Portion Distortion: Why Bigger Really Isnt Better}

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Submitted by: Caroline Cederquist, M.D.

Ah, the good life. Dining out, shopping for clothes, dining out, shopping for clothes, dining out, shop wait a minute. Is there a pattern here?

Americans are eating out more and more, and leading researchers say thats a big part of why so many of us are overweight. The biggest part of that big part? Big portions!

When we eat out, we are usually getting a portion of food that is double, or even three or four times the size of what is considered a normal serving.

Many restaurant meals are upwards of 1,000 calories for a single meal! Remember what a big deal the Quarter Pounder was when it was introduced in the 1970s? Nowadays, its not surprising to see one-third and one-half pound burgers on a menu.

And its not just at restaurants. Grocery stores, bakeries, delis, everywhere, the portions are simply ballooning. Remember when a muffin was roughly the size of a cupcake? Not any more!

Yet researchers find, were still eating the whole thing, whatever the thing, without comprehending the alarming increase in our daily caloric intake.

Its not that restaurants and food producers are deliberately trying to make us fat. Theyre just trying to protect their market share of your food dollars, and to do that, they look for ways to improve value and appeal for their consumers.

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Actual food ingredients are relatively cheap, compared to packaging, labor, rent, research, marketing, lobbying, advertising, and all the other expenses of bringing you that meal or snack. So from their end, its just good business to give you more and make you feel like youre getting a deal. Everyone loves a bargain, and good value keeps us coming back.

The regular old 7-11 soda grew into a Gulp, and then a Big Gulp and then a Super Gulp. The basic American hamburger and fries meal got supersized, then double-sized.

But no matter how big they get, we keep eating whatever is served. With that much more food passing as a single meal, they might as well call it trouble-sized!

Many of us were raised hearing the admonition to clean that plate, and we feel obligated to finish whatever is served, whether or not Mom is still watching.

So take a plate full of way more food than we need, together with the training to eat more than we might even want, and you have a pretty reliable recipe for over-eating, and hence, weight gain.

But perhaps the most important consequence of all the commercial supersizing is what its done to our perception of appropriate portions.

As we get used to seeing those big portions when we eat out, we tend to recreate them in our home kitchens, so that even when we do our own cooking, we again serve ourselves more than we need, or even should have.

Researchers found that of all the places where were getting bigger portions, fast food servings have grown the most, followed by those we dish up at home. Our sense of appropriate servings has simply been distorted.

So what to do? When youre at home, fill the plates from the stove and bring them to the table. Repeated studies have shown that if the food is within arms reach, well eat it. But if weve got to go and get it, we are less likely to have more.

And before you do go for seconds, just sit a few moments and let your body catch up. It takes about 30 minutes for the hormones that signal satiety to get the message from the stomach to the brain.

When eating out, just imagine that every meal you order has a notation in the menu that says serves two. Decide how much you want to eat at the beginning of the meal, and before you even start, put the rest in that take-home container.

And when youve had enough, stop. Being satisfied doesnt mean feeling stuffed, and enjoying a good meal shouldnt leave you uncomfortable afterwards. That mountain of mashed potatoes isnt Mr. Everest, and you dont have to eat it just because its there.

And finally, whether youre driving through, or sitting inside, or even ordering delivery, always resist the temptation to supersize.

It may seem like a great bargain at the moment, but in the long run, you end up paying for the extra calories, not with those extra few cents, but with your health.


Remind yourself that you dont have to eat everything youre served, even if your mother is with you. After being trained all our lives to clean that plate, this can be a tough one. But go ahead and ask for that doggie bag, or give yourself permission to just leave some of your dinner on the plate.

About the Author: Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D. is a board certified Family Physician and a board certified Bariatric Physicians (the medical specialty of weight management). Dr. Cederquist is the founder of

Bistro MD

a home diet delivery program that specializes in low calorie gourmet food that is delivered to your home or office and a practicing bariatric physician.



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Eastern Conference wins 2008 NBA All-Star Game

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eastern Conference 134 128 Western Conference

The Eastern Conference defeated their Western Conference counterparts at the 2008 National Basketball Association All-Star Game held at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday. The final score was 134-128.

The East took an early 11 point lead in the first 5 minutes, due to an injured Kobe Bryant only playing 2 minutes before sitting on the bench for the rest of the game. “There’s one player we really, really missed, and that was Kobe,” said West coach Byron Scott. The West later reduced the lead to 2 points, but at halftime, the East led 74-65.

The West trailed by 13 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but rallied behind New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, who had seven assists in the final period. With 2:48 remaining, Brandon Roy scored a layup on an assist from Paul, giving the West a 122-119 lead, their biggest lead of the game.

The East then answered back with two three-pointers from Ray Allen, before Chris Paul tied the game with a three-pointer of his own. However, the East would then take the lead and the game with layups from Dwyane Wade and Allen, as well as a driving dunk from LeBron James. A Brandon Roy three-pointer put the game within three points with 8.7 seconds left, but 3 free throws from Ray Allen sealed the win for the East.

“The fourth quarter was crazy,” said Chris Paul. “We were down 13. We picked up the intensity. We took the lead a few times but Ray Allen was unbelievable the way he shot the ball. And that last dunk by LeBron, we had two people on him but that still wasn’t enough.”

With 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists, James was named the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career. Some television commentators also considered Ray Allen a likely choice for the award, with 14 of his 28 points coming in the final 3 minutes of the game. “I think Ray Allen had a heck of a shooting night,” James said after being presented the award.


  • 1 Other All-Star events
    • 1.1 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge
    • 1.2 Haier Shooting Stars Competition
    • 1.3 Playstation Skills Challenge
    • 1.4 Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout
    • 1.5 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Diy Solar Pv Panels As A Rewarding Project

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By Martyn Witt

The current austerity measures and disruptive economic conditions may deter investment, however solar panels may well be seen as the optional ISA. Those thinking of investing will also be encouraged by a 6 to 9% tax free return. The solar energy ideal has been embraced with renewed enthusiasm in the UK post introduction of the feed in tariff scheme within 2010. Any individual or business who commits to a solar panel installation whether it be in an office, school, business, hospital or home will benefit from a preferred tariff of 41.3p a unit Surplus solar energy produced by any type of solar energy installation can be given up to the UK Grid for an additional 3p allowance.

As a pe-cursor to the feed in tariff introduction to homeowners costs were viewed as taking years to see back but that solar energy technology was available to each and every consumer. The perception has now changed and the inducements encourage a big difference, solar pv panels are now acknowledged as an ethical investment.

The UK has been seen as being somewhat slow and faltering in embracing renewable energy. The country leading the way in respect of renewable energy is Germany. Germany employs 250,000 confirming it’s commitment to renewable energy along with associated manufacturing exported worldwide. Those countries that have tried to keep pace with the German’s achievements are Portugal, Austria and Spain. The government in Spain was seen to disregard the plight of the tax payer as the tariffs were reduced due to the recession. The renewable energy market within the country has not run smoothly. The incentives on offer from the Spanish government ensured the rapid development of large scale installations. The government established a target of 2010 but these were achieved in 2007.

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With the recession still seemingly in full swing it was also feared that the UK government would peg back its feed-in-tariffs offered. These concerns though were unfounded as a review is scheduled for 2012. The first 9 months of the scheme saw 18,455 installations; PV solar panels made up 93 percent and hydro generators and wind power made up the balance.

The benefit and uniqueness of Solar photovoltaic panels is endless as any individual wherever they are in the world can harness this free source of energy. Improvements to solar panels has seen improved efficiency in how they convert even on a day predominated by cloud. The overriding precept though persists that a southerly facing roof is ideal. The panel also should not be concealed by trees or other extraneous objects.

For homeowners fortunate enough to have other space available solar panels need not be restricted to the roof area. A frames over pergolas have been manufactured to accommodate panels. Though some concerns over aesthetics remain. There seems a predominant uneasiness about the impending presence of solar panels but once installed are typically welcomed. You do not need planning permission from the local authority but there are obvious restrictions within a conservation area.

The largest obstacle though is still seen as installation cost. Numerous home owners will see installation costs of around 10k to 20k. The highest production permissible, within the feed in tariff scheme, can be met by the high end pv panels producing around 3.8kw an hour. Well worth remembering is that earnings are tax free and existing returns surpass ISA’s at 6%.

However taking younger families on lower incomes unlikely to have this type of funding there is the rent a roof scheme and/or to make solar panels themselves. Consumers can benefit by lower cost electricity but will see nothing on the feed-in tariffs; all profit is secured by the installing company. On average companies within the rent a roof sector require a minimum roof space of 30 sq metres.

Some critics have questioned the credence of the rent-a-roof contract and that homeowners may only see back around 100 each year. Grants though have helped to encourage pv panel manufaturers to reduce their costs. China’s entry into the market has also helped to bring down the price of solar panel components. Looking at the wider picture the populace must acknowledge that traditional energy costs continue to soar. Domestic generation of power must be expanded and encouraged as relying on imports remains impractical. Currently the feed in tariff programme within the UK remains tiny. However the financial inducements now available from the UK government will hopefully encourage more individuals to install.

About the Author: Get started today and

make solar panels

for a rewarding and eco friendly green investment. A DIY solar panel installation will save you thousands and is both environmentally and financially rewarding.



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U.S. classifies record number of documents in 2004

Monday, September 5, 2005

OpenTheGovernment.Org, a coalition of conservative and liberal nonprofit groups, released a 2005 report (PDF, 12 pages) saying that all branches of the U.S. Federal Government are being significantly more secretive, and spending significantly more money on document secrecy. In 2004, federal officials classified 15.6 million new documents, which is 81 percent more than in 2001. Over the same period, the cost of classifying those new documents rose from $4.7 billion to $7.2 billion. These figures do not include documents classified by the CIA, as that agency’s information is itself secret.

The report is also critical of the fact that only $48.3 million was spent on declassifying old documents in 2004. They concluded that for every dollar spent on declassification, the federal officials spent $148 creating and storing new secrets, more than in any previous year. It is estimated to cost $460 to classify one document.

The state secrets privilege allows the executive branch to classify federal court hearings and documents. On average, the Bush administration has used this privilege 33 times more per year than cold war administrations (1953-1976), and nearly three times the 1977-2001 average. The report sees other measures of government secrecy, such as the number of secret patents on the rise as well.

The report does not explore the larger economic impact of the increase in secrecy per se. However, it observes that taxpayer savings due to whistleblower activity is on the rise despite the elimination of traditional whistleblower protections.

It also notes that 64% of advisory meetings were closed to the public. Such meetings provide lawmakers with advice on scientific and technical matters which are supposed to be free of special interest. Legislation covering such meetings states or assumes that they are open to the public, but some agencies, like the Department of Defense, have traditionally been permitted to hold closed meetings. Once such agencies are excluded, the report finds a threefold increase in closed meetings since 2001.

The report is critical of poor funding for processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, with which the majority of federal agencies surveyed can not keep up. There is concern that more of the financial burden for such requests may be being born by those organizations making the requests, instead of the agencies holding the classified documents. FOIA requests increased by 25% between 2003 and 2004, to 4 million, while funding for processing such requests increased by only 5%.

How much of this secrecy directly relates to various current events, such as the War in Iraq or terrorism, is unclear. In 2004, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved 1,754 requests from law enforcement officials last year to conduct surveillance on foreign nationals within the United States, double the number issued four years ago.

The report is also critical of the rise of “sensitive but unclassified” information, as well as new state based secrecy initiatives.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority drop inquiry into culture of banking

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Financial Conduct Authority, one of Britain’s banking sector regulators, indicated it has decided to drop an inquiry into banking culture, including practices and payment of banking staff. The inquiry was intended to review “whether culture change programmes in retail and wholesale banks are driving the right behaviour, in particular focusing on remuneration, appraisal and promotion decisions of middle management, as well as how concerns are reported and acted on”.

A spokesman for the Financial Conduct Authority stated: “A focus on the culture in financial services firms remains a priority for the FCA[…] There is currently extensive ongoing work in this area within firms and externally. We have decided that the best way to support these efforts is to engage individually with firms to encourage their delivery of cultural change as well as supporting the other initiatives outside the FCA.”

The Shadow Chancellor, Labour’s John McDonnell, said shutting down the inquiry would be a “dangerous and costly mistake” and said: “This will be a huge blow to customers and taxpayers who are all still paying the price for the failed culture in the banking sector that’s been widely attributed to be among the main causes of the crash and the scandals over Libor and price-fixing”.

Members of the Treasury Select Committee have also been critical of the cancellation of the review. On Twitter, Labour MP John Mann stated the “FCA surrender to big banks today is entirely from pressure from Treasury and Osborne”. Conservative MP Mark Garnier, told the BBC: “There has always been this great argument that perhaps the Treasury is having more influence over the regulator than perhaps it ought to and certainly, if I was looking for a Machiavellian plot behind what’s happened here and the tone of the regulator, then I suppose I would start looking at the Treasury.”

Richard Lloyd from the consumer group Which? expressed disappointment at the cancellation of the report: “It’s disappointing that the regulator has decided against publishing this report on the culture of banking. Cultural change doesn’t happen overnight, so despite signs of improvement, the FCA must not take their eye off the ball and should continue to clean up the industry”

The FCA has had no leader since Martin Wheatley resigned in July following an expression of no confidence by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Russian citizen jailed for sending military intelligence to US

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Russian citizen identified as Gennady Sipachyov has been convicted of “state treason in the form of espionage” and was sentenced to four years in a Russian maximum-security prison.

According to the Russian intelligence agency Federal Security Service (FSB), Sipachyov was found guilty of giving the American government classified military maps, which can be used to target American missiles against targets in Russia more accurately. According to the FSB, the exchange of of information occurred in 2008, when Sipachyov emailed the documents to an organization called “East View Cartography,” which was a cover for the intelligence service of the US military.

In its verdict, the court said that “The Pentagon required the maps in order to correct its guidance system for cruise missiles to increase the accuracy of targeting.” While no motive was identified, and the trial was barred to the media, speculation has been that any motive involved was financial in nature.

Sipachyov, whose age and profession were not released, was convicted under Article 275 of Russia’s criminal code, pertaining to “state treason in the form of espionage.” Such a conviction ordinarily carries a sentence of 20 years, but according to the FSB, Sipachyov had “co-operated actively in the detection and investigation and also pointed to criminal activity by other individuals which helped prevent further damage to the security of Russia,” leading to his sentence being reduced.

The incident has been seen as embarrassing for both the Russian and American governments, as the two countries are currently trying to repair their previously rocky relationship. Earlier this year, a treaty reducing the number of nuclear weapons each country held was signed. The US government has not commented on the ruling.

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Life Coach}

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Submitted by: Christina Cordle

So what is a life coach? Basically, a life coach is someone who helps or guides others about the different aspects of life may it be health, career, business, and many more. If you browse the internet, you may see that there are a lot of professional life coaches out there offering their services. Life coaching has really become popular in these modern times. The needs of people for coaching also prompted many to choose this budding profession.

To be a life coach, one does not really need to take up a specific course in any specific university or college anywhere. One does not need a degree to be a life coach unlike being a nurse, a doctor, an engineer, among others. As you read this article you may be wondering what it really takes to be a professional life coach. There is no concrete answer since there is really no requirement to become one. You do not need a certification or any type of license to be one. Yes, anybody could be a life coach but not anybody could be an effective one. Anyone can just put up a coaching business but not anyone can last long since it also requires talent like other professions.

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For people who want to be a life coach, they must know how to become a life coach and take it seriously. There are several coach training programs that you can attend to and other similar workshops. You can seek help from professionals who have relevant experience if you really would like to become a life coach. Though not required, certain courses could also help. Degrees related to public relations would be a good foundation for life coach aspirants.

Like being a medical doctor, one could also choose to be a life coach who deals with general cases or one who specializes in a specific area only. There are many aspects in life which a life coach could concentrate on. Finance and health concerns are common examples of aspects in life which a lot of people need help with so it is a good idea to focus on those. Specific skills would also come in handy if you have decided to become a life coach. Aside from possessing skills in giving advice, it is also best to have marketing skills. You would need to market yourself, your services, or your business if you want to be successful in this field. You may be a good life coach but it is nothing if people who need help dont know you.

Before choosing being a professional life coach, you must realize what it really takes to be one. Keep in mind all those important factors mentioned in this article as you make your decision. This job should be taken seriously as it involves guiding other people. This profession could also be very rewarding both financially and emotionally. It feels good knowing that you have the talent to help people tackle their problems and live a good life in general.

About the Author: Christina Cordle enjoys writing for Coachestrainingblog which is an online resource on

how to become a life coach


become a life coach

as well as other related subjects.



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40 million credit cards compromised

Saturday, June 18, 2005

MasterCard International announced Friday that multiple instances of fraud have been tracked back to CardSystems Solutions, Inc., a company that processes credit card transactions and other payments. Customer names, banks, and account numbers of up to 40 million cardholders have been exposed, of which about 13.9 million are MasterCard-branded cards, the company said. Visa and American Express cards were also affected.

“The breach appears to be the largest yet involving financial data,” said David Sobel, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

CardSystems issued a statement late on Friday that said it learned of the potential breach 26 days ago, but that the FBI told the company not to advise the cardholders nor the public at large. CardSystems also said their statement had been vetted by the FBI.

A spokesperson for the FBI said that the agency had asked CardSystems not to disclose information that could compromise the investigation, but that it had not asked CardSystems to fail to disclose the breach at all.

Michael A. Brady, C.F.O. of CardSystems, told the Associated Press that “we’re absolutely blindsided by a press release by the association,” when speaking of MasterCard’s release. A MasterCard spokesperson said that the company was obligated to inform its customers of the breach.

MasterCard spokesperson Sharon Gamsin said that CardSystems was hit by a virus-like computer script that stole customer data for the purpose of fraud. She said MasterCard does not know how the script got into the CardSystem network.

Sobel said this theft “indicates that this is a shadowy industry where the consumer never really knows who is going to be handling and using their personal information. Presumably, the affected consumers thought they were dealing with MasterCard.” Having a third-party process credit card transactions is common practice in the industry.

US Senate approves $10.5 billon in aid for Hurricane Katrina victims

Friday, September 2, 2005

The United States Senate has cut short their summer recess and has arrived in Washington to approve a $10.5 billion aid bill to victims of Katrina as requested by President George W. Bush. The United States House of Representatives is expected to pass a similar bill later today.

Bush has told Congress he will ask for more funds in the coming weeks. Most of the money will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the rest will go to the Pentagon which is dispatching ships to the area.

Bush has also asked his father, former President George H.W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton to help raise private funds for relief like they did for the December 2004 tsunami in Asia.

Over two dozen nations, some with assets in the area, have offered aid to the city of New Orleans, but President George W. Bush has refused any aid from foreign nations which does not take the form of cash.

New BBC Radio 2 boss announced

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The BBC have announced the appointment of Bob Shennan as controller for BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music. Shennan was previously controller at news and sports station BBC Radio Five Live and head of Channel 4‘s abortive 4 Digital Group radio venture. Channel 4 had won a licence to launch three digital radio stations but dropped the plans at an advanced stage in the face of the economic downturn.

At Five Live Shennan increased listening figures to 7 million. Critics claimed that this was achieved through the introduction of phone-in shows and a decline in coverage of harder news. He also launched the part-time digital-only station BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra.

The BBC’s director of Audio and Music told The Stage that Shennan is “an outstanding leader with extensive radio experience and a proven track record in station management”. He said that “Bob’s energy, enthusiasm and passion for Radio 2 will ensure that the station remains creative and vibrant, and continues to offer unique programmes to the widest possible audience”.

Radio 2 is Britain’s most popular radio station with 13.06 million listeners and a 16% share. 6 Music is the network’s digital-only sister station. The post of controller became vacant last year when Lesley Douglas resigned following the scandal over crude phone calls made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to actor Andrew Sachs during a pre-recorded music programme.