From The Nutritionist

Stephanie Taglianetti
Guest Author:
Stephanie Taglianetti

Be NEAT, or Take a Seat

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! You may or may not love physical activity, but I’d like to give you some things to consider that will hopefully enlighten you and encourage you to take on physical activity through more effective means.

Let’s first discuss a relevant health concern. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, it is likely that you are aware of the obesity epidemic plaguing our nation and world. Obesity is now recognized as a major health risk factor, as it increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and early death.1 The prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008;1 in America today, two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese.2

How is this possible? Some fitness experts may suggest that we are not meeting the physical activity guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nutritionists may argue that it is our overall poor dietary habits that are at fault for a growing waistline.

I am not entirely sold on either perspective.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for complying with planned exercise routines and following a balanced diet. Being a certified personal trainer and weight loss specialist, I have seen firsthand some horrifying dietary and exercise habits. Diet and exercise are certainly factors in the equation that provide room for improvement. There are less obvious factors contributing to poor health that our country has yet to identify.

Research suggests that even if you exercise regularly and appear fit and healthy, too much time spent sitting is a distinct and independent risk factor for obesity and metabolic health problems.3 Simply put, if you sit for most of the day (work, driving, TV and computer time, etc.), your marathon training, Crossfit obsession, and religious 5 mile walk after work may be canceled out by your otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

You may feel a bit defensive about this statement. I certainly felt that way—my profession IS exercise. In my defense, I investigated some important trends in America that made sense of this research.

It is my opinion that one unspoken reason we continue to grow in size is due to a cultural shift in the labor force. In 1960, 50% of jobs in America required moderate physical activity versus today’s 20%. The other 80% of jobs are sedentary (desk work) or require only light activity.4

This lifestyle has also translated to our children. If we look at childhood obesity, rates have increased from 5% in 1960 to about 17% today.5 Many schools have cut back on physical education classes and recess, and children are increasingly driven to school rather than walking or biking. In addition, “screen time” has increased, including use of video games, the computer, and watching television.6

How could such seemingly subtle shifts in our society create such massive gains? The sum of energy required (calories burned) to engage in each movement throughout the day is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Our country’s current prevalence of obesity is a reflection of the cultural shift toward less NEAT at work and at home over the last 50 years. Check out the difference in calorie burn you would have just from standing throughout the work day instead of sitting. Keep in mind that 3,500 calories burned equates to about one pound of fat.

What is the solution? Don’t quit your desk job, please. We are intelligent beings—we engineered the equipment that put us in our desks in order to increase productivity and to utilize our unique ability as humans to formulate thoughts. Because of such progress, we are able to accomplish tasks that may have seemed impossible 50 years ago. Our advances in technology are something to embrace. The effect of these advances on our health, however, should not go unnoticed.

Fortunately, increasing NEAT is easier than both starting an exercise program and changing your eating habits.

  • Try setting an alarm to remind yourself to stand up or go for a short walk.

  • Position frequently used office items, such as the printer, a couple of feet away from your desk so that you must stand up to use it.

  • Park your car farther away from your destination, or get off the bus at an earlier stop.

  • Walk while you talk on the phone.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • When you get home, put on your favorite music and dance with your family or roommates! My personal favorite is playing with my dog for 10 minutes for every hour of sedentary time. Be creative!

If you are interested in promoting lifelong healthy habits and serving as a good example to your friends, family, and co-workers, then check out how you can be NEATer.

If you are looking for more ways to participate in organized activities, check out this link for a list of sports and activities in your area!

Take advantage of the opportunities that you have available to make greater strides toward better health. If nothing else, stand up and take responsibility for your own health.

—Stephanie Taglianetti, Sr. Health and Fitness Specialist, ACE CPT, NASM WLS

References

1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health. What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity? http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks.html

2. Global Health Observatory. Obesity: Situation and Trends. http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/obesity_text/en/.

3. Owen N, Healy GN, Matthews CE, Dunstan DW. Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. Jul 2010;38(3):105-113.

4. Church TS, Thomas DM, Tudor-Locke C, Katzmarzyk PT, Earnest CP, et al. (2011) Trends over 5 Decades in U.S. Occupation-Related Physical Activity and Their Associations with Obesity. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19657. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019657

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Grand Rounds: Childhood Obesity in the United States. Jan 2011;60(2);42-46. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6002a2.htm.

6. Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation. White House Task Force on Childhood Report to the President. May 2010. http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/TFCO_Challenge_We_Face.pdf


Stephanie graduated with her B.A. in Health Promotion and Fitness Management from Rowan University in 2011 and has been at the Campbell Soup Company Health and Fitness Center since January 2012. It is Stephanie’s primary responsibility to promote health and wellness throughout the Campbell community, be it through fitness incentives or lifestyle coaching. Stephanie is the coordinator for Campbell’s “New U” healthy weight program, and she is a certified Weight Loss Specialist through National Academy of Sports Medicine. In the Campbell Health and Fitness Center, she is responsible for leading group exercise classes and conducting personal training with Campbell employees. Stephanie is a certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise and holds specialty certifications in SPINNING, Zumba, Turbo Kick, YogaFit, and Primary Group Exercise through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

Upcoming Events

 

Fruits & Veggies - More Matters® >

Find out how eating more fruits and veggies can help you eat well and stay healthy.

Campbell Healthy Eating Plans >

Explore our meal plans that are rich in veggies, fruits, lean proteins, & whole grains - and of course delicious! Available in different calorie and sodium levels to meet your needs!

Prego® Farmers' MarketTM Italian Sauces >

Enjoy these delicious sauces, made with ingredients you would find at your local farmers’ market.

 
CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

CLOSE

Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.