retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times this morning has a story about how new research published in the Cell Metabolism medical journal suggests that the consumption of highly processed foods “not only tend to make people eat more,” but also “may result in dramatic and relatively rapid weight gain and have other detrimental health effects.”

The research, according to the Times, “found that people ate significantly more calories and gained more weight when they were fed a diet that was high in ultra-processed foods like breakfast cereals, muffins, white bread, sugary yogurts, low-fat potato chips, canned foods, processed meats, fruit juices and diet beverages. These foods caused a rise in hunger hormones compared to a diet that contained mostly minimally processed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, grilled chicken, fish and beef, and whole grains, nuts and seeds.”

The story goes on: “The most striking finding was that the ultra-processed diet led the subjects to consume 500 extra calories a day — the amount in two and a half Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts — which resulted in an average of two pounds of weight gain in two weeks. Almost all of the extra calories they ate were from carbs and fat.”
KC's View:
A couple of things about the study intrigued me.

One was that the researchers apparently didn’t go overboard with the junk food element - they in fact focused on processed foods that people tend to eat at home on a regular basis - cereal, cookies, chips, soda, etc…

The other was that the processed and unprocessed products had roughly the same levels of calories, carbs, fat and sugar … it’s just that when they were processed, people ate more of them.

What I find scary about this is the degree to which we all have to be more vigilant about this stuff as we get older. It is so easy to gain a couple of pounds, and then so difficult to lose them, that it becomes a slippery slope leading to certain physical decline.

I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I realize that something is going to get me … and so I try to do as much as I can, without making myself (or the people around me) crazy or miserable, to not help that something along.