Retailers have been deeply involved in health and wellness initiatives for a while, and more are offering incentives to encourage healthy purchases. With twists on traditional partnerships, "healthy checkout lanes" and programs with financial incentives for making healthier food choices, consumers who make healthful purchases are beginning to expect benefits and rewards beyond health-related ones, David Orgel writes.
In some cases, students gain weight when they go to college -- commonly referred to as the "freshman 15." Experts are divided on what causes the weight gain, with some saying students are wired to select high-fat, sugary food when it is presented and others asserting that students should take responsibility for their own habits. This year, researchers will study how food presentation and accessibility in a university dining hall affect students' choices.
Research suggests that short but intense workouts may blunt appetite after a workout, with the effect lasting until the next day. One study found lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is linked to increased appetite, and higher lactate and blood sugar levels, which can reduce appetite, in study participants who had completed interval training.
Type 2 diabetes patients who took cinnamon supplements gained improvements in cholesterol levels and had slightly lower blood glucose levels than did those who took sitagliptin, an analysis in the Annals of Family Medicine indicated. However, cinnamon extracts did not fare better than metformin in reducing glucose levels and did not show significant effects on A1C levels, researchers said. The long-term effects of cinnamon supplements are not known, and lead study author Olivia Phung, a pharmacist, said she does not recommend replacing diabetes medication with cinnamon.
More states are ordering lean finely textured beef from the U.S. Agriculture Department, according to data showing that as of Sept. 3, seven states had ordered 2 million pounds of the controversial beef product -- up from three states one year ago. Diane Pratt-Heavner, a director at the School Nutrition Association, said the product is safe, and the association supports the USDA's decision to offer a choice on whether to order it.