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Jeff Novick's Blog

Jeffrey S. Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN

Jeff’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition with minors in Exercise Science.

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Buyer Beware: Palm Fruit Oil! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 08 February 2008 13:20

I was forwarded an email today featuring the "words best peanut butter" that has been "100 years in the making".   

These peanut butters are made without any hydrogenated oils or trans fats which are frequently found in many traditional store bought brands.   However, these new peanut butters are now made with "palm fruit oil".   I have to admit, that sounds pretty healthy.   However, don't be fooled.  Palm fruit oil is another name for palm oil, a highly saturated tropical oil.

I first saw palm fruit oil listed as an ingredient a year or so ago in some products made by Newmans Organics.  

Help Stop The Marketing Of Junk Food to Children PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 16:19

Concerns about childhood obesity and the marketing of junk foods to children are growing. The vast majority of foods marketed to children by Nickeledeon, and its parent company Viacom, are high in fat, saturated and trans fats, salt, or sugars, and few are fruits, vegetables, or whole grains.

As the number-one provider of entertainment for children, Nickelodeon’s marketing undermines parental efforts to feed their children a healthful diet. There are wide discrepancies between what foods parents tell their children are healthful and what Nickelodeon markets as desirable. In their attempts to feed their children healthfully, many parents find it difficult to compete with Nickelodeon’s state-of-the-art market research, music, animation, and attractive characters such as Sponge-Bob SquarePants. Viacom should establish strong nutrition standards and apply them to its full range of marketing to children.

Viacom needs to hear a loud and clear message from parents and others concerned about child health: stop using SpongeBob SquarePants and other popular Viacom characters and media to market junk food to kids.

Please take a moment to urge Viacom to establish strong nutrition standards for which foods and beverages it will (and won’t) market to children, including advertising on Nickelodeon channels, in Nickelodeon magazines, on Nickelodeon Internet sites, and through product placement in movies, and the licensing of Nick and other Viacom characters that appeal to children on food packages. Also, please pass this alert along to friends and family. 

Fill out the survey here! 

Thank you for your help!

Another "Clue" To The French Paradox PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 01 February 2008 17:55
ImageWe often hear about the "French Paradox and how the French eat lots of foods like butter and cheese and their diets are high in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol yet they have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. There was even a best selling book called "French Women Don't Get Fat"

However, a study published in the British Medical Journal back in 1999, looked at this phenomenon and gave several reasons for this apparent paradox. I reviewed the article at the time and wrote a newsletter on it. If you haven't read my newsletter on this topic yet, you can read it here .

Now, a new study by Brian Wansinck, PhD discovers another missing piece to this apparent paradox.

What Mediterranean Diet? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 22:09

Greece has among the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe, at more than 30 percent, while the level for adults is also near the top of Europe's list — a problem considered to have emerged since the early 1990s.

A University of Athens study of 312 fifth-graders in Greece's northern Ioannina region found 29.4 and 11.8 percent of boys were overweight and obese, while the figure for girls was 39.0 and 7.5 percent.

In their study published this month, the researchers reported that "Furthermore, body mass index and blood pressure were positively related to frequency of fast food meals ... but negatively to leisure time physical activity."

"Things have changed in Greece," said Maria Hassapidou, secretary general of the Hellenic Medical
Association for Obesity. "People have gone toward a Westernized diet."

Atherosclerosis In Children? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Monday, 13 November 2006 07:20

According to a report presented at the annual American Heart Association meeting in Chicago on Sunday.  Children with risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and diabetes, are showing signs of narrowing and hardening of the arteries, conditions normally associated with adults.  Researchers found that children at risk already show signs of heart disease, including arterial wall thickness and decreased flexibility of blood vessels.

The study pulled data from studies that included 3,630 children, comparing the healthy versus those with cardiovascular risk factors. In 12 of 15 studies examined, children with risk factors were more likely to have increased thickness in the arterial walls, which could lead to heart attacks in adulthood, the report said. 

The percentage of overweight young people in the United States has roughly tripled since 1980 to about 18 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report's lead author, Sanaz Piran, a resident at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada said that testing for children should include regular blood lipid and glucose level testing

However, to me, the most shocking statement, was that they recommended that earlier treatment could include more aggressive use of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

What ever happened to eating right and exercising which could prevent up to 90% of the heart disease, Type II diabetes and obesity.


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