Editors: Tired of re-gifted holiday story angles? Try new takes on old stories from the University of Michigan

December 10, 2012



Victor Katch, professor of kinesiology and expert in most things physical fitness, has lots of holiday stories in his stocking:

    • How to burn calories without really trying.
    • What should you eat that’s not killing you?
    • How to know what you’re really eating.
    • The best weight loss program includes…?
    • The benefits of going meatless.

Katch regularly contributes to national magazines such as Shape, Muscle and Fitness, American Health, Glamour, Vogue and Mademoiselle, and consults for professional sports teams and national and internal fitness companies. He also writes Health Yourself, a regular fitness column, for Michigan Today, U-M’s alumni publication. For profile, video, Health Yourself archives and contact information: http://kines.umich.edu/profile/victor-katch-edd

Ron Zernicke, dean of the School of Kinesiology, explains how veggies on the table and fruits in the holiday stocking can help keep you out of a cast. Diets high in sugar and trans fats cause bone and joint conditions, chiefly osteoporosis, and diet and exercise for bone health is critical for both growing children and older adults. Exercise is also critical for bone health. So, trade in the chocolate and channel surfing for a healthier diet and some outdoor sports during the holidays. Zernicke can be reached at [email protected] or by calling Marsha Lewis at (734) 764-5210 for an interview.


VIDEO: Sociologist Sela Panapasa discusses how a popular holiday food, marketed selectively to Pacific Islanders on the U.S. mainland and in the islands, is contributing to obesity among this group. Contact Panapasa at (734) 678-7973 or [email protected]. Video: www.ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/videos/20978-a-tale-of-turkey-tail-the-part-of-the-bird-best-left-uneaten

VIDEO: Ashley Gearhardt, assistant professor of psychology, discusses how factors in the food environment such as food commercials and food-related product placements, can create eating disorders with widespread clinical and public health consequences. Contact Gearhardt at (734) 647-3920 or [email protected]. Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fPug_9xFGc

Student in U-M’s master of public health program post their healthy eating tips on the Mind the Science Gap blog. Get through the holidays and winter hibernation without putting on the pounds. The student posts are part of a course on translating and communicating complex science to a lay audience through social media, and readers evaluate the posts. Blog: www.mindthesciencegap.org/2012/11/20/so-you-want-to-eat-less-over-the-holidays-or-in-general-try-these-strategies/#more-6333


VIDEO: Do turkey or tofurkey really make us tired? Andrew Maynard of the School of Public Health discusses the common belief that the Tryptophan in turkey causes post-Thanksgiving feast torpor. Maynard, professor of environmental health sciences, studies the potential health and environmental impacts of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, and directs the Michigan Risk Science Center. Video: http://youtu.be/0rHLxC6ILno

VIDEO: Maynard discusses whether eating chocolate can help you procure a Nobel Prize, or at least make you a bit smarter. Maynard can discuss research published in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggests an association between the average amount of chocolate each country eats, and the number of Nobel Prize winners the country produces. Contact Maynard at (734) 764-3188 or [email protected]. Video: http://youtu.be/TNsHAACiXMU


Lorna Hurl, a counselor with the U-M Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, knows even positive events like holidays, vacations and pay raises can bring on stress. Experts from MHealthy and the School of Public Health can discuss 19 steps to boost your stress immunity. Hurl, who conducts stress-management workshops for MHealthy, says the more vulnerable we are to the little stressors, the more trouble we’re likely to have with the big ones. Ways to beat stress: www.sph.umich.edu/news_events/findings/fall11/stress/prevent.htm


BOOK: Noel Tichy, professor at the Ross School of Business and co-author of the new book “Judgment on the Front Line: How Smart Companies Win by Trusting Their People,” explores how companies such as Amazon, Zappos and Ritz-Carlton free employees who work most closely with customers to create “wow” moments for them. The book explores the untapped potential of frontline workers to companies, which can be invaluable during the holidays. Contact: Erica Hyman at (734) 764-5134 or [email protected].


Domestic abuse incidents often spike during the holidays. Daniel Saunders, professor of social work, is a nationally known expert in the area of family violence, including traumatic effects of domestic abuse, abuser types and treatment, attitudes of professionals toward domestic violence, and dating violence prevention programs. He can be reached at (734) 763-6415 or [email protected].