s often & who’s eating habits haven’t been changed by warnings about the fat & sodium content of the food.
Win-Win? Lose-Lose? Win-Lose?
WEIGH IN! I wanna hear your thoughts on this….
Excerpt from CNN.com
McDonald’s Happy Meals are getting their fat and calories trimmed, the fast food giant announced Tuesday.
The seemingly ubiquitous Happy Meals that have drawn the ire of health advocates and have been blamed for contributing to childhood obesity, will carry apple slices, reduced portion of french fries and a choice of beverage, including new fat-free chocolate milk and 1% low-fat white milk.
The core of the Happy Meal will remain the same as kids will still get fries (a smaller portion) and a choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets.
The changes are scheduled to begin September with the hopes that all 14,000 restaurants will transition to the new Happy Meals by the first quarter of 2012.
The suggested retail price of the Happy Meal will not change.
“By adding fruit in every Happy Meal, McDonald’s hopes to address a challenge children face in meeting the recommended daily consumption of produce,” according to the corporation’s statement.
The new Happy Meal with four pieces of McNuggets, apple slices, smaller French Fries and 1% white milk has 410 calories, 19 grams of fat and 560 milligrams of sodium.
The makeover of the Happy Meal comes after cities and counties began considering Happy Meal toy bans over concerns about nutritional quality and marketing towards children. Happy Meal toys have been banned in San Francisco, and a New York council member has proposed a similar measure this year.
Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, said McDonald’s had to change its nutritional content because of political and community pressures.
“I see this as a positive development,” he said. “The companies have recognized the pressures from the public, the community and parents to offer healthier choices for children. They’ve begun to respond. There have been criticisms of what they serve children for many years. In the past years, the pressure has intensified, the White House concern about childhood obesity is one source of that pressure.”
First lady Michelle Obama who has spearheaded a public health campaign to prevent childhood obesity commended McDonald’s for making “progress today by providing more fruit and reducing the calories in its Happy Meals. I’ve always said that everyone has a role to play in making America healthier, and these are positive steps toward the goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity.”
McDonald’s promised continuing changes to the nutrition in its meals.
“McDonald’s has been engaging suppliers, government and non-government organizations to determine ways it could play a role in helping society address today’s obesity concerns,” the company’s press release said. “McDonald’s will develop additional fruit and vegetable choices and expects them to roll out over the next few years.”
The apples were not very popular in Happy Meals - only 11% of all kid’s meal purchases included the fruit option. Many customers were not aware of apples as an option, according to the company. They will become a default item on the children’s meal.
The fast food giant also pledged to reduce sodium 15% across the board in its menu by 2015. It recently reduced sodium by 10% in most of its chicken offerings, including the Chicken McNuggets.
McDonald’s also vowed to reduce added sugars, saturated fat and calories through varied portion sizes, reformulations and innovations by 2020.
Brownell said he hoped that reduced sodium and apples in the menu would not give parents “permission to go to McDonalds more than they did before. That’s not a good development.”
It’s a good first step, but doesn’t solve the problem, according to a statement from Corporate Accountability International, which is a frequent critic of McDonald’s. It released a statement saying that McDonald’s “deserves credit for not only taking these steps, but for acknowledging its role in today’s epidemic of diet-related disease in so doing.”
“McDonald’s is taking steps in the right direction, but we should be careful in heaping praise on corporations for simply reducing the scope of the problem they continue to create,” said Kelle Louaillier, executive director of Corporate Accountability International. “Ultimately corporate responsibility is not about securing public relations for cleaning up your own mess, but for not creating the problem in the first place. In this case, that means stopping the marketing of junk food to kids.”