Health updates: Cutting calories and Phys ed program

The following is new information regarding cutting calories; a physical education program that changed one school; and the dark side of killer weeds.

How to easily cut your calories — eat slowly

For ages, mothers have admonished children to slow down and chew their food. It turns out they were onto something. Researchers have found evidence that when people wolf down their food, they end up consuming more calories than they would eating at a slower pace. One reason is the effect of quicker ingestion on hormones. In a recent study, scientists found that when a group of subjects were given an identical serving of ice cream on different occasions, they released more hormones that made them feel full when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of five. In other words, it cannot hurt to slow down and savor your meals.

Phys ed program transformed one school

At Naperville Central High School, west of Chicago, children who are having problems with math or reading go to gym class first. Exercise is not just restricted to the gym — there are bikes and balls in the classrooms, and the children are in constant motion. The results are amazing — reading scores have doubled, and math scores are up by a factor of 20. Research shows that after 30 minutes on the treadmill, students solve problems up to 10 percent more effectively.

Study exposes the dark side of new genetically engineered “killer weeds”

A report has found that farmers are planting too many so-called Roundup Ready crops. These plants are genetically engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup, which allows farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds without harming their own crops. But overuse of this approach to weed control is becoming a problem. Use of Roundup has increased to the point that weeds are also becoming resistant to the chemical. That means that farmers have to start using additional herbicides, some of them even more toxic than Roundup. More than 80 percent of the corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States are genetically engineered.


Sources: New York Times February 22, 2010, ABC News April 14, 2010, New York Times April 13, 2010, BNET April 16, 2010, National Research Council April 13, 2010 and

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 3, June/July 2010.

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