Tips & Info

6 Weeks to a Healthier You: Session 5 FAQs

Note: During the 6 Weeks to a Healthier You program, participants can submit questions on topics that were not addressed during the session or to ask for clarification. Each week, we will compile Joe Piscatella’s responses to these questions and make them available online.


Food & Nutrition

Question: I had question pertaining to added sugar to food. Joe provided the types of added sugars to food. I did not see alcohol sugar in the list. How does alcohol sugar compare to other added sugars?

Answer: Sugar alcohols are a type of reduced calorie sweetener-not to be confused with the naturally occurring sugars in alcoholic beverages. You will find alcohol sugars in many items that are labeled as “sugar-free” like sugar-free ice cream, candy, or gum. Sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar, but unlike artificial sweeteners, they do contain calories. These types of sugar alcohols will sweeten foods while reducing calories of items made with other sugar types, but as a rule of thumb, I suggest checking the fat content on the package too. Sometimes products with sugar alcohols are higher in fat to compensate for less calories coming from sugar (just like the fat-free baked goods often have more sugar to compensate for the lower fat content). There are no known health risks caused by consuming these sugars, so to me, it all comes down to taste. If it tastes just as good, then enjoy the item with sugar alcohols, but still watch how much you consume. Just because it’s lower in calories doesn’t mean you can eat additional servings. You can learn more about sugar alcohols and their various names at the American Diabetes page here:


Question: Would it be possible to get the actual recipes that Megan Ellison referred to in her presentation? I wasn’t able to jot down everything quickly enough.

Answer: Yes, we have included Megan’s recipes for moo-shu chicken, quesadillas, and garden potatoes. We also included one of Megan’s recipes using quinoa, which is a quick-cooking seed that Megan mentioned in her talk.



Question: I have a question on the statistic Joe shared about the influence of a parent’s activity on children. According to his presentation, the child of an active mom was 2 times more likely to be active, having an active dad meant the child was 3.5 times as likely to be active, and if both parents were active the child was 6 times as likely to be active. Does the gender of the child matter? In other words, is a daughter more or less likely to be influenced by her mother vs. father?

Answer: The widely-cited study that I referenced was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, and the parent’s impact was found to be consistent regardless of the child’s gender. Historically, research has shown that boys are typically more physically active than girls, but that gap has narrowed over the years as activity levels have decreased for both genders. For example, in Snohomish County only 23% of all youth are getting the recommended 60 minutes of activity per day.


Did you miss a week’s FAQs?  View past questions and answers by following the links below: