Whether it's snacks, sandwiches or full restaurant meals, recent experiments at Penn State have shown that we eat more when we're given more and that large portions may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.
"There's only one way to characterize the Space Station as it exists today: Construction site. If we want it to do the great things it's supposed to do, we have to finish it."
-- Space Shuttle Payload Specialist Jim Pawelczyk, associate professor of physiology and kinesiology in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, speaking at Research Unplugged, a weekly lunchtime feature at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center.
Even when they are enrolled in the same Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), patients who are members of linguistic, racial or ethnic minorities report worse care than white English speakers, a Penn State-led study has shown. Asian non-English speakers reported the worst experiences but the study found that African Americans, Hispanic Spanish speakers, and American Indians also continue to face barriers and lower quality of care, even after financial access has been assured by Medicaid. The study, led by Robert Weech-Maldonado, assistant professor of health policy and human development, is detailed in the February issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Big portions encourage people to eat more but big portions of calorie dense food -- the kind Americans tend to grab on the run -- boost calorie consumption even higher without providing additional satisfaction, a new Penn State study shows. The study, the first to focus on the combined effects of both portion size and calorie density or the calories per ounce, found that calorie density and portion size add together to affect caloric intake. Tanja Kral, the doctoral candidate in nutritional sciences who conducted the study, says, "Even though the study participants consumed 221 fewer calories when offered a smaller meal of lower calorie density, they felt just as full and satisfied as when they had consumed a larger meal of higher calorie density."
In what she characterizes as "a patchwork quilt" of a career, Rebecca Wells has been a director of development (for a civic nonprofit group, then for a private school), a financial analyst with a Wall Street firm, and a personnel officer and unit commander in the Army Reserves. In those diverse settings, she got a taste of administrative planning and "saw a lot of commonalities in how operational strategies develop and what their ultimate outcomes are."
There is a common misconception that people who are obese eat a lot and therefore must be etting plenty of vitamins and minerals, says Ledikwe, a Penn State Ph.D. candidate in nutrition. But the issue isn't quantity; it's quality, she says. Many heavier individuals tend to eat foods high in calories but low in nutritional value.
Although increasing evidence points to megaportions of high fat, high calorie foods as fueling the spread of the American obesity epidemic, simply telling people to eat less won't reverse the trend, says Penn State hunger and satiety researcher, Dr. Barbara Rolls.
" It was the toughest visit I have ever had," Linda Burton said quietly. Burton, Penn State professor of human development and family studies, had just returned from Chicago's west side, and a public-housing high-rise of the sort that was made famous—infamous—in the 1991 book There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz.
LaToya Carson was only nine years old when she first held a rat by its slender, bald tail. "A woman working at my summer day camp kept a cage of rats and guinea pigs," Carson tells me, a small smile creeping across her lips. "My favorite rat, Vicky, had red eyes and soft white fur."
Will the type of fat you eat today predict your risk of osteoporosis in the future? Using borage oil and shortening, Sarah Gress (biology) set out to answer this question. Borage oil, extracted from a blue star-shaped flower, is believed to have a positive effect on the aging body. High in gamma linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, it is thought to improve the health of bones. In the femoral neck, the typical location of hip fractures in elderly women, Gress found, borage oil did have a protective effect, as compared to shortening.
Feeling a little stiff today? Every day? You're not alone. Twenty million adults in the United States—half of them under age 65—suffer from osteoarthritis, pain and stiffness that occurs with the loss of joint cartilage, whether from injury or from age. Without a cartilage cushion, bones rub up against one another, causing friction that inhibits movement and ends in inflammation.
Gina's brother Bill urged her to take the test. Bill had colon cancer and had just learned he had a genetic mutation in the MLH1 gene. There is a known correlation between the two: If Gina had the same mutation she had an 80-percent risk of developing colon cancer.
At first Gina, 45 and the mother of three children in their twenties, wasn't sure what to do. Did she have an obligation to take the test? Did she even want to know the results?
Think of Italy, and the mind drifts inevitably to food. Tagliatelle con tartufo nero. Zuppa di pesce. Saltimbocca alla Romana. These days, thinking of Italian food means thinking also of nutrition. The so-called Mediterranean diet, with its essentials of olive oil, pasta, tomatoes, and red wine, is championed for heart health and longevity by doctors and nutritionists around the world. What better place than Italy to study the science of food?