The Check-Up: You Will Eat 42 Pounds of Corn Syrup This Year
• A picture says a thousand words, right? Check out this one from the Atlantic, a chart that shows what the average American eats in a year—in pounds. Warning: Some of it’s not pretty—42 pounds of corn syrup, 31.4 pounds of cheese, 85.5 pounds of fat and oil. Yikes. I’ll say for the record that I’m surprised to see that fruits and veggies actually comprise a good chunk of the chart—688.6 pounds—which is more than I would have guessed. And coffee? I’d have thought it’d to be off the charts, but according to this, you only consume 24 pounds of coffee, cocoa and nuts in a year. Surprised?
• Also from the Atlantic (hey, they’re on a roll today) comes this story about the rise of gluten-free diets in the US. “According to the Hartman Group, a market research company, about 40 million Americans are interested in gluten-free diets,” reports the Atlantic. “Actual celiac disease, which hinders the digestive system’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, is rarer: about 3 million Americans have it.” Does that disparity strike anyone else as interesting and, well, kind of weird? I’ve never gone gluten-free, but I can imagine wheat would be really, really difficult to cut out—it lurks in everything from pasta and beer (obvious) to medications and soy sauce (less obvious). So who the heck are all these recreational gluten-free enthusiasts?
• Just because pro runner Phil Clark doesn’t like running with headphones doesn’t mean we average runners should throw away our iPods. In fact, a London researcher has found that music can actually make your workouts more effective, and that “certain songs are more effective for certain types of exercise than others,” according to NPR. Read the details for yourself and adjust your playlist accordingly, but be sure to read to the bottom of the article, which talks about the Rocky theme song—you know, the one that plays at the beginning of like, every race you’ve ever run in Philly. ” ‘I think it’s about perfect when you’re priming yourself and getting ready for a workout,’ [researcher] Karageorghis says. ‘Because we associate the music with Rocky Balboa’s Herculean feats, and his training montage and his striving to overcome adversity—it almost brings out the hero in us.’ “