Rotary Club of Kitchener


January 14, 2019

Happy Jar

Not sure if it is the colder weather, the flu season or post holiday season blues but there were no happy Rotarian stories today.

Bell Ringer(s)

President Richard thanked President-Elect Paul Rostrup for stepping in and running last week's meting and made him the Bell Ringer for this week.

President's Wine Quiz

Question:  Last week Louise Gardiner made a Happy Jar announcement about something she and Graham did together recently for the first time in 5 years.  What was this?
Answer:  Skiing

Club Announcements

Mike Pollard reported that we are very close to wrapping up the Car Draw fundraiser from 2018.  Our gross take in for this year is just over $80,000, about $2,600 less than last year.  Expenses were a bit higher this year do in part for the need to have tickets reprinted and if the cost the of the car is the same as last year our net profit will be about $26,300, as compared to just over $30,000 last year.  We are also expecting about a $4,000 to $5,000 HST rebate.

50/50 Draw

Once again, the Jack of Hearts remained elusive, much to the disappoint of Karen Redman, Wayne Boehler, and Dave Martindale, none of whom were able to cash in on the current $443 pot.

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker today was Ellen Gregg MSc, PhD(c), a registered nutritionist with the Waterloo Region Public Health Department.  Her talk was titled: Rethinking Healthy Eating - What Drives Our Eating Habits?
Ellen began by posing the question – How many of us believe we eat a healthy diet?
Research indicates that 78% of Canadians (90% in the US) believe they eat a healthy diet, 17% a fair diet and 5% a poor diet.
However, the realty is much different.  A 2009 study in Waterloo Region found that less than 1% (0.3%) of those sampled ate a healthy diet, 60.0% ate a diet that “needs improvement” and 39.6% ate a poor diet.
An average women should consume about 2,000 calories per day and an average male about 2,500 per day.  For a healthy, moderate diet only 5% (100 for women) of these calories should come from processed foods.
100 calories is:
  • 10 Jelly Beans
  • 250 mL Regular Soda
  • 1 Small Cookie
  • 5 Chocolate Covered Almonds
  • ⅓ Butter Tart
  • ½ Donut
  • ¼ Commercial Muffin
Ellen then focused on What are the barriers to changing individual behaviour?
The typical Approach to encouraging adults to consume a healthy diet is through educating individuals to make better “choices”.  But this is based on two key assumptions:
  1. Eating behaviours occur as a result of rational and thoughtful choices
  2. Each individual has the capacity to resist tempting food in order to make healthy choices over their lifetime
However, we are learning more about how the brain works when it comes to eating and the choices we make.
Limitations of the Human Condition
The ability to resist (otherwise known as 'willpower') is a finite resource that is housed in the part of the brain that also controls other important mental functions (e.g., planning, learning, processing stress). People are not well equipped to perform more than one task at a time that requires this cognitive energy.  For example, driving is impaired while talking on a cell phone.  When people are tired or are using this part of the brain to another task (such as problem solving or dealing with stress) there are fewer mental resources left over to resist tempting food.  This may help to explain the common phenomenon of eating when stressed.
It is also believed that the brain relies on blood glucose as its energy source.  When people are hungry they have a slight drop in blood glucose.  In this state, people have a lower ability to resist tempting food.  This may explain the common observation that people tend to make more impulsive food decisions in the grocery store when they are hungry.  It also explains the predicament that food manufacturers face, where customers say that they want healthier choices.  However, feedback from food manufacturers suggests that healthy choices don’t sell.  The evidence tells us that consumers have a difficult time acting on their intentions to eat well, but instead give into temptation when hungry.  This is why the current model of offering 'choice' is failing to produce a significant change in eating behaviours.
Children are still developing their cognitive abilities and therefore require even more protection from the influence of the food environment.  When it comes to food, it appears that what isn’t in the food environment may be just as, if not more important, than what is in the food environment.  In order to ratchet down consumption of foods that promote poor health, we must first ratchet down exposure to these foods.
Psychological Factors
We often give ourselves permission to engage in indulgent behaviours when we have performed acts that required a personal effort (such as a tough day at the office).  This is commonly viewed as a balanced approach i.e. making less healthy choices after making healthier ones.  For example:
  •  Many people feel justified in eating something indulgent after being physically active.
  •  Labeling food as "healthy" causes some people to eat more than they normally would.
  •  Some people purchase more indulgent side dishes when they have ordered a healthier entrée item (e.g., ordering a bag of chips with a healthier sandwich).
  •  Some people fail to lose weight when switching to diet soft drinks.  However, drinking diet instead of regular soft drinks did cause weight loss in a group of people that were unaware that they were drinking diet soft drinks.
This approach can be detrimental to long term health because many people overestimate the benefits of their healthy actions, while underestimating the harm done by what they consumed as a reward.
Physical Activity
  • Physical activity cannot make up for the nutrients that are missing in a poor quality diet such as the beneficial health effects of eating vegetables and fruit, whole grains. It also can not eliminate the harm caused by consuming diets high in sodium, added fat and sugar.
  • Participating in physical activity can increase hunger and food related reward seeking behaviours.  As a result, some people compensate for physical activity by eating more food.
  • The amount of physical activity that is required to cause weight loss is more than most people can accomplish.  For example, if a sedentary individual started walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week for one month, this person could expect to lose approximately 0.5 kg. Keep in mind that that currently only 15% of the population manages to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
  • It is true that muscle burns more calories than fat.  However, even adding 10 pounds of muscle (which is quite a feat) would only help to burn an extra 45 calories per day, the equivalent of two coffee creamers.
In summary, physical activity is beneficial for overall health and longevity and is useful for weight maintenance, but it is much easier to avoid eating calories than it is to burn them off through physical activity.
Addressing Physiological Barriers at Home
  • Avoid skipping meals and eat breakfast daily
  • Bring healthy foods home
  • Plan meals and healthy snacks ahead of time
Addressing Physiological Barriers at Work
  • Avoid fundraisers that rely on the sale of unhealthy foods
  • Consider not offering food at meetings
  • Remove candy dishes from work areas
  • Resist the urge to offer home baking and leftover holiday candy to workmates
  • Bring your lunch to work
Addressing Social Influences
  • Think of healthy ways to celebrate
  • Find ways to spend time with friends and family that support healthy habits (e.g., taking a walk together)
  • Reduce the number of occasions that involve less healthy food choices (e.g., celebrating birthdays privately with family and friends  or quarterly in the workplace)
The Bottom Line
  • It is important for everyone to eat a healthy diet and to be physically active
  • One behaviour cannot make up for not doing the other
  • We need to change our environment so that it is easier for people to make healthy choices
  • Increasing exposure to healthy foods where we live, work and play
  • Limiting exposure to less healthy foods
Region of Waterloo Resources:
Workplace Wellness Newsletter:
Healthy Eating Information:
Talk to a Registered Dietitian:
  • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
Ellen Gregg RD, MSc, PhD(c)
Public Health Nutritionist
Region of Waterloo Public Health

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Richard reminded members that our program next week will be an update on the Rotary EndPolio Now Campaign.
Jan 14, 2019
Starting 2019 Off on the Right Nutritious Foot!
Jan 21, 2019
Polio Plus and Rotary Foundation Update
Jan 28, 2019
Strategic Planning Session
Feb 04, 2019
Heathy Hearts!
Feb 11, 2019
Online Auction 2018 Final Report
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robert Bullas
January 2
Karen Redman
January 8
Paul Rostrup
January 8
Bill Proctor
January 9
John English
January 26
Join Date
Al Way
January 1, 1991
28 years
Bill Proctor
January 1, 2000
19 years
Cameron Yule
January 1, 1992
27 years
Carl Zehr
January 1, 1975
44 years
Carol Wiebe
January 1, 1995
24 years
Cheryl Ewing
January 1, 2002
17 years
Dave Martindale
January 1, 1995
24 years
Dave Smith
January 1, 1977
42 years
Ed Fowler
January 1, 1996
23 years
Gary Parker
January 1, 1994
25 years
Jack Ball
January 1, 1962
57 years
JB Moore
January 1, 1993
26 years
John O'Brien
January 1, 1971
48 years
Karen Redman
January 1, 1999
20 years
Ken Seiling
January 1, 1997
22 years
Lew Ford
January 1, 1991
28 years
Mike Pollard
January 1, 1993
26 years
Peter Gray
January 1, 1997
22 years
Robert Bullas
January 1, 1984
35 years
Ross Newkirk
January 1, 1990
29 years
Shawky Fahel
January 1, 1987
32 years
Steve Lubczuk
January 1, 1989
30 years
Wayne Boehler
January 1, 1993
26 years
John English
January 31, 2002
17 years
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.