Monday, October 28, 2013

Dr. Radak quoted in school lunch and childhood obesity blog

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Why School Lunches Could Be Adding to the Obesity Epidemic and What You Can Do to Help

As your child walks in from school, takes off his backpack and slumps on the couch, obviously exhausted from a full day of school, you may wonder why his energy has vanished. Ask him what he had for lunch in the school cafeteria, and you may find your answer.
From pizza and French fries to fruit dripping with rich corn syrup and canned, processed vegetables, your child’s food choices may be less than desirable to a health-conscious parent. It’s no wonder your child’s energy is gone and his clothes keep getting tighter.
Many parents are finding that school lunches could be adding to the childhood obesity epidemic. Luckily, there is something you can do to help.
What’s For Lunch?
“The problem with many school lunches, or meals rather, is that they are highly processed,” says Elizabeth Prebish, registered dietitian for Organic Life, provider of healthy lunches in Chicago, Illinois. “Many school lunches include processed meats, fried foods and high amounts of sugars or carbohydrates.”
With restricted budgets to feed large quantities of mouths, typical food service companies use conventional meats that contain hormones, antibiotics and steroids – all things small children do not need, says Prebish.
In addition to lunch, it’s possible your child is filling up on sweets as well. The school lunch system provides many opportunities for sweets, including offering ice cream and bakery items, not to mention chocolate milk. “Having these items as daily options is definitely a contribution to the obesity epidemic,” says Prebish. “These processed sugars are addictive, leaving children craving the same foods not only in school but when they are home as well.”
Snack Time
From Halloween and fall festivals to school picnics and class parties, a celebration with food is a common occurrence in the classroom. Beyond the gorging of party cookies and cakes, some nutrition experts believe that even healthier snacks scheduled into the daily classroom schedule can contribute to childhood obesity.
“The number one way in which schools contribute to childhood obesity is by scripting snacks into the daily schedule,” says Adrienne Hew, nutrition specialist and founder of “Children who are well fed do not need snacks – having snacks scripted into the schedule drives them to want to eat even when they are not hungry.”
The idea of incorporating snacks into the school day derived from a practice used for diabetics that uses small meals throughout the day to help keep blood sugar steady, says Hew. “However, the snacks that are offered to children would kill a diabetic – crackers, cookies, Cheerios and juice,” she says.
Cooking Up Change
In order to prompt change, parents need to offer solutions and suggestions to school districts and school board members. Offering a viable solution that is realistic with decreased school budgets is key.
“I would love to see schools engage with the community by going to local farmers or food co-ops and cutting cheap or free deals to absorb their leftover produce or produce that isn’t perfect for selling at the stand but can still be salvaged for making soups, stews and salads,” says Hew.

Another inexpensive option would be to recruit culinary students to complete internships in the schools as apprenticing or head chefs under the supervision of the person who normally is in charge of budgeting, suggests Hew. This economically-appealing option would give interns the opportunity to practice their skills, prepare healthy, innovative meals for school lunches and afford the district with a cost-effective option.

Parents can also advocate for a food service system that offers more natural products, says Prebish. “If this is not an option, work with your food service provider to determine more healthful substitutions that the children will also enjoy,” she says. “Try for more natural, and even organic, products wherever possible.”

In addition to working with food service systems, make yourself known at school board meetings. Parents can work to improve lunch selections by speaking to the board, the community and fellow parents. At each meeting try to provide a suggestion for healthier options, such as replacing meat-based burgers with veggie burgers.

According to Dr. Timothy Radak, faculty member in the Public Health program at Walden University, veggie burgers typically have one-third the amount of fat, no cholesterol and are similar in regards to the amount of protein as meat-based burgers.

Suggest cost-saving, evidence-based ideas to show the benefits to the district’s bottom line and the overall health of each student on campus. Schools could also reduce or eliminate some foods with health risks, such as red meat, processed foods or sugary drinks, says Radak. “Use the cost savings to provide more fresh fruits, vegetables and low fat, nutritious meal options.”

More importantly, educate your child about food, healthy eating habits and smart options for lunch. It is possible that when given the option, he may toss out the pizza and French fries for the veggie burger.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Effects of a nutritional intervention with the Japanese Vegetarian Food Guide on the nutritional characteristics of a self described Japanese Vegetarian population

Effects of a nutritional intervention with the Japanese Vegetarian Food Guide on the nutritional characteristics of a self described Japanese Vegetarian population  Journal of the Japan Dietetic Association (Vol. 56, Issue 4), 2013.

Keiko Nakamoto1, Sanae Watanabe2, Hideki Kudo3, Somboon Noparatanawong4, Seika Kamohara5Tim Radak6, Mitsuru Tsuchida7, Kyoichi Miyazaki8, Dileep S Sachan9, Akira Tanaka2

1San-iku Food Company2Kagawa Nutrition University3Bunkyo Gakuin University

4DHC Corporation Laboratories5Health Science University6Walden University

7Aichi Mizuho College8Japan Society for Tobacco Control9University of Tennessee

Full online PDF of full article in Japanese  click here:

Monday, March 11, 2013

National Nutrition Month, Dr. Radak, answers diet and nutrition questions from the Walden University community

As March 2013 is National Nutrition Month, Dr. Timothy Radak, academic coordinator and faculty member in the Ph.D. in Public Health program in the School of Health Sciences at Walden University, will be answering diet and nutrition questions from the Walden community. Dr. Radak is credentialed as a registered dietitian and is an expert on nutrition.
Part 1 and Part 2 are accessible below

Part 1:

Part 2:

Your Nutrition Questions Answered

Posted by   Tamara Chumley   Posted At 08:45 AM CST
As March is National Nutrition Month, Dr. Timothy Radak, academic coordinator and faculty member in the Ph.D. in Public Health program in the School of Health Sciences at Walden University, will be answering diet and nutrition questions from the Walden community in Spotlight on Walden throughout the month. Dr. Radakis credentialed as a registered dietitian and is an expert on nutrition.
Dr. Timothy Radak, academic coordinator and faculty member in the Ph.D. in Public Health program, School of Health SciencesAsk your diet and nutrition questions on Facebook and Twitter and check in throughout the month to see ifDr. Radak answered your question!
Q. What foods help reduce aging?
Dr. Radak: Thisis a great question and certainly one that many people ask! While there is noreal anti-aging diet or way to fool Mother Nature’s chronological clock, thereare many foods that help promote our health and keep disease at bay. We all knowthat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are healthy for us and are provenfighters against disease. Consuming these foods can not only reduce risk fordisease as we age but also provide us with energy and overall general health aswe enter into our elder years. Feeling adventurous? Try some oven-baked kalefor a snack. There are recipes all over the Web to make this at home, thoughmany stores now carry it. It’s a neat way to get greens in our diet and have asnack too.
Q. Are protein shakesa good choice to replace one of your daily meals?
Dr. Radak: Ingeneral, I don’t recommend protein shakes for regular use, but in a pinch theycan have benefits. What our bodies need are balanced and diverse meals, with avariety of foods. Obtaining our daily requirements is so much more than justprotein. Obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals is also crucial. If youare short on time and unable to have a balanced meal, protein shakes canoccasionally replace a meal. Also note that for the majority of us, we do notneed to be overly concerned with protein intake as the standard diet mostcommonly consumed in the United States provides nearly double what ourrequirements are. Interested in knowing what your protein requirements are?Follow this simple equation to arrive at a general estimate for normal-weightindividuals: Multiply your body weight in pounds x 0.36 to provide an estimateof protein grams.
Q. What is the bestway to go carb-free? And, any tips for great ways to curb those cravings (i.e.,snacks or recipes)?
Dr. Radak: Thisis a very popular question. Contrary to what some Internet sites may suggest,going carb-free is not really the best choice for a balanced diet, for thepromotion of good health, or for curbing cravings. Fiber rich carbohydrate-containingfoods are actually one of nature’s best ways to feel full until our next meal. Thekey here is to distinguish between the two basic types of carbohydrates: refinedfoods and beverages (like sugary snacks and sodas, which are processed andcalled simple carbohydrates) and whole foods and unprocessed foods (known as complexcarbohydrates). Some of my favorite complex carb snacks include freshly cutapples with some peanut butter, bell pepper slices with hummus, or even a trailbar from time to time.
Q. Fruits aregenerally considered nutritionally beneficial to mankind. Are there fruits tobe regarded with caution?
Dr. Radak: I haveyet to see a study showing a health risk from fruits or vegetables, though somefruits, like grapefruit, may interact with certain medications. It is importantto check with your physician for food-drug interactions. I think following theprinciple of “too much of a good thing can …” could be a useful guideline ifone over-consumes any foods. Some fruits contain a lot of fructose, so thatcould be a potential concern if someone really ramps up their fruit intake.Moderation and balance of intake is always a good strategy to follow.

Visit us on Facebookor Twitter to ask Dr. Radakadditional questions throughout the month

Your Diet & Nutrition Questions Answered: Part 2

Posted by   Tamara Chumley   Posted At 09:43 AM CDT

Dr. Timothy Radak, academic coordinator and faculty member in the Ph.D. in Public Health program in the School of Health Sciences at Walden University, continues answering diet and nutrition questionsfrom the Walden community in Spotlight on Walden throughout the month.Dr. Radak is credentialed as a registered dietitian and is an expert onnutrDr. Timothy Radak, academic coordinator and faculty member in the School of Health Sciencesition.
Check out the first Q&A from earlier this month.
Q. Do essential oils help, hurt,or do nothing for diabetics?
Dr. Radak: Essential oilsare aromatic liquids derived from plants and have become increasingly popularwith the use of aromatherapy. I am not aware of many human studies evaluatingtheir use for diabetes. Some research has shown that cinnamon has had apositive effect on diabetes; however, this was in capsule form rather than asan essential oil.
Q. Why is folic acid, which isrecommended to pregnant women and also put into cereals and supplements,considered “unnatural” and a double-edged sword? Shouldn't folate, as found naturally in foods, be the preferred recommendation to the public?
Dr. Radak: One of thereasons our government decided to enrich or fortify certain commonly-consumedfoods with folic acid is because of known health risks for babies born to womenwho were below recommended levels of this important nutrient. Levels of folatefound normally in foods could meet nutritional recommendations, but research showsthat many women were still falling short of needed requirements.
Q. Is there any inherent health risk by adopting a low carbohydrate, high plant protein diet? I'm trying to lose some weight.
Dr. Radak: When consideringany type of major dietary change, it is important to consult with yourdietitian or physician as they would be able to take into account your medicalhistory when evaluating a potential dietary change. High protein intake, fromeither plant or animal products, has been associated with some health risks. Thatsaid, I personally don’t recommend any diets that are high in one dietary groupand low in another. I think the advice of following a balanced diet is sound.
Q. I have been thinking about baking my own bread using all whole wheat flour; however, I keep hearing about how bad bread is. Is this a healthy option or should bread be avoided alltogether?
Dr. Radak: I think makingyour own bread is a great idea and offers many opportunities to create endlessvarieties. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding carbohydrates,and many fear bread, potatoes, etc. The key here is to distinguish between thetwo basic types of carbohydrates: refined foods and beverages (like sugarysnacks and sodas, which are processed and called simple carbohydrates) andwhole foods and unprocessed foods (known as complex carbohydrates), which wouldinclude whole wheat bread.
Q. What do you think about the Sensa diet?
Dr. Radak: The concept behind Sensa (a powder that is sprinkled on foods) is to modify the sense of smell and taste to accelerate satiety, or a sense of fullness, faster, in turn helping to reduce overall food intake. There are two types of powders: one for sweet foods and one for salty foods. I am suspicious of any program that suggests you can eat anything you like without the need to exercise or be conscious of overall calorie intake. I would suggest instead following the standard advice about making sure that your meal or specific food portions are at the recommended levels. Following portion control is a sound and sensible way to help steer clear of excess calorie intake and does not cost any money.
Askyour diet and nutrition questions on Facebook and Twitter and check in throughout the month to see ifDr. Radak answered your question!
Category : Feature    Tags : Faculty   Health Sciences  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Food Science: An Ecological Approach, 2013 - Dr. Radak on Plant Based Diets and Vegetarianism

Food Science: An Ecological Approach, 2013

A Textbook At The Forefront Of A Global Movement Toward Sustainability Food Science, An Ecological Approach

Perhaps the first academic text to approach food science from an ecological perspective.

Dr. Radak authored the first entire chapter in an food science academic text devoted to plant-based and vegetarian, vegan diets.

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A textbook at the forefront of a global movement toward sustainability, Food Science, An Ecological Approach presents food science and food preparation in the context of current environmental world conditions. The science of food is discussed within the broader context of the world's food supply. Food Science, An Ecological Approach explores the idea of global sustainability and examines the ecological problems that challenge our food supply and raise increasing concerns among consumers.