Vacancy at the top of USDA as Perdue gains a full-time deputy for nutrition

After two years with a title that suggested he was a placeholder, Brandon Lipps formally became deputy undersecretary for nutrition at the Agriculture Department on Monday. The Trump administration has not filled the top nutrition post at USDA, so Lipps will continue to run programs such as SNAP and school lunch, as he has since July 2017.

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

Homes or gardens? Tension rises between developers and urban farmers.

In recent years, vacant land in cities across the country has been colonized by community gardens, giving the often-poor residents access to fresh produce. Now, though, developers of affordable housing are targeting those same empty lots, putting them at odds with the gardeners in communities that need both housing and fresh food, reports FERN's latest story, published with NPR's The Salt. No paywall

USDA report: Americans eat healthier at home, then indulge elsewhere

Americans are more likely to bare their sweet tooth at the restaurant or take-out stand while controlling it at home, say two researchers who looked at the ability of dietary advice to counter the “indulgence effect.” As they gain knowledge about healthful diets, people buy …

USDA will name a ‘chief integrity officer’ for public nutrition

The USDA’s senior nutrition official, Brandon Lipps, announced an enhanced focus on program integrity for the agency’s 15 public nutrition programs, which include SNAP, school meals, and WIC.

Strong public support for menu labeling and Nutrition Facts

Four out of five Americans support the federal requirement that chain restaurants list calorie counts on their menus. An even larger majority — 87 percent — say the Nutrition Facts label is useful, said the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest.

House passes ‘pizza exemption’ from menu-labeling law

On a mostly party-line vote, the House passed a bill that exempts restaurant chains from the menu-labeling law if at least 50 percent of their sales are made off-premises. The bill was then sent to the Senate. Critics such as the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the legislation, titled the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, is a favor to the pizza industry, the leading advocate for the bill.

Few states offer work programs for people at risk of losing food stamp benefits

Stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients, particularly able-bodied adults, “can increase earnings and training,” but they can also mean a loss of benefits for people who can’t find a job, says a USDA report. Only five states currently guarantee a slot in a job-training or workfare program to able-bodied adults who are jobless and at risk of losing their benefits.

Study finds obesity may be contagious

Two researchers who studied Army families say that those assigned to communities with higher rates of obesity were more likely to be overweight or obese than those assigned to bases where obesity was less common.