Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Tip of the Week: Stuff the Turkey, Not Your Tummy!

November 25th will mark a time for giving thanks for what you have. It's also a time where many of us choose to celebrate by piling our plates high with some of our favorite foods. Thanksgiving meals range in styles and selections, but can also range in calorie counts! The average meal can contain up to 4000 calories depending on how much you consume. According to a study by Texas A&M International University, Americans may consume an extra 619 calories per day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That can add up to an additional 7 pounds in a very short time frame. The sweets, fats, and carbohydrates can be very tempting for your taste buds, but not so healthy for your body. Fear not! There are healthy swaps you can make to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without the negative health implications! Check out this clip for more information.


Anonymous said...

Or, since Thanksgiving is just one day a year, in fact, just one meal of one day a year, you could enjoy yourself and not beat yourself up over it. Your weight is also not solely determined by your eating habits (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/cp-tvo052708.php).

The majority of diets fail. Most people regain all or more of the weight they lose (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0708681).

You should also do some research into Health at Every Size (HAES). Having some extra adipose tissue on your body does not automatically make you unhealthy. Similarly, being in the "normal" BMI range does not make you automatically healthy (http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/168/15/1617).

Eating disorders kill more people in a shorter time frame than being overweight does - A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover. Since the average lifespan is about 78.4 years and the majority of anorexia cases are diagnosed in mid-teens, this means about a 62-52 year decrement of life years. Versus, life expectancy of a moderately obese person could be shortened by 2 to 5 years.

Please stop buying into the obesity scare hype. Eating disorders often begin because of a diet attempt. All you need to do is: Eat a wide variety of foods. Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. And move your body for fun. The end.

CHEW at JHU said...

We are all about the occasional indulgence. It's perfectly fine! We don't want people to beat themselves up or skimp out on holiday favorite. This is not about dieting, it's about maintaining healthy habits. This post was simply meant to address that sometimes it's easy to go overboard on the holiday eating. Rapid weight gain such as a seven pounds in 39 days can have implications on the heart, kidneys, and liver. It's not about how you look- it's about maintaining health.

There are some with eating disorders that are also triggered by feelings of guilt following 'binges'. This shows that you can still eat plenty of food without having to feel guilty. No where did we mention not eating or fearing obesity. These are simply healthier options.

Anonymous said...

Actually, more recent studies now show that on average, weight gain during the 6-week winter period from Thanksgiving through New Year averaged only 0.37 kg, or 0.816 lb.

I apologize for the forcefulness of my post, I just strongly feel that an attitude of food as something to be controlled, or feared, or something bad, is not a healthy one, no matter how healthy your BMI may be.

CHEW at JHU said...

Understandable. It's always a difficult task to find a balance when discussing food issues.

We recognize there are those out there with certain sensitivities. However, we also realize there are students working toward diet changes or weight loss goals for health benefits (decreased cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain, etc) and attempt to address information that may be useful to that audience as well. College students don't always choose the foods cooked during holiday meals at home, but this empowers eaters to be better informed of their food choices based on their own goals and beliefs.

We think of food as a friend, some foods are just a little friendlier than others.