The Columbia Chronicle

Muggles Association president Megan Ammer cosplays as Louise from Bob’s Burgers at the 2014 CG2 Convention where all types of student-produced fan art is displayed and for sale at the event. The 2015 CG2 Convention will be held April 17 and 18 at Stage Two in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building.

Fandom fanatics to host CG2 convention

February 23, 2015

Witches, wizards and other magical beings from the college’s Muggles Association, Whovian Society and Japanese Anime Club student organizations will gather April 17 and 18 for their second annual Colu...

Dry campus a wet blanket

By Editorial Board

February 16, 2015

Columbia proudly touts itself as a “dry campus”—drinking, possessing or distributing alcohol is strictly prohibited on campus and at college-sponsored events held off campus, unless the college’s administration approves otherwise. While the college’s dry campus policy means well, it is a laughable and barely enforceable policy at best.The Chronicle in no way condones underage drinking or providing alcohol to minors...

Insect diet offers squirming sustainability

Camren Brantley-Rios, a senior at Auburn University, has challenged himself to incorporate insects into his meals three times a day for 30 days. 

By Sports & Health Reporter

February 16, 2015

From juicing to gluten-free labels, the health world has played host to its fair share of hype in recent years. However, one Auburn University senior is pioneering a new health-based challenge: Camren ...

Antibiotic Discoveries

Researchers unearth new bacteria-resistant antibiotic

January 26, 2015

Scientists have searched for ways to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria for nearly 30 years, but it turns out the answer may have been under their feet the entire time. Researchers from Northeastern ...

Loud ladies: the necessity of the female voice

By Opinions Editor

January 26, 2015

In the media and in real life, men constantly bemoan it. It tortures their psyche and keeps them up at night, preventing them from properly functioning among their fellow men. What is this cruel thing that haunts the male species?Women talking.How much are women really talking, though, and are they speaking when it really matters? According to a 2011 Johnson Cornell University study titled “Who Takes the Floor and Why: Ge...

How to stay fit and healthy this year

January 26, 2015

Losing weight and taking care of your body is hard work, but three Chicago trainers sat down with The Chronicle to discuss how people can get fit and stay healthy.How to reach the trainers:Nnamdi Ugbaj...

Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, sent out an email Nov. 24 detailing plans to restructure the Office of Academic Affairs by eliminating and adding positions.

College out with old, in with new roles

December 1, 2014

To better organize the Office of Academic Affairs and improve communication between the Office of the Provost, school deans and department chairs, the college is restructuring Academic Affairs by elimi...

Menu labeling molds ‘architecture of choice’

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

November 17, 2014

A recent study from the University of Glasgow in Scotland successfully linked calorie labeling on menus with reduced weight gain for the first time. Over the course of 36 weeks, a group of students given no calorie information gained eight pounds on average. The following year, a separate group was presented with prominently displayed labels on their dinner menus and at the serving point where they received their meals for another 36-week period. The latter group gained only four pounds on average—a decrease of Sc50 percent.The results were presented Nov. 5 during the Obesity Journal Symposium at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting in Boston.“We used prominent calorie labels—big and colorful—so they could not really be missed by the students,” said Charoula Nikolaou, lead author of the study and a Ph. D. student at the University of Glasgow’s School of Medicine. “All previous calorie labeling studies used quite small information—they’re supposed to be the same size as the price [of the meal].”About a dozen studies have looked at the relationship between calorie labeling and weight gain in U.S. chain restaurants and have seen little to no effect, according to Sara Bleich, associate professor of Health Policy at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and spokeswoman for The Obesity Society.“I think the biggest challenge for people is they don’t make a lot of sense of calorie information,” Bleich said. “Most people don’t know how X number of calories in a particular item would fit into a recommendation of about 2,000 calories per day. Even given that calorie benchmark, expecting people to make those calculations at the point of purchase is unlikely.”Bleich said pre-packaged foods research shows that consumers do not have a good sense of nutrient compositions, vitamin content or even how to properly read a label. When it comes to ordering from a menu, consumers are expected to not only understand what the nutrition content of the meal is but also how the calories will fit into daily recommendations. According to Nikolaou, calorie content is generally related to fat content. By displaying the number of calories in a meal, students were automatically being nudged away from higher-fat meals. The researchers also analyzed micronutrient information and found that the lower-calorie meals were no worse in terms of vitamin and mineral content. “We had some anxiety they’d end up with unbalanced meals if they just focused on calories,” said Mike Lean, professor and chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow. “But because of the emphasis on meals, not pieces of a meal, that tended not to be true.”Although calorie labeling is not a  treatment for obesity, it is a form of primary prevention that has been severely lacking worldwide, according to Lean. Research shows the trajectory of weight gain is set in early adolescence, rising in the teenage years and early adulthood before leveling off later in life. “Education has shown itself not to be effective, which is why food companies are very happy to put out a lot of educational materials—it doesn’t change the way people choose,” Lean said. Nikolaou called it “changing the architecture around food choices,” or redefining the factors that influence how people determine what food to order. Lean said the labels are not big enough or prominent enough to impact customers in New York City, where calorie labeling is legally mandated in franchised restaurants. The ambiguous results of prior calorie labeling studies seem to suggest that a highly-visible, daily reminder is necessary for successful results, he said.During a portion of the second year of the study, the labels were removed from menus. Nikolaou said this removal of the constant reminder resulted in a slight increase in the calorie content of the meals students chose.“They were relying on these labels, and if you took them away, even only for five weeks, they started to drift back,” Lean said. “They clearly did not automatically focus on the [meals] which we knew—but they didn’t know—to be lower in calories. They needed that regular nudge.”Another important finding was that the caterers, who Lean said had been resistant to the labels at the onset of the study, ended up reducing their food costs by a third. “There’s a lot of nonsense out there, people saying that lower-calorie foods or healthier foods are going to be more expensive,” Lean said. “The answer is no. They can be, but they don’t have to be.”While the participants were less apt to choose lower-calorie meals when the labels were removed, the low cost and daily nudging effect that calorie labeling provides may be able to influence long-term changes in consumer food choices, according to the study.“We’re optimists,” Lean said. “Changing the environment on a daily basis results in people eating that little bit less and not gaining weight. I’m quite sure there is an entraining effect, but it’s probably minor. We need a permanent change in the environment of making food choices.”

U of M program successfully addresses mental illness

By Multimedia Editor

November 17, 2014

There has been much talk about illness on college campuses, and colleges are slowly adjusting to combat these issues. However, there is one sector that needs more attention—student athletes.In a 2014 survey of approximately 7,000 students from nine colleges and universities, only 10 percent of athletes used mental health services compared to the 30 percent of nonathletic students, according to the Healthy Bodies Study. Wi...

Michael Sam being judged on sexuality, not skill

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

November 10, 2014

When Michael Sam came out last February, it was heralded as a bold move for the athlete and called a triumph for equality in the NFL. Finally, the most masculine sport in the world could potentially have an openly gay player on the field.NFL personnel, coaches and even the majority of its players seemingly accepted Sam’s sexuality. Some said they had no problem with a gay man in the NFL so long as he could play. Others pull...

Thinking of the past may help brain in the present

Cornell Study

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

November 3, 2014

New research published Oct. 23 by Cornell University researchers  reveals that mental activities such as mind-wandering, which include day dreaming and reminiscing, can boost brain performance on challenging me...

Falafel

Falafel

November 3, 2014

AS AN ARAB, I grew up eating Arabic food, and falafel is one of my favorites. I always loved to cut a piece of pita bread in half and stuff it with falafel and hummus. The best part about falafel is th...

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