White house sets hunger conference for Sept. 28
The Biden administration on Monday set a date of Sept. 28 for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C. The conference will be the first of its kind in more than 50 years.
‘Overfed but undernourished’ — Congress is told U.S. in health crisis
Poor-quality diets are driving an expensive epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in America, a panel of physicians, researchers and policy experts told senators on Tuesday, calling for a national strategy to replace the mishmash of federal nutrition programs. "We are on a path to disaster," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Tufts School of Nutrition.
Global glut of palm oil adds to India’s health woes
Rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases have soared in India and other developing countries in recent years, coinciding with a flood of cheap palm oil that is used in everything from processed snacks and fast food to traditional foods like samosas and poori, according to the latest story from FERN, published with The Nation. No paywall
The ‘Commod Bod’ and USDA’s box-o-food program
There are federal predecessors to the Trump administration's "Harvest Box" proposal, to provide half of food-stamp benefits in the form of a box of processed and packaged foods, says the NPR blog The Salt. "Among those horrified at the thought: American Indians who recognized this as the same type of federal food assistance that tribes have received for decades, with devastating implications for health."
Physical activity, more than diet, keeps the pounds from coming back
A study of 14 participants in the "Biggest Loser" TV show indicates that plenty of physical activity — "much more of it than public health guidelines suggest — is the key to preventing weight gain after significant weight loss, says the New York Times. "On average, those who managed to maintain a significant weight loss had 80 minutes a day of moderate activity, like walking, or 35 minutes a day of vigorous exercise, like running."
Does gum acacia count as fiber? The FDA will soon decide.
The FDA is assessing whether 26 ingredients count as fiber on nutrition facts labels. “If you're a nutrition-label reader, the list includes some familiar-ish sounding ingredients — such as inulin, which is often sourced from chicory root,” says NPR. “Other ingredients on the 'do-these-count-as-fiber?' list include gum acacia, bamboo fiber, retrograded corn starch, and — get ready for the tongue-twister — xylooligosaccharides. Some of these fibers are extracted from plant sources, while others are synthetic.”
Child obesity soared worldwide in two generations
Some 124 million boys and girls around the world are obese, putting the children at risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, said a team of researchers in the journal The Lancet. Obesity rates among youths ages 5-19 years are eight times higher today than they were in 1975 and exceed 20 percent in nations including the United States.
Jacobson to step down after 44 years at CSPI
After 44 years as president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Michael Jacobson is stepping down. During his long tenure, Jacobson not only helped develop nutrition labels, he “has also had a hand in halting the marketing of many sugar-filled foods to children, reducing salt levels in packaged foods, and banning transfats,” says NPR.
Who eats fast food? Everybody, but middle-income earners especially.
Fast food regularly is blamed for contributing to rising obesity rates because it is typically high in fat and salt, says CNN’s The Conversation. And because it’s relatively inexpensive, poor people get the rap of eating too much fast food, though research shows all income groups enjoy a …
Once again, judges say Philadelphia’s soda tax is legal
With judges split 5-2, the Pennsylvania Comonwealth Court upheld Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, the second win in court by the city, said Philadelphia Magazine. "Still, the ruling doesn’t conclude the soda tax war," said the magazine, because the American Beverage Association and local businesses could appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Ten percent of world population now obese, says study
Ten percent of the world’s population is now obese, and obesity levels are rising even in countries previously known for food scarcity, says a study designed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Pediatrics group says kids and fruit juice don’t mix
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that far from being a healthy drink, "Fruit juice has no essential role in healthy, balanced diets of children." American children between the ages of 2 and 18 consume almost half their fruit intake in the form of juice, but doctors warn that has to stop.
Fewer Americans say they eat healthy — lowest rating in eight years
Slightly more than 63 percent of Americans surveyed by Gallup last year said they have healthy diets. The figure, based on more than 177,000 interviews as part of a Gallup project with Sharecare, was the lowest since the project began in 2008 and was the sixth year in a row of a decline from the peak of 67.7 percent in 2010.
Lopsided defeat in Santa Fe for 2-cent soda tax; on to Seattle
By nearly a 3-to-2 margin, voters in Santa Fe rejected a tax on sugary beverages in a referendum that attracted millions of dollars in outside spending. The results were a boost for the soft drink industry and may turn attention to Seattle, where Mayor Ed Murray has proposed a 1.75-cent an …
Berkeley soda tax hasn’t been bad for business
The nation’s first soda tax, Berkeley, California’s one-cent-per-ounce levy, hasn’t impacted retail businesses, but it has reduced soda purchases by 9.6 percent, says a new study by the University of North Carolina.
Foes tell judges that Philadelphia soda tax is illegal
Opponents of Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages, who lost last year in Common Pleas court, asked the Commonwealth Court to overturn the levy as a form of double taxation, said the Associated Press. In arguments before a seven-judge panel, attorney Chip Becker said the state already imposes a sales tax on soda so the city is barred by law from taxing it too.
The war on sugar: ‘our latest dietary enemy No. 1’
The drive for healthy diets has targeted over-consumption and excess fat in food. "Now, there's a fuill-on war on sugar," says Vox, laying out why the subject is more complicated than it first appears and offering "11 facts to clear up the confusion."
Foundation donates to Philly in fight against soda companies
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation donated $500,000 to the city of Philadelphia to fight the beverage industry, which sued after voters passed a soda tax last November, says Philadelphia Business Journal.