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eat your vegetables
May 21, 2015

America has already proven it's ready for a black president. But what about a president who eschews a nice cut of beef in favor of a salad packed with leafy greens?

Here's the Huffington Post with a scoop on 2016 GOP hopeful Ben Carson:

Carson, the only openly vegetarian candidate in the 2016 pool, has avoided meat for decades. He told the Vegetarian Times in 1990 that his religion and health concerns inspired his diet. Politico confirmed with Carson's campaign that the candidate remains mostly meatless, noting Carson's lifestyle would put him at odds with the meat industry in Iowa, an important primary election state.

The meat industry in Iowa and nationwide has been aggressively lobbying against proposed federal dietary guidelines that would encourage people to eat more vegetables and less red and processed meat. [The Huffington Post]

Beyond the question of what he'll do when it comes to eating the obligatory corn dog at the Iowa State Fair, Carson's dietary habits may be indicative of a bigger problem. The Huffington Post notes that a PPP poll from 2013 found that 30 percent of Republicans view vegetarians unfavorably. Samantha Rollins

November 18, 2014

You can lead a child to an apple, but you can't make him eat it. A new study out of Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests children in America may be getting healthier food at school thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, but they're not actually eating it.

The children the researchers observed would generally take about one bite of the healthy items in their lunch before throwing the rest away. Less than one fourth tasted their vegetables at all. This data corresponds with reports that 83.7 percent of school districts have seen an increase in food waste since the healthy eating program was enacted in 2010.

The study notes that changes in the cafeteria environment — length of lunch time, noise level, and teacher supervision — had more of an influence on students' eating habits than simply getting healthy stuff on their trays. Bonnie Kristian

October 14, 2014

A preliminary study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has found a surprising source of hope for the treatment of autism: broccoli. The quintessential good-for-you vegetable might be adding a new health benefit to its résumé because it contains the chemical glucoraphanin.

Glucoraphanin itself isn't the chemical that could help treat autism, which is one of the most difficult disorders to treat because its symptoms are varied and its causes mysterious. Instead, the key is a chemical called sulforaphane, which isn't actually present in broccoli — but which is produced after the body's bacteria interact with broccoli's glucoraphanin.

Because sulforaphane tricks brain cells into thinking the body's temperature has risen, the chemical might be effective in lessening autism symptoms, which have been anecdotally reported to be ameliorated when the patient has a fever. The Johns Hopkins study tested 40 patients against this theory and found that the severity of symptoms in patients given a dose of sulforaphane extract was significantly less than for those who were given a placebo.

While the results of the study were encouraging, it must be replicated on a larger scale before doctors around the world prescribe broccoli as a cure-all. Read more at CBS News. Kimberly Alters

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