Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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scale200Why is America getting fatter? 

It’s not because we’re eating more, but because we’re exercising less, according to new research from Stanford University School of Medicine. Especially women ages 18 - 39.

Keep reading to find out what’s behind the trend and how to overcome barriers to exercise. Plus, five terrific one-song workouts with soundtracks by Macklemore and Kanye West.

HabitAppTrying to walk 30 minutes daily? Sleep 7+ hours nightly? Meditate? There’s an app for that!

If you’ve embarked on the journey to a healthier you (and who doesn’t want to upgrade life?), you may have already made a S.M.A.R.T goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

But how to keep with it after the initial enthusiasm wears off? 

For some people, sticking stars on a paper chart – or using an app that’s the digital equivalent – is helpful for motivation and tracking progress. Though the greater goal may be to avoid cancer, diabetes and stroke, the daily satisfaction of giving yourself a star sticker or digital click may be just what you need to get your new habit rolling.

Keep reading for a short list of free habit-tracking apps plus instructions (and .pdf printouts) for good, old-fashioned star charts favored by kids and those who prefer paper.

Please share tips, your favorite habit apps and your progress with us by commenting or emailing professorwellbody@pacsci.org. In thanks for your contribution, we’ll hold a drawing to give away a pair of passes to Wellbody Academy and our other regular exhibits.

Healthy habits can be hard to maintain when we are bombarded with invitations to get off track. This catchy two-minute video shares some eye-opening facts--the answers to the quiz--about how the food industry targets children.

How much does the food industry spend every year to market to children younger than 11?

a. $700,000

b. $7 million

c. $70 million

d. $700 million

How much does the food industry spend annually to market to adolescents?

a. $10 million

b. $100 million

c. $1 billion

d. $10 billion

What are the top three producted marketed to kids?

a. Carbonated beverages

b. Breakfast cereals

c. Fast-food restaurants

d. baby carrots

Check out the Influence Decoder in Wellbody Academy's Wellbody Hall to explore how advertising influences your food decisions. Did you know every year the food industry spends more than $1.7 billion marketing to adolescents and children?

Cheetos, Dr. Pepper, potato chips . . . Ever wonder why we crave junk foods that add excessive sodium, sugar and fat to our bodies but little nutritional value?

junk food

This extensive report by Michael Moss on The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food in the New York Times Sunday Magazine delves into the laboratories and masterminds behind our guilty food pleasures to reveal the "bliss point" that helps food companies create the greatest amount of crave; the sociology underlying skipped meals and high-sodium Lunchables; and the whopping two teaspoons of sugar in a mere half-cup of Prego spaghetti sauce.

In an era when one in three adults is considered clinically obese, along with one in five kids, and 24 million Americans are afflicted by type 2 diabetes, often caused by poor diet, with another 79 million people having pre-diabetes . . . this is definitely worth a read.

Visit Wellbody Academy's Cafedium to play with hands-on gadgets that teach about nutrition and while you're here, check out the Influence Decoder in Wellbody Hall to learn more about how food industry marketing can impact our dietary choices. For example: Did you know that every year, the food industry spends more than $700 million marketing to children younger than 11 (mostly carbonated beverages, breakfast cereals and fast food restaurants) and that children ages 8 – 12 are exposed to an average 83 product advertisements a day?