Mars sells: Milky Way, M&M's, Twix, Skittles, Snickers, and more. Its products are loaded with sugar and calories and are mainstays on the Main Street Diet.
Dr. Ornish is well-known for promoting healthy living is aligned with a candy company.
I'm an old cynic, so, I just had to laugh. It's just one more reason to get mad at the American food/health system.
The holidays are a time for…overeating? It would seem that way, given the latest statistics.
· Americans gain 1 to 1½ pounds annually during the holiday season
· Leading health experts believe most midlife weight gain comes from poor holiday eating habits
To help fight holiday weight gain, best-selling author and health expert Dr. Dean Ornish created this list of 16 Steps to Healthy Holiday Eating. I thought this list would make a great holiday public service post for your site, and that your readers would appreciate this simple, helpful content.
“How to Indulge During the Holidays” – Dr. Dean Ornish
1. Eat something beforehand. If you don’t eat all day, you may arrive at holiday meals and parties ravenous and lose control.
2. Put 20 percent fewer high-calorie foods and 20 percent more fruits and vegetables on your plate. Studies show that you probably won’t notice the difference.
3. Eat the healthier foods first – they will fill you up somewhat, so you’ll be less likely to overeat the more indulgent foods.
4. Choose foods that leave evidence – e.g., keep the shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate after you’ve eaten them. Studies show that if you have cues to see how much you’ve eaten, you’ll eat less.
5. Try not to put more than two or three items on your plate at one time. We eat more when food is in front of us.
6. Eat more slowly. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Sip water between bites. Holiday meals last longer than typical meals. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating, which will lead to seconds.
7. If you have a choice, use a smaller plate!
8. If you’re at someone’s home, try to serve yourself instead of allowing your relative to heap your plate full.
9. Arrive a little late and make a grand entrance. More of the indulgent foods will be gone by then.
10. If you go to a restaurant, ask your server not to put bread on the table beforehand. If it’s there, you’ll probably eat it. Leave more room for your favorite holiday foods instead.
11. Substitute cranberry sauce for gravy, which is usually high in fat and calories. Cranberry sauce is nutritious and loaded with antioxidants.
12. If you eat baked potatoes and yams, avoid toppings such as butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream. If possible, substitute low-fat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.
13. Watch the alcohol, which is high in calories and slows your metabolism. Also, too much alcohol can impair judgment, so the more you drink, the more you’re likely to eat.
14. Close your eyes and savor the food periodically during the meal. You’ll consume fewer calories and experience more pleasure.
15. Have just a few bites of dessert. The first and last bites are always the best, anyway.
16. Take a walk after dinner. You don’t have to hike five miles. A stroll around the block is a good start. Walking not only burns calories, it also helps relieve bloating and prevent heartburn.
For more information, and additional tips from Dr. Ornish on how to make healthy choices throughout the holiday season, visit www.marshealthyliving.com.
I’m reaching out on behalf of Mars.
I responded to the above email with this note to the PR person:
I'm just curious.
Why is Dr. Ornish, who is well-known for promoting a healthy lifestyle, associated with Mars ... a purveyor of junk food? Even for a cynic like me, it's a bit much.
A few days later, I received this response:
Hi Ken - it is a good question. I wanted to provide you with some materials that hopefully address your point.
Why would a doctor work together with a candy company? Because we all have to work together to solve some of the problems that we face in our nation, one of which of course, is the obesity epidemic. Dr. Ornish and Mars have been working together for several years to talk not only about what we eat, but also how we eat. If we can eat mindfully and with awareness, we can eat with more pleasure, and with fewer calories. We can also help by teaching people how to use Mars products and how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. Life is to be enjoyed and studies show that people who overall eat the healthiest are often the ones who do allow themselves the occasional treat and indulgence because otherwise, it’s very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when it’s not much fun.
Mars is also proud to be a leader in the industry through actions such as using front-of-pack labeling, so that people know what they are buying; by reducing portion sizes to 250 calories or less and to using high quality ingredients so that when you do have a treat, you really enjoy it and you can have maximum pleasure without so many calories.
Quotes from Dr. Ornish:
· “I’m proud to be working with Mars and have been doing so for several years now. Why is a doctor working with a candy company? The reason is: we all have to work together to solve some of the problems that we face in our nation, one of which of course, is the obesity epidemic.”
· “There are ways of working together to help, and in some ways, Mars is in the perfect position to do that, to show leadership in front-of-pack labeling, so that people know what they are buying, by reducing portion sizes to 250 calories or less and to using high quality ingredients so that when you do have a treat, you really enjoy it and you can have maximum pleasure without so many calories.”
· “What we’re doing is working together to talk not only about what we eat but also, how we eat it. We can eat mindfully and with awareness so that we eat with more pleasure, and with fewer calories. I love chocolate, and if it’s really high quality chocolate, which is what Mars makes, you can close your eyes and have a “Mars moment.”
· “We can help by teaching people how to use Mars products and how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. Life is to be enjoyed and studies show that people who overall eat the healthiest are often the ones who do allow themselves the occasional treat and indulgence because otherwise, it’s very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when it’s not much fun.
· “So if we understand the context of the commitment that Mars has to addressing the obesity epidemic and to helping people make more informed choices, then we can work together to solve obesity and crisis that is facing our nation.”