Twenty minutes of exercise leads to chemical changes in the genes of muscle cells that can help strengthen muscles, according to a study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Researcher Juleen Zierath said muscles adapt to physical activity, which is behind the "if you don't use it, you lose it" rule in exercise.
Controlling portion sizes is challenging when restaurants super-size dishes, and package labels can be misleading. For example, potato-chip serving sizes are for 15 chips, but the average consumer eats 45 chips in a sitting. Cookbooks and restaurants, too, can offer generous portions. To cope, use smaller plates, share meals or stick with appetizers, one nutrition expert says.
Officials in an Ohio school district are considering serving students breakfast in classrooms, rather than the cafeteria, to save money and ensure students start the day with a nutritious meal. The federal government reimburses districts based on the number of students who are served free and reduced-price meals. Officials say if all students who are eligible received the meals, the district could save more than $1 million.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that mice engineered to have lower levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG compound burned fat calories more efficiently and showed no signs of metabolic syndrome, compared with their unmodified counterparts, despite having a high-fat diet. The findings in Cell Metabolism suggest that blocking the chemical may aid in weight loss.
Chef Didi Emmons says she sort of fell into the role of consultant to food businesses in a growing number of towns that have banned trans fats. Her background as a natural-foods chef first brought her to the attention of the Boston Public Health Commission, which hired her to help the city's food sellers reformulate their recipes after a trans-fat ban there took effect in 2008.