NewsCanada January'11
How to identify binge eating
(NC)—Individuals with binge eating disorders eat vastly excessive amounts of food at one time. They do this for two reasons:

• They are very hungry because they have been dieting or restricting their eating. The binge is a response to that hunger.

• They over-eat to comfort themselves, to avoid uncomfortable situations, or to numb their feelings. The binge is an attempt to soothe themselves emotionally.

Is sodium your concern?
(NC)—Sodium. It's a nutrient found in table salt and many other foods. While we need a certain amount of sodium to help balance fluids and electrolytes in our bodies, too much may lead to high blood pressure - a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.

Canadian adults consume an average of 3,092 mg of sodium daily, double the daily recommended intake of 1,500 mg. How could this be? Well, experts believe that most of the sodium we consume comes from the prepared and processed foods that we eat. The biggest culprits are canned soups, bottled dressings, bouillon cubes, and condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

Tips for fueling a healthier heart
(NC)—Cutting down on fatty foods is one measure to protect the heart, but health specialists say there's an equally good idea for even better results: A daily diet-and-exercise routine to fuel the body and keep the arteries healthy, clear, and strong.

“Many risk factors contribute to the development of heart disease—and while monitoring your cholesterol level is important, so is monitoring inflammation in the arteries,” says Dr. Doug Tkachuk at LifeLabs, a leading diagnostic centre. “Inflammation is involved at all stages of heart disease and if ignored, the inside wall of the artery may weaken and trigger a plaque rupture, leading to a potential blood clot and heart attack.”

Binge eating may be related to childhood experiences
Jean Gotlieb, Health Reporter

 (NC)—Binge eating is one of the most common forms of disordered eating and, according to experts, perhaps the least understood. A binge eating disorder is not occasionally over-eating to the point of discomfort, as is often done at celebrations. People with binge eating disorder may consume up to 20, 000 calories in a sitting, using food in this way to soothe or punish themselves multiple times a week. They struggle with feelings of guilt, self-disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control, but feel unable to control their eating.

The cost for young girls who prefer thin bodies
Jean Gottlieb, Health Reporter

(NC)—It's not just teens who want to be thin. Girls barely out of diapers already strongly prefer thin individuals to overweight individuals. In new research by Dr. Jennifer Harriger and colleagues at Pepperdine University, California, girls aged 3 to 5 years old have been found to have internalized the negative stereotypes of fat people that abound in society: approximately 70% choose the thinnest figured images over average-sized or fat figures to be their best friend, and to represent themselves on board games. Thin figures were most likely to be described by the girls as nice, smart, friends, neat, cute and quiet. Fatter figures were more likely to be described as mean, stupid, friendless, sloppy, ugly and loud.

Double your daily servings of omega-3 foods
(NC)—Even when trying to shed a few pounds, don't deprive your body of enough beneficial fat, especially omega-3. Health specialists say that most of us consume less than half of what we actually need.

It's wise to cut down on saturated fat and eliminate trans fats, but for optimum brain function and a healthy nervous system, the importance of omega-3 fatty acids every day cannot be over overstated.

“Most research data shows that the average North American daily diet contains about one gram of omega-3, whereas two to four grams minimum are recommended,” says Dr. Doug Tkachuk at LifeLabs, a leading diagnostic test centre. “This means doubling, tripling or even quadrupling our consumption of this essential fatty acid. Approximately 2 percent of total daily calories should be omega-3 because it has shown to help in the fight against depression, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry and itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, joint pain, and lack of concentration.”

Help your child to have a healthy mind and body

(NC)—To keep kids healthy on the inside and out, here are some tips from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre,

• Focus on health and wellbeing, not appearance; e.g., is your child energetic and healthy regardless of size?

• Eat together as a family- research shows that kids who regularly eat dinner with their families have fewer emotional and eating problems.

• Encourage healthy eating and physical activity for the entire family.

• Make sure that your child knows that you love them regardless of their size or weight.

• Expect fat and thin children to eat similarly.

How we see our bodies impacts how we live our lives
Jean Gottlieb, Health Reporter

(NC)—More than seven out of ten girls avoid certain activities, such as giving an opinion or going to school when they feel bad about their bodies, according to academic research by the Dove Self Esteem Fund. Negative body image also means both girls and boys are less likely to engage in physical activity. Life-long health-giving habits such as proper nutrition and exercise are laid down in childhood and are affected by an individual's body image.

Stress-free ways to improve health
Jean Gottlieb, Health Reporter

(NC)—We're regularly flooded with information on the importance of being slender. “Being thin or losing weight is the number one desire of most girls and women because it is associated with being in control, desirable and successful” says Merryl Bear, director of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). Despite decades of new nutritional information and diet advice, Canadians today are no thinner than in previous generations. According to a recent report in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, research consistently shows that only about 5% to 10% of individuals who lose weight by dieting manage to keep it off for more than a year. Worse still, the report shows that dieters are 5 times more likely to develop an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are rising among men
Jean Gottlieb, Health Reporter

(NC)—Eating disorders are still often thought of as a female problem, or one sometimes affecting gay males. However, an increasing number of eating disorders are being seen in males and minority populations, according to a recent report by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The same report shows that 5 – 10% of all individuals with an eating disorder are male.

“These are significant numbers of boys and men needing help,” says Merryl Bear, director of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC),, “Whether you are female or male, there's little difference in your degree of unhappiness, pain or danger to health.”

Nutrition tips for busy Canadians

Simple, economical solutions


(NC)—Canadians lead hectic, busy lives, but that doesn't mean that nutrition has to suffer. Incorporating wholesome, nutritious snacks into the day will help to boost energy levels. According to Bonnie Cohen, a registered dietitian with Egg Farmers of Canada, one of the easiest and most economical ways to do this is with hard-cooked eggs.

“I recommend making a dozen hard-cooked eggs on Sunday evening. It only takes a few minutes and you'll have a convenient source of protein in the fridge and ready to go for the week ahead. With six grams of high quality protein and 14 key nutrients, they're the perfect food to fuel busy lives,” Cohen says.

Five tips to fight the fat

(NC)—Recent reports show that 60 per cent of adults in Canada are overweight or obese - if you're among them you know the extra weight can have a very real impact on your overall health and well-being.

If you're looking to shed some extra pounds this new year, take a few tips from Dr. Ali Zentner, an obesity specialist who herself lost 160 pounds and is now a triathlete and marathon runner. Dr. Ali is currently helping the town of Taylor, B.C. shed, literally, a ton of weight on CBC's new series, Village on a Diet. Some of the tips Dr. Ali shared with Taylor residents can also work for you:

Not hungry? Put down the fork

(NC)—It's well-known that it takes about 15-20 minutes for our stomachs to send the message to the brain that we are full. For people trying to lose weight or control caloric intake, it's important to stop eating when you're satisfied, not when you're full. On the new CBC series Village on a Diet, Registered Psychologist Dr. Adele Fox is helping the town of Taylor, B.C. lose, literally, a ton of weight and learn about their relationship with food. She offers these tips to Taylor residents - and all Canadians - to prevent mindless eating: - It's all about food in Canada!
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(NC)—With the cost of food on the rise, there's no better time to start growing your own organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. The best part about incorporating edible items into the garden (aside from the taste and health benefits) is that you don't need to be an avid gardener or have a large garden space to get started.

Herbs and vegetables can easily be grown right in your backyard garden or in containers on your patio or balcony. Certain items such as tomatoes come in a variety of vibrant colours and when mixed in with traditional flowers and plants, make for breathtaking displays.