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While we feature the Medifast diet, we are also blog on the latest diet, nutrition, and health news. So, you can stay up to date on the latest nutritional science and learn healthy approaches to fighting obesity throughout the weight loss process.

Enter DietScienceNews.com

by TMP Editor on June 17, 2014

Greetings dear readers. In an effort to better reflect our overall mission and upcoming strategic transition, we will soon be switching the name of our website. We will no longer be themedifastplan.com and will move to the new URL of DietScienceNews.com. We are hoping to have this transition completed in the upcoming days.

What does this mean to you? Nothing much to start with. We still love Medifast and will continue to promote what we view to be the most effective commercial diet on the market. However, you have probably noticed that we cover a lot of general diet and nutrition news in our blog posts. We are going to continue in this direction and develop a more agnostic approach to our views of the dieting industry.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you as we refine our quest for real, science based diet and nutrition news.

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Americans are exercising more, but they aren’t getting much slimmer. Exercise is an essential part of a weight loss strategy, but portion control could be more important. The challenge is to maintain a balanced diet that provides the nutrition necessary to remain healthy while eating less.

Medifast Twice as Effective

When it comes to portion control, a recent trial found that the prepackaged food regimen featured with Medifast helped people lose twice as much weight compared with dieters who tried to match the same nutrition and calorie count on their own.

Exercise can’t overcome poor diet

A new study from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics found that in the last decade, the percentage of Americans who got sufficient weekly exercise increased from 46.7 to 51.3. In a report on the study published in the journal Population Health Metrics, the researchers concluded that this increased physical activity has done little to reduce the U.S. obesity rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans are obese. A separate report by the institute published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified poor diet as the primary reason why Americans are so unhealthy compared to other developed countries.

The portion control solution

Another study, published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity shows that a prepackaged portion control diet plan can be a viable solution to this intractable problem.

Researches at Tufts Medical Center in Boston conducted a rigorously controlled year-long study comparing the results of dieters on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan with dieters given advice on how to achieve the same nutrition and calorie intake independently.

A total of 120 men and women from 19-65 years old with body mass indexes ranging from 35 to 50 were randomly assigned to two equally sized groups. The study included a 6-month weight loss phase and a 6-month weight maintenance phase.

Medifast results

At the end of the weight loss phase, people in the Medifast group lost an average of 16.5 pounds (6.7 percent of their starting weight). Those buying and preparing their own diets lost an average of 8.4 pounds (3.4 percent of their starting weight. The Medifast dieters shrank their waists an average of 2.24 inches compared to 1.46 inches for independent dieters. Total cholesterol dropped an average of 8.4 mg for the Medifast group compared to 1.1 mg for the independent group.

Often after a significant caloric restriction a few pounds return as the body seeks equilibrium and the Medifast plan was no exception. However, overall weight loss for the Medifast dieters was an average of 10 pounds, more than twice that of the independent group at 4.4 pounds.

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan consists of five pre-packaged meals each day designed to supplement one meal of vegetables and protein prepared at home. The portion control program offers 70 prepackaged foods arranged in multiple combinations totaling 1,000 calories a day. Medifast dieters also receive access to dieticians and recipes for the home-cooked aspect of the plan, which costs about $300 a month.

Source: International Journal of Obesity, HealthWatch MD, Los Angeles Times

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5

CVS Health a corporation that operates nearly 8,000 drug stores nationwide, got some great PR recently by announcing that the chain would no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (SCPI) would like to see corporations such as CVS Health go even further and discontinue sales of junk food and candy as well. The consumer advocacy group just released a study concluding that impulse buys of unhealthy foods displayed at the checkout counter promote obesity.

Unhealthy checkout choices

The CSPI analyzed products displayed at the checkout aisles of 30 retailers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The locations included supermarkets, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores and non-grocery stores.

For the study, foods such as fruit, vegetables and nuts were categorized as healthy. “Healthier” foods included products such as granola bars and trail mix that contained nuts, dried fruit or whole grains. Unhealthy foods included candy, energy bars, chips, cookies, cakes, jerky and hot food such as pizza, hot dogs and chicken wings.

According to the CSPI, 90 percent of the food choices displayed at checkout were unhealthy, 8 percent were healthier and 2 percent were healthy. Sodas and sweetened drinks made up 60 percent of the beverages offered.

Sabotage at Old Navy

Retailers not normally associated with food were also included in the study and 86 percent of them offered junk food at checkout. For example, you can find a variety of chocolate candy bars at the checkout counter in Bed, Bath & Beyond. Shop at Old Navy and be tempted by such candies as Air Heads, Pop Rocks and Mentos.

“Americans have a hard enough time maintaining healthy weights without retailers sabotaging their efforts,” said CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan in a press release. “It’s bad enough that supermarkets display soda and chips to prompt unplanned purchases at checkout. But why are so many stores pushing candy bars on people buying towels, toys or kids’ clothes?”

Tobacco vs. junk food

Forbes predicted that CVS Health would lose about $2 billion by forsaking the revenue stream of tobacco products. However, increased business over time from people willing to shop there after tobacco is gone is expected to make up for the loss.

When the drug retailer announced its anti-tobacco commitment, The Huffington Post reported that CVS executives actually considered getting rid of junk food and sodas as well. However, after “consulting medical experts” they decided to table the notion with the rationale that sugary candy and sodas haven’t been proven to cause medical harm in “moderation.”

Sweet profits

Moderation has always been the problem when it comes to sugar intake for the average American. To make it a little easier for consumers to resist their sugar jag, the CSPI recommended that retailers offer healthier foods at the checkout line and display the junk food somewhere else.

Perhaps that could be the next step for CVS Health. But don’t hold your breath. Critics have said that with tobacco use declining, going tobacco free wasn’t that great a risk for CVS Health. However, the profits made from impulse buys at checkout are still too sweet to resist.

Sources

Food Navigator

CSPI

Forbes

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Will going all-organic give vegetarian men stronger sperm?

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Caffeine underwear exposed as latest weight loss fraud

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