Posts tagged ‘Barbara Rolls’

The Penn Stater Daily—March 27, 2014

Reforming gen eds: One of the interesting initiatives going on here is a look at general education requirements to, as Kevin Horne of Onward State puts it, increase “the rigor, meaning and scope” of options. Among the suggestions: fewer credits concentrated in a themed area. The Onward State story is worth a read, as is this blog post by Christopher Long, associate dean of The College of Liberal Arts, who chairs one of seven task forces looking at the issue.

Help for caregivers: Here’s the takeaway from the latest study by distinguished professor Steven Zarit: Caregivers for family members with dementia need to take care of themselves, and one way to do that is to put their loved ones in adult day care. The study showed that doing so increases the level of a beneficial stress hormone, DHEA-S, which in turn controls cortisol and results in better-long term health. That’s important because the  caregivers have a higher risk of illness. This is among the study, Zarit says, to show the biological benefits to having help.

Watch your portion size: New research from Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional science and author of the popular Volumetrics diet, shows that when cereal flakes are smaller, people pour less into their bowls–but still consume more calories. “People have a really hard time judging appropriate portions,” she says in this news release. Now I’m worrying about my breakfast cereal of choice—Cheerios, which are awfully tiny.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

 

 

 

March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily—Jan. 15, 2014

We’re a little late today, sorry. Lots of meetings. Productive meetings, fortunately, but they took a lot of time. Anyway, here are some good stories you might have missed over the past few days:

BOT nominations open: It’s that time of year again, with preparations beginning to elect three alumni  members to the Board of Trustees. If you’re a Penn State Alumni Association member, if you’ve donated to the university within the past two years, and/or if you requested a ballot in either of the past two years, you should be receiving today a nomination ballot for the election. You can nominate up to three candidates. If you don’t submit them right away, you can return and add names to your list; once you submit, you’re finished. Here’s our earlier piece on the process, which has instructions on how to request a ballot if you didn’t get one, and here’s today’s Centre Daily Times story on the election. Which, by the way, will run April 10 to May 8. The nomination period ends Feb. 25.

A new book on the murder at Pattee: Forty-four years after Betsy Aardsma was stabbed in the stacks at Pattee, her case is still open—that is, never solved. Journalist David DeKok is researching a book on the subject to be published in September, and he answered questions from Onward State’s Jessica Tully. It’s a fascinating interview, especially when DeKok goes beyond the case and discusses how he researched it.

Looking to lose weight? If your New Year’s resolution to do so is becoming a struggle, you might want to check out the Volumetrics diet, developed by Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition. It was just named the sixth best diet in U.S. News and World Report‘s 2014 Best Diets Overall Ranking, and it was recognized several other times in the magazine’s report. The main idea: By lowering the calorie density of your meals, you can feel more full but consume fewer calories. Rolls has written several books—with recipes—on the diet.

New pricing structure for football tickets: Starting next season, it will cost less to see the non-marquee teams on Penn State’s football schedule than it will to see top rivals like Ohio State. The university announced a variable pricing structure on Tuesday; this FAQ from the athletic department explains the details. The Nittany Lions will become the fifth Big Ten school to use such a system, The Patriot-News reports. Cheapest tickets? MAC teams Akron and UMass: There are end-zone seats available for $40. You’re going to need to shell out for the Buckeyes: The least expensive ticket is $100.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

January 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

US News Ranks the Diets

US News is out with a new ranking of the best diets, according to this story by Angela Haupt ’09, a Penn Stater who covers the health beat for that publication. A diet you may not have heard of, called the DASH Diet, turns out to be the best overall; it was developed by the National Institutes of Health and stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The US News panel of nutritionists also liked the Mediterranean Diet, Weight Watchers, and Jenny Craig, to name a few. Among those getting at least 3.5 stars out of a possible 5 was the Volumetrics Diet, developed by Penn State professor Barbara Rolls.

The experts rated the diets based on such factors as ease of following the diet, nutritional quality, safety, and effectiveness not only for weight loss but also against diabetes and heart disease.

There are other Penn State connections to the story: Penny Kris-Etherton, a distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State, was one of 22 experts on the US News panel. So was Sachiko St. Jeor ’80g, who got her Ph.D. at Penn State and is now at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Angela has a couple of related articles: one on how to stay on a diet (if you figure out how to do this, please let me know!) and one on the importance of including exercise in your weight-loss efforts.

Tina Hay, editor

June 8, 2011 at 8:43 am Leave a comment

Trying—Unsuccessfully—to Keep up with Faculty Research

Hershey prof Wafik El-Deiry talks about his cancer research.

One of the challenges in covering research a university as big and diverse as Penn State is that, well, it’s just too big and diverse.

In my previous job (1983-96), I was in charge of communications for the College of Health and Human Development, and I felt like I had at least half a chance to get my arms around things. I knew just about all of the faculty and saw them in the halls regularly. I could tell you that that Barbara Rolls was studying olestra before it became commercially available, that John Beard (now deceased) had just gotten a new grant to look at iron deficiency, or that Warner Schaie and Sherry Willis had a very cool project called the Seattle Longitudinal Study but that the results weren’t quite ready to be reported yet.

Now, of course, I’m editor of the university alumni magazine, and our “beat” is bigger. Waaaaaaaay bigger. It’s hard to know how to learn about all of the research going on—we can’t attend each and every seminar, and I no longer have the luxury of spending an afternoon reading recently funded grant proposals or just-published scholarly papers. I have this persistent sense that we’re not doing such a hot job in the magazine of covering faculty research.

So when I do get to hear a faculty member talk about his or her research, it’s a treat, but it’s also a source of frustration, because it reminds me of how much we’re probably missing.

Steve Schiff

I heard about a bunch of research last weekend as part of the kickoff for Penn State’s new capital campaign, and maybe some of it will end up the magazine eventually. I learned, for example, that the pioneering work done by William Pierce on a heart-assist pump is still ongoing, though Pierce is retired—a guy in bioengineering named Keefe Manning is leading that effort. It’s a good example of where engineering (in this case fluid dynamics) meets medicine, and more and more I’m getting the sense that that intersection of engineering and health sciences is a real strength at Penn State.

I also heard an interesting presentation by Steve Schiff, director of the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering, who has done a lot of public-health research in Africa. He got our attention when he said, “More than one million babies worldwide will die in their first four weeks—of preventable infections.” In Uganda, he has done a lot of scientific detective work—including collecting many specimens of animal dung—to figure out what bacteria are causing hydrocephalus (water on the brain) in infants. The villages’ huts, which are insulated with cow dung, are a very likely culprit: “To be honest,” Schiff said, “I’m surprised any infant survives in this environment.”

Schiff strikes me as the kind of guy who would be good to work with on a magazine story. He’s quotable, good at explaining things in lay terms, and funny. His bio, handed out at the presentation, included this memorable line: “He plays viola in a rather out-of-tune manner.”

In that same session I also heard a Hershey prof named Wafik El-Deiry talk about his cancer research. El-Deiry is chief of hematology/oncology; Penn State just recently lured him away from the University of Pennsylvania. He’s an American Cancer Society Research Professor, which is a pretty rare honor—there are only 40 of them at any given time—and he too is very good at talking about his work in everyday terms. (Any medical researcher who has a Twitter feed is OK in my book.)

El-Deiry’s talk reminded me that there is a ton of research going on at Hershey that we need to learn about. Senior editor Lori Shontz got to see some of it on a recent field trip there, and we really need to do more to familiarize ourselves with what the faculty there are doing—especially the cancer research, which is an increasingly major strength at Penn State.

Tina Hay, editor

April 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment


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