Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"C" is for Calories. What else? (4.3.2012)


"Certainly calories are talked about constantly, and information about them appears with increasing frequency on food labels, menus, recipes and Web sites. But few people understand what they are and how they work — especially how they have worked to create a population in which 64 percent of adults and a third of children are overweight or obese..."
--Jane Brody, Columnist, The New York Times


Recently, I started counting calories. Wait, I take that back. Recently for the past 50 years or so, I've been counting calories. It's interesting when you begin that exercise how aware you become of how many calories are actually in foods. Especially when you are budgeting: trying to stay within a certain range of input (calories) to output (burning calories). It's quite the eye opener.

“People who pay attention to calorie labels on menus are shocked, for example, to discover that a single cookie contains 700 calories,” Dr. Nestle said. “You may want that cookie, but then you can’t eat anything else. Cookies didn’t used to be this big.”

You think?

I’ve enjoyed reading Jane Brody in The Times for years. I have a sense that Jane and I are contemporaries of sorts. Many of the issues she writes about (and which seem to concern her) concern me too. I suppose that is not an accident.

This is a great article on the ins and outs (ups and downs?) of counting calories. As if counting calories is not daunting enough, there is scientific evidence that the body metabolizes different calories in different ways.

A new book, Why Calories Count, from experts Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University; and Malden Nesheim, professor emeritus of nutritional sciences at Cornell University explains what calories are, where they come from, how different sources affect the body, and why it is so easy to consume more of them than most people need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

“A food isn’t a food — they’re all different — but since a calorie is just a measurement of energy, how can it vary? When I asked my question, Nestle’s answer was confounding: “Yes and no,” she said, adding, “It’s Talmudic.””

Hmmm. Wonder what I should have for lunch?

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Here's the link to the story:
Calories Are Everywhere, Yet Hard to Track

Author's Note: In the month of April, I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The idea is to blog about something every day, starting with the first letter in the alphabet ("A") and continuing through all 26 letters (to "Z"). (We get Sundays off for good behavior.) In order to make this fun and challenging, I've decided to theme my A to Z blogging. Here's the plan: since I love reading The New York Times, and since I always find no shortage of frightfully interesting stories, I am going to center my blog on the stories I find in The Times. One thing I promise: an A to Z ride through The Times as diverse as the Gray Lady herself. Hang on for some fun. Or as Kevin said in Home Alone (one of my favorite lines), "I think I'll give it a whirl..."

1 comment:

  1. I've always been thin as a rail, will admit, never had a weight problem. And At 49 I can't say I do now but I'm eating the way I usually eat, I'm exercising as I usually do and seem to be stuck at 8 pounds or so above my normal weight. I also think I'm perimenapausal. It all may be connected. I can't slow down in my life but I guess my metabolism can slow down anyway! Boo!

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