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Junk Food Banned From Schools, But Will It Help Fight Obesity?

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 31 comments

The USDA just banned the sale of junk foods in schools, but will the new approach lead to healthier eating, or just result in lost revenue for the schools? More

American Medical Association Classifies Obesity as a Disease

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 7 comments

The American Medical Association is an extensive network of doctors and medical students that sets "standards and policy for the medical profession." Though they have no legal jurisdiction, the group is influential in its decision-making. This week they made headlines by joining many other health and policy organizations in recognizing obesity as a disease . More

McDonald's May Be Sued by Nutrition Watchdog Over Happy Meal Toys

Leah Douglas 33 comments

Though it's been quite a while since my last Happy Meal, McDonald's still uses this promotional mechanism to advertise new movies, TV shows, or brands to millions of eager young eyes across the country. But the Center for Science in the Public Interest is not buying it. In light of heightened and serious concerns about national childhood obesity levels, the CSPI has said that they will sue the mega-corporation if it does not stop using toys as a marketing tool targeting young consumers. More

Data Visualization: Food Consumption and Obesity Maps

Erin Zimmer 19 comments

[Maps: Daily Yonder] Daily Yonder, a blog devoted to rural American goings-on, created these fascinating maps about eating habits across the country using the USDA's Food Environment Atlas. It's hard to simplify the data into clear, absolute terms, but in most cases, the higher the fruit and vegetable consumption, the lower the obesity rate. Whoa Colorado, you are a pretty skinny state! Here are just two of the many maps Daily Yonder shares relating to food and health. [via Ezra Klein and @gastropoda] Related Data Visualization: Subway Locations in the U.S. Data Visualization: Distances to Nearest McDonald's Data Visualization: Soda vs. Pop vs. Whatever... More

Fast Food Near Schools Increases Student Obesity

Robyn Lee 9 comments

Researchers from UC Berkeley and Columbia University have found that "Teens who attend classes within one-tenth of a mile of a fast-food outlet are more likely to be obese" than students whose schools are father away from fast-food outlets, the Los Angeles Times reports.... More

Should Children's Books Discuss Childhood Obesity?

Erin Zimmer 13 comments

Amazon.com The New York Times recently devoted the Books section to children's books, with one piece focusing on those that discuss childhood obesity. In Bebe Moore Campbell's I Get So Hungry, the protagonist Nicky gets teased at school. "Nicky Thicky." Her mom says she comes from a lineage of big-boned women. Her curious relationship with food climaxes when her teacher, Mrs. Patterson, must be hospitalized for her obesity. The moral is that kids are influenced by eating patterns, especially emotional eating, and need guidance from adults as to what's "healthy." About a third of kids in the country are overweight, and according to the article, about half of New York City's public elementary school kids are overweight. Though children... More

Free Cookbooks for 11-Year Olds in England

Robyn Lee 1 comment

As part of a school program to battle obesity, 11-year olds in England are eligible to receive a free cookbook with basic recipes chosen by the public, including beef curry, minestrone, and apple crumble. You can access all the recipes at Teachernet. By 2011, food technology lessons will be required for 11 to 14-year olds.... More

McDonald's Diet: Man Gets McFit with Salads and Snack Wraps

Fast Food Hannah Howard 4 comments

Chris Coleson, before and after his diet. inRich.com It's an oft-told tale: guy eats copious McDonald's fare—guy gets fat. Chris Coleson, a Richmond, Virginia businessman, has a different story to tell. He told his wife "I could lose weight eating anywhere." He chose Mickey D's. According to AdAge.com, he has lost 86 pounds since last December on an apple-walnut salad, snack wrap, and cheeseburger diet. His cholesterol is down, too. In recognition of his achievement, he replaced his "OLDNFAT" license plate to one which reads "MCFIT." He'll appear on Good Morning America later this week to ballyhoo his weight loss saga. The Golden Arches and our mighty obesity epidemic are faithful accomplices, or so we are told ad nauseam. A... More

Density of Fast Food Joints Affects Obesity Rates

Fast Food Adam Kuban 11 comments

File under newsflash: University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that counties with a higher concentration of fast food joints also have higher obesity rates: "We found that there was an association between the amount of full-service restaurants (with waiters) in the county one lives in and a lower risk of obesity,' said Neil Mehta of the University of Pennsylvania."Conversely, we found that the increase in the number and the amount of fast food restaurants was associated with an increase in obesity,' he added in an interview." [via Word of Mouth]... More

In the News: Video Games Fight Obesity; The World Likes to Blame Fast Food

Gordon Mark Post a comment

PepsiCo uses video games to curb childhood obesity in Mexico. The game helps educate kids on eating healthy. [The Guardian] Well, blimey! The U.K. loves fast food more than the U.S. does. A poll of 9,000 people in 13 countries shows different views toward food and weight. [BBC] Starbucks stock has fallen to its lowest in 17 months. This is after Bear Stearns lowered the coffee giant's stock rating yesterday in response to the high cost of food and a drop in customer visits. [Bloomberg] Harold McGee answers all our burning questions about heat in the kitchen. His article helps readers understand the use of heat in the kitchen and how it's applied to what's being cooked. [New York... More

The Fat Germ: The Thin Friend Solution (Not)

Ed Levine 9 comments

Having struggled with a weight problem my entire life, I paid particular attention to the news that being fat may be a function of a germ-like phenomena passed around my rotund circle of friends. I used to blame my parents, may they rest in peace, for passing on their fat genes to me. Now it turns out my weight struggles aren't all their fault. The fat germ, as I'm calling it, turns out to be spread among friends, according to a just-published study. The New York Times says: If the new research is correct, it may say that something in the environment seeded what some call an obesity epidemic, making a few people gain weight. Then social networks let the... More

Are Fat Chefs Going the Way of the Dodo?

Lia Bulaong 3 comments

According to both the British Culinary Federation and the Master Chefs of Britain, chefs in the UK are becoming thinner—there's apparently been a 75 percent drop in chef obesity over the past 20 years! Gordon Ramsay thinks he knows why: "Running a kitchen is like running a marathon," he says. "It demands stamina and the ability to pace yourself. Being on your feet for 18 hours a day requires a level of fitness and strength that doesn't work well with excess weight. Most chefs rarely sit down for a square meal: you don't want to start service weighed down by a heavy dinner." Fat or skinny, I don't really care—just make me something delicious to eat! (Oh, and please... More

Chain Restaurants and X-Treme Eating

Lia Bulaong Post a comment

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is pointing the finger at chain restaurants for the proliferation of X-treme Eating: "[The Cheesecake Factory's] Chris' Outrageous Chocolate Cake combines brownie, pie, and cheesecake into 1,380-calorie pudding. The CPSI says this is "the equivalent of eating two [McDonald's] Quarter Pounders plus a large fries - for dessert". "Since those chains make almost zero nutrition information available on menus, their customers don't have a clue that they might be getting a whole day's worth of calories in a single dish, or several days' worth in the whole meal," the centre says." One item mentioned in their press release is Uno Chicago Grill's Pizza Skins, but come on, if the menu says "We... More

Are We Too Mean To Fat People?

Nathalie Jordi Post a comment

Rebecca Puhl thinks so: "93% of HR professionals would choose to hire a ‘normal weight’ person over an identically-qualified obese applicant ... "... More

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