Healthier Concession Stand Options Yield Positive Results

by Robard Corporation Staff February 7, 2017


When we go a sporting event, chances are we’re going to visit the concession stand during the game. The lines may be long and the prices exorbitant, but we still get in the queue for one thing: The food. And let’s be honest, no one goes to a sporting event concession stand to eat a salad. And while the options we have at these events generally don’t lead to healthy food choices, a recent study may show that a revamped concession stand menu may not only help people’s diets, but overall profits as well.

The University of Iowa and Cornell University joined a booster organization to perform a study to see what happens when healthier options were made available to people that attended sporting events at Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, for two fall sports seasons one year apart. The results? “We found that an average of 77 percent of students purchased healthier foods when they were available and that revenue also increased when a variety of healthy items were available,” says study co-author Brian Wansink, PhD, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Whether the students thought adding healthy options was important or not, an overwhelming majority — 77.5 percent — purchased at least one healthy item from the concession stand at some point in the school year. Although the study has a small sample size and is focused on one school and their students, the findings may open to the door to adding healthier items at large scale sporting events.

Millions of people go through the turnstile annually to see their favorite team or player perform, and many of them will purchase items at the concession stands. There is no guarantee that they will purchase a healthy option when looking at the menu, but studies like this suggest that just making the healthy options available could lead to better choices made by the consumer. The fact that the study also showed an increase in sales (9.2 percent of total sales went to healthier items) indicates that the healthier choices also could help overall profits. That’s big business when you’re looking at a sold out football stadium.

Until healthier choices become more readily available at these events, you can still take action to stay on track and maintain a good diet. For example, bring a small snack of your own. A simple plan like this helps to develop good habits and reinforces avoiding bad ones that could result in unwanted weight gain or stalled progress with your diet. If you’d like to start your own weight loss journey and learn how to make better health decisions, fill out our brief Find a Clinic form and we will find a weight management program near you! In the meantime, game on!


Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab


Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle

The Truth About Butter

by Robard Corporation Staff November 15, 2016


For at least the last three decades, a shadow has been cast over butter as the artery clogging scourge of all saturated fats to be avoided at all cost, lest we put ourselves at risk for obesity and heart disease. But new information is coming out that suggests that reducing one’s intake of butter and similar dietary fats does not necessarily make you healthier or less at risk for obesity and other comorbid conditions.

A recent paper published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that butter actually has more of a neutral association with mortality; that is, it’s not really bad for you, but it’s not really good for you either. The researchers collected data on butter consumption and health risks from nine previous studies that, in total, included 636,151 participants, and found that “no significant associations were seen between butter consumption and heart health.”

To be clear, this does not mean that butter is healthy. Small amounts of butter is not an issue, but regular consumption, such as using butter on bread, cooking and frying, can contribute to health risks. The key is to not consume large amounts of butter regularly, and when possible, to substitute it with healthy alternatives. (PRO TIP for weight loss providers: between apple pies and cookies, this is the season when dieters over-consume butter! Download our free staff training guide for tools and strategies to keep your dieters on track.)

“It doesn’t matter that you’re eating it; what matters is what you’re eating it in place of and what else you’re eating,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and senior author of the paper. “Butter is neither the villain it was made out to be, nor a health food,” he added. “So it’s about your other food choices, not about the butter.”

It’s also important to remember that not all fats are created equal. While limiting saturated fats is a good idea, the trans fats found in butter alternatives like margarine are even worse for you. Plus, there are actually “good” fats known as polyunsaturated fats, found in foods such as avocados, fatty fish like salmon, and olive oil.  These fats help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. And oils rich in polyunsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.

So is butter back? Well… kinda sorta. Don’t stress over a little here and there, but pay attention to your food choices overall. Instead of emphasizing one nutrient, focus on food-based recommendations… whole, minimally processed, nutritious food that is as close to its natural form as possible. Need more help to get your diet on track? Find provider who can help you start a meal program that’s right for you.

Are you a provider dealing with retention challenges during holiday season? We’ve got you covered. Register for Robard’s upcoming free webcast “2017: Your Year to Retain and Regain Clients.”

Sources: CNN, Harvard Public Health, American Heart Association


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Obesity

The Food and Sleep Connection

by Robard Corporation Staff October 6, 2016


Is there a connection between fatty food consumption and lack of sleep? Do you find yourself agreeing with this, have you noticed that your bad night’s sleep is leading to poor food choices? When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? Do you work nights, have you found yourself eating more and more? Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between food and sleep.



Source: Health Day - Could a Bad Night’s Sleep Make you Eat More Fatty Food?


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity

Guest Blog: Three Ways to Spice Up Weeknight Meals

by Robard Corporation Staff September 27, 2016


Preparing a healthy dinner every night is a chore for many, especially after a long day at work. But the truth is that putting together a nutritious meal can be easy and quick with a little creativity. Salads topped with grilled chicken are great, but when you feel the need to change things up, give these suggestions a try. They are sure to add an extra helping of excitement to your next weeknight meal!

1. Use Condiments Creatively!

Dry herbs, spices and condiments can transform the most “standard” ingredients into flavor-packed dishes. With spices, you get great flavor as well as the added benefit of antioxidants that can help protect against certain diseases! Here are some winning combinations:
 
● Season your protein with a mix of 1 tbs. each garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and salt w/1 tsp. each of black pepper, celery salt and dried oregano.

● Make a zesty marinade for chicken or fish using Dijon mustard, crushed garlic and chopped capers. Garnish the prepared dish with minced parsley. Another great combination of herbs and spices is a marinade made of lime juice, cumin powder, chili powder and chopped cilantro.

● Did you know that salsa makes a great salad dressing? Use 2-3 tbs of fresh salsa on of a bed of greens topped with red onions, grape tomatoes, green peppers, ½ cup of black beans and 1-2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese. Fresh salsa can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

2. Play with Your Food!

Have a little fun and change up the way you serve food. Lettuce wraps are a great “vehicle” for stir-fried chicken or shrimp with veggies such as carrots, cabbage and broccoli. Skewers are another kitchen essential for creative food presentation. Alternate vegetables such as bell peppers and zucchini with cubes of chicken or firm fish such as tuna or salmon on wooden skewers and grill outside or on a cast iron grill pan. Serve with a yogurt based dipping sauce such as Tzatziki. This is a dish kids will love too!

3.Have Breakfast for Dinner!

●Think eggs are can only be scrambled or served sunny-side up? Think again.  The incredible egg is actually one of the most versatile and healthy foods on the planet. Add nutrition to its natural protein content by throwing in fiber-packed artichokes and black beans to make a frittata that is a complete meal. To cut back on fat content, use 1 whole egg with 4 egg whites.

●Eggs in Purgatory are another great dish that’s quick, healthy and delicious. Put your own twist on it by adding your favorite vegetables and seasonings. I enjoy a combination of mushrooms, chopped olives, dried oregano and a tablespoon of low fat feta cheese. Serve with a side salad for a light weeknight dinner.
 
●You can also take pancakes “out-of-the-box” by turning them savory. Use any high fiber pancake mix and add healthy ingredients such as fresh corn kernels and chopped spinach. Other delicious combinations include Asian-inspired pancakes using cubed tofu and scallions as well as an Italian style version with roasted red peppers, part-skim mozzarella and chopped basil. Enjoy! 


This Guest Blog was written by Dafna Chazin (pictured, right), who is a registered dietitian with Virtua’s The Center for Nutrition and Weight Management. She currently provides nutrition services at Virtua’s Medically-Supervised Weight Loss clinic, which offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss. In addition, she consults individuals pursuing bariatric surgery and teaches numerous education classes on a variety on nutrition-related topics. Dafna is passionate about wellness promotion, healthy cooking, weight management and maternal and child nutrition. She holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and has been an active member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2007.


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Filed Under: Cooking | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating

Researchers Offer a New Look at Nutrition

by Robard Corporation Staff August 12, 2016


We generally judge healthy foods by the nutrition it holds, and we decide how healthy our diet is by the nutrients we take in. We consider nutrients a rather linear concept; we either take in enough or we don’t — and if we don’t its lack of presence in our bodies could result in an ailment. This way of thinking seems rather logical… on the surface.

Some researchers think we are looking at nutrition completely wrong, and have proposed an alternative way to look at it. First let’s look at what they think is the problem, which is how we view nutrition now. We generally view nutrients on a singular basis, such as how many carbs are we getting, or how much fat, or sugar. Researchers believe the issues that we face on a nutrient basis are more complex than the singular nutrient model that we follow now. Its lack of complexity isn’t keeping up with foods that contain blends of nutrients as well as how mixtures of nutrients affect us.

Now for the solution: Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre created a new framework on how we look at nutrition that considers how mixtures of nutrients and other dietary components influence health and disease, as opposed to just focusing on a singular nutrient at a time. Researchers call this “nutritional geometry,” and they believe it’s the future of how we view human nutrition.

“Our new approach provides a unique method to unify observations from many fields and better understand how nutrients, foods and diets interact to affect health and disease in humans,” says Professor David Raubenheimer, who heads the Nutrition Theme at the Charles Perkins Centre.

It’s a unique concept for unique problems — specifically obesity. This approach doesn’t just look at one nutrient, but rather how that one nutrient interacts with others and how our bodies interact with that. The researchers’ goal with this is to look at issues such as obesity from multiple angles with the hopes of being able to produce solutions that will have optimal benefits.

As noble as that may sound, it may sound excessive to some. Yes, it may be beneficial to offer new ways to see a problem, but for many when it comes to being overweight it could be because of over-consumption in general or over-consumption of the wrong foods. The issue of overeating or make bad food choices can be solved, even if it’s easier said than done. However, with a change in our nutrition labels on the horizon, this may be a welcomed accompaniment to we view what we eat in the future.

Source: University of Sydney

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Obesity

9 Tips on How to Eat Mindfully for Weight Loss

by Robard Corporation Staff June 2, 2016


When it comes to dieting, many people develop an adversarial relationship with food. Dieting often becomes about what you can or can’t eat … with all our favorite (junk and comfort) foods ending up on the chopping block. However, while watching what you eat is certainly important, more experts are pointing to HOW you eat as an important tool toward better eating. It’s called mindful eating, and it’s helping people rethink and shift their relationship to food.

Registered dietitian, Jenni Grover, describes mindful eating as “intuitive eating… a concept with its roots in Buddhist teachings, [which] aims to reconnect us more deeply with the experience of eating — and enjoying — our food.” No, you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk or meditate every day to be a mindful eater. Mindful eating is based on the idea that there is no right or wrong way to eat, but rather varying degrees of consciousness about what we are eating and why. The goal of mindful eating, then, is to base our meals on physical cues, such as our bodies’ hunger signals, not emotional ones — like eating for comfort. According to a recent article in the New York Times, mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving anything up. Rather, it’s about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it.

Part of the reasoning behind mindful eating when it comes to health and weight loss is that it combats mindless or unconscious eating. Research shows that mindless eating plays a significant role in weight gain because we do not recognize when we’re actually full, causing overeating. However, when we eat mindfully, not only can we better experience the pleasure of the food we eat, we build more awareness around how much food we need to eat, as well as create opportunities to make healthier choices around food selection.

Thinking about trying it? Consider these 9 tips to start you off in exploring the concept of mindful eating, which are intended to help you slow down and pay attention to your meal:

1. Chew 25 times
2. Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand
3. Eat everything with chopsticks for a week
4. Put your fork down between each bite
5. Take your first bite with your eyes closed
6. Try to identify every ingredient in your meal
7. Put your food on a plate
8. Sit at a table
9. Eat in Silence

For a little more in-depth resource about mindful eating and how it can benefit your weight loss goals, check out this fun Infographic from the Summer Tomato blog, all about the benefits of eating mindfully.


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Hunger | Setting Goals

Success Stories - Mom’s Final Wish: Grandkids and a Bathing Suit

by Robard Corporation Staff May 24, 2016


For Melanie Cain, being overweight kept her from living the active life she wanted to live. She couldn’t get down on the floor to play with her grandchildren. And the thought of putting on a bathing suit deterred her from boating with her husband. But the last straw was her mom’s final wish. She wanted Melanie to get her weight under control so she could live a healthy and fulfilling life.

“I was determined,” says Cain, who joined the medical weight loss program at the Center for Weight Management at Gwinnett Medical Center in August 2015, “and I was going to take all the advice I could get from the experts.” 

One “aha” moment was in a group discussion, facilitated by Rebecca Gomez, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and behavioral health coordinator for the program, when Cain learned about journaling. Now, she journals about what she eats, food labels, trips to the grocery store and even writes words of encouragement to herself.

“My motto is this: the food I’m putting in my mouth — is it fuel for my body or not?” asks Cain. “Journaling definitely holds me accountable for what goes in my mouth and the amount of food consumed.”

Now approaching the summer of 2016, Cain achieved her goal, losing more than 70 pounds. With newfound energy, she can play on the floor with her grandchildren. Plus, she’s overcome her dread of wearing a bathing suit, and is taking her whole family on their first beach vacation in twelve years.

“I had struggled with weight my whole life and tried multiple programs” says Cain. “No program has ever given me the tools to be successful before. I have learned so much about nutrition, the emotional aspect of eating and the importance of exercise. Intellectually I knew what I was supposed to do, but never knew the reasons behind it.” 

Cain also says she learned how important protein is in your diet.” It’s not just about counting calories. And I learned my body really does need eight hours of sleep at night. Plus, to count as exercise it doesn’t have to be a big deal—any movement is better than none.”



About the Center for Weight Management
The Center for Weight Management at Gwinnett Medical Center is a leader in both medical weight management and bariatric surgery. They offer a multidisciplinary team to work with patients throughout their journey to better health, providing medical, dietary, exercise, behavioral and peer support designed to meet their individual needs.

Robard Customers: Do you have a Weight Loss Success Story you’d like to Share?
Do you have a success story from working with a dieter in your center, or perhaps a success story about how you launched a new program or service in your center that you would like to possibly have featured in an upcoming Robard Blog? If so, send us your story in 400 words or less — and any pictures showcasing the story — to SuccessStories@Robard.com. If your story is selected, it will be featured in an upcoming Robard Blog — plus you’ll receive a free ad for your center for a two-week period on the Robard Blog!

Dieters: Ready to Start your Own Journey?
You can get started today by finding a clinic near you!



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Filed Under: Eating Habits | Education | For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Setting Goals | Treating Obesity | Weight Loss Programs

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About Robard Corporation

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With more than three decades of field-tested experience in the weight management industry, Robard Corporation’s comprehensive medical and non-medical obesity treatment programs, state of the art nutrition products, and executive level business management services have assisted a vast network of physicians, large medical groups, hospital systems and clinics to successfully treat thousands of overweight and obese patients. Our turnkey programs offer significant business growth potential, and our dedicated team provides hands-on staff training, services and education to add a new, billable service line for safe and effective obesity treatment within 60 days. For more information, visit us at www.Robard.com or call (800) 222-9201.

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