Shifting The Balance

Series Website: shiftingthebalance.nhpr.org

Shifting the Balance is a station-wide series focused on the positive impact environmental and policy changes can have on the fight against obesity in schools, workplaces, and communities. While so much of the national conversation about obesity focuses on the effect of personal choice, NHPR’s reporters and producers are examining what happens when the choices themselves are changed. Shifting the Balance will present stories of how personal habits, including exercise and consumption, can be improved when even simple changes are made to an individual’s environment, including infrastructure, available food, and the support of leaders and innovators across the culture.

 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Overcoming Obesity in the Granite State

Obesity is on the rise here in New  Hampshire, a recent study finds that the U.S. population is gaining too much weight. New Hampshire's numbers are also increasing, with about 26% of Granite Staters now considered obese. Its also predicted that by the year 2030, more than half of this state's population will be obese. Today we'll look at this study and see what can be done to tip the scales in the opposite direction.

Guests

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NH News
5:00 am
Thu October 11, 2012

To Get Kids Eating Vegetables, Get Them Growing Vegetables

Any parent can tell you that sweet foods are an easier sell to kids than, say, sprouts or salad. But with more than a quarter of New Hampshire struggling with obesity, researchers at Keene State College are working on innovative ways to get children as young as three years old hooked on vegetables.

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Word of Mouth
10:04 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Pedaling off the Pounds

Sam Evans-Brown

A lot of Americans are struggling to lose a whole lot of weight, and they try all kinds of crazy things.

Ernest Gagnon — a man from Billerica, Mass. — decided to shed pounds by getting into the often intense, high-adrenaline sport of cyclocross: racing road bikes on obstacle courses.

Two years ago, Gagnon tipped the scales at 570 pounds. He was depressed and embarrassed to leave the house.

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Word of Mouth
10:37 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Fine Dining...at Hardees

Powerplantop via Flickr Creative Commons

Since spring of this year, our Shifting the Balance series has explored how environmental and social factors affect the way people eat…and how those factors play in to America’s obesity epidemic.  A recently published study in Pyschology reports demonstrates how setting the right mood at meal time can help diners cap their calories. 

Word of Mouth
12:11 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

School Lunch Gets the Chef Treatment

Elaine Grant for NHPR

If packing a lunch is a bit too daunting, never fear, at least not if you're the parent of a Souhegan High School Student. As part of our series Shifting the Balance, Elaine Grant got the skinny on their new, chef-inspired lunch program. (Check out the menu!)

Word of Mouth
11:45 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Beating the Lunchbox Blues

Virginia sets the mood before digging in to her homemade lunch
TQUIMBY

Back-to-school season means new notebooks, pencils, and pens, and for at least one very lucky kid – a brand-spanking new lunchbox.  J.M.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
10:02 am
Wed July 25, 2012

EBT Friendly Farmer's Markets

Photo Credit Ianmalcm, Via Flickr Creative Commons

At New Hampshire’s eighty or so farmer’s markets, you can choose from organic produce, local honey and freshly baked breads.

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Word of Mouth
11:13 am
Thu June 28, 2012

You Can't Bully the Pounds Away

(Photo by rodab0B via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced with Emma Ruddock

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North Country
5:15 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Can A Doc Prescribe Play for Weight Loss?

Jenni from the block/FlickR

Faced with a serious problem with overweight children two unusual partners are literally trying a new prescription in the North Country – and they don’t see any reason it couldn’t work statewide.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

 

South of children playing….

That’s a sound healthcare professionals would like to hear more often: Kids outdoors running and jumping and generally goofing around.

 Just like the good old days before the sedentary seduction of video games and television.

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NH News
10:48 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Shrinking Stomach, Changing Brain

Ethan Hein Flickr Creative Commons

Thanks to growing awareness of a national obesity epidemic, and the lowering of complication rates since its introduction in the 1960s, gastric bypass procedures have become an increasingly popular treatment option for the morbidly obese.  At least 200,000 people signed up last year in the U.S. alone. 

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Series: Shifting the Balance
12:48 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

America's First Locavores

Photo by Whatsername, via Flickr Creative Commons

Widespread obesity among Native Americans has led to spiking diabetes rates among young people in the current generation. The phenomenon partially blamed on the lack of access to healthy food on reservations. Edible Idaho’s Guy Hand recently looked at what a food coalition on the coeur d'alene reservation of North Idaho is doing to connect the people there to better eating, starting with their nutrient-rich roots. 

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Series: Shifting the Balance
12:28 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Obesity Game-Changer

Photo credit SteFou, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Today’s report from the USDA’s economic research service upends the notion that healthy food options are more expensive for consumers than sweet and fatty junk-foods. The report points out that price depends on how you measure it. When factored by calorie, a chocolate doughnut will often cost more than a tomato.

Price is the chief concern of Hank Cardello

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Series: Shifting the Balance
5:45 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Bodegas Become Frontlines Against Obesity

Health Options at Tropical Food Market

Most people know how we should be eating: more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, fewer candies, fats, and calories. But putting that into practice can be tough.

When you walk into the convenience store and a bag of potatoes chips is a dollar, and a salad is six, which are you going to buy?

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Shifting the Balance
5:40 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Can Healthy Food Make It As Snack Food?

feck_aRt_Post via Flickr/Creative Commons

You’re at the gym, working up a sweat, burning some calories, getting that metabolism in gear… and then the workout ends and you’re looking for quick refreshment. Grabbing a candy bar or a sugary soda from the vending machine can feel like you’re undoing all your exercise.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
9:13 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Pudgy Kids, Anemic Policies

Photo by melt alaska, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

A new investigative report from Reuters says that the White House has fallen woefully short in the battle against childhood bulge.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:22 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Gastrointestinal Intrigue

Photo by steaktaco, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The new concerns over the prolific use of antibiotics and their connection to the obesity epidemic. New research from New York University indicates that over-prescription of antibiotics could harm communities of bacteria that keep digestive systems healthy and help the body fight fat.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:16 am
Tue April 10, 2012

When Things go KaBOOM!

Photo by S e e n e, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our series, Shifting the Balance, is focused on exploring the positive impact environmental and policy changes can make on the fight against obesity. For those of us who struggle to carve out an a few hours a week for the gym, healthy living can seem out of reach– but for kids, it’s often less about finding time to play than finding a place to play.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:09 am
Mon April 9, 2012

At Google, well-fed employees are a solid investment

(Photo by Kenn Wilson via Flickr Creative Commons)

Think about the workplace perks that keep you a contented employee. Maybe there's free coffee in the kitchen, or, perhaps, your pooch is allowed to wander among the cubicles. 

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Series: Shifting the Balance
10:01 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Calories, Consumption, and the Key to Capitalism

Any idea how many calories are in a 64-ounce double gulp soda from a convenience store? 800, how about one of those big cookies? For a society fixated on weight-loss, very few of us know how many calories we’re taking in and what is a calorie, after all? You can’t see taste, or smell them, but they are everywhere. Your brain knows if you’re getting too much or too little. And the more you take in, the more the food industry makes.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Adjusting to the shift...at home

Photo by Zophos via Flickr Creative Commons

Holyoke, Massachusetts has a rate of childhood obesity much higher than the national average, especially within its considerable Puerto Rican community.

Karen Brown reports on how a community center is enacting change for this population in a three part series. In this story, a 9 year-old finds herself in a house now full of healthy food and surrounded by adults encouraging her to ride her bike instead of watching TV. But with a lack of sidewalks, a high rate of neighborhood crime, and the odds seemingly stacked against her, can the balance truly be shifted in her favor?

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Series: Shifting the Balance
9:34 am
Wed March 28, 2012

A Community Approach to a Growing Epidemic

Photo by acastrodad25, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Childhood obesity has become a public health crisis in America – and one of first lady Michelle Obama’s main causes. More than thirty percent of all children in America -- about 11 million -- are considered clinically overweight or obese. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, which has many Puerto Rican and low-income residents, the problem is even worse than the national average. In the first of a series, Karen Brown reports how one community health center is trying to reverse this trend.

 

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Series: Shifting the Balance
12:40 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Web only: Standing in the place where I work

Today, the Boston Globe reported on the growing trend of employees abandoning their chairs and standing up at their workstations. It's become a pretty popular topic since we first started talking about it nearly a year ago, and a popular topic around these parts, too, in no small part because I am still the only standing employee in my workspace. The good news?

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Series: Shifting the Balance
10:31 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Stand in the Place Where You Work

Photo by Chotda via Flickr Creative Commons

Are you sitting down? Well, listen up: research shows that sitting too much shaves years off of your life. In 2011, a study in the emerging field of Inactivity Studies found that each hour of sitting per day increases a person’s risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 18 percent. It turns out that eating well and getting plenty of exercise do not offset the detriments of couch potato time as much as living and working in an environment where standing is the default option. As part of our continuing series Shifting the Balance, we spoke with Dr.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
1:43 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

The Comfort Food Conundrum

Photo by songpd, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In gentile Savannah, Georgia, traditional southern food remains a somewhat sacred rite. That devotion has made Mrs. Wilkes dining room a place of worship. The former boarding house, now restaurant, offers a relaxed atmosphere and an   abundance of home-cooked pleasure.  But,as Emily Corwin reports for our Shifting the Balance series, the way the food is served can make the difference between over-indulgence, and a satisfying, healthy intake.  

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Series: Shifting the Balance
3:06 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

A School Bus of a Different Sort

Photo by Sam Warren via Wordpress

In rural towns, getting to school isn't always as easy as the walks I used to take in suburban Long Island. Small towns rely heavily on parents to give kids rides, and on kids taking lengthy bus rides...not exactly the healthiest option at a time when childhood obesity rates are climbing exponentially.

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Shifting The Balance
10:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Obesity Infographics

Sources: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services. Obesity Prevention Program. New Hampshire Obesity Data Book 2010
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR
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Shifting The Balance
10:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

New Hampshire Obesity Statistics By County

Click on the individual counties for statistics.

Shifting The Balance
12:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

What To Eat And Why: Online Guides Helping You Eat Healthy

Credit The Healthy Eating Plate created by experts at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult, and there are a number of guides available online that do the simplifying for you.

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Shifting The Balance
12:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Online Tools Helping You Track Weight Loss Success

Losing weight can be a struggle; having a support system can go a long way toward helping you overcome hurdles and succeed at it. A number of weight loss web tools have sprung up in recent years to help you track your progress and find encouragement from others, so you can still find support – even if you can’t find a gym partner.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
11:09 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Eat Less, Give More

Photo by wanpark2, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

How many times have you ordered an entrée at a restaurant only to end up with a pile of food on your plate you then feel obligated to take home in a doggie bag? Overly large portions must have some appeal for restaurant goers…after all, some chains rely marketing campaigns that talk about little else…

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