Curious Food Studies Just In Time For The Holidays

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Curious Food Studies Just In Time For The Holidays

Despite the Thanksgiving holidays last week, there is no shortage of food research studies for us to ponder perhaps like the following: “that’s helpful”, “that’s obvious” or “huh, what?”.  So here is what some researchers believe you need to know.

Eating On A Red Plate Makes You East Less?  Here is something you can try at home. Cognitive psychology researchers at the University of Parma, Italy have found that people may eat significantly less when eating off of a red dish as opposed to a blue or white dish.  That Study can be found at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019566631300370X  but researchers are still unsure if they may be other contributing factors to their findings. According to a CNN report, the underlying basis could be how we associate the color red with stops signs and other things that may produce a psychological effect to proceed cautiously. See http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/29/health/seeing-red/

Environmental Pollution Affecting Brain Development In Children.  There is substantial research that links environmental air pollution to adverse effects on brain development in children and unborn fetuses. Poor air quality is no longer limited to disadvantaged urban neighborhoods.  According to researchers, as many as one in six children has a neurodevelopmental disability that is linked to air pollution.  For an extensive discussion of this growing concern see Florence Williams’ report at http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/12/children-baby-pollution-development-brain?page=1

Messy Children Make Better Learners.  You can try this at home, but I am not suggesting it unless you like to clean up after your infant children. Researchers at the University of Iowa have concluded that the messier your infant child gets while playing with his or her food while in high chair, the more that child is learning. Beware, apparently this works best with nonsolid foods. To learn more about this University of Iowa study see http://now.uiowa.edu/2013/10/messy-children-make-better-learners

The Financial Cost Of Eating A Healthy Diet.  While conventional wisdom has been that healthier foods cost more, researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health have found that most healthier diets cost about $1.50 more per day than typical unhealthy diets.  Basically, these researchers found that healthier diets with a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish – are slightly more expensive than unhealthy diets with an emphasis on processed foods, refined grains, and meats. I have written quite a bit about U.S. Food Policy and this study, in my view, confirms that U.S. subsidies should be used to lower the cost of healthier foods instead of the current policy of subsidizing unhealthy foods.  This study can be found at http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/12/e004277

Potential New Treatment For Peanut Allergies Holds Promise.  If you know someone with an allergy to peanuts, you probably know that they have to be very careful in knowing the source of their foods. Over 100 deaths per year occur from an accidental ingestation of peanuts.  Deborah Kotz of the Boston Globe, who has written in that past on this issue, reports about a promising new method to help people with extreme peanut allergies.  Her report is at http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/2013/12/04/potential-new-cure-for-peanut-allergies-holds-promise/WvMhNFbBxgQtqIQul4x1WK/blog.html

If you have an idea for a blog or have any questions or comments please feel free to write me. Thanks!

 

Kirk Schroder / Food Advocate / foodadvocate@ellwoodthompsons.com