Thursday, August 5, 2010

Healthier Health

This post is going to take a slightly different track. Even being in the wellness business, I’m continually amazed by what I don’t know—sometimes it’s something brand new, and sometimes it’s something I see and say to myself, “I should know that.” So, read on . . . I’m going to share some of the more unusual health and food facts I’ve discovered.

Did you know . . .

You’d have to make 2 trips to the top and back of the Empire State Building to burn off the calories in just two pieces of KFC Extra Crispy chicken!

Liquid calories account for more than 21 percent of our daily calorie intake—more than 400 calories every single day, which is twice as much as we drank 30 years ago.

An extra can of soda a day can pile on 15 pounds in a single year. The average American drinks about 2 cans of soda per day. By cutting soda and those 300 calories, you could save 8,400 calories in four weeks—and lose about 2.4 pounds. And, this means you haven’t consumed the equivalent of nine cups of sugar!

How much sugar? Each of us will eat the sugar equivalent of 3,628 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the next 12 months.

According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who drank one cup of black tea after eating high-carb foods decreased their blood-sugar levels by 10 percent for 2 and a half hours after the meal—which means they stayed full longer and had fewer food cravings.

Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books magazines, newspapers, video and recorded music—combined.

All things being equal, boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed results in weight loss of about 4.5 pounds.

The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue.

Choosing organic foods can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 68 percent.

A six-pack of beer generates 7 lbs. of greenhouse-gas emissions. The average American’s daily carbon impact is 153 pounds.

Americans spend approximately $25 billion each year on beer.

The average American spends 120 hours a month watching TV. That’s the equivalent of five complete days in front of the television.

Every hour we lose 125 acres of farm and ranch land. Each year 90 percent of U.S. cropland loses soil at a rate of 13 times above what’s sustainable.

Eating whole grains regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease by 25 to 28 percent, and risk of type 2 diabetes by 21 to 30 percent.

The average diner underestimates his or her calorie count by up to 93 percent when eating out.

An average human drinks about 16,000 gallons of water in a lifetime.

A typical American eats 28 pigs in his/ her lifetime.

And, thinking about pigs, food and odd yet interesting statistics, Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” after his editor dared him to write a book using fewer than 50 different words. (OK, this one just has food in the title, but it’s still an interesting food-related fact.)

Have you noticed that sometimes it’s what we never think about that really makes us think?

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