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Healthier Concession Stand Options Yield Positive Results



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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The Truth About Butter



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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The Food and Sleep Connection



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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