Posts made in February 2019

Don’t ‘sleep in’ on Saturday or Sunday

March 1, 2019

Wake up, America! A study conducted at the University of Colorado–Boulder has found that trying to catch up on shut-eye over the weekend may not be such a good idea—for either your waistline or your health, CNN reported on February 28.

“Weekend catch-up sleep is not protective,” Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky, director of Sleep Research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the cable news network, adding, “The bottom line of this study is that even if you sleep longer on weekends, if you continue to sleep poorly, you will still eat too much, and you will still gain weight.”

Study author Kenneth Wright, Jr., who directs the Sleep Lab at the UC-Boulder, agrees. “Sleeping in on weekend doesn’t correct the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar, if that weekend is followed by a workweek or [a]school week full of insufficient sleep,” he told CNN.

The study by Wright and his colleagues—published in the journal Current Biology—assigned 36 healthy young men and women to three groups that prescribed different sleep requirements over a total of 10 days. None of the participants had newborns in the home or any health impairments that would affect the quality of their sleep.

The first group had the opportunity to sleep for nine hours each night for the 10 days. The second group was restricted to only five hours of sleep a night for the same duration, while the third was restricted to five hours Monday through Friday but allowed to sleep as long as they wanted on the weekend and go to bed as early as they liked on Sunday night. Come Monday, that third group was put back on the deprived sleep schedule of only five hours a night.

Both of the sleep-deprived groups snacked more after dinner and gained weight during the study—men, much more than women, CNN reports. The sleep-deprived men showed an overall 2.8% increase in their weight, while women’s body size went up by only 1.1%. By comparison, men who slept in on the weekend showed a 3% increase in weight, while women’s body size went up 0.05%

Gaining weight while sleep-deprived isn’t surprising, Wright said. “One of the things we and others have found in the past is that when people don’t sleep enough, they tend to eat more, partly because their body is burning more calories. But what happens is that people eat more than they need and therefore gain weight.

That could be in part, Polotsky told the news outlet, because hunger hormones are affected by a chronic lack of sleep. “The hormone leptin decreases appetite, while the hormone ghrelin increases appetite,” explained Polotsky, who was not involved in the study. “We know from previous research that sleep deprivation causes leptin to drop and ghrelin to rise, so you’re hungry.”

What was surprising to the researchers is what happened to the group who slept in on the weekends. “Even though people slept as much as they could, it was insufficient,” Wright said. “As soon as they went back to the short sleep schedules on Monday, their ability of their body to regulate blood sugar was impaired.”

Why? One of the reasons the weekend group may have been more affected is because their circadian rhythm, or biological clock, had been altered, depriving the body of certain hormones.

“If you catch up during weekends, you habitually eat later, because the circadian clock is shifting,” Polotsky said. “Add in after-dinner snacks; the sleep-deprived eat much more after dinner, as well.”

Not only that, but the weekend recovery group showed increased sensitivity to insulin in both their muscles and their livers, a result not found in the second group on restricted sleep. That’s important, Wright explained to CNN, because the muscle and liver are two of the most important tissues that take up blood sugar after eating.

“That helps us understand why is it that when we don’t get enough sleep, we have an increased risk for things like diabetes,” he added, because “short, insufficient sleep schedules will lead to an inability to regulate blood sugar and increases the risk of metabolic disease in the long term.”

Metabolic syndrome is an array of symptoms such as fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure—all of which can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“And when we go back to getting too little sleep again,” Wright told CNN, “we’re doing things that could be negative for our health long-term.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least seven hours of sleep each night for adults and much more for children.

Research contact: kenneth.wright@colorado.edu

Martha Stewart signs on with Canopy to ‘cook up’ a new line of CBD products

March 1, 2019

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is going to pot, literally. She has signed on as an adviser to Canada-based marijuana producer Canopy Growth—agreeing to help develop and launch a line of pot-based products for both humans and animals, Reuters reported on February 28.

For 77-year-old Stewart—who has worked as a model, a stockbroker, a cookbook developer, a magazine editor, and a television star—this is simply another transition. And it’s one that she welcomes.

She famously has said: “Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success.”

The deal between Canopy and Sequential Brands Group, which owns the Martha Stewart brand, will seek to leverage Stewart’s mastery of consumer branding to launch a line of products based on CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.

Sequential’s shares surged 51% to $1.81 in early trading.

“I’m especially looking forward to our first collaboration together, which will offer sensible products for people’s beloved pets,” Stewart commented on the deal.

In Canada, where both pot and CBD are legal for recreational use, cannabis companies have been pouring cash into their businesses—both to fend off competition and develop new products

According to Reuters, Canopy also has announced plans to invest between $100 million and $150 million in a hemp industrial park in New York State. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved edible CBD; nor has New York State.

But word is, both approvals may be coming soon.

Research contact: @MarthaStewart

Trump cuts Kim summit short, with no agreement on denuclearization

March 1, 2019

“We are gonna win, win, win. We’re going to win with military, we’re going to win at the borders, we’re going to win with trade, we’re going to win at everything”—has just lost ground in his negotiations with Leader Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

Trump arrived in Vietnam this week entertaining high hopes that he and Kim would strike a deal on denuclearization. Such a pact would have positioned the president firmly in the winners’ circle among global leaders following a long-term standoff with the Asian military state.

But it didn’t happen: The second U.S.-NoKo summit in a year (following a June 2018 meeting in Singapore) ended without any agreement on February 28, The Hill reported.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. “This was just one of those times.”

Accord to The Hill’s report, Trump said the sticking point was sanctions, which Kim wanted lifted before taking all of the steps towards transparency that the United States was asking of him.

“It was about the sanctions,” Trump said at the media event. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”

Nonetheless, Trump said the summit was “very productive.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the two leaders “discussed various ways to advance denuclearization and economic driven concepts.”

“No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future,” she added.

The lack of any tangible results could give fodder to critics who have accused Trump of holding summits with Kim that are nothing more than photo ops that boost the legitimacy of the North Korean dictator, the political news outlet noted.

The summit included a one-on-one meeting and dinner Wednesday night, followed by a one-on-one meeting and meeting with aides Thursday.

Signs that no agreement was within reach became clearer, The Hill reported,  a half-hour after a working lunch was supposed to start when the White House told reporters the summit would end earlier than expected. The schedule originally called for the lunch and a ceremony to sign a joint agreement, both of which were abruptly scrapped.

At the start of Thursday meeting, Kim said he was not “pessimistic” about the ability to reach a deal and that he had a “feeling that good results would come out” of the summit.

The stand-down couldn’t have come on a worse day politically for Trump, whose former “fixer” and personal attorney Michael Cohen took the opportunity to “correct the record” before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform simultaneously with the summit—calling Trump “a racist, a conman, and a thief” during nearly a full day of testimony.

“He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!” Trump tweeted, referring to Cohen adviser Lanny Davis, who once worked for former President Clinton.

Research contact: @rebecca_h_k

Cedars-Sinai taps Alexa for smart hospital room pilot

February 28, 2019

Patience is not a virtue when you are a hospital patient seeking medical assistance. In fact, waiting too long for a nurse to respond after you’ve pushed the “hot button” can, in the worst cases, be the death of you.

Now, a pilot program underway in more than 100 patient rooms at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles is enabling patients to use an Alexa-powered platform known as Aiva to interact hands-free with nurses. Aiva is described as “the world’s first patient-centered voice assistant platform for hospitals.”

In the pilot project, patient rooms are equipped with Amazon Echos and patients simply tell the device what they need. For example A patient who needs assistance getting out of bed might say, “Alexa, tell my nurse I need to get up to use the restroom.”

The patient’s request is routed to the mobile phone of the appropriate caregiver—a nurse, clinical partner, manager, or administrator. A pain medicine request would be routed to a registered nurse, for example, while a bathroom request would be routed to a clinical partner. If the request is not answered in a timely manner, the Aiva platform sends it up the chain of command.

In addition, patients can use the voice-powered assistant to turn the TV off and on, and change channels, by giving verbal commands such as, “Alexa, change the channel to ESPN.”

“Whereas previously nurses were frequently asked to help with the in-room television, Alexa does that job for us, allowing nurses to focus on providing the highest level of patient care,” said Golda Morales, assistant nurse manager of General Surgery.

In addition to interaction with the patient’s healthcare team, the devices at Cedars-Sinai include standard Alexa features, allowing patients to feel more connected to the outside world. Currently, the most common request is for the device to play music, followed by content like weather, sports and games.

Abdominal surgery patient Adrienne Edwards was one of the early users of Alexa. “It rocks,” Edwards said. “I was lonely in the hospital and I said, ‘Alexa, would you be my friend?’ The device responded, ‘Of course we could be friends. You seem very nice.'”

Peachy Hain, Cedars-Sinai’s executive director of Medical and Surgical Services, was one of the driving forces behind bringing Alexa to patient rooms.

“Patients young and old are now used to voice-activated devices in their homes. Since it’s familiar to them, it helps enhance their hospital experience,” said Hain. “In the hospital, patients have little to distract them from pain or loneliness.”

Cedars-Sinai and Aiva are moving patient interaction into the 21st century, when hospital rooms will need more intelligence and convenience to accommodate changing patient needs.

“Smart rooms are all about improving satisfaction for both patients and nurses,” said Aiva CEO Sumeet Bhatia. “Cedars-Sinai and Aiva are giving patients more entertainment options, more control over their environment, and closer communication with their care team.”

The Alexa program joins innovations such as the MyChart bedside app and Cedars-Sinai’s iPad project in modernizing patient communications at Cedars-Sinai. More than 250 tablets equipped with the MyChart bedside app are now available for hospitalized patients, who can use the app to check their medical record information, including lab results, as well as the names and photos of their care team.

Research contact: groupresearch@cshs.org

A racist, a con man, and a cheat: Michael Cohen characterizes Donald Trump in House testimony

February 28, 2019

President Donald Trump’s former “fixer” and personal attorney Michael Cohen appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on February 27 to “correct the record.”

In the process, Cohen characterized his former boss as “a racist, a con man, and a cheat”—and said he regretted his loyalty to the man for whom he had worked for ten years.

Cohen admitted last year that he lied to the House Intelligence Committee in his September 2017 testimony about his machinations on behalf of the Trump Organization.

Specifically, he misrepresented facts about the timing of his negotiations with the Kremlin for a Moscow Trump Tower; as well as about Trump’s relationships with Felix Sater and Roger Stone, who are targets of the Russia investigation; about a “massive dump” of Democratic National Committee emails; and about payoffs to Trump’s paramours.

Cohen also said that he was in the room both when Stone told Trump via speaker phone that the email dump was coming shortly; and when Donald Trump, Jr., told his father that he had confirmed the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that would provide “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

“I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience,” Cohen said in his own opening statement. adding, “ I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.

Cohen admitted, “Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates. In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell  me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie. There were at least a half-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me ‘How’s it going in Russia?’– referring to the Moscow Tower project.”

He added, “You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.”

In discussing his career at the Trump Organization, Cohen said, “At first, I worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings. Over time, I saw his true character revealed.”

Among the tidbits that he dropped about the president’s character during his testimony are the following:

  • “Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great,” Cohen testified. “He had no desire or intention to lead this nation—only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the ‘greatest infomercial in political history.’”
  • While Cohen was in a limousine with Trump, driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, Trump commented that only black people could live that way. “And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid,” Cohen said.
  • Trump directed Cohen to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. “Mr. Trump [then] directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself,” Cohen said.
  • Trump directed Cohen “to call business owners, many of whom were small businesses, that were owed money for their services and [tell] them no payment or a reduced payment would be coming. When I advised Mr. Trump of my success, he actually reveled in it.”
  • “He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly—and she did not deserve that,” Cohen said.
  • Trump tasked Cohen with handling the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft. “Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery,” Cohen remarked. “He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters, but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. He finished the conversation with the following comment. ‘You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.’

Cohen was reviled by the Republican members of the committee, who said they wondered why they were listening to additional testimony from a convicted liar who would be going to prison soon.

In addition to apologizing for his lies, Cohen stated, “I am not a perfect man. I have done things I am not proud of, and I will live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life. But today, I get to decide the example I set for my children and how I attempt to change how history will remember me. I may not be able to change the past, but I can do right by the American people here today.”

Research contact: @RepCummings

French fries are the #1 vegetable consumed by toddlers

February 28, 2019

More than one-quarter (27%) of toddlers do not eat a single serving of vegetables a day, according to the latest findings from the Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS).

Among the young children who do, French fries are the number-one vegetable consumed, based on the research results—which has been published in a series of eight papers by the Journal of Nutrition, a publication of the American Society for Nutrition.

The study—which was launched in 2002 by the baby food brand Gerber and now is conducted by the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland—involved interviews with nearly 10,000 parents and caregivers of infants, toddlers and preschools nationwide in the United States.

The researchers found that food choices tend to change and more nutrient gaps appear after a child’s first birthday, when most begin eating more family foods. By age two, many children have established taste preferences and eating habits that will last a lifetime, which is why pediatricians and public health experts urge parents to help their children set healthy eating behaviors early.

Other new FITS findings reveal that troubling nutrient shortfalls start early and many young children consume sweets and excess sodium:

  • Iron: The percentage of infants between the ages of six months old and one year old who do not consume the recommended amount of iron increased from 7.5% in 2002 to 18% in 2016. Iron is a critical nutrient to support learning ability and brain development. Beef and iron-fortified cereals are excellent sources of iron.
  • Vitamin D: Fewer than 25% of infants get the recommended amount of vitamin D, which the body needs for strong bones and teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a daily vitamin D supplement for infants who are exclusively breastfed or receive less than a liter of infant formula per day. Similarly, about 80% of one- to three-year-old childen fall short on vitamin D. Milk and yogurt are good food sources of vitamin D.
  • Fiber: Fewer than 10% of children between the ages of 12 months and 48 months get adequate amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lentils and beans.
  • Sodium: Fully 40% of 1-year-olds and 70% to 75% of two- to three-year-olds exceed the upper limit for sodium. Processed meats such as hot dogs, lunch meat, sausage, and bacon are leading sources of sodium among young children.  These foods also contribute saturated fat to their diets.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: About 10% of infants (between six months and one year old), 30% of one-year-olds, and 45% two- to three-year-olds drink sugar-sweetened beverages on a given day, with fruit flavored drinks being the most common.

“Good nutrition during a child’s early years is particularly critical because it sets the stage for healthy eating throughout life,” said Wendy Johnson, VP of, Nutrition, Health and Wellness for Nestlé USA, in a company release. “Exposing young children to a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and a variety of foods and flavors, is important as children are forming their tastes and eating habits for life.”

Research contact: joshua.morton@us.nestle.com

Passion or performance art? Body language experts decipher sensual Oscars duet

February 24, 2019

Is it passion or just a performance? That’s what the worldwide audience wondered as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed a steamy duet of the song, “Shallow,” from their blockbuster movie, A Star Is Born, at the Oscars on February 21.

And, as Brie Schwartz, deputy editor of Oprahmag.com, commented, “Thanks to their clear, err, comfort levels with each other, everyone … has speculated that there’s been an off-screen relationship brewing as well—regardless of how unfair those rumors are to Cooper’s girlfriend, Irina Shayk.

So Schwartz asked two body language experts to weigh in on photos of their performance for an exclusive Oprah report.

What struck Atlanta-based body language expert Patti Wood  was their extended, atypical, unbroken eye contact.

Sure, it was a carefully choreographed performance, but Wood told Oprahmag.com, “This mutual gaze was a “longing to touch” or a “pre-coitus” stare. “That’s why everybody went crazy watching it!” Yep. Felt that.

Blanca Cobb, a body language expert based in Greensboro, North Carolina, agreed, telling Schwartz that the chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper was as palpable at the Oscars as it is in the film. “When they look at each other it’s as if they’re looking into each other’s souls,” she says.

The duet—which was recognized during the awards ceremony as best original song of the year— set the stage for their characters’ romance in the movie..

What makes their real life chemistry even hotter than their characters’, however, is Cooper and Gaga’s connection. Their interactions are tender, sweet,” Cobb explains.

She adds, “Their physical closeness and touches during their Oscars performance screams attraction.”

Also of note? The moment Gaga clutched her womb while Cooper was singing to her. “The stomach touch showed that Gaga felt a moment of vulnerability,” Cobb told Oprahmag.com, adding, “Almost as if to calm the proverbial ‘butterflies in your stomach.’”

But of course, if they could simulate passion for the film, they also were capable of appearing ready for some action on the Oscars stage.

“To determine if they’ll turn into a real life love story, you’re better off watching their interactions when they’re not on-camera,” Cobb shares.

Take, for example, the way Cooper grasped her hand as he walked her off stage following their epic song.

“In multiple photos and joint appearances, Cooper and Gaga are not only vocal about their friendship and fondness for each other, but also they tend to show this closeness through touch,” explains Cobb. “Here, their hands are clasped in a less-romantic way, as indicated by the fact their palms are touching without their fingers interlacing, like a parent would lead a child.”

But then, you can also see the way he “puts his arm around her and brings her close to him,” when he thinks no one is paying attention, which suggests they’re more than just “buds.”

Of course, Schwartz reports, “only time will tell if Cooper and Gaga collaborate again (and by collaborate, we mean start dating). But for now, we can say with certainty that while there might have been 3,400 people at the Dolby Theater … for Gaga and Cooper, it seemed there were only two.”

Research contact: @BrieSchwartz

Ethisphere recognizes ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2019’

February 24, 2019

Ethics seem to be in short supply lately—in government, in business, and in personal relationships. So, it’s refreshing to discover that an entity has been honored for being ethical—let alone 128 organizations representing 21 countries and 50 industries.

However, on February 23, Ethisphere—a  Scottsdale, Arizona-based institute that has been publicly recognizing companies that excel in and promote best practices in corporate ethics since 2007—announced its choices for the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

The list includes 16 first-time honorees and eight organizations that have been named to the list every year since 2007.

The companies on the list have met rigorous criteria across five categories covering the quality of their ethics and compliance program, organizational culture, corporate citizenship and responsibility, governance, and leadership and reputation.

More than ever, the data from the process shows global companies stepping up to advance society and addressing issues like diversity and inclusion, supporting the rule of law, and advancing human rights.

“Today employees, consumers and stakeholders value companies that show both a commitment to business integrity, and also have the organizational humility to never stop seeking improvement,” said Ethisphere CEO Timothy Erblich. “We congratulate all honorees for making our world a better place by blending profit and purpose in a meaningful way.”

The full list of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies—from AARP, Accenture, and Aflac  through Wipro, WPS Health Solutions, and Wyndham Hotels—can be found at https://worldsmostethicalcompanies.com/honorees

Research contact: @Ethisphere

House chairs to AG Barr: Trump is ‘not above the law’ and Mueller report should be public

February 24, 2019

On February 22, the chairs of six House committees wrote to newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General William Barr to inform him of their expectation that he will make Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report public “without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.” The letter follows news reports that suggest the Special Counsel investigation is nearing an end.

The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Committee on Financial Services Chairperson Maxine Waters, Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel.

“As you know,” they said, “Department of Justice regulations require that, ‘[a]t the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.’”

The American people, they said, have a right to see the findings—noting, “After nearly two years of investigation—accompanied by two years of direct attacks on the integrity of the investigation by the President—the public is entitled to know what the Special Counsel has found.  We write to you to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you—without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

In addition, they said, there is “significant public interest” in the full disclosure of information learned by the Special Counsel about the nature and scope of the Russian government’s efforts to undermine our democracy.

Therefore, “…[if] the Department believes that certain aspects of the report are not suitable for immediate public release, we ask that you provide that information to Congress, along with your reasoning for withholding the information from the public, in order for us to judge the appropriateness of any redactions for ourselves.”

Specifically addressing comments by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concerning the agency’s reluctance to release materials on individuals who are not under indictment, the committee chairpersons wrote, “Finally, although we recognize the policy of the Department to remain sensitive to the privacy and reputation interests of individuals who will not face criminal charges, we feel that it is necessary to address the particular danger of withholding evidence of misconduct by President Trump from the relevant committees.”

They concluded with a strong demand—stating that, “If the Special Counsel has reason to believe that the President has engaged in criminal or other serious misconduct, then the President must be subject to accountability either in a court or to the Congress.

“But because the Department has taken the position that a sitting President is immune from indictment and prosecution,” the chairpersons said, “Congress could be the only institution currently situated to act on evidence of the President’s misconduct.  To maintain that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and then to withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress because the President will not be charged, is to convert Department policy into the means for a cover-up.  The President is not above the law.”

Research contact: @HouseIntel

Interior designer offers prefab “room in a box” concept

February 25, 2019

Today, everything—from underwear to eyeglasses to hair growth plans to meals—is being marketed in boxes that are available online by subscription. Now, eminent interior designer Leta Austin Foster is capitalizing on the same trend.

Foster announced on February 21 that her studio—based in both New York City and Palm Beach—has begun offering an innovative “room in a box” concept called PREtty FABulous Rooms (PREFAB).

According to her release, “The room for purchase movement and the ability to use online design services when ordering a sofa or table have been taken to the next level with Foster’s concept. She produces fully furnished rooms that include details and finishes available in custom interior design work.”

Each finished room comprises American-made furniture and beautiful fabrics from top brands such as Quadrille and Sister Parish, with accents from Oomph and Mecox Gardens, and carpets by Stark to complete the look. Designs may include a mix of cherished antiques, vintage finds, or modern elements to express a client’s personal style. Floor plans and installation are provided.

This is how the PREFAB concept works: Upon inquiry, the client supplies dimensions of their space. The PREFAB team produces a floor plan and advises on any needed additions, such as blinds or another sofa. The client clears the space to provide an empty room prior to installation, and the completely furnished room is then delivered by truck anywhere in the nation via white glove service. All currently available rooms may be viewed and purchased on the website at prettyfabulousrooms.com.

Research contact: info@prettyfabulousrooms.com