Links I Like

Happy Friday! I hope you have something fun planned. I have a big paper to write, plus a PowerPoint presentation to put together on conjugated linoleic acid for my Nutrition & Metabolism class on Monday. Plus a few miscellaneous writing projects and scholarship essays. You know…the usual. Lots of great nutrition-related news this week, and here are my top picks:
  • I first heard about this phenomenon some years ago: The idea that our fat cells store “samples” of environmental contaminants that we are exposed to over the years (the once that are fat-soluble, anyway) and then if we lose weight, and empty out some of the contents from those fat cells, we release a load of contaminants into our systems, which our body then has to cope with. But to what degree does that affect our health? I hadn’t considered this issue in a while, so “Trapped in a Fat Cell” was a nice refresher.
  • OK, this isn’t purely nutrition-related, but the NY Times had a thought-provoking opinion piece about whether we’ve gone to far with the whole “early detection as disease prevention” idea. This piqued my interest for two reasons: One, I write about the importance of early detection all the time in my work. Two, while I do think that basic health screenings are important, mostly because conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol don’t announce themselves with symptoms as they are developing, those aren’t the most important kind of prevention. Health screenings are “secondary prevention.” That is, they can prevent an existing problem from progressing to a worse problem. I’m personally a bigger fan of “primary prevention.” That is, prevent problems from happening at all by eating a healthful diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking and managing stress.
  • Another good NY Times opinion piece from Mark Bittman on “Regulating Our Sugar Habit.” Especially interesting, to me, in the context of a lecture the director of my program, Adam Drewnowski, gave last week on the obesity epidemic. Basically, socioeconomic status is a huge predictor of whether you will be obese. And what’s one “food” substance that people of low socioeconomic status eat a lot of? Sugar.
  • From The Washington Post: “5 so-called health foods you should avoid.” Yeah!
  • Finally, keep on movin‘, for your health!
Have a great weekend!