March is National Nutrition Month. "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" is the theme for National Nutrition Month® 2014. Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another.
While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most. This year's key messages for NNM focus on how to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the Dietary Guidelines recommendations, according to the website, "National Nutrition Month - 2014 - From the Academy of Nutrition."
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Beans for teens
You also may be interested in seeing sites such as the National Nutrition Month Catalog or See National Nutrition Month Guidelines. Interestingly, a study shows that people who eat beans weigh less. Check out the April 3, 2006 news release, "Research shows adults and teens who eat beans weigh less." The study came from the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (1999). The National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (NHANES is a continuous survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. On another note you may wish to check out the news articles trending on another study, "Children with strict parents tend to be obese ."
A study unveiled on April 3, 2006 gives new meaning to the word beanpole: The findings show that people who eat beans weigh less than those who don't
Presented at the Experimental Biology conference, April 1-5, 2006, in San Francisco, the study found that adults who eat beans weigh 6.6 pounds less – yet eat 199 more daily calories – than adults who don't eat beans. Similar results were found for teenage bean eaters who consume 335 more daily calories but weigh 7.3 pounds less than non-bean-eating teens.
Data for the study came from the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (1999-2002). The results also show that:
- Adult bean eaters consume less total and saturated fat than non-bean eaters and have a 22 per cent lower risk of obesity.
- Adult and teen bean eaters have smaller waist sizes – three-quarter inch and one inch, respectively
- The fiber intake of adult and teen bean eaters is more than one-third higher than non-bean eaters
"Beans are an excellent source of fiber and previous studies have shown that high-fiber diets may help reduce body weight, so this makes sense," says Victor Fulgoni, PhD and author of the study, according to the April 3, 2006 news release, Research shows adults and teens who eat beans weigh less. "As well, they are naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free. It's no wonder that beans have been called a 'superfood.'"
The federal government has recognized the many health benefits of beans:
- MyPyramid, the USDA's recommended eating plan for Americans, lists beans in two food groups. Beans are listed in the Vegetable Group because they are a plant-based food that provides vitamins and minerals. Beans also are listed in the Meat and Beans Group because they are a good source of protein.
- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommends that Americans triple their current intake of beans from one to three cups per week. (By the way, MyPyramid was replaced by MyPlate.)
In addition, other research has shown that diets including beans may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. The National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey (NHANES) is a continuous survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics with survey data released every two years. NHANES 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 contained data on the food and nutrient intake of 9,965 and 11,039 Americans respectively.
The study was featured in two Experimental Biology poster sessions ("Bean Consumption by Adults is Associated with a More Nutrient Dense Diet and a Reduced Risk of Obesity" and "Bean Consumption is Associated with Better Nutrient Intake and Lower Body Weights and Waist Circumferences in Children") and was sponsored by Bush Brothers and Company. For delicious bean recipes and serving ideas, visit the Bush Beans site. Or if you're looking for beans without added salt and not in a can, you might try the dry beans.
Soak them overnight in your refrigerator and cook them yourself. Then store them overnight cooked in a glass jar so all you have to do in the morning is warm them up or serve cold in a salad. Or you could emulsify/puree the beans with herb and spice-flavored water in your blender and make a bean dip, or turn them into hummus by adding lemon or lime juice or some apple cider vinegar and a handful of sesame seeds, then puree them in a blender and use as a dip with crackers or bread or as a salad dressing.
When you look at studies on any particular food, many times, the studies are sponsored or funded in part by the corporations that manufacture processed versions of the food or farmers who grow the food, depending upon which food is involved in studies of how that food promotes health.
Candy consumption frequency and health research
No company is telling people to eat an unlimited amount of candy. Your dentist will give you advice on eating candy. So will the doctor measuring your blood sugar levels. Take for instance a study or research project supported by the National Confectioners Association. Check out the May 20, 2013 news release, "New study suggests candy consumption frequency not linked to obesity or heart disease." This research project was supported by the National Confectioners Association.
So one goal, naturally is to find healthier reasons why candy consumption is not linked to obesity or heart disease. You may wish to check out the abstract of that study, "Body weight status and cardiovascular risk factors in adults by frequency of candy consumption." It's published in the April 30, 2013 issue of the Nutrition Journal. Authors are Mary M Murphy, Leila M Barraj, Xiaoyu Bi and Nicolas Stettler. When people indulge in eating candy, often they're concerned about frequency. And there's the question of what's in the candy, dark chocolate mostly or a candy made almost entirely of processed sugars or syrups.
You also may wish to check out the study, "Major food sources of calories, added sugars, and saturated fat and their contribution to essential nutrient intakes in the U.S. diet: data from the national health and nutrition examination survey (2003–2006)," Peter J Huth, Victor L Fulgoni, Debra R Keast, Keigan Park, Nancy Auestad, Nutrition Journal, August 8, 2013.
At a time when the spotlight is focused on obesity more than ever, new research suggests that frequency of candy consumption is not associated with weight or certain adverse health risks, explains the news release. According to a recent data analysis published in the April 30, 2013 issue of the Nutrition Journal, adults who consume candy at least every other day are no more likely to be overweight nor have greater risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than moderate consumers (about once a week) or even less frequent candy eaters (less than 3 times per month).
Almost all adults (96%) reported eating candy, but there is variability in frequency and quantity consumed at a given time
Previous research has shown that candy consumers are not more likely to be overweight or have greater risk factors for chronic disease than non-consumers of candy. You may wish to check out the study, "Candy consumption was not associated with body weight measures, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, or metabolic syndrome in US adults: NHANES 1999-2004." Nutrition Research. 31(2):122-130. 2011. Authors are O'Neil, C.E., Fulgoni, V.L., and Nicklas, T.A.
This research showed that even the consumers who reported eating the most candy on a given day were not more likely to be at risk for increased weight or disease. Such findings were surprising and required further investigation which this new study set out to do, delving into the role of usual frequency of candy consumption and health/weight outcomes.
This study found that frequency of candy consumption was not associated with the risk of obesity, using objective measures such as BMI, waist circumference and skinfold thickness
Additionally, frequency of candy consumption was not associated with markers of cardiovascular disease risk including blood pressure, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance. Frequency of candy consumption was based on analyses of food frequency questionnaires and data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – the most recent data set in which these food frequency questionnaires were available – of more than 5,000 U.S. adults ages 19 and older.
"We did not find an association between frequency of candy intake and BMI or cardiovascular risk factors among adults," notes lead author Mary M. Murphy, MS, RD of Exponent®, Inc., Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety, according to the May 20, 2013 news release, "New study suggests candy consumption frequency not linked to obesity or heart disease."
The study certainly doesn't provide evidence that candy can be consumed without limits. However, these results suggest that most people are treating themselves to candy without increasing their risk of obesity or cardiovascular disease.
More research is needed to further understand the role candy plays in life and the best tips for candy lovers to include their favorite treats as a part of a happy healthy lifestyle. You also may wish to check out the abstract of another study, "Body weight status and cardiovascular risk factors in adults by frequency of candy consumption," Nutrition Journal 2013. Authors are Murphy MM, Barraj LM, Bi X and Stettler N.
Candy's Contribution to Total Calories, Sugar and Saturated Fat is small
According to the National Cancer Institute's analysis of NHANES 05-06 data (same timeframe as this study), candy contributed an estimated 44 calories per day, or only about 2% of the total caloric intake of an average adult.3. In addition, candy accounted for slightly more than one teaspoon of added sugars (approximately 5 g) or 20 kcal in the diets of adults on a daily basis, which corresponds to a fraction of the 100-150 calorie upper limit of added sugars recommended by the American Heart Association. You may wish to check out the site, "NCI. Table 1b: Mean Intake of Energy and Mean Contribution (kcal) of Various Foods Among US Population, by Age," NHANES 2005. 2010.
Or see, "NCI. Table 5b: Mean Intake of Added Sugars & Mean Contribution (tsp) of Various Foods Among US Population, by Age," NHANES 2005. 2010. By comparison the top three dietary sources of added sugars for adults – sugary drinks, grain-based desserts, and sweetened fruit drinks – account for approximately 60% of the total added sugars intake. You also may wish to check out another site, "Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association," Circulation 2009. Authors are Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, Howard BV, Lefevre M, and Lustig RH, et al.
The National Cancer Institute's analysis
Furthermore, data from the National Cancer Institute's analysis of NHANES 05-06 indicate that candy accounted for only 3.1% of the total saturated fat intake by the US population aged 2 years, or slightly less than 1 g based on a total saturated fat intake of 27.8 g/day. "There is a place for little pleasures, such as candy, in life. A little treat in moderation can have a positive impact on mood and satisfaction, and as emerging research suggests, minimal impact on diet and health risk," says Laura Shumow, MHS, Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, National Confectioners Association, according to the May 20, 2013 news release, "New study suggests candy consumption frequency not linked to obesity or heart disease."