While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!
The EALM Blog Shelf
Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.
Headline: Sign Your Girls Up For Team Sports this Fall!
Healthy and Happy: The Positive Role Team Sports Play on Adolescent Girls By Lauren Cohen and Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services
Do you remember what middle school was like for you? If you’re like me, you probably try not to remember. Being a teenager is difficult. Between the physical changes, social changes, and mental changes, overwhelming is probably an understatement—and that’s not even including schoolwork! And then there are the girls. The pressure and social anxiety to “fit it” is exacerbated by the feeling that you need to wear the right clothes or carry the right backpack or have the right friends. As many times as we try to profess that all girls feel it (yes, even that “it” girl!), it is an isolating and lonely sensation. While we can’t eliminate the discomfort that comes along with being a teenage girl—we can work to improve it.
New research suggests that team sports may be the answer to helping adolescent girls live happier, healthy lives. While research is continuing to expand our knowledge as to why this is the case, the results show a varied and wide impact. In an essay published by the World Health Organization, the benefits of participation in team sports are classified into five categories; physical, mental, social, intellectual/ educational development and reproductive health.
Physical health is improved in two ways. First, it can reduce the risk for diseases that often affect children and adolescents including diabetes and high blood pressure. Secondly, it can reduce the risk for chronic diseases that often develop later in life including cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Physical activity also continues to prevent childhood obesity, which has a close relationship with adolescent depressive disorders.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that roughly 11% of adolescents develop depressive disorders by age 18—and girls are twice as likely to have a depressive episode then boys. While that is a scary statistic, it is important to remember that there are many ways to combat and understand depressive disorders. Team sports are one of them. It has a positive effect on a young girl’s physiological well-being and can reduce levels of anxiety and depression. There are new studies that suggest physical activity as a treatment option – since it often acts as an anti-depressant and lowers stress levels.
An article published by the LA Times in April 2014 recently addressed a study suggesting that calling a girl “too fat” by people close to her are more likely to become obese by age 19. The link seems to be emotional—if girls feel bad about themselves, they turn to food for comfort.
With lower levels of stress and increased physical health, studies show an upward trend in academic and intellectual success. There is also a higher rate of interest in graduation from high school and college with a lower rate of dropouts and higher GPAs—particularly in math and science. Socially, these team players experience a sense of belonging, a community, and teammates who share a common interest and goal.
Limited research also suggests that inclusion in team sports gives young women a sense of pride, respect, and empowerment towards their bodies.
In many settings, adolescents may be encouraged to view their bodies as sexual and reproductive resources for men, rather than sources of strength for themselves. Early studies conducted in the US have found that adolescent girls who participate in sports tend to become sexually active later in life, have fewer partners, and, when sexually active, make greater use of contraception than non-sporting girls.
-Girls Participation in Physical Activities and Sports: Benefits, Patterns, Influences, and ways Forward; Bailey, Wellard, Dismore
With increased rates of adolescent pregnancy and poor sexual health & education, the hope that young women will display bodily empowerment and respect is certainly desirable and correlates with participation in team sports.
As we already know, physical activity already has such a wide range of positive impacts that reach from muscle toning to mind toning. When we add the element of team building and comradeship, it really might be the best mixture for adolescent girls. Even if practice is just once a week, sign up! The tools she gains and the resources she learns are the very skills that teach us to live a happy and healthy life.
It’s not Sunday, but we felt this was an important topic to discuss today with the current news. If you agree with the following post, please feel free to share:
Open Letter: J. Crew and The Little White Lie By Lauren Cohen and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Dear Ms. Lyons & Mr. Drexler,
I love your brand. J. Crew composes the greatest portion of my closet. I am eternally grateful to your style guides and student discounts. You have taught me that looking presentable and feminine is a beautiful and professional step forward in this world. Because of your brand, I am brazenly unforgiving about my love of simple fashion and bold accents. Everyday I wear your clothes, I feel proud to be a woman.
This is my honest opinion of you. I believe I deserve the same respect.
I was deeply impressed by your response to Jenni Avins from New York Magazine in regards to that one-of-kind swimsuit (read here), along with a series of other accolades surrounding your customer service. I feel this is the most fitting platform to discuss my concerns and gain your attention regarding your newest brand update—the rollout of size 000.
A few years ago, there was a scandal surrounding J. Crew and vanity sizing. Since the United States has no national standards on size, size inflation can happen here with little regulation. Vanity sizing is the practice of lowering sizes to reflect a change against the average sizes of industry competitors. For example, while at Ralph Lauren, you may be a size 4; at J. Crew you might be a 2 or 0. The practice is founded in the hope that consumers’ perception that they are a smaller size will boost sales. As a consumer, and a woman, I don’t love being lied to by someone I trust and admire.
There is nothing regulating you to do otherwise, you have done nothing illegal. But now, you have found yourself in an odd situation. Your size 00 is roughly a 0-2 and your petite and Asian market can’t fit into your smallest sizes. To accommodate this, you had to introduce size 000. The Internet lost its cool. As a result, you have been under great fire.
My mother always warned that lies, no matter how small, would eventually get you into trouble. (Eli and His Little White Lie by Goldie Golding is available for purchase—used—from Amazon here should you need a refresher.) What started as perhaps an innocent lie to promote body image, shifted to full-blown dishonesty that enforces an unhealthy and popular desire to be thin enough to fit a size. We experience this pressure from all other forms of media, we don’t need—or expect it—from you. You are better than that.
This could have been avoided a number of ways. If you wanted to stand out, adapt your own sizing method. Use European sizes. Offer to custom make clothes as part of your “collection” approach to higher quality and standards. I say all of this because a 000 in other markets is smaller than teenage girls clothes. Women should dress like women, not teenage girls—J. Crew taught me that.
I hold you to a higher standard, it’s true, but it is a standard you have met time and time again. You can be the brand that promotes womanhood and positive body image without lying; I truly believe that.
With love and metallic pumps,
Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics MS Candidate
The Favoring of Flavoring Lauren Cohen and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
“And… how does it taste?”
This is my least favorite question. I’m not sure… maybe nutty? No? This is very stressful for me. Perhaps, smoky? Is that a way to describe food? Can you give me a list of words to work with? I’m really not good at this. It’s a banana. It tastes like banana.
I found solace in a recent conference at New York University, The Science of Human Flavor Perception, confirming that describing and tasting food was much more then a question and answer. It is a complex chemical conversation between your brain and the foods you are eating. While the popular thought is that taste is generated from the contact between food and your taste buds, it really is not the case. Let’s try to make this a little more digestible.
Think of your taste buds as “food receptors” that receive the food and send a signal to the brain. The brain then responds and generates taste. More interesting, perhaps, is that taste cells are all over the body meaning we sense taste everywhere! While the flavor is in the food, and not your brain, the taste in your mouth is generated by these brain signals.
Though, in all fairness, we can’t begin to talk about taste until we understand smell. Without the ability to smell, food would lose almost its entire flavor, with the exception of its basic elements—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. You can test this by taking out a flavor-full snack, like a jellybean. Chew on a jellybean for a moment to recognize the taste and then close your nose. Did you notice that the flavor went away? This is because you lost the ability to breath and smell through your nose or retronasal olfaction. Without this key component, taste is almost entirely eradicated.
So why do we like things and dislike others? A study coming out of the University of Trieste suggests that there is a genetic component to taste perception and preference. While the study is still in its preliminary phases, the research suggests that individuals could have genetic coding that enables them to prefer a food. This would mean that someone who has an inclination towards salt might have more of a link to the food than we earlier realized. While it would seem that the taste is what is drawing an individual to the food, this study suggests that the genetic coding actually keeps you coming back for more. Research such as this could potentially help us understand individuals link to hypertension and other diseases connected to over consuming nutrition.
Aside from a genetic link, there is a recent study, coming out of Monell Chemical Scenes Center in Philadelphia, PA, connecting taste to stress. Furthermore, scientists believe there may be a specific connection between stress and sweet. The study suggests that taste cells around the body, specifically the ones in the gut, are deeply affected by stress. They may influence the metabolism of sugars and increase our affinity towards them. Perhaps this explains my inclination towards Oreos when someone asks me to describe a flavor.
So what does this mean for us? It means that nutrition is far more individual then we could have ever imagined! We already know that everyone’s bodies require different daily calories, different distributions of nutrients, and different types of physical care for overall health but now we are learning that people intrinsically favor different flavors. This could have the potential to help prevent diseases connected with over consuming nutrition such at diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
The creation of taste is so much more than just a connection between food and our mouths. It is a connection between taste buds, taste cells, genetic coding and more. Next time you eat, you can chew on this.
So, how did this post taste to you? Do you favor flavors?