Before you go getting too smug about that organic vegan muffin in your hand, think again. According to an article in The Star, Holly Heglin has been indulging regularly in a sweet potato date muffin from Urban Herbivore, a vegan cafe with locations in Toronto, including the Eaton Centre. Being organic and vegan, the muffin must be reasonably healthy, right?
Curious to discover the calorific content of the muffin described on Urban Herbivore's website as "so good for you," Heglin contacted The Dish. So much for organic and nutritious.
Heglin guessed the muffin contained around 400-500 calories, when in fact that number was nearly double: 986 calories. That’s right, almost half of the average woman's suggested daily intake—in a single muffin. That's the equivalent of 14 chocolate glazed Timbits. Even a McDonalds double chocolate muffin with Oreo crumble has just 450 calories and 15 grams of fat. And at least Tims and McDs aren't trying to pull the wool over, pretending its treats are healthful.
Who knew that a sweet potato date muffin could contain such a ridiculously high number of calories? Not to mention a fat equivalent—38 grams—of eight teaspoons, and a whopping 45 per cent of our daily salt intake at 689mg of sodium.
Not to pick on the Urban Herbivore, but suffice to say, we should all think twice before reaching for a snack. Just because it's vegan or organic doesn't mean it's necessarily 'healthy.' And moreover, when it comes to muffins, nutritionists advise they should be the size of clementines, not grapefruits.
Heglin doesn't plan on ditching the muffin, which she sees as her personal version of the double cheeseburger. But at least she will do so sparingly from now on.
No denying that childhood obesity is an epidemic. But as far as parents in Massachusetts are concerned, sending home a so-called 'fat letter' strikes the wrong cord.
Following body mass index (BMI) screening, schools in the state send home a note to parents indicating whether a given child was classed as overweight, healthy or underweight. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the fat letters then recommend that parents with obese or overweight children consult with their pediatrician.
"Honestly, I laughed," said Tracy Watson, mom of fourth-grader Cam, whose BMI categorized him as obese—despite the fact that he's an active member on wrestling and football teams.
BMI testing can be flawed since it doesn't take into account muscle matter. However, it can also be an early indicator of weight problems that will carry into adulthood, possibly culminating in diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
The screening revealed that 32.3% of students in Massachusetts were either overweight or obese.
“I know I’m not obese so I didn’t really care about the letter. I just crumpled it up,” said Cam Watson, who at 4 feet 7 inches weighs in at 97 pounds.
Cam's parents feel the testing runs the risk of inaccuracy and only serve to make kids feel bad about their bodies. While parents are allowed to opt out of the screening, the state's Department of Public Health defended the process as a vital step in "a broader strategy to combat obesity."
The letters sent out are strictly confidential. Nonetheless, parents are up in arms, trying to put a stop to the letters and prevent the state from collecting data about students' height, weight and BMI.
Necessary first step in fighting obesity, or do the letter constitute 'fat shaming'?
Though the Duchess of Cambridge may not have realized it at the time, Kate Middleton drew international attention to a condition about which little is known when she was hospitalized a few months ago. Though some were quick to dismiss the attention as 'princess treatment,' Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) can actually be fatal.
According to an article in Science Daily, the condition—which involves acute nausea and sickness during pregnancy—is thought to have hormonal, genetic and socio-economic origins.
Affecting approximately one in every hundred, as with the Duchess, women with HG may require hospitalization to "restore hydration, electrolytes and vitamins intravenously."
"At worst, women may die if they go untreated. Many women find that the condition has an adverse effect on their work and family lives," said senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics, Åse Vikanes, whose doctoral thesis was the first in the field in Norway in 70 years.
"Not too many years ago, people sincerely believed that the cause [of HG] could be the woman's subconscious rejection of the child and the child's father. The attitude in part has been that the pregnant woman needs to pull herself together," explains Åse Vikanes.
Now researchers are finally starting to investigate the scientific basis behind the condition, thought in part to involve elevated levels of oestrogen and the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
It would be interesting to note if the Duchess' own mother suffered from HG, since tends to be hereditary. Interestingly, body mass index (BMI) and diet during pregnancy are said to trigger severe nausea in expectant mothers, with those at either the higher or lower end of the scale affected. (Presumably the tabloids would have a field day with this tidbit, since there was much made of Kate's weight loss in the months leading up to the Royal wedding.)
Dr Vikanes and her colleagues are now digging around to prove conclusively that the condition is not simply in the woman's head. "We need to learn more about this so we can help women who suffer from this condition to get better treatment," said Dr Vikanes.
If you suffered from hyperemesis, do any of the above hypotheses ring true in your case?