Effects of menu calorie counts—also, IHOP is terrible

A study at Cornell University has demonstrated a modest effect on ordering habits resulting from posted calorie counts on menus. Comparing the orders of customers who were given menus with calorie counts against those without calorie counts showed a 3% per meal reduction in calories ordered. According to the study’s author, 3% would lead to about a 1-pound reduction in a person’s weight in 3 years. It’s not a lot but in the age of the absurd 2,000 calorie IHOP breakfast, we’ll take it. Here’s Jim Gaffigan’s take on IHOP (and a few other cake-related jokes). In summary, IHOP suuuuuucks. Don’t go there.

‘You’re really going to eat THAT?’

You may have heard of patient-centered approaches to healthcare, but what about consumer-specific approaches to nutrition? That’s the direction food giant Nestle wants to take with their Nestle Wellness Ambassador program. Users send pictures of their food through an app, and then Nestle recommends lifestyle changes and supplements. So if you want a more objective source instead of your Mom or significant other criticizing your food choices, you can enroll in the program for $600 a year. You also get access to those special supplements, as well as DNA and blood testing which Nestle outsources to outside companies. The program is currently limited to Japanese participants, but we could see an expansion of it in the future as Nestle tries to focus on wellness instead of sweetness.

Apple’s API app accessible

This week, Apple released news that it will allow access to “Apps empowering consumers to manage medications, diseases, nutrition and more, coming this fall” (to a developer near you). The Health Records feature that allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics (e.g. Johns Hopkins, UNC, Cedars-Sinai, Ochsner) to access medical information from various institutions organized into one view on an iPhone. With this people can share data from various sources with other apps or healthcare providers. Use cases include: Medication tracking via Medisafe, Disease management, Nutrition planning, and Medical research via ResearchKit. If you want to know more about Apple’s developer conference and have 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 20 seconds to kill, then you can watch the keynote here. New Apple marketing: “Using an Apple a day will keep the doctor nigh.” (sigh)

Bam! – cook with your kids

The best-known cooking catchphrase: Bam! is a great place to start this article. If watching Emeril Lagasse doesn’t get you fired up to cook, maybe this will. Results of a study conducted over the past 15 years by Jennifer Utter, University of Auckland, New Zealand on Minneapolis-Saint Paul teens (Minnesota, USA) concludes that “developing cooking skills as a young adult may have long-term benefits for health and nutrition.” In a world of social media screen time, this study serves as a gentle reminder that basic skills, like cooking, can have a substantial impact on childhood development. According to the study, “if those who perceived their cooking skills as adequate had families, they ate more frequent family meals and less frequent fast food meals.” So, let’s not pull a Julia Child (via Dan Aykroyd) and do better than the Bass-O-Matic and teach our kids to cook.

The difference between you and Tom Brady

No, not money. InsightCity readers are unbelievably wealthy. And not the attractiveness of your spouse. Surveys show you’re partnered with the most beautiful [man, woman, non-binary] person on the planet. It’s diet. According to Tom Brady, his diet makes him what he is today. Here are the basics: Largely plant-based. Avoids dairy (even though he and Gisele B. both had milk mustaches 15 years ago.) Avoids acidic foods such as tomatoes and peppers because—he believes—they promote inflammation. And drinks an UNBELIEVABLE amount of water. In his book, Brady reportedly recommends that you “drink at least one-half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.” You weigh 200 pounds, you drink 100 ounces of water per day. That seems excessive. Just sayin’.

2. Kick cancer where the sun don’t shine

Seems like everything causes cancer. Red meat, stress, sun screen…Wait, isn’t that supposed to prevent it?!? A group of nutritionists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena have found something that not only doesn’t cause cancer, but actually prevents the growth of cancer cells. What could this impossibly rare cancer resistant thing be, you may ask? How about nuts. That’s right. According to their study, nuts help activate the body’s own defenses for detoxifying reactive oxygen species. These are what cause damage to DNA; damage that leads to cancer development. So, put down your hamburger, grab your nuts, and go to Barrow, Alaska in Winter when you’ll find more than 60 days of complete darkness. No sunscreen required.