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How religious fervor, anti-regulation zealotry laid the groundwork for America’s $36B supplement industry

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Spend any time watching TV or scrolling through social media and you will inevitably see advertisements for pills, powders, and potions that promise to build muscle, lose body fat, improve your focus, and revitalize your youth.

Most of us have used them. At the last count, the National Center for Health Statistics found that over 50% of all adults in America had consumed a dietary supplement in the past 30 days. The center used data from 2017 and 2018, but recent surveys suggest that this number is closer to over 70%.

Globally, the dietary supplement industry is expected to be worth over $ 140 billion by 2020. In the United States alone, this is estimated to be around $ 36 billion, despite evidence that most of these supplements don’t work.

How did products with questionable benefits and expensive prices become mainstream? Diet supplements are not a new phenomenon. Their history dates back at least 150 years, and they have thrived in the United States thanks to false promises, fanatical followers, and weak regulation.

Make you want alternatives

Given the eccentric claims that supplement labels can adorn, it may not come as a surprise that some of the early supplement enthusiasts were religious figures. Their supplements weren’t pills, they were food alternatives.

Sylvester Graham, born in 1794, was an American Presbyterian who preached salvation through a vegetarian diet.

Part of Graham’s teaching focused on moderation and whole grain foods. Graham’s followers made graham bread, crackers, and flour and marketed them with the promise that these products would promote righteous living and eternal salvation.

Although Graham did not officially endorse these products, his spiritual successor, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, an avid supporter of his family’s new grocery line. As a doctor, inventor, and businessman in one, Kellogg ran his own Michigan spa – the Battle Creek Sanitarium – in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although he didn’t make corn flakes – that was his brother Will – Kellogg was responsible for marketing flour, protein substitutes, cereal, and peanut butter. Like Graham products, Kellogg’s foods have been associated with improved health and virtue.

Graham crackers and granola may seem relatively harmless compared to some health and wellness products sold today, such as detox teas and vitamin-rich water. But they were still important in getting the still strong message behind most of the supplements we see today: this product will improve your health and life.

Fitness supplements are all the rage

In teaching this topic to students, I share a discovery that historians John Fair and Daniel Hall made while researching the history of protein powders.

Sometime in the 1940s, American nutritionist Paul Bragg turned to barbell maker Bob Hoffman.

At the time, Hoffman was making a small fortune selling his York barbell exercise equipment in the United States. Bragg had now firmly established himself as a leading expert on alternative nutrition. Sensing a potentially lucrative partnership, Bragg wrote to Hoffman with an idea.

In the letter, Bragg Hoffman shared the fundamental flaw in his York business: his products were durable. If someone bought a barbell set in the 1930s, it was likely they could still use it in the 1950s. Bragg recommended selling supplements that should be replaced every two weeks or monthly.

Hoffman decided to give up the partnership with Bragg, but soon realized the potential of the idea. In the 1950s, nutritionist and bodybuilding coach Irving Johnson began selling protein supplements in Hoffman’s Strength & Health Magazine. Johnson’s “Hi Protein” powder made from soy was a huge success.

Within a year, Hoffman banned Johnson from his magazine and began selling his own “Hi-Proteen” powder. Protein supplements grew in size and scope as an industry. Soy protein products were eventually replaced with milk protein powder in the 1960s. There were several other derivatives in the late 1990s, ranging from pea protein to collagen powders.

The size and scope of the other offerings grew over time. Vitamin and mineral supplements became popular in the 1950s. Energy drinks and energy boosters like creatine started flying off shelves in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Prohormones – which were supposed to be supposed to build muscle and were eventually banned – were introduced in the early 2000s. Profits skyrocketed every decade, as did creativity in product branding.

Unusual promises were the order of the day. Vitamin manufacturers promised cancer-curing products, protein powders promoted steroid-like effects, while pre-workout dietary supplements – often fortified with methamphetamines – offered limitless energy.

The government agencies did little to stop them.

The struggling FDA

It wasn’t because there was a lack of trying. The dietary supplement industry and federal agencies have long been playing a game of cat and mouse.

When Hoffman and others began selling nutritional supplements, they were technically subject to the guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration. But by the 1950s, the FDA was ill-equipped to regulate dietary supplements. However, some of the outlandish claims and unsanitary practices used by the manufacturers caught the attention of the regulator, which soon sought more scrutiny.

In the 1960s, Hoffman – who routinely claimed his products added pounds of muscle in no time – became a target for the FDA. The secret of his Hi-Proteen powder? A large mixing container in which he mixed Hershey’s chocolate powder with soy protein powder with an oar.

Hoffman was regularly censored but never stopped. During the 1960s and 1970s, the FDA regularly attacked manufacturers for their lax production methods and incredulous claims.

The problem was that the FDA was never able to fully regulate the industry.

From 1968 to 1970, Congress held several public hearings on the FDA’s plans to regulate nutritional supplements. Legislators, trade associations of dietary supplements, manufacturers and citizens discussed restrictions and bans on certain products, such as that the sale of dietary supplements with nutrients that make up more than 150% of the recommended daily intake is illegal.

Public and private outcry stopped such plans. The FDA was forced to agree to a light-touch regulation. In 1975 a court ruling allowed dietary supplements to be advertised as natural. A year later, the Rogers Proxmire Act banned the FDA from limiting vitamin and mineral amounts in dietary supplements.

The FDA reserved the right to pursue unsubstantiated or misleading claims, but this did little to hold back the industry. The number of products continued to grow.

Simply put, it became impossible to see what was going into the products. This also explains why so many supplements contain a statement that they are not FDA approved or recommended.

In the early 1990s, the FDA resumed its efforts to regulate the dietary supplement industry. In particular, the agency wanted to strengthen its own enforcement powers while making the advertising of therapeutic claims on dietary supplement labels illegal. Once again, private lobbying and public outrage diluted the agency’s powers.

In 1994, Congress passed the Health Education Act on Dietary Supplements, which completely changed the food landscape. Dietary supplements were now classified as food, not drugs or food additives. By classifying dietary supplements as food rather than medicine, the law reduced the burden of proof to back up the manufacturers’ claims.

The legislation also expanded which products can be classified as dietary supplements – and therefore do not fall under the FDA’s area of ​​responsibility.

Nowadays, manufacturers are given the responsibility to self-regulate their potentially harmful products. This leaves manufacturers open to lawsuits, but can be a long and drawn-out process for consumers. In fact, nutritional supplements are put on the market before they are thoroughly tested. Many products are sold even though they contain prohibited substances.

A single promise wrapped in a pill

Since the mid-20th century, nutritional supplements have been advertised in a variety of ways in the United States. But given the differences in product, taste, and price, they have generally been marketed on the basis of a single promise: this product will in some ways make your life better.

Whether or not this is the case for the individual product – some supplements actually work, such as creatine – it has become problematic on a broader basis. Federal agencies in the US have been constantly prevented from properly monitoring the market. Private lobbying and public outrage that the government is trying to “take your vitamins away” has sparked malpractice and dangerous news.

A 2018 study found 776 cases of unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients added to dietary supplements between 2007 and 2016 in the United States. Many of these additives were relatively harmless. But some ingredients – from steroid compounds to banned weight loss drugs – weren’t.

Dietary supplements can promise a lot. But in reality most of them are articles of faith.

Conor Heffernan is Assistant Professor of Physical Culture and Exercise Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He wrote this for The Conversation.

Whole Grain Benefits

The Top Bladder Health Foods 2 Urologists Always Eat| Well+Good

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ONEExcept for those times when you *don’t* remember to down a whole Diet Coke before bed (knowing you’ll wake up at 2am and need to pee urgently) or when you get a UTI and sprinting to the bathroom to store cranberry juice, you might not think much about how what you eat and drink is affecting your bladder.

However, there are many reasons to consider your bladder and its well-being when planning your meals. “Failing to regularly neglect the health and care of your bladder can lead to bladder infections and diseases over time, as well as some other immediate, undesirable side effects, including frequent urination and pelvic pain, among others,” says S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles. “The inner lining of the bladder wall, called the mucosa, is very sensitive to certain chemicals. Irritants can lead to inflammation of the bladder known as cystitis, which then causes urinary symptoms including frequent urination, urgency, burning with urination, nighttime urination, pelvic pain and incontinence.”

These chemical irritants enter the body through food, which is why the foods and beverages you consume can promote or adversely affect bladder health. After being metabolized by the liver in the gastrointestinal tract, these byproducts of food and drink enter the bloodstream and are filtered through the renal system before being excreted in the urine. A good rule to keep in mind, according to the urologist: if they’re not good for your bladder, they won’t feel good when you pee them out either.

The best and worst foods for bladder health, according to a urologist

Not everyone has a sensitive bladder, but for many, paying attention to eating and drinking habits that help or hurt the bladder can make a significant difference in their overall well-being (and, TBH, mental health). This is because certain foods are known to irritate the bladder, while others are better tolerated.

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“In general, acidic foods, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol tend to cause bladder irritation,” says Mehran Movassaghi, MD, urologist and director of Men’s Health at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and assistant professor of urology at Saint John’s Cancer Institute and a feeling of incomplete voiding.” A few other foods that Dr says are high in sugar, salt, and/or preservatives For example, packaged baked goods or frozen meals that contain saturated fat can cause inflammation.

Conversely, foods that promote bladder health are high in water, alkaline rather than acidic, and high in antioxidants to help reduce inflammation in the body — fruits and vegetables are a good example. according to dr Movassaghi’s good rule of thumb is to include leafy greens or fresh fruit in as many meals and snacks as possible, and to fill your plate so that you’re eating multiple servings a day. Garlic, eggs, fish, nuts, and potatoes are a few other bladder-healthy foods to stock up on, says Dr. Movassaghi.

And most importantly, your body needs water to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water (and eating foods high in water content) is also key to urinary tract health. “Drinking one to two liters of water a day can help dilute any irritants in the food or drink consumed. This is especially important for those who have a sensitive bladder,” explains Dr. Movassaghi. He adds that if you have an active lifestyle and sweat frequently, these numbers can change. “Water intake prevents constipation, and hard stools and full bowels can lead to pelvic congestion, which puts pressure on the bladder,” says Dr. Movassaghi. This means that high-fiber foods that contain lots of water (like fresh fruits and vegetables) help prevent both constipation and bladder irritation.

What urologists eat regularly to maintain optimal bladder health

Both urologists maintain a diet packed with fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, whole grains, lean protein, and oily fish. And they go with freshly overprocessed whenever possible. Read below for more details on urologists’ favorite foods for bladder health.

For breakfast:

Her breakfasts are nutrient-dense: think eggs with whole wheat toast, fresh fruit smoothies, Greek yogurt, and smoked salmon with sliced ​​avocado and cucumber.

“I love bananas, which are high in magnesium and potassium to allow for normal bowel function,” says Dr. Mohavagghasi. “I also eat nuts, berries, and eggs every day — and I always have fresh berries with no added sugar.” He recommends eating them plain or mixing them with unsweetened yogurt that contains blister-friendly probiotics, like Greek yogurt or skyr.

Eggs served on whole wheat toast with mashed avocado, or as an omelette or frittata on a bed of veggies and hash browns are also great for your bladder. dr Mohavaghassi also spreads nut butter on whole wheat toast with sliced ​​bananas and chia seeds, or mixes banana with berries, veggies and creamy avocado for a portable, on-the-go breakfast.

For lunch:

dr Ramin likes to eat protein-packed salads, which include a range of fruits and vegetables for antioxidant benefits. “My top choices for protein sources are grilled or baked hormone-free chicken, oven-baked salmon, or seared ahi tuna,” says Dr. Ramin. These are healthier than proteins with a higher saturated fat content, like red meat or fried chicken. “I recommend eating red meat in moderation to avoid increasing your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol,” he adds.

Choose a variety of veggies for your topper: Red, yellow, green, orange, and white fruits and veggies all have a place on the plate. “Leaf greens, peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, and berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Dr. Ramin. He also recommends avocados and olive oil for healthy fats. “I love a base of leafy greens — lettuce, spinach, kale, or arugula — and mixing in a serving of grains for texture and nutrition,” says Dr. Ramin and says couscous and quinoa are two favorites.

You can also use nuts, seeds, and berries as salad ingredients, all of which have bladder-supporting properties, especially cranberries. Almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and cashews are all good sources of unsaturated fats and/or omega-3s.

For dinner:

For dinner, both urologists like to eat chicken breast, tofu, and fish along with a whole grain and vegetable side (or two) for added protein and fiber, which can come from starches and lots of vegetables. Salads, corn bowls, and tacos are delicious examples. They recommend pairing tofu with a side of sautéed vegetables and garlic, which is a natural antibiotic and good for the bladder. (And feel free to swap out tofu for turkey breast, chicken, salmon, ahi tuna, halibut, or beans instead.)

A baked sweet potato is one of Dr. Mohavaghassi – It’s a vehicle for protein, fiber and potassium for electrolyte benefits, making it a good suggestion for a bladder-friendly dinner, especially post-workout. Try filling it with veggies, cheese, and legumes.

For snacks:

Keep these simple and nutritious. “I love unsalted almonds and hard-boiled eggs,” says Dr. Mohavaghassi as they are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats. “Keeping the fat content low minimizes both intestinal and bladder irritation,” he says. Other ideas include egg cups with veggies and cheese, avocado or hummus on toast, homemade trail mix, or kale chips with nutritional yeast and garlic powder.

Bladder Health Tips (Beyond Diet)

In addition to eating nutrient-dense foods that don’t irritate your bladder, lifestyle choices can also keep UTIs down. These habits include peeing as quickly as possible if you have to and not holding it in. “Peeing within 30 minutes of when the urge kicks in is ideal,” says Dr. Ramin. Also, pay attention to the color of your urine as it is a good indicator of fluid balance. “A nice light yellow to translucent is perfect because the darker the urine color, the more dehydrated your body is.”

Finally, try incorporating Kegel exercises into your fitness routine. according to dr For Ramin, the ideal is to tighten the muscles around the urethra and hold them for five seconds per interval. “I recommend doing this at least 20 times a day,” he says. “Not only does this help with symptoms of an overactive bladder, but it also prevents incontinence.”

Finally, skip the cigarettes (duh) because chemicals found in cigarette smoke increase the risk of bladder cancer.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Nutrition, health benefits, and more

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Hemp seeds are a plant-based source of complete protein that provides a range of nutrients. It’s an excellent option for people who want to add more protein to their diet while avoiding animal products.

Hemp protein comes from the hemp plant, which is the same species as the cannabis plant. However, unlike cannabis, hemp contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the intoxicating compound that produces a high.

Hemp is the source of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, but its seeds are also a rich source of plant-based protein. Manufacturers make hemp powder by grinding hemp seeds into a fine, earthy-tasting powder.

This article looks at hemp protein, its nutrition and health benefits. It also compares hemp protein to other protein powders and looks at alternative plant-based protein sources.

Learn all about the hemp plant here.

Hemp protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs but cannot produce. Therefore, a person needs to include these amino acids in their diet.

Some experts claim that hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete food sources. People can consume hemp seeds either whole or without the husk, or in various hemp seed products such as oil, flour, and protein powder.

Studies have found that the nutritional value of hemp seeds varies significantly depending on the environment they were grown in and the specific type of plant they are. Typically, however, its nutritional profile includes:

The most abundant protein in hemp seeds is edestin, which makes up about 82% of the total hemp protein content. Albumin accounts for about 13% of total protein, while β-conglycinin accounts for up to 5% of total protein.

Together, these proteins contain the nine essential amino acids. The most common is glutamic acid, followed by arginine. Hemp protein has more sulfur-containing amino acids like methionine, cysteine, and homocysteine ​​than soy protein and milk protein casein.

Hemp protein also contains more amino acids than soy protein, with the exception of aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and lysine. Lysine is the primary deficiency in hemp proteins.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, a 31-gram (g) serving of hemp protein powder contains 12 g of protein and 120 calories.

Learn more about essential amino acids here.

Hemp protein has several health benefits, including:

Easily digestible

Although humans typically digest animal protein more easily than plant-based protein, research shows that humans can easily digest hemp protein.

This may be because hemp protein is high in edistin and albumin, which the body can easily digest. The body breaks down these foods and uses a large proportion of the amino acids in various processes, such as tissue repair and cell maintenance.

When hemp protein is subjected to heat treatment, it becomes even more digestible.

Learn more about the differences between plant and animal protein here.

A great source of fiber

Eating enough fiber supports digestive health and reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

The consumption recommendations range from 19 to 38 g per day, depending on a person’s sex and age. However, around 95% of people in the United States don’t get anywhere near that amount of fiber.

Individuals might consider adding hemp protein to their diet to improve their fiber intake, as a 31g serving contains approximately 11g of fiber.

Learn more about the importance of dietary fiber here.

Contains healthy fats

Hemp protein contains unsaturated fats. A 31g serving contains around 2g of fat, most of which is healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

The polyunsaturated fatty acids in hemp protein include linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). The body cannot synthesize these fatty acids, so they must come from a food source.

Omega fatty acids are essential to health as they help maintain cell membranes, contribute to heart health, and regulate inflammation and metabolic processes.

Learn more about dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids here.

Protein powders are either plant-based or animal-based. In addition to hemp protein, whey protein and soy protein are other popular alternatives.

The protein and calorie content in 100 g of these proteins is:

Although whey protein is high in protein, it is also an allergen. Therefore, people who are sensitive or allergic to dairy products may need to avoid this protein source. Likewise, soy allergies are relatively common. However, as a rule, experts do not consider hemp an allergen, and some suggest that it is suitable as an ingredient in hypoallergenic foods.

In addition, whey protein is not vegan and cannot supplement a vegan diet. However, hemp and soy products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Hemp and soy proteins come from plants and are complete sources of protein. However, many people may choose hemp because it is less processed, is not likely to cause allergies, and is easy to digest.

Learn more about suitable proteins for vegans here.

If individuals dislike the taste of hemp protein, there are other ways to consume hemp seed and benefit from its health-promoting properties, including:

  • meals: People can sprinkle whole or ground seeds over salads, cereal, or yogurt. If you prefer a softer texture, you can add hemp seeds to soups or stews.
  • Bakery products: Ground or whole hemp seeds add interesting texture to bread, muffins, and other baked goods.
  • hemp milk: A person can make hemp milk at home by soaking, blending, and straining the seeds. The resulting product is a high-protein, plant-based milk that people can add to tea or coffee, or make into smoothies or milkshakes.

Learn about some of the best plant-based protein sources.

If a person wants to increase their protein intake while reducing their use of animal products, they can find a number of alternative plant-based protein sources. Options include:

Although a person can add protein powder to their daily routine to increase their intake, they should not use it in place of a nutritionally balanced diet.

People should also keep in mind that excessive consumption of dietary protein can affect metabolism and gut health.

It’s also worth noting that protein powders can contain various added ingredients like sugar or sodium to enhance their flavor. People should read nutritional information carefully if they want to avoid these additives.

Learn more about the dangers of too much sugar here.

Hemp protein comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is a rich source of dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids that the human body can easily digest.

A 31g serving of hemp protein contains approximately 12g of protein and 11g of fat, depending on the source of the hemp plant and the environmental conditions in which it was grown.

If people prefer not to consume hemp protein, they can add hemp seeds to baked goods, soups, salads, or prepare hemp milk and add it to beverages.

Hemp protein contains less protein than whey and soy protein. However, it is suitable for vegans, people with soy or dairy allergies, and those who prefer to avoid highly processed foods.

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Whole Grain Benefits

What Foods Give You Energy? How to Change Your Diet to Feel Invigorated

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Developing healthy eating habits is at the core of any successful eating plan, with the goal of increasing overall energy levels throughout the day. But what foods can you choose to get that welcome boost?

Below are some foods that you can incorporate into your diet for more energy. People may consider consulting their doctor before making any changes to their diet.

Complex carbohydrates like oatmeal

“In general, carbohydrates are digested and converted to energy faster than protein or fat, so this can be important for fueling exercise,” said Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, chair of the Department of Nutrition and director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Die University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Newsweek said.

Complex carbohydrates like oatmeal are made up of more sugar molecules than simple carbohydrates and take longer to digest, allowing them to provide a more consistent supply of energy throughout the day.

Oatmeal is therefore a good high-energy food because it releases energy slowly, so that morning bowl can keep you going for hours.

A stock image shows a bowl of oatmeal, which is a good source of complex carbohydrates.
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eggs

The energy benefits of this common breakfast dish are partly because it contains B vitamins, which help convert food into energy, Lauren Popeck, a registered dietitian with Orlando Health, wrote on the organization’s website. Soybeans are also a source of B-complex vitamins.

Andean millet

People can also try eating quinoa to improve their energy levels. Ginger Hultin, a Registered Dietitian, told Newsweek, “Quinoa is a high-fiber whole grain that’s packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.”

Dark chocolate

For those with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate can be a good energy booster because it contains the stimulant caffeine and also has “rich mineral content including iron, magnesium and zinc, all of which are important for optimal systems in the body,” Hultin said.

dark chocolate
A stock image showing chunks of dark chocolate that may help boost energy.
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bananas

Bananas are often cited as a good, quick energy snack. Bananas are high in potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance and muscle contractions, and are also sources of fiber and B vitamins.

avocados

Avocados are a well-rounded fruit that contains fats and fiber. They make fat-soluble nutrients more available in the body and can help maintain energy levels throughout the day. “Avocados don’t contain a lot of protein,” Hultin said. “I would only highlight their fat and fiber content. Fat is high in calories, which can help boost energy levels.”

Avocado toast
An archive image showing a woman eating avocado toast. Avocados can potentially help maintain energy levels.
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water

While not technically a food, water can be an important energy booster. Essential for transporting nutrients to cells while removing waste products, water is constantly lost through urine, sweat and respiration. Dehydration can lead to weakness and fatigue, so making sure you’re drinking enough fluids can make a big difference in how you feel.

Think of a balanced diet

While some foods are certainly more associated with energy than others, there is no magic food, Mayer-Davis told Newsweek.

“Energy metabolism, which is the energy you feel, is a function of many biological processes, minute by minute throughout the day,” she said. “There is no magic food.”

Mayer-Davis said that for daily energy, a diet high in whole grains, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, especially fish, and healthy fats like olive oil can help.

“Be sure to eat a wide variety of foods and make sure you’re only consuming the amount of foods you need to maintain a healthy weight,” she said.

Update, 4:50 PM ET, 01/19/22: This article has been updated with comments from Ginger Hultin.

person who eats food
An archive image shows a person eating a bowl of food. Some foods have a higher energy content than others.
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