New York Politician Opposes Greater Access to Fresh Fruits and Veggies–Why?

Note from Connie: Kudos to my blogging researcher/writer for writing about this astounding development. Your jaw may drop as you read this. What do you think of this?

New York’s City Council took a step toward fighting obesity by voting to issue 1,000 permits to street vendors to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in low-income neighborhoods, Reuters reports.

Sounds like a great idea. Who would be against making more delicious, nutritious fresh produce available to more people?

Well, unfortunately, City Councilman John Liu, who represents a district in the borough of Queens, for one.

"If people wanted this produce, the stores would be selling them and there would be vending carts on the street," he told Reuters.

So, is Councilman Liu saying that if stores in modest neighborhoods don’t sell much fresh produce, the people living there are just out of luck?

According to the New York Times, Liu wasn’t the only one that wasn’t wild about this initiative, also known as the Green Cart bill. Surprise, surprise, the retail food industry lobbied against it because they’re afraid they’ll lose customers to the fruit and vegetable vendors, the Times reports.

In fact, the final bill was scaled back from the legislation Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn initially proposed in December, which would have issued 1,500 Green Cart permits.

Apparently those concessions weren’t enough for some council people. Nine of them actually voted against the bill (the council has 51 members altogether, but only 46 voted on this plan).

I don’t know what on earth the bill’s opponents were thinking when they voted no, but luckily they were in the minority!

Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

Institute for Integrative Nutrition: Hear Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mehmet Oz & Others

People often write to me because they learned that I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

They pepper me with questions. They want to know if the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) was any good, how it helped me, what kinds of practical training it provided, etc. They want to know if this is the right school for them.

So, I decided to create a blog post about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to answer the multitude of queries that come in. (Another two just came in this week.)

Here goes. Before I begin, my short answer to your question about whether or not you should go is this: Yes!: Attending IIN was an absolutely fabulous experience. I loved it and I wholeheartedly recommend that you sign up right now!

Here’s why: If you attend IIN, you get so much. For instance:

1) You have the opportunity to attend lectures by world-renowned speakers — big names like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Joe Mercola, plus you learn from experts in self care,
dancing, eating disorders — you name it, you get it! (Learn about the stupendous speakers here.) This, for me, was the clincher that made me sign up for the school. These lecturers are amazing!

2) You get to meet hundreds of people from all over the country — and even the world. What’s really exciting is that you’re all on the same wave length — you’re all into eating healthfully, making a difference and becoming a better person. By attending IIN, it’s sort of like joining one big, health-minded, optimistic family. Whenever you meet anyone from IIN, you instantly bond. (Meet graduates here and notable alumni.)

3) The curriculum is all encompassing. For instance, you learn about a variety of dietary theories, from Atkins to macrobiotics. (What other nutrition school does this? None of which I’m aware. Sure, as with any school or program, you may not agree or relate to everything you learn. But that’s perfectly OK. For instance, I disagree with the sweetener recommendations. But I can live with that, because that’s just one very tiny piece of what this wonderful school teaches. What’s that expression? Why throw out the baby with the bath water? You will love all this instruction on conflicting theories! So cool!)

4) You get educated about the value and importance of what founder/director Joshua Rosenthal, MScEd calls "primary food." (I was pleased to learn that IIN was promoting this, because this is something that I’d been advocating for years myself.)

5) You get to meet the most wonderful new friends. That’s such a wonderful, unexpected plus of the whole experience. These fellow students are such great people!! I can’t rave about them enough. And even when you graduate, you can still connect with them. (For instance, today, one IIN grad who I met at an alumni party wrote to me to say that she may be able to make it to my lecture at Whole Foods in San Francisco next week. And another IIN grad, who also attended the school before me, recently wrote to me to invite me to come to Houston to talk about sugar shock.)

6) You are constantly inspired and motivated. How can you not be when you’re surrounded by these incredibly sweet, dedicated, empowering people?

7) You get much, much more than a nutrition education. You get a whole experience. For instance, you do fun, interactive exercises while in class. You attend meetings and study groups in your area. Etc. You learn about yourself as a person.

8) You get lots of practical training in building your health-counseling career, which to my knowledge, no other nutrition program does to this extent. (They teach you some really wonderful skills and techniques.)

9) You can connect with classmates through the wonderful online community. On the "OC," as we call it, you also can get questions answered, find out about upcoming programs, read articles, etc. (I spent a lot of time on the OC while atttending IIN, because I was writing my book SUGAR SHOCK! during this time.)  You can even participate in an alumni OC after you graduate.

10) You’re welcomed and helped by warm, welcoming, hard-working, professional staff members. (Believe you me, they have one incredibly challenging job to do!)

11) Everything almost always runs smoothly. (They really do pull off major logistical miracles.)

12) After you graduate, you can attend alumni conferences, continuing education teleseminars or if you want to take things even further, you can attend immersion.

I could go on and on but suffice it to say, that I wholeheartedly recommend the school.

To conclude, IIN offers a lot more than just a nutrition education — it’s a whole expansive, nourishing,
life-changing experience.

So what are you waiting for? Learn more about this groundbreaking school now. Or, better yet, sign up now. (Yes, I liked it that much!) You can reach them in several ways:

I hope this answers your questions about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. If you have more questions, feel free to contact me.

Please make sure to mention that Connie Bennett, author of SUGAR SHOCK!, sent you. And tell these wonderful people that I said hi.

Eating Disorders: Get Help to Move From Hell to Hope, Healing & Health — Special Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show (Listen Today or Later)

Nedawarenessdates_2Are you suffering from a nightmarish, overwhelming eating disorder?

Or is a loved one trapped in that horrific hell?

Are you at a complete loss as to how to help?

Get hope, help and information on Friday, Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. EST, when I will host a special radio show, "Eating Disorders: From Hell to Hope, Health & Healing With a Panel of 2 Experts, 2 Former Sufferers."

This special one-hour Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show panel — which you can listen to here — is timed to coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, where a number of events are offered around the country to draw attention to this topic and to encourage early intervention.

Listen to this special radio show to get some insights as to why you or your loved ones have an eating disorder. What’s more, you’ll learn how to get help.

My special panel will feature:

Lynngrefe_2Lynn Grefe, CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the largest non-profit organization in the United States that works to end eating disorders.

NEDA — which is promoting National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008 — offers programs, products and services to prevent, treat and find a cure for eating disorders.

This week, NEDA as its CEO will tell us, is trying to urge people to "Be comfortable in your genes."

To support NEDA, visit here. To get help now, call NEDA’s referral helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Jean_kristeller_3Meanwhile, for this special one-hour Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show panel, I also will interview Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., psychology professor and director, Center for the Study of Health, Religion, & Spirituality at Indiana State University.

Dr. Kristeller, co-founder of the Center for Mindful Eating, will talk about some of the exciting work and research that she’s done to integrate meditative techniques into more comprehensive therapy or support programs to help people with binge eating disorder (BED). She’ll also discuss her research into the role of spirituality to help with serious medical illnesses. 

But this panel will not be complete without the courage of two bold women, Ranae Whitmore and Caitlin Scafati, who both used to suffer from eating disorder (as did I.)

I do hope you’ll join us for this special show. Please listen yourself and send your loved ones, too.

As with all my Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Shows, you can listen to this show live or you can listen afterwards here as well.

The Secret’s Lisa Nichols: Did You Hear Our Inspiring Interview? You Can Listen Now

Did you catch my uplifting, captivating interview today on the Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show with the motivational Lisa Nichols, one of the teachers in "The Secret"?

Lisa — who you may have seen on the "Oprah" show — has a gift to get you to dream big, "play full out," as she puts it, and make your goals a reality.

Catch the Lisa Nichols interview here now.

Get ready to be inspired!

“The Secret”: “Oprah” Guest Lisa Nichols Tells You How to Use “The Secret” to Lose Weight, Kick Sugar, Make Money, Find Love & More Tues. on the Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show

Lisa_nicholsUnless you’ve been hiding in a cave, you’ve certainly heard of the mega-blockbuster movie and book, The Secret.

And you’ve probably heard about Lisa Nichols, one of the most charismatic teachers featured in the movie and book.

Well, tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11:30 am EST (8:30 am PST), I’m pleased to present Lisa in a sure-to-be inspirational and helpful Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show.

Make sure to join us live or afterwards. Listen live here or just visit here after he show is over, and listen at your own convenience.

SUGAR SHOCK!: The Follow-Up Book

Forgive me for not posting as much the last few days, but I’ve been knee deep in my follow-up book to SUGAR SHOCK!

My mission with this book is to give you what you want and need — so please help me to help YOU!

I’m eager to hear from you so send me your ideas and suggestions.

What would you like to see in my follow-up book to SUGAR SHOCK?

What would help you and your loved ones? Please let me know now what you’d like to see in my next book. I will read all or your responses very carefully.

FYI, feel free to be honest and open. In fact, please rest assured, because not only will I keep your anonymity, but your replies will not be published here.

Whole Grains: Study Finds That Eating Them While Dieting Cuts More Belly Bulge

Note from Connie: Yet another study citing the benefits of whole grains was just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings are consistent with previous research. Jennifer gives you the details.

Researchers at Penn State University assigned 50 randomly-chosen obese adults with metabolic syndrome to either get all their grains from whole grain sources or to avoid whole grains in favor of refined ones for 12 weeks. Both groups cut 500 calories a day from their diet and otherwise received the same advice on how to eat.

While all 50 dieters lost weight and belly fat over the 12-week period, the whole-grain group lost much more belly fat than the refined-grain eaters, the researchers found.

This is important because excess weight in the mid-section is associated with greater risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Thanks to Reuters Health for spreading the news.

Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

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“Diet Foods & Drinks” With Artificial Sweeteners: Can They Make You Gain Rather Than Lose Weight? Another Study Says Yes

Yet another medical study suggests that "diet" drinks and foods just aren’t an effective weight loss tool.

More specifically, this new study —  from researchers at Purdue University — reveal that artificially sweetened foods may make you gain — rather than lose — weight. What’s more, you could pack on body fat to boot.

Not only that, but these fake sugar substitutes many cause more weight gain than sugar.

Pretty compelling findings, right?

But don’t take this as license to ditch the sugar substitutes and go for the sugar instead. (As readers of SUGAR SHOCK! know, I’m not a fan of large quantities of sugar or artificial sweeteners.)

The new study — which can be read in the current issue of the American Psychological Association’s Behavioral Neuroscience — found that rats fed yogurt sweetened with the artificial sweetener saccharin gained body weight and body fat.

In fact, the researchers conclude their data indicate that "consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners may lead to increased body weight and obesity by interfering with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes."

SwithersdavidsonloThis isn’t the first time we’ve heard such artificial-sweeteners-can-make-you-gain-weight conclusions from study co-authors Susan E. Swithers, Ph.D., an associate professor, and Terry Davidson, a professor, both in the psychological services department at Purdue University.

Back in April 2004, in a paper called, "A Pavlovian Approach to the Problem of Obesity," which appeared in the International Journal of Obesity — she and colleague Terry Davidson discussed two more studies showing that artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s natural ability to "count" calories based on foods’ sweetness.

Interestingly, these studies rely on the idea that like Pavlov’s dogs, which salivated at the sound of a bell (because they expected food even if none was in sight), these rats fed artificial sweeteners tend to anticipate lots of calories when they taste something sweet.

So, with the new study, when the rats ate saccharin-sweetened food containing no calories, the rats ate more and gained weight nonetheless.

"The animals that had the artificial sweetener appear to have a different anticipatory response," Dr. Swithers told Alice Park of TIME magazine.

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Portion Size: Are You Unknowingly A Victim of Portion Distortion?

Are you often plunging into sugar shock, because you polish off almost the entire box of processed crackers?

Have you been packing on the pounds, because your sizes are way out of whack?

Are you a victim of what experts dub "portion distortion"?

To learn what a proper portion is, check out Lynn Grieger’s great article about the subject on Your Total Health at iVillage.com.

Lynn, as you can learn here, is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, co-author of 6 Weeks to Losing It for Good and popular nutrition writer.

Let Lynn help you to never overdo it on your portions again.

Diabetes: Early Results of 2nd Major Study Suggest Intensive Drug Treatment to Lower Blood Sugar Doesn’t Raise Risk of Death. Now What?

Preliminary and as-yet unpublished results of an international diabetes and heart disease trial based in Australia, called ADVANCE, indicate that intensive drug treatment to lower blood sugar doesn’t increase the chance of death in type 2 diabetics, according to the ADVANCE press release.

This contradicts the findings of a similar U.S. trial, called ACCORD, which found that subjects following an intensive drug- and insulin-regimen died at higher rates than those whose received standard treatment. (Click here for this blog’s report on the ACCORD trial.)

The two trials were similar but not identical, as reporter Sue Hughes of WebMD’s Heartwire news service details here.

I hope this news helps people realize how complicated treating diabetes can be and that they need to do what they can to avoid getting it by eating a healthier diet and exercising.

Thanks go to reporter Rob Stein, whose article in the Washington Post tipped us to this story.

Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog