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How To Beat Food Cravings

18 June 2011 - 01:06 PM


How to curb food cravings: 6 things you can do right now
by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff, on Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:37am PDT

If you’re a woman between the ages of 18 and 35, you’re a slave to your cravings. Food psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania singled out that particular female demographic as having the biggest problem reining in their edible whims. They also found that 90 percent of the time, those whims are for chocolate.

In fact, the most popularly craved foods are 30 percent higher in fat than healthy grub and 50 percent lower in protein. But they feel so good going down. That’s because commonly craved foods, like chocolate, release dopamine, activating your brain’s pleasure center.

In simple terms, cravings are the saboteurs of your perfectly planned diet. They strike when you’re at your most relaxed and they can drive you crazy unless you know how to curb them.

The good news is that they can be conquered in six simple steps. And no, attaching an alarm to your fridge isn’t one of them.

Step 1: Spread your calories throughout the day. Cravings aren’t always born out of hunger but if your stomach is slightly growling, it can make for a convenient excuse to indulge. If you graze lightly throughout the day instead of heaping on the massive portions during mealtime, you’re less likely to rationalize that mid-day bag of chips.

Step 2: Stay distracted. Cravings come, on average, in 15-minute intervals, so if you’re hankering for a hunk of cheese, get busy. Send out that email you’ve been meaning to tackle or spend some time getting lost in a blog. Studies show visual distractions are highly effective in fighting thoughts of food, so use the time to cater to some eye-candy.

Step 3: Give your tongue a treat, not your stomach. Keep breath mints or dissolving strips handy in case of emergencies. They’ll activate your sense of taste and smell, without adding unneeded calories.

Step 4: Create a mantra. If a plate of cookies is beckoning, tell it who’s boss. State your intention: “I will not eat this plate of cookies.” Repeat it at least three times until it becomes a fact. Research shows that declarations of intention increase will power. And that’s exactly what you need to call in for backup when cravings get the best of you.

Step 5: Go ahead and indulge, lightly. We never fully outgrow our inner child, and parents know the cardinal rule with kids is when you say they can’t have something, they want it more. Same goes for your own cravings. The more you deny yourself sweets, the more you’ll want them. Sweets shouldn’t be completely taboo, but they should be considered the occasional reward, enjoyed in bites not boxes.

Step 6: Keep it brief. So you’ve caved into that piece of cake. All is not lost. Try to limit your indulgence to a few bites, savoring the flavor and texture but avoiding the complete annihilation of the objet desir. The satisfaction of tasting your treat will be intense at first but researchers have found that pleasure decreases dramatically after the first few bites. So savor the first few bites slowly and then stop yourself before your start destroying the evidence through your stomach.

Most Unhealthy American Fast Food Sandwiches

18 June 2011 - 12:31 PM


Most Unhealthy Meals Served by America's Fast Food Chains
by Jonathan Berr
Saturday, June 18, 2011
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From California, to the New York island; from the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters, this land is filled with fatties, lard butts and people large enough to have their own gravitational fields. Yes, America is the land of the "large and in charge," and one of the main reasons for it is our love of fast food.

Though it's tempting to put all of the blame for America's obesity crisis on the fast-food industry -- and experts say they're at least partly at fault -- it's important to view it in context. The industry came of age during the 1950s, as suburban communities saw their populations skyrocket and social mores began changing as women began to increasingly work outside the home. Some of the savviest entrepreneurs in American corporate history sprang into action.

McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD - News) started the trend in 1955 when businessman Ray Kroc wondered how the McDonald Brothers sold so many burgers at their Southern California burger joint. He opened his first McDonald's Drive-In in Des Plaines, Ill. There are now more than 32,000 restaurants that are home to the Golden Arches. Col. Harlan Sanders began franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952. Five years later, Sanders began selling chicken in the signature buckets, and today there are more than 15,000 KFC outlets. James McLamore and David Edgerton founded Burger King in 1954, when, as the company's website notes, "flame-broiled beef begins fulfilling its destiny." There are more than 12,500 Burger Kings today. Glen W. Bell Jr. opened the first Taco Bell in 1962 with an investment of $4,000 and eventually sold the chain to PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP - News) in 1978. At that time, there were 868 Taco Bells. Today, there are nearly 6,000. At the tender age of 17, Fred DeLuca co-founded Subway Restaurants in 1965. They have 32,800 locations today.

Fast-forward to the beginning of the of the 21st century, and many of the same trends that helped create the modern fast food industry are still helping fuel its growth. Many children, especially racial minorities, live in single-parent households -- a whopping 65 percent of non-Hispanic black children and 37 percent of Hispanic children as of 2007, according to Kids Count. Mothers are working outside the home at much higher rates than years past. Women comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force in 2009 and are projected to account for 46.9 percent of the labor force in 2018, accounting for 51.2 percent of the increase in total labor force growth during the same period. Add to this mix high unemployment rates caused by the uncertainty of the worldwide economy, and the allure of fast, cheap food becomes hard to resist.

And therein lies the problem.

Obesity rates are a public health crisis. They have tripled among children since 1980. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. People who are obese are vulnerable to everything from diabetes to heart disease, resulting in some $147 billion in direct medical costs annually.

Determining how much fast food is at fault for the poor state of the health of many Americans "is impossible to quantify, but is definitely a factor," says Christina Munsell, research assistant at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, in an interview. The increase in obesity "definitely would correlate with eating quicker meals that are easier to obtain."

In order to create the rankings, 24/7 Wall St. examined the menus of the top 10 restaurant brands in the quick service category by sales as determined by QSR, an industry publication, looking for items that were the highest in calories, carbohydrates, sodium and saturated fat. We then ranked them against the nutritional guidelines of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A couple of important caveats to consider: Not all food sold at fast food restaurants is unhealthy. The industry aggressively promotes healthier choices on their menus. Subway, for one, makes a special point of doing this, even though its footlong subs are not healthy choices. Moreover, experts point out that some items sold at sit-down restaurants are actually much more unhealthy than many fast food items. Fast food, though, has gained ground during the economic slowdown, while casual and fine dining chains have suffered. McDonald's alone earned $24.58 billion in revenue in 2010. Yum Brands! Inc. (NYSE: YUM - News), parent of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, made $11.42 billion.

Methodology: We derived the rankings by taking the average nutritional ratings of menu items compared with USDA recommendations. Carbohydrates, saturated fat, and sodium were given the most weight. Calories and protein were also considered.

1. Pizza Hut Triple Meat Italiano

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 1280 (49%)
• Saturated Fat: 23g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 123 (38%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 3,070mg (133%)

Pizza -- plain with cheese and sauce -- is not particularly unhealthy. This gastronomical overkill featuring "all-natural pepperoni, all-natural Italian sausage and baked ham" is terrible. Pizza Hut offers plenty of healthier choices.

2. Subway 12" Italian B.M.T

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 900 (35%)
• Saturated Fat: 16g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 94 (27%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 3,000 mg (130%)

It's easy to see why Subway does not list this sandwich under its "low fat footlongs" on its website. It has a whopping 3,000 mg of salt, 130% of the recommended allotment in a daily diet. "The problem with Subway is the portion size," Munsell says, adding that the problem with this sandwich is the salty luncheon meats. Subway is getting the message about salt. As an April USA Today article noted, "Beginning today, sodium content in Subway's 'Fresh Fit' sandwich line in the U.S. will be cut 28% vs. 2009, when Subway first began to cut salt. And sodium in its overall sandwich line will be cut by 15%, compared with the same period."

3. KFC Chicken Pot Pie

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 790 (30%)
• Saturated Fat: 37g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 66 (20%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1,970mg (86%)

Salty and high in calories, there is little positive that can be said about the KFC Chicken Pot Pie. A Yum! Brands spokesman had this to say: "It's all about providing our consumers with choices, and each of our brands has introduced products that are lower in calories and fat, such as KFC's Kentucky Grilled Chicken, Pizza Hut's Thin 'N Crispy Pizzas and salads and Taco Bell's Drive Thru Diet Menu with seven items less than 9 grams of fat."

In other words, diners have a choice whether they eat something with almost a full day's allotment of sodium in one sitting.

4. Sonic SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger with Mayo

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 1,370 (53%)
• Saturated Fat: 36g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 55 (17%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1,610mg (70%)

The name alone should make a diner want to grab a fistful of Lipitor. Those brave enough to chow down on this 1,370-calorie monstrosity probably shouldn't eat much for the rest of the day. Once a regional operator in the South and Midwest, Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC - News) now operates in over 3,500 locations.

5. McDonald's Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 800 (31%)
• Saturated Fat: 18g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 66 (18%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 2,020mg (88%)

The Angus Chipotle is big and has bacon, two red flags for any dieter. "It's problematic," says Munsell, adding that the Golden Arches have borne the brunt of negative publicity about fast food. That's unfair. "We did find that McDonald's did have more healthy options" than other chains, she adds. Indeed, it ended its Super Size promotion a few years ago, no doubt spurred by the publicity surrounding the movie "Super Size Me."

6. Taco Bell XXL Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 880 (34%)
• Saturated Fat: 3g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 94 (26%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 2,130mg (93%)

Taco Bell has mastered the art of blending meats and cheese in ever-creative caloric combinations. The XXL Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito is a monument to gluttony. Taco Bell calls it its "biggest burrito yet." It has "a blend of three cheeses -- cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella -- flavorful seasoned rice, hearty beans, reduced-fat sour cream, chunky guacamole, avocado ranch and fiesta salsa, wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla." Taco Bell's sales have been hurt by the publicity surrounding the quality of its beef.

7. Wendy's Triple

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 1,030 (40%)
• Saturated Fat: 28g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 43 (18%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1,800mg (78%)

Anyone eating this monstrosity might not realize that the USDA recommends that people eat a portion of meat roughly the size of deck of cards. This Wendy's monster burger clocks in at a whopping 423 grams. Wendy's (NYSE: WEN - News) has struggled for years against larger rivals. It unloaded its underperforming Arby's chain earlier this week to private-equity group Roark Capital Group. Wendy's did not respond to a request for comment.

8. Subway Footlong Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 750 (28%)
• Saturated Fat: 2.5g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 117 (41%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1,810 mg (79%)

Subway unhealthy? In some cases, the answer is "yes." While this sandwich is low in calories and fat, it is high in salt. The portions of Subway's footlong sandwiches are too large, Munsell notes. Subway did not respond to a request for comment.

9. Burger King Triple Whopper with Cheese

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 1,180 (44%)
• Saturated Fat: 30g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 52 (16%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1,330mg (58%)

The Triple Whopper makes the Quarter Pounder with Cheese seem like health food. At 1,180 calories, it packs more than twice the punch of the McDonald's burger, which has 535 calories. In a statement to 24/7 Wall St., the company referred to the Triple Whopper as an "indulgent option for our guests." Burger King says it encourages customers to eat healthy choices that provide 650 calories or less -- approximately one-third of a 2,000-calorie diet.

10. Wendy's Baconator Double

• Calories (pct. daily diet): 930 (36%)
• Saturated Fat: 25g
• Carbohydrate (pct. daily diet): 41 (13%)
• Sodium (pct. daily diet): 1,840mg (80%)

Who says you can never have too much bacon? Anyone with sense, that's who. Rudd's Munsell noted with amusement how fast food chains "combine every type of meat on one sandwich." The Baconator was relentlessly hyped for a while. A Wendy's spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.


S Korean troops shoot at civilian airliner by mistake

18 June 2011 - 12:10 PM


South Korean troops shoot at civilian airliner by mistake
By Sung-won Shim – Sat Jun 18, 5:20 am ET

SEOUL, Jun (Reuters) – South Korean Marines fired rifles at a South Korean commercial aircraft flying near the sea border with North Korea, thinking it was one of the communist North's jet fighters, but they never hit their target, military sources said on Saturday.

The shooting illustrates the level of tension between the two Koreas, still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty, which came close to all-out war last year.

A Marine Corps spokesman said two soldiers guarding an island on the waters off the South's western city of Incheon fired their K-2 rifles for about 10 minutes at around 4 a.m. on Friday.

The plane was later identified as an Asiana Airlines Airbus A320 flying from China making its descent into Incheon, Seoul's main airport.

A defense ministry source said the plane, carrying 119 passengers and crew, was undamaged as it was about 500 to 600 meters out of the range of the hand-held K-2 rifles.

Yonhap News Agency and other local media said the soldiers believed the plane was flying north of the normal air corridor. Asiana officials told the news agency the plane never left its scheduled course.

"We checked yesterday through the air force and the airport control center to make sure there were no abnormalities such as being off course," Yonhap quoted a company official as saying.

An airline official confirmed the plane was an Airbus A320 but made no other comment.

Yonhap and other news reports quoted Marine Corps officers as saying troops would undergo thorough training on how to identify civil aircraft. Airlines will be asked to ensure their planes do not deviate from set courses.

The North denies responsibility in the sinking last March of a South Korean warship and says it was provoked in the second incident, the shelling of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong after the South test-fired shells into disputed waters.

The two attacks killed about 50 South Koreans.

The North this month rejected a proposal from Seoul for a series of three presidential summits after a secret meeting of officials from the two countries. The North denounced the South's call for an apology for the two attacks.

In between the attacks, North Korea unveiled a uranium enrichment program which opens a second route to make a nuclear bomb alongside its plutonium program.

(Reporting by Sung-won Shim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

The World's Highest-Paid Musicians

17 June 2011 - 11:55 AM


The World's Highest-Paid Musicians
Posted Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:35pm PDT by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes in Stop The Presses!

Two decades ago Jon Bon Jovi sat with the members of his eponymous band in a basement in New Jersey. Hoping to rekindle the group's desire to make music after two grueling years on the road, he'd hung vintage posters on the wall, illuminated only by candles and blacklights. But instead of feeling inspired, Bon Jovi found himself becoming cranky and short of breath.

"I'm thinking maybe this is an issue, maybe I just don't like them," Bon Jovi said in a recent interview for the FORBES Celeb 100 issue. "Until I realized that all the oxygen was sucked out of the room by the candles ... So I blew out the candles, cranked up the amplifiers, and said, 'We're going to be a rock band. If you believe in what I'm telling you, we can be the Rolling Stones.'"

Sure enough, Bon Jovi is still rocking. The group earned $125 million over the past 12 months, enough to claim the No. 2 spot on FORBES' annual list of the world's highest-paid musicians. U2 (pictured above) took home $195 million-and music's money crown-thanks to an international stadium tour that grossed some $700 million over two years, surpassing the Stones' A Bigger Bang tour as the most lucrative of all time.

Power ballad rockers aren't the only artists raking in the cash this year. Elton John ranks third with $100 million, fueled by a 102-show tour; Lady Gaga, godmother to Sir Elton's new son, clocks in at No. 4 with $90 million; Canadian crooner Michael Bublé rounds out the top five with $70 million, also on the strength of a lucrative tour.

Our numbers encompass all pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as extensive interviews with industry insiders including lawyers, managers, concert promoters, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves.

For most artists, touring was the largest source of income this past year-but some were more efficient than others. Lady Gaga grossed nearly as much in 12 months of touring ($168 million) as Elton John ($204 million), but the costs of her elaborate production (dozens of backup dancers, pyrotechnic undergarments, etc.) ate into her take significantly. Gaga did grab plenty of additional cash from recorded music, publishing and endorsements. And regardless of the margins on her tour, drawing some 2 million fans over the past 12 months is no small feat-for Gaga, or for any of the big touring acts.

"It's one thing to cut a song and get airplay, it's another thing to convert listeners into a loyal fan base that goes through the trials and tribulations of buying tickets, paying for dinner, hiring a baby sitter," says Randy Phillips, chief of concert promoter AEG. "To motivate a fan base to go through all those hurdles, there are very few artists who can do that consistently."

The musicians on our list run quite a gamut. Justin Bieber, who raked in $53 million, is the youngest at age 17. Paul McCartney, who took home $66 million, is the oldest at 68. One couple even made the list-Jay-Z and Beyoncé took home $37 million and $35 million, respectively, marking the first time since their nuptials that the hip-hop mogul earned more than his wife.

Beyoncé is one of only five female solo acts on the list, compared to 13 males. What the list lacks in gender equality, it makes up for in geographical diversity-over one-third of the artists hail from outside the U.S., from countries including the U.K., Barbados, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and Australia.

As for the Rolling Stones, they're widely expected to hit the road again to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2012. But don't expect a Bon Jovi reunion tour in 2030.

"I don't know if I want to be 68 years old and doing 140 shows in a year," admits Jon Bon Jovi. "Where I'm going, I don't know. And that's the beauty of it."

Korean FTC revises contracts to protect underage artists

17 June 2011 - 11:08 AM


FTC revises entertainment contracts to protect underage artists
by VITALSIGN on June 17, 2011 at 12:08 am

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The Korean entertainment industry continues to be bombarded with issues like the ’spread leg dance’, which drew criticisms over inappropriate choreography for underaged artists.

It inspired the Fair Trade Commission to announce on June 17th that revisions would be made to standardize certain clauses in entertainment contracts.

Going forward, entertainment agencies must guarantee the protection of basic rights for their teenage artists. This will be done through the 18th Amendment, which established three new clauses:

The first clause makes it mandatory for entertainment agencies to protect the physical and psychological health of their artists, their right to education, their personal rights, their right to sleep and rest, and their right to freedom of choice.

The second clause prohibits entertainment agencies from asking their underage artists to dress in revealing clothing and dance provocative choreography for the purpose of attracting attention.

The third clause prohibits entertainment agencies from forcing their artists to work for an excessive amount of hours. The FTC explained that the amendment was a reflection of the opinions of the Celebrity Entertainment Management Association, the Korea Entertainment Producer’s Association, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

Source + Photos: Mydaily via Naver