Earnhardt says Diet Mountain Dew scaling back

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. says sponsor Diet Mountain Dew is going to ”back off a little bit” next year, leaving a small gap to fill on Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 Chevrolet.

Earnhardt said Friday the majority of the season is set with the National Guard, but that there’s a ”balancing act” with multiple sponsors because everyone wants to be the top sponsor. He says the void he has to fill in place of Diet Mountain Dew is tricky because it’s so small, and that ”if it were a bit larger gap it would be easier to fill.”

Earnhardt also was in the news this week when he said Ryan Pemberton has joined JR Motorsports to help general manager Kelley Earnhardt-Miller, the driver’s sister. JR Motorsports recently parted ways with competition director Tony Eury Sr., Earnhardt’s uncle.

Deutsche outlines ‘diet plan’ for investment bank

By Vivek Ahuja

The co-chief executives of Deutsche Bank’s corporate banking and securities arm today admitted that in the expected absence of a recovery in capital markets activity, the division would have to “go on a diet” in order to reach its financial targets.

A day after Deutsche Bank group co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain said at the firm’s investor day in Frankfurt that the investment bank, which includes the corporate banking and securities business, was set for a “very significant streamlining,” Colin Fan and Robert Rankin expressed their confidence that their business could meet its targets. Fan said this would be achieved through a “painstaking, methodical, meticulous” approach to boosting efficiency.

In a joint presentation by the two bankers in Frankfurt today, Rankin said: “Our plan is acutely focused on cost and capital…We won’t reach our financial targets through revenue growth. As a result, we’ve got to go on a diet.”

He added: “We know what levers we need to pull to achieve our aims over the next three years.”

As well as scything EUR1.9 billion off annual costs, including staff compensation, at the investment bank by 2015, Deutsche Bank said that “focus, scale and efficiency will define the future CBS business,”

It will exit capital-intensive products and unprofitable clients to invest instead in areas such as foreign exchange, which Fan said is a “clear investment opportunity,” and trading platforms, with an increasing amount of the bank’s institutional client trading to be conducted electronically rather than by voice trading.

The shift to greater electronic trading will require fewer staff, according to Fan, who said Deutsche Bank will also adjust its human resources geographically to take into account the higher growth outlook in Asia compared with the U.S. and Europe.

He said: “Our response has to be to tilt our footprint towards growth areas. We must realign our scarce resources towards the opportunities available.”

Other ways to boost efficiency at the division and achieve its 15% return-on-equity target on a Basel III basis, according to the two bankers’ presentation, will include reducing the number of support function silos and decommissioning overlapping systems.

Web site: www.efinancialnews.com

77-Pound Daschund Placed on ‘Biggest Loser’ Diet

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Obie is a 5-year-old daschund that would be a candidate for the canine version of “The Biggest Loser” if there was one.

The paunchy pooch is morbidly obese at 77 pounds, quite a load for its stumpy legs.

But now Obie is living the real-life version of the reality TV show after his new owner, Nora Vanatta, put him on an extreme diet.

READ MORE: Dog Makes 500-Mile Journey Home

Obie is being fed a low-fat, high-protein diet by Vanatta that contains isoflavones to help speed his weight loss.  She says he’ll eventually have to hop on the treadmill and do hydrotherapy to lose weight, once he’s light enough to exercise, that is.  And once he’s lost a few pounds, he may need surgery to remove excess skin.

It’s all an attempt by Vanatta, a former veterinary technician from Portland, Ore., who now works as an EMT, to slim down her new pet by 40 pounds.

Vanatta adopted Obie last month after reading on the Oregon Dachshund Rescue’s Facebook page that his elderly owners, who called him “AJ,” could no longer care for him and, more specifically, couldn’t stop feeding him treats.

“The ageing owners just couldn’t say no to those big brown eyes,” Vanatta wrote on the “Biggest Loser: Doxie Edition” Facebook page she created for Obie. “”He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with.”

Just as contestants on the TV version of “Biggest Loser” face the pressures of losing weight in front of millions, so too will Obie.  Vanatta plans to document his progress on the Facebook page and is also asking for donations to help pay for his care and spark, perhaps, a health revolution.

“My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight,” she writes.  “It is so important to introduce pups and kids to a healthy lifestyle and food choices as early as possible. Prevention is the key!”

READ MORE: Dog Saved From Euthanization for Role on Broadway

The Ice Diet

Other than fiber, what else do plants make that animals don’t that could help account for how dramatically slimmer those who eat plant-based diets tend to be? In my last Care2 article Boosting Gut Flora Without Probiotics I covered fiber. In the video above I cover phytonutrients and why it’s sometimes better to not absorb them.

If phytonutrients can alter gut flora in a way that helps people lose weight, then you’d think people eating diets based on plants would have significantly different colon populations. Indeed, that’s something that’s been known for four decades, and may help explain why those eating such diets tend to be slimmer.

Another reason vegetarian eating patterns have been tied to better weight management may be the water content of plant foods. Fruits and vegetables average 80 to 90 percent water. Just as fiber can bulk up the volume of foods without adding calories, so can water. Cognitive experiments have shown that people tend to eat a certain volume of food, and when that volume is mostly water they don’t end up gaining as much weight. Even if you take out the visual component and instead stick a tube down people’s throats to feed them whatever volumes of food you want, if you add more water to their stomach they tend to eat less. Perhaps this is due to the stretch receptors in their stomachs sending signals to their brains saying we’ve had enough.

If water is so helpful, why can’t you just eat that steak and drink a glass of water? As you can see in my 3-min. video The Ice Diet, it doesn’t work. You feel more full during the meal, but you end up eating the same number of calories throughout the day, unless, they’ve found, you preload. Drinking water with the meal doesn’t seem to help control calories, but drinking a big glass of water a half hour before a meal might.

Ice water may be even better–or just ice. Water has zero calories, but ice has less than zero since our bodies have to warm it up. The Annals of Internal Medicine published a letter called “The Ice Diet.” Using simple thermodynamic calculations of how much heat our body would have to generate to take an ice cube up to body temperature, the authors concluded that eating a quart of ice, like a really, really big snow cone–with no syrup–could rob our body of more than 150 calories. That’s the “same amount of energy as the calorie expenditure in running 1 mile.”

Sound too good to be true? It is actually, as Ray Cronice talks about in his body hacking work with thermogenics, you may just be diverting some of the body’s waste heat. If you really want to use chronic mild cold stress to lose weight, turning down one’s thermostat or wearing fewer layers outside may be more effective in the long-run than drinking slushies of slush.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: jeffsmallwood / Flickr

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Diet Industry Supports Mayor Bloomberg’s Proposal to Limit Oversized Beverages

One week before the Board of Health is scheduled to vote on Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to limit the sizes of oversized drinks, Weight Watchers and other diet companies, including The South Beach Diet, Jenny Craig and Bob Greene of The Best Life Diet, are supporting the proposal.

I have previously blogged on The Huffington Post about my support for the proposal and also testified at the hearing in July.

As reported in the New York Times, David Burwick, the president of Weight Watchers North America, said, “There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about obesity but very little action.”

As reported in Metro NY, Mayor Bloomberg said “As the size of sugary drinks has grown, so have our waistlines, and so have diabetes and heart disease.” And Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley added: “In a city with large sizes of high-calorie snack foods and beverages at your fingertips around the clock, it is no wonder many New Yorkers struggle to maintain a healthy weight.”

I could not agree more!

Here are five good reasons:

1. Portion sizes have exploded in recent years.

2. Large portions contain more calories than small portions.

3. Large portions encourage us to eat more.

4. Large portions encourage us to underestimate how much we are eating.

5. Sugary sweetened beverages are empty calories and have no nutrition benefits to offer.

The Board of Health is scheduled to vote on the ban Thursday, Sept. 13, and it would go into effect six months after, on March 13.

Stay tuned!

Your thoughts?

For more by Dr. Lisa Young, click here.

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Weight Watchers, other diet groups support NYC’s crackdown on big, sugary drinks

Bloomberg and other proponents call it a sensible way to encourage people to cut calories. Opponents see it as government overreaching and question its effectiveness.

To the diet groups, it’s a tool that fits with their approach to making healthy eating easier.

“Today, we live in a world where despite our best intentions, it’s oftentimes very difficult on your own to make the healthy choice,” said David Burwick, president of Weight Watchers North America. “We all need to take more personal responsibility for our own weight and eating habits, but it helps to remember what a healthy portion size is in a world where super-size portions have become the norm.”

The proposal is set for a Sept. 13 vote at the city Board of Health, whose members are appointed by Bloomberg. If approved, it would take effect as early as March.

Bloomberg has been the leading advocate for the plan, which follows other efforts to spur New Yorkers to mind what they eat. During his 11-year tenure, the city has barred artificial trans fats from food served in restaurants and compelled chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus.

Still, the city spends roughly $4 billion a year on weight-related health problems, the mayor says. He sees limiting the serving size of sugary drinks as a meaningful step — but not an inflexible order — to keep people from downing calories they might not even think about.

“Nobody is restricting the amount of sodas you can buy or the amount of sodas you can drink,” he said, noting that people would be free to purchase multiple 16-ounce cups or bottles if they liked. “It is simply using portion control to point out to you … how many calories you are consuming.”

Along with Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, the creator of the South Beach Diet, the founder of The Best Life and other diet experts expressed their support. City Hall also has released a roster of kudos from people including physicians, elected officials, chef Jamie Oliver and filmmaker Spike Lee.

Critics, too, are counting their ranks.

An opposition group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices said it has the backing of more than 2,000 businesses and 201,000 people. A New York Times poll last month showed that six in 10 New Yorkers opposed the plan.

Opponents say the city is overstepping its authority and infringing on personal freedom. And they call the diet companies’ stance inconsistent with their own emphasis on letting people make food choices, rather than absolute limits.

“Restrictions and bans will do nothing to address the very complex issue of obesity,” New Yorkers for Beverage Choices said in a statement Tuesday. “New Yorkers are smart enough to make their own decisions.”

Some City Council members support the proposal; others have criticized it. Regardless, it isn’t scheduled to come before them for a vote.

The rule wouldn’t apply to lower-calorie drinks, such as water or diet soda, nor to alcoholic beverages or drinks that are more than half milk or 70 percent juice.


Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ryan’s diet of whoppers

Anyone familiar with this column knows that I prefer the progressive vision over the conservative one. But I believe it’s not possible for the nation to set a course without a vigorous, honest debate — and I know there can be no such contest of ideas without agreement on factual truth.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan‘s speech Wednesday night was another demonstration that he and presidential nominee Mitt Romney have no apparent respect for the truth. Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, boasted this week that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” I’ll say.

Ryan built his career on a reputation for wonkish immersion in the details and willingness to tell uncomfortable truths. But in his address to the convention he lied and dissembled so shamelessly that I thought I detected a whiff of desperation in the air. Or maybe it was just ambition.

The whopper with which those pesky fact-checkers are having a field day is Ryan’s attempt to blame President Obama for the shutdown of a huge General Motors plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis. Ryan’s point of reference was a visit Obama made to the plant during the 2008 campaign.

“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant,” Ryan said. “Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

In other words, Obama promised to help those workers by keeping the plant open but failed to deliver. This is a bald-faced lie.

As Glenn Kessler, author of The Washington Post‘s Fact-Checker column, has noted, Obama visited the Janesville plant in February of 2008. GM announced the plant’s shutdown in June 2008 — five months before Obama was elected and seven months before he took office. Ryan should be blaming George W. Bush, not Barack Obama.

And technically, the plant isn’t even closed. It’s on “standby,” according to GM, and can be reactivated if the demand for production rises sufficiently.

Ryan was careful with his words. He didn’t specify who was president when the plant was ordered to cease production. He described it as “locked up and empty,” rather than “closed.” But by any reasonable standard, Ryan was being deceptive. He wanted his listeners to believe something that simply is not true.

Another supremely dishonest moment was Ryan’s criticism of how Obama dealt with the Simpson-Bowles debt panel: “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”

Low-calorie diet may not help you live longer, if you’re a monkey

Low-calorie diet: If you’re a rhesus monkey, a low-calorie diet may not help you live longer, reports a new study that overturns previous findings.


Sharon BegleyReuters /
August 31, 2012

Locally grown broccoli from a partnership between Farm to School and Healthy School Meals is served in a salad to students at Marston Middle School in San Diego, California, in this 2011 photo.

Mike Blake/Reuters


New York

The longevity diet’s premise is seductively simple: cutting your calorie intake well below your usual diet will add years to your life.

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  • In Pictures: Fun fried foods


New research published on Wednesday, however, shows the extreme, emaciating diet doesn’t increase lifespan in rhesus monkeys, the closest human relatives to try it in a rigorous, long-running study. While caveats remain, outside experts regarded the findings as definitive, particularly when combined with those from a similar study.

“If there’s a way to manipulate the human diet to let us live longer, we haven’t figured it out yet and it may not exist,” said biologist Steven Austad of the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, who wrote an analysis of the study in Nature.

RELATED: Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz!

Since 1934, research has shown that lab rats, mice, yeast, fruit flies and round worms fed 10 percent to 40 percent fewer calories than their free-eating peers lived some 30 percent longer. In some studies, they lived twice as long.

Such findings have spawned a growing community of believers who seek better health and longer life in calorie-restricted (CR)diets, as promised in the 2005 book “The Longevity Diet,” including 5,000 members of the CR Society International. The research has also prompted companies like Procter Gamble and Nu Skin Enterprises to develop drugs to mimic the effects of calorie restriction.

The new study, from the National Institute on Aging, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, suggests a surprising disconnect between health and lifespan. It found that most of the 57 calorie-restricted monkeys had healthier hearts and immune systems and lower rates of diabetes, cancer or other ills than the 64 control monkeys. But there was no longevity pay-off.

“You can argue that the calorie-restricted animals are healthier,” said Austad. “They have better cholesterol profiles, less muscle loss, less disease. But it didn’t translate into greater longevity. What we learn from this is you can un-link health and longevity.”

The NIA study, launched in 1987, is one of two investigating whether eating just 70 percent of the calories in a standard lab diet extends life in a long-lived primate. The Wisconsin National Primate Research Center’s study, begun in 1989, also uses rhesus monkeys, whose physiology, genetics and median lifespan (27 years) are closer to humans than are the rodents in earlier calorie-restriction research.