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Why solving the obesity epidemic will hurt the economy

Food is a major source of revenue in the United States, generating more than 1,617 billion dollars in 2009. It has been reported that the U.S. produces enough food to supply each person around 4000 calories per day, nearly twice what we need.

Children eat around 350 calories more per day then they did in the 1970’s, and adults consume an additional 500 calories compared to the 70’s.

If everyone skipped one meal every day, we would be eating the same amount of food as we were 30 years ago, when obesity rates were low. However, consider the consequences of skipping one meal on the economy.

If lunch costs around 5 dollars and all Americans skipped this meal, there would be a loss of revenue exceeding 1.5 billion dollars per day (over $560 billion each year), or a 34% decrease in total revenue for the food industry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Workout booster in a can

Looking for a way to enhance your workout? Try slamming an energy drink before hitting the gym, suggests a recent study published in the August issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Since hitting the shelves, energy drinks have continued to grow in popularity. But who would have thought that drinking one right before your workout could actually help you gain more muscle mass, lose more fat, and enhance your cardiovascular fitness?

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Don’t let the scale get you down

Over the past few years, scales claiming to measure body fat in addition to body weight have made a substantial showing on the shelves of specialty stores and supercenters alike. These scales, and other devices, can easily be purchased for under $100, but are they telling you the truth? Not likely, current research suggests.

Most of these scales and handheld devices use a low-level electrical current that passes from one leg or hand to the other and measures the ease which with the current can move through your body. The more muscle you have, the easier and faster the current flows, and the more fat, the slower the current travels. However, all these devices use body weight along with other factors like height, age, and gender to predict body fat with the help of the electrical current’s resistance. The problem is, without the electrical current’s help, the scales can predict body fat with these other variables alone, and body weight can account for nearly 80% of the prediction. That means that body weight is the predominant factor these devices use in predicting body fat. So what happens when you lose body fat and gain muscle, but your weight stays the same? Chances are the scale will tell you that your body fat has not changed when in fact it has. Read the rest of this entry »

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