Thursday, March 09, 2006

Now it's convenient suburbs that make you fat: "Suburban sprawl which sees hundreds of housing blocks designed around cul-de-sacs could be making people fatter, according to University of Queensland researchers. Professor Neville Owen, from the UQ Cancer Prevention Research Centre, is one of a group of investigators examining how changing the design of communities can improve the health of residents. They believe cul-de-sacs and low density suburban designs with low mixed use and poor connectivity may fundamentally limit the physical activity of residents. Less than half of Australians meet minimal public health exercise guidelines but research on transportation and urban planning has found factors such as population density and mixing residential with shops and other uses is strongly related to how much walking a person does. University of Adelaide Geography Professor Graeme Hugo, who is also involved in the research, said early results had shown factors including how streets were laid out influenced walking habits".

Now rhubarb is good for you: "Historically found languishing soggily under a coating of lumpy custard, rhubarb has taken on a new lease of life, thanks to its discovery by health-conscious eaters. Sales have doubled in the past year alone after the "forgotten vegetable" was championed by celebrity chefs and dieticians. Those red stems are low in carbohydrate but high in vitamin C, dietary fibre and potassium. One of the chefs responsible for the rhubarb renaissance, Antony Worrall Thompson, has featured it heavily in his two books on the GI diet. "I think the GI diet plays a part in the recent rise in demand for rhubarb," he said. "Rhubarb is very healthy and it is excellent for the GI diet because it is low in carbohydrate".

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