Diet Drinks Linked to Disease Diet soft drinks don’t have the high sugar or calorie count of the regular versions, but other health dangers may lurk. According to recent research published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Stroke, people who drank one diet drink per day over the course of 10 years had three times the risk of being diagnosed with dementia and suffering ischemic stroke. To the researchers’ surprise, they didn’t find similar results among those who regularly drank sugary beverages. The study was observational, meaning it didn’t conclude any causation for the increased risk of disease. However, when combined with a 2014 study that determined that women who regularly drink diet sodas are more likely to develop heart disease, the results suggest it might be time to cut back. Switch to carbonated water if it’s the bubbles you really desire. Consider adding a little bit of fruit juice for flavor. Read More: “Sugar-and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia,” Stroke, http://tinyurl.com/dietsoda-SN Majority Backs SNAP Benefit Increase EIGHT IN 10 VOTERS FAVOR INCREASING BENEFITS for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as “food stamps.” This support is according to research findings, Americans on SNAP Benefits, of some 7,000 voters conducted by the non-partisan Voice of the People. When surveyed, respondents were told that a participant living alone, earning $542 a month, gets an estimated $140 a month in SNAP benefits. More than 80% of those surveyed supported an increase in those benefits, with the majority endorsing a 43% raise to $200 a month. Additionally, 78% supported raising benefits to $300 a month for a single mother with one child who earns an average of $760 a month. (That mother currently gets $253 in monthly SNAP benefits.) While respondents identifying as Democrats were generally more in favor of increasing SNAP benefits, a majority of Republican respondents also backed boosting benefit levels. In addition, the majority of those surveyed support incentives, such as discounts that encourage SNAP participants to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as proposals that disallow the benefits to be used for purchasing candy or soda. Read More: “Americans on SNAP Benefits,” Voice of the People, http://tinyurl.com/SNAPsurvey-SN. More than 80% supported an increase for participants currently receiving $140 a month in SNAP benefits (increase to $200 a month). TOO BUSY? HOW POSH OF YOU Once, it was a flashy car and exotic vacations that declared someone’s status in society. A life of leisure meant a person was important enough to make plenty of money without working too hard. These days, however, according to new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, it seems that being overworked is what sets someone apart. A series of three experiments, which mostly focused on participants giving their opinion on social media posts, found that Americans tend to view workaholics and those who are always “too busy” more favorably than people who regularly seek leisure. These social posts about being too busy seem to indicate that the harried folk are subtly implying that they’re more “important” than others. The products or services that these busy folks use—such as a grocery delivery service, home cleaners or dog walkers—helped connote a higher status, too. Lead author Silvia Bellezza surmises that this view might be influenced by a distinctly American culture of “living to work,” versus “working to live.” Many of those who work all the time and skip having fun and relaxing are assumed to have a higher income. (Presumably this report is exempting those who work long hours at multiple minimum-wage jobs just to make ends meet and lack time for social media posting.) Read More: “Conspicuous Consumption of Time: When Busyness and Lack of Leisure Time Become a Status Symbol,” Journal of Consumer Research, http://tinyurl.com/busy-SN Wellness Policies at Work In SY 2017-18, all school districts participating in the federal child nutrition programs will be required to meet expanded local school wellness policy requirements, establishing minimum content requirements for the policy, ensuring stakeholder participation in the development and updates of policies and periodically assessing and disclosing compliance. Two reports from the National Wellness Policy Study at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago offer insights that could prove helpful in your efforts. Both reports are drawn from the nation’s largest ongoing study of wellness policies, using a representative sample of more than 960 school districts in 45 states. Working on Wellness: How Aligned are District Wellness Policies with the Soon-To-Be-Implemented Federal Wellness Policy Requirements? provides data regarding district policy readiness, including baseline information that tracks the first year of Smart Snacks standards implementation (SY 2014-15). The Active Role States Have Played in Helping To Transform the School Wellness Environment Through Policy report provides historical data on state wellness policy-related laws (SY 2006-07 through 2014-15), baseline information on state laws related to the first year of Smart Snacks and insights as to how state laws align with the provisions of USDA’s final rule. Read More: Download both reports at http://tinyurl.com/wellnessrpts-SNmag 3 Ways to… Reduce Fall Allergy Suffering 1 CHECK THE POLLEN COUNT EACH DAY. When pollen is at its peak—typically in the late morning or around midday—stay inside with the doors and windows closed. The sunshine and moderate temperatures might be an appealing combination, but the sneezing will mar your happiness. 2 CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER AND CLEAN THE VENTS as it starts to get colder and you consider turning on your heat. Mold and other allergens can get trapped in the vents during the warm summer months, and they will disperse through the house once the heat is on. 3 ASK YOUR DOCTOR. Ask your doctor to recommend the specific decongestant or allergy medication that is right for you. (For example, an individual with high blood pressure might not be safe taking a decongestant to reduce allergy symptoms.) Ask about the use of a steroid nasal spray and leukotriene inhibitor. Start your treatment early—the longer you wait, the more you’ll suffer. Read More: “Five Ways to Fight Fall Allergies,” American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, http://tinyurl.com/fallallergies-SN PROMO PLANNER SEPTEMBER National Chicken Month National Food Safety Education Month National Mushroom Month Oktoberfest (Sept. 17-Oct. 3) Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 20-22) Yom Kippur (Sept. 29-30) Labor Day (Sept. 4) National Grandparents Day (Sept. 10) Constitution Day (Sept. 23) World School Milk Day (Sept. 27) OCTOBER Down Syndrome Awareness Month National Apple Month National Pasta Month National School Lunch Week (Oct. 9-13) Free Speech Week (Oct. 16-22) National Custodial Workers Day (Oct. 2) National Taco Day (Oct. 4) Eleanor Roosevelt’s Birthday (Oct. 11) Boss’s Day (Oct. 16) National Pumpkin Day (Oct. 26) NOVEMBER National Diabetes Month National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month Vegan Month National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week (Nov. 11-19) American Education Week (Nov. 13-17) Daylight Savings Time Ends (Nov. 5) National STEM/STEAM Day (Nov. 8) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) National Pickle Day (Nov. 14) Mickey Mouse’s Birthday (Nov. 18) For more holidays and promo ideas, visit the 2017-18 Promotional Calendar at www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar. “TUESDAY” TIDBITS FRAC Releases Annual Summer Report The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has published its annual measurement of the reach of Summer Meal Programs: Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report. After four consecutive years of growth in participation, 4.8% fewer children were served in Summer 2016, compared to the previous summer. Considering that school-year participation in the National School Lunch Program increased by 119,000 low-income children, the Summer program met an even smaller share of its need. The report identifies effective expansion strategies for improving participation. Visit http://tinyurl.com/FRAC-SummerRpt-SNmag to download the full report. Equipment Grant Guidance Issued In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, $25 million in equipment assistance grants was awarded to school food authorities (SFAs). The funds are intended to help SFAs to purchase equipment that will allow them to serve healthier foods, expand access and improve food safety. USDA recently released a memo to distribute the funding allocations, including terms and conditions, period of performance, timelines and reporting requirements. To access the memo, visit http://tinyurl.com/equipgrantmemo-SNmag. USDA Offers CACFP Training Tools New meal pattern requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) take effect October 1, 2017. USDA has produced new tools, in English and Spanish, to help train providers, operators, menu planners and others about CACFP meal patterns, with worksheets on yogurt, breakfast cereals and milk. Also available is a new infographic: Growing a Healthier Future with CACFP. The tools are available for downloading at http://tinyurl.com/CACFPTraining-SNmag. SNA Report Tracks State Reimbursements SNA has updated its State School Meal Mandates and Reimbursements report for SY 2016-17. Each year, USDA sets rates to offset the costs of free and reduced-price meals, as well as partial support for paid meals. Many states provide additional reimbursement, which can range from per-meal reimbursements to salary support to general funds, in order to assist with program operations. The report is a collection of updated information from state agencies across the country. Access the report at http://tinyurl.com/StateMandatesRpt-SNmag. Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at www.schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: NECTARINES Let’s settle this once and for all—what is the difference between a nectarine and a peach? It comes down to just one gene variant that gives peaches a fuzzy skin and nectarines a smooth one. Sometimes, this leads nectarines to be called a “shaved peach.” Other than that, the two stone fruits are nearly genetically identical. FACT. Nectarines come in two forms: freestone, which means the pit inside releases easily from the fruit flesh, and clingstone, meaning that it’s hard to separate the pit from the fruit. Not surprisingly, peaches have the same distinction. HOW TO EAT. Nectarines can be used in recipes pretty much interchangeably with peaches, though they’re slightly smaller and sweeter than their fruity siblings. Try them in baked goods, jams, salads and anywhere else you might enjoy a peach. TRY THIS. Broil your nectarines to bring out their naturally sweet flavor. Cut the nectarines in half and remove the pit. Place them, cut side up, in a baking pan. Mix lemon juice with a sweetener of your choice—brown sugar, honey or maple syrup—and brush it over the fruit. Broil for six to eight minutes and serve (if feeling particularly indulgent, add vanilla ice cream). NUTRITIONAL PROFILE. Boasting just 70 calories per large-sized fruit, nectarines are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. One serving also offers up 3 grams of fiber. Read More. “In Season: Nectarines,” Serious Eats, http://tinyurl.com/nectarines-SN The Healthiest Cities in America Do you live in a healthy city? WalletHub, a financial website, released a list of the healthiest cities in the United States. The results may surprise you—or not! TOP 5 HEALTHIEST CITIES • San Francisco, Calif. • Salt Lake City, Utah • Scottsdale, Ariz. • Seattle, Wash. • Portland, Ore. » No. 1 for Healthcare: Overland Park, Kan. » No. 1 for Food: San Francisco, Calif. » No. 1 for Fitness: Scottsdale, Ariz. » No. 1 for Green Space: Santa Clarita, Calif. » Highest Premature Death Rates: Baltimore, Md., and St. Louis, Mo. » Lowest Premature Death Rates: San Jose, Calif. » Most Physically Active City: Seattle, Wash. » Least Physically Active City: Brownsville, Texas » Highest Number of Fruit and Veggie Eaters: Calif. (tie) San Francisco, Oakland and Freemont » Lowest Number of Fruit and Veggie Eaters: Little Rock, Ark. WHAT’S THIS BASED ON? » Healthcare: Premature death rate; mental health counselors, doctors and dentists per capita; cost of healthcare visits; health insurance coverage » Food: Fruit and vegetable consumption; number of farmers markets, specialty food stores and healthy restaurants per capita; number of dietitians and nutritionists; percentage of obese residents » Fitness: Percentage of people who engage in physical activities; cost of gym membership; number of fitness clubs, rec leagues and weight loss centers per capita » Green space: Park acres per capita; quality of parks; amount of hiking, running and walking trails Source: 2017’s Healthiest Cities in America, WalletHub, https://wallethub.com/edu/healthiest-cities/31072
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