Take this with a grain of salt, but according to a recent study, people who eat chocolate regularly are thinner than those who don't. Now, if you follow nutrition news closely, you'll note that opinions on what's healthy and what's going to give you cancer tend to change from week to week. But hey, this study is encouraging increased chocolate consumption, and that's something many of us can get behind.
Welcome to Gift Guide Week at Gawker, where we instruct on how best to fritter away your hard-won dollars on meaningless tokens of consumerism, because a bastard baby was born in a pile of hay on a clear night 2000 years ago. Let's start with the people you want to cross off your shopping list: people you hate.
Each member of the Cole family weighs between 3 and 400 pounds, and the kids haven't reached twenty yet. All are in serious need of lifestyle adjustments in order to live long, fulfilling lives. But will they?
Not only is NYC's calorie-posting law annoying—who wants to be reminded that the drink they're about to order is not only overpriced but is packed with 400 calories, too?—it doesn't encourage people to eat (or drink) healthier either. Although nine in ten people who saw the calorie counts posted claimed they "made healthier choices as a result," when researchers at NYU and Yale "checked receipts afterward, they found that people had, in fact, ordered slightly more calories than the typical customer had before the labeling law went into effect, in July 2008."
In his nearly eight years as mayor, Mike Bloomberg has banned trans fats. He's forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts. Most recently, he took on the soft drink industry with an anti-obesity ad campaign. But when it comes to Bloomberg's own diet, it seems anything goes, according to the Times' Michael Barbaro. The mayor dumps salt on just about everything he eats, including pizza and even Saltine crackers. He has a weakness for all varieties of fast food and likes to snack on Cheez-Its. And you won't find him with a bottle of Poland Spring or Evian in hand. "I can count on two hands the number of times I have seen him drink water," says one of the mayor's regular dining companions. [NYT]
Meet MeMe Roth. She is at war with the birthday cake and the living incarnation of why you are so psyched not to be a school administrator in Manhattan. This mother of two, who sends her children, ages 10 and 7, to P.S. 9 on the Upper West Side, is also the president of National Action Against Obesity ("a one-woman campaign run out of Roth's home in Manhattan," according to the Guardian, which recently profiled Roth in a piece strongly suggesting she has an eating disorder.) As such, Me!Me! feels, uhm, passionately about protecting children, particularly her own, from obesity and all its associated health risks. In short, she is a terror.
You try to eat healthy whenever you can, you go the gym every chance you get, and yet you still feel like you're not doing enough to stay fit. Relax! You're fine! According to a new study published in the American Medical Journal—and despite the constant patter of dieting and exercise advice—"physical activity and healthy eating rates are down, while obesity is up." Consider this a fine excuse to skip the gym this evening, if you'd like one. [NYDN]
We understand that newspapers are having a really tough time right now. But is the solution offering the public free weight loss tips? The Daily News "diet "hotline" launched this week. Call 212-210-2044 between the hours of 9am and 5pm and you'll be connected to the paper's "talented team of nutrition and fitness experts" who are "dishing out free advice on exercising safely and eating right." The paper reports that they've fielded 659 calls since the service started the service on Monday. Hey, at least it's better than bingo. [NYDN]
Least surprising news ever: When pollsters from the Associated Press and iVillage asked 1,000 women about their weight, 26 percent of the women who were not technically overweight—by body mass index standards—still said they think thought they were too fat. The rest, apparently, have yet to be told that you can never be too skinny. Kidding! [AP, NYDN]
Here's encouraging news for Kathy Freston: The hardcore vegan and dieting devotee may finally be able to let Oprah go as her most famous devotee now that it appears she may have found someone else willing to try her 21-day cleanse. Harvey Weinstein's wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, told a reporter at Freston's book party yesterday that she and Harvey "need to try" the cleanse. Sounds promising! And after all, it's not like diet endorsements don't run in the family! [NYO]
Kathy Freston has been popping up everywhere touting her new diet book, which is why it was hardly surprising to see she'd parked her skinny behind on the Good Morning America couch this morning. What was a little surprising? That she continues to brag about having Oprah Winfrey as a devotee, even though Oprah tried the 21-day cleanse way back in May 2008, but then went on the air to detail all the weight she'd gained just a few months later. Perhaps her supremely-connected husband could help her land a couple of new celebrity endorsements? We hear Kirstie Alley is looking to lose some weight! [ABC News]
Talk about terrible timing: Just as bikini season is almost upon us, the nation's most popular over-the-counter diet pill, Hydroxycut, is being pulled from shelves today after the FDA announced that it carries serious health risks, something the agency discovery after a teenage boy died and several others required a liver transplant. A million bottles are sold of the "effective" weight-loss supplement each year, but it turns out that its "natural" ingredients can damage the liver, with symptoms including jaundice, vomiting, and excessive fatigue.
If you were looking for an explanation for the slender physique that Harvey Weinstein has been showing off in recent months, you needn't look any further than the back of weight loss guru Dr. Louis Aronne's new diet book, The Skinny, which arrived in bookstores this week. Harvey was kind enough to issue a surprisingly cheerful blurb: "Dr. Aronne's new book is the most informative and intelligent approach to understanding weight loss and gain. Starting with page one, you will immediately feel healthier and better off. A must-read!" (As for that last bit, you can probably assume the "must-read" is just a gentle suggestion. Unless, that is, you're one of Harvey's poor assistants, in which case you should interpret it as an order.) But if you're one of those people who's been coping with the absence of Project Runway by binging on ice cream—and you're not inclined to shed the pounds by following Heidi Klum's suggestion and stomping up and down outside Weinstein's house—well, now you have an alternative.