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Food for Thought for Obesity Experts

Special menu for conference attendees to include low-fat offerings

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Experts attending a symposium on the American obesity epidemic are going to have the chance to eat what they preach.

A typical menu at an academic conference might include bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, tuna sandwiches, potato chips and soda at lunch, and an afternoon snack of cookies, brownies, and doughnuts.

However, the participants at today's obesity symposium at the University of Michigan will be offered menu choices that might be called food for thought.

The menu was developed by Anita Sandretto, director of the human nutrition program at the university's School of Public Health. She wanted to offer examples of foods Americans need to eat to combat obesity.

Low-fat, high-fiber muffins will replace doughnuts. Water, juices and low-fat milk will be offered in place of soda. She did make one concession by allowing coffee and tea.

When attendees make their lunch meal choices, they'll get detailed nutritional information about their selections. Their low-fat options include grilled herbed vegetables in flat, lavash bread, and foccacia, a pizza-style crusty bread topped with grilled chicken.

Sandretto said taste was as important in selecting these meals as the health benefits.

"We always need to realize that people eat with all their senses and their psyche as well. We have to balance our waistline concerns with taste. If it tastes like cardboard, it won't be consumed, even if it has a great nutrient profile," Sandretto says.

More information

To learn more about obesity and how to control your weight, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Sept. 30, 2002
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