Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Soda Loses It’s Fizz

April 1, 2016


To me, drinking diet soda is like drinking poison. I mean, you wouldn’t guzzle down a bottle of Windex, so why would you drink something that isn’t really any better for you than that? Many studies have exposed the perils of diet soda consumption, proving that the calorie free, sugar free drink can be hazardous to your health. More and more Americans are coming to their senses about the risks, resulting in a whopping 30% decrease in total soda sales, with diet drinks leading the biggest decline.

Before you pop that top, read on to see why diet soda is hazardous to your health.


A long term study from Harvard University showed that drinking more than two diet sodas per day increased the risk for kidney disease two-fold.

An early study from the University of Minnesota found that drinking just one diet soda per day could be attributed to a drop of 34% in metabolic activity. This equates to higher cholesterol and increased belly fat, which can be a risk factor for heart disease.

Obesity rates among diet soda drinkers are high, as the artificial sweeteners increase cravings for sweets, causing the test subjects in the Texas Health Science Center study to over-indulge regularly.

Using diet soda as a mixer for alchohalic beverages isn’t such a great idea either. While they are lower in calories than other options, the lack of sugar in the drink allows the liquor to enter your bloodstream more quickly, getting you drunk faster, and ultimately hung over later.

Can With Pull-Tab, High Angle View

Can With Pull-Tab, High Angle View

Diet sodas contain preservatives called mold inhibitors, such as sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, which can lead to severe damage to DNA at the cellular level. They are also linked to hives, asthma and are listed in the UK as known  irritants to eyes, skin and mucus membranes.

Because of the low pH of diet soda, the acid content is extremely high. This equates to all kinds of dental issues, including decay, and tooth loss.

High levels of phosphates in the beverage can interfere with calcium levels and increase your chances of fracturing a bone during a fall by three to four times.

If all of that isn’t enough to make you step away from the Diet Coke, how about  reports that Asparatame may in fact be carcinogenic? And while that has been widely disputed over the years, the chemical ( chemical!!!) has been linked to, but not proven to cause a vast range of other health issues, including dizziness, Alzhiemer’s, birth defects, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Kind of takes the fizz out of things, doesn’t it?

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on Gourmly EcohabitudeLemonbar and Etsy

Download the HOMEMADE app








Propensity for Obesity Declines

July 30, 2015


The obesity epidemic in the United States seems to be showing signs of slowing down.

The New York Times reports that the decade long slide into obesity is on the decline. Using statistics collected from barcode data and food production estimates, this is the first sustained decline in the 40 years that diet and calorie consumption has been tracked.

Children are showing the biggest difference, cutting back an average of 9% of thier intake since 2004. The average adult has cut back to 2195 calories per day, from the 2003-2004 amount of 2269.

Non-diet soda consumption fell 25% since the beginning of 2000.

Before we get all excited about the positive change, we still have a long way to go. Almost 35% of all adult Americans are still obese, with high risks for stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers.

While there is a drop in non-diet soda consumption, Americans are still drinking an average of 30 gallons of it annually. Worse yet, diet soda is a petrie dish of chemicals, linked to it’s own laundry list of health woes.

Americans are not coming close to meeting their ideal targets for eating fruits and vegetables. According to LiveScience, we are only consuming about 13% of the recommended daily requirements for fruit, and 9% of the required vegetables.

The best news is the change in children’s intake, marking a shift in awareness. Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move and healthy eating programs seem to be having a postive effect on this age group and their parents. Let’s hope that schools and families continue embrace a healthier lifestyle for their children.


Obesity and Cancer

January 14, 2015


Look out tobacco, there is a new risk in town. Yes, something else is running so rampant in our society, that it is about to replace tobacco use as the leading cause of cancer.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the number one modifiable factor in cancer risk.

While most everyone is aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, very few know about the connection between cancer and being over wieght.

Tobacco use has dropped over the years, largely due to the restrictions on it’s use throughout the United States, and many other countries. The obesity rate, however continues to grow. According to Dr. Clifford Hudis, a physician at Memorial Sloane Kettering and a former president of the ASCO, current projections state that 60% of all  residents of southern states will be obese by 2030.

While more research needs to be done, cancer risk is just another reason to maintain a healthy weight. Adjusting one’s diet is a key factor in overall good health and may contribute to warding off cancer, in addition to hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

To help support life saving research and clinical trials, please consider contributing to our Cycle for Survival team. Every dollar raised goes to help fund this valuable work. This week, every donation will be matched, doubling your impact.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Expansion Plans

September 25, 2014


The American obesity epidemic continues to take it’s toll, despite warnings to the contrary. What is really alarming, is news that although our collective body mass is not expanding, our waistlines are.

The New York Times reports that the average overall waist circumference in 2012 was 38.7″, up from 37.5 in 1999.

Abdominal obesity, defined by a waist circumference of more than 40″ for men, and 34.6″ for woman, is a key indicator of metabolic syndrome, which puts us at greater risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Getting on the scale is a good indicator of weight, but monitoring your waistline could be a better indicator of good health.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr, Instagram and Pinterest too!

The Wheat We Hate to Eat

September 16, 2013


Hating on wheat is the trendy thing to do these days. Everyone, it seems, has issues with the grain, and gluten free is the fashionable way to be.

After reading an article in Harper’s Bazaar about the perils of today’s wheat, it sparked a lively discussion.

In the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Way Back to Health, by William Davis, it blames gliadin, a component of gluten, for causing our distress. Dr. Davis contends that wheat causes diabetes, heart disease and acne. He states that the gliadin found in wheat, and its interaction with the opioid receptors in the brain over stimulates the appetite and ultimately causes obesity. Later in the article, several other doctors disputed his theories as bunk, and states that other foods have this effect, including milk, soy and spinach.

It’s difficult to know who to believe.

I have heard people (myself among them,) discuss bloating, stomach distress, acne and “brain fog” as after effects of eating foods containing gluten. I have heard it blamed on the evils of American wheat vs. European wheat, and genetically engineered wheat vs. non-GMO types. Yes, the wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our fore folks ate hundreds of years ago, nor is it the same exact wheat we ate 50 years ago. It is not, however, the genetically modified Frankenwheat it is often accused of being.

I set out to gather the cold, hard facts on wheat production:

It is not legal to produce genetically modified wheat for commercial consumption in North America. Europe also does not permit their wheat crops to be genetically modified. There is no need to brag about flour or baked goods being non-GMO by labeling them as such, since all the wheat products in the United States and Europe fall into that category. Both countries are testing genetically modified wheat, but it is not available for consumption at this time.

Wheat has undergone hybridization over the years, caused both by nature and from man helping the breeding process and therefore creating new species of the plants. While hybridization is naturally occurring, the low-tech process of assisting compatible species to merge has been going on since the beginning of agriculture. This process does not alter the plant’s genetic structure through use of chemicals or technology, and does not introduce genes from other kingdoms into the mix, as does genetic modification.

Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that gives elasticity to dough. It is what helps it rise, and gives shape to the dough. Some grades of flour have a lower gluten content than others due to the milling process, but it is intrinsic in the natural makeup of wheat, as well as that of rye and barley.

Gluten-free flours and baked goods come from the use of alternative flours, not from removing the gluten from wheat. That in fact, would require genetic modification.

There is nothing going on in other countries that would make their wheat more palatable, or digestible than ours. Some common alternative flours are almond meal, garbanzo flour and coconut flour, among others. They often alter the consistency of the food, and can rarely be substituted in a recipe without adapting it accordingly.

While only 1 out of 100 people have Celiac disease, which makes it impossible for their body to process the gluten in wheat and other products, the rest of us are fully able to digest it. While that number is indeed higher than it was 50 years ago, it is still quite low. Many attribute the increase in Celiac disease to the fact that more and more people are being tested for it. Gluten is also being used in many medications, cosmetics and processed foods, which exposes us to much higher quantities of it than ever before.

Going gluten free, or even just opting to go wheat free does have its benefits for the mass population. Most people experience weight loss from cutting these products from their diet. Eliminating bread, pasta, cookies, cakes and other flour-based foods eliminates substantial calories. As people reach a healthy weight, they tend to experience less health symptoms.

Wheat or not to wheat, that is the question. If you suspect you have a problem with wheat, even though your doctor has ruled out a real allergy or Celiac disease,try eliminating wheat based foods, or gluten based products from your diet for two weeks and see how you feel. If you feel more energetic, and your skin or digestive issues improve, then go for it. If it doesn’t seem to have much effect, keep whole grains in your diet for the fiber, vitamins and minerals they offer, as well as the joy we often get from eating them.

Then sit back, relax and wait for the next food villain to emerge.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr, Instagram and Pinterest too!

The Cleaning Conundrum

March 6, 2013


How women currently spend their time may provide some clues to our growing obesity epidemic. According to a recently released study, it seems that these days, we’re sitting down on the job.

The American Heritage Time Use Studies documented how women spent their time at home. Chronicling both working and non-working woman from 1965-2010, the diaries showed remarkable differences in their activity levels as the years went by.


In the earlier diaries, women spent an average of over 26.7 hours per week doing domestic chores, such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. This number of hours were reduced radically by 2010, when women reported doing an average of 13.3 hours of housework per week.

While some of the decrease is attributed to more women working outside the home than they did 48 years ago, the invention of the computer seems to be a large factor as well. Women are spending more than 16.5 hours of leisure time in front of a screen of some kind vs. only 8 hours in 1965.


What does all this mean? The study suggests that the average woman is burning 360 calories less per day, than her predecessors.

Here’s the lowdown on what a woman might burn doing 30 minutes of housework:


  • Scrubbing bathroom or floors (on hands and knees): 200 calories
  • Vacuuming: 90 calories
  • Dusting: 50 calories
  • Washing dishes: 160 calories
  • Making the beds: 130 calories 68
  • Ironing: 70 calories
  • Doing laundry: 100 calories
  • Cooking: 75 calories

It’s time to get moving ladies. Your homes and your bodies will thank you for it.

Vintage Photos: Glasshouse Images

Supersize Me

January 16, 2013

With over 37% of all Americans being obese, it’s no surprise that the stigma of being overweight is following people to their graves.
Casket manufacturers have reported an increase in requests for extra large sized coffins!
The standard coffin is 24”-27”wide. Orders for double wide styles which measure 52”and can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds are on the rise. The additional space can cost up to $4000 extra.

With obesity being a major morbidity cause, casket manufacturers can expect a boom to business, if we can’t get this health issue under control.

photo: Glasshouse Images

A Tale of Two Cities

June 4, 2012

This week, two major cities took steps to help us clean up our unhealthy lifestyles.

Los Angeles just became the largest city to jump on the sustainability bandwagon, by banning plastic grocery bags.

Not only do discarded bags clog our eco-system, but also the inks and dyes used on many of them are toxic. Over 100 billion bags are tossed in the United States each year, resulting in the environmental equivalent of dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.

L.A. residents and businesses have 16 months to phase in the new plan. Although bringing re-usable bags is ideal, customers will be able to purchase paper bags at checkout, for 10 cents a piece.

While many support this bill, which is already underway in other cities, many are unhappy with the decision.

The detractors feel that is an inconvenience that will not have a significant impact.

Although the bags account to less than 1% of all waste in the area, Los Angeles uses an estimated 2.7 million bags per year.

Across the country on the east coast, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has proposed a ban on the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 oz. in an effort to stall the obesity epidemic.

The proposed ban would affect restaurants, sporting and entertainment venues, and fast food franchises. The measure would not affect diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy – based drinks or alcoholic beverages. It would not extend to products sold in grocery or convenience stores.

Many locals are up in arms over the ban, saying that is not the government’s business to get involved in such things.

Mayor Bloomberg has been a major advocate of health issues in the city. His ban of smoking in restaurants and other public places, ban of the use of trans fats, and the requirement that all chain restaurants post calorie counts, were also met with dissent, yet have been initiatives that have been rolled out across the country.

Bloomberg responded to his detractors by saying:

“Oh, come on. We’re not taking anything away. You don’t have to pay attention to the calorie counts. You don’t have to stop smoking. You don’t have to stop buying big bottles of soda.”

It seems that the general population is not willing to do their part in promoting good health and taking care of our environment. The local governments seem to be taking the matters into their own hands.
How much involvement is too much? Do they have bigger issues to work on, or are these initiatives more impactful than people give them credit for?

Join the conversation…

Fast Food Nation

May 17, 2012

We all know the obesity rate in the United States is climbing rapidly. This epidemic is attributed to over eating and under exercising, right? Well, maybe it’s more than that.

According to an article on the Co. Design website, it could be what we eat, not how much we eat that is having an adverse effect on our waistlines.

While the article acknowledges that Americans consume more calories than any other country in the world, it isn’t substantially more.

The average American consumes 3770 (!!!) calories per day and spends about 6.9% of their income on food. Currently 34% of the population is considered obese.

Just as a reference point, it takes 3500 calories to make a pound and the average salary in the U.S. is $46,326 per year. That means about  $8.75 per day is spent on food.

Comparatively, Italians eat 3660 calories per day, and spend 14.7% of their income on food. Italy’s obesity rate is 15%.

So what’s contributing to the difference?

It seems that Americans are obsessed with cheap food sources. In the 1950’s mechanized foods, such as canned, frozen, and fast foods were considered a sign of our country’s progressiveness. Cheap, processed foods became a source of pride for our nation.

Other countries held fast to their cultural traditions, and continued to enjoy their national cuisine. Using the freshest and finest ingredients to produce regional delicacies is far more costly than the pink slime consumed in our country.

Although it is clear that 3770 calories a day is way too much, especially when the average American is fairly sedentary, it appears that the quality of our food may play as great a role as the quantity we consume.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Soda Canned

May 15, 2012

While visiting a friend in the hospital this weekend, I was struck by a sign on a vending machine in the patient’s lounge. It read:

“The health risks associated with obesity, along with the increase in diabetes and heart disease are so substantial, that the Mount Sinai Medical Center has taken the lead and now prohibits the sale of high fructose beverages in our vending machines.”

The vending machine was filled with every flavor of diet soda you can imagine.  Do they really believe that chemically sweetened diet soda is better for you than the original versions? Many renowned researchers disagree.

A recent study from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and Harvard University found that the more soda a person consumes, regardless of whether or not it is sweetened with sugar or artificially sweetened, increases one’s risk for stroke.

A previous study, found an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular related deaths in older adults who drank diet soda.

A 2009 Nurse’s Health Study of 3,256 women, found that those who drank 2 or more diet sodas per day had a 30% drop in kidney function.  Although there is no final word on the matter yet, it is thought that artificial sweeteners may scar kidney tissue over time.

The acid content in soda has been found to be harmful to tooth enamel. Both regular and diet soda contain phosphoric and citric acids, which promote carbonation, and eat away at tooth enamel, the main barrier to decay.

Drinking soda can lead to bone loss. The phosphoric acid in soda also causes the calcium in the bloodstream to be excreted more quickly than normal. The bones give up some of their supply, to keep the blood calcium level constant. This results in weakening of the bones over time.

Ironically, diet soda has been associated with obesity, since it is thought that the sweet taste sends the brain a signal, causing it to suggest to the body that high calorie foods are en route. When they don’t arrive, the appetite is increased, as is the “sweet tooth”. Another theory suggests that people believe that they are saving so many calories by drinking diet soda, that they indulge in other fattening foods.

Given the information readily available on the health risks associated with soda intake and artificial sweeteners, it is mind-boggling and irresponsible for a hospital to supply it to their patients and visitors.

What do you think?

photo: Glasshouse Images

%d bloggers like this: