Enticing Dad to Eat When Alzheimer’s Interferes

When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to call Dad the “human garbage disposal” because he was happy to finish off anything we had left on our plates. He’s always had a healthy appetite, but since my mom died seven months ago, Alzheimer’s disease has begun to erode many aspects of Dad’s daily functioning, including his hunger and enjoyment of food. When Dad refuses ice cream, true panic fills my heart. If he doesn’t want his favorites, …

Could You Give Up Sugar for 10 Days?

Television host Katie Couric, whose new documentary, “Fed Up,” blames sugar for the country’s spiraling obesity problem, is challenging people to take a 10-day break from the sweet stuff. In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Couric urged people to try and give up foods with added sugar, including artificial sweeteners, “which have the same impact on your brain as added sugar.” That means foods with naturally occurring sugar, including fresh fruit and plain yogurt, are fine, but options …

Sugar, Servings and Calories: A Food-Label Makeover

After two decades, the nutrition labels on the food products we buy are getting a much-needed update, with proposed changes that provide a more realistic picture of the serving size, calories and added sugar those products contain. The changes were unveiled today at the White House as part of the fourth anniversary of the first lady’s Let’s Move! antiobesity campaign. For consumers, the new labels could serve up a major reality check: The serving size for ice cream, for example, …

What the Cut in Food Stamps Means

When President Obama signed the farm bill on Feb. 7, it meant sun and rain for food stamp recipients. The sunny side is that a $40 billion cut over 10 years proposed by House Republicans was whittled to $8.6 billion. The stormy side is that some 850,000 households, or 4 percent of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly food stamps), will lose about $90 a month to help pay for groceries. The wide-ranging law also addresses nutrition …

Nuts for a Longer Life? Yes, but Which Ones Are Best?

Eating a handful of nuts a day may be all it takes to help ward off serious disease and prolong a healthy life, says a major new study. In the largest study to date to look at whether eating nuts can help you live longer, researchers who followed 76,464 women and 42,498 men for 30 years found that people who ate nuts every day were 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer or any other cause, compared …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. It takes a licking but keeps on ticking: Scientists can rebuild a mouse’s heart with human cells. (Learn more at Futurity.org) 2. Quick: Who’s that below? A simple test that measures the ability to recognize and name famous people may help diagnose early dementia. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Drinking two cups of cocoa a day may help keep your brain healthy. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Twitter can predict elections. (Learn more at …