Reading List: New Coke Calorie Labels, Candy Linked to Violence & More

by in Food News, October 2, 2009

In this week’s nutrition news: A healthy-eating kids book hits the market, one study finds an interesting link between candy and violent behavior and would you change your lifestyle if you could make money doing it?

Can’t Miss It: Coke’s Nutrition Info Makeover
When a bottle of soda might contain 2.5 suggested servings, figuring out how many calories you’re getting can be confusing. Coca-Cola has decided to make it easier by displaying the calories per serving on the front of the label. For example, you’ll see the following on a two-liter bottle:“100 calories per serving” and “8 servings per package.” Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), agrees with the move but adds that “listing calories on the front of a Coke is like putting lipstick on a pig. Coca-Cola is basically … liquid candy.”

Get Paid for Being Healthy
Would getting some extra cash be incentive enough to support the health care initiative? The Senate Finance Committee thinks so. In an 18-4 vote, they agreed that health plans should provide some financial incentive to folks who quit smoking, exercise more and engage in healthy activities. If enough people make positive changes, maybe it will help alleviate the costs of treating diseases that often arise from unhealthy choices (i.e. diabetes, heart disease and some cancers). It’s a step in the right direction, but how much money would it take to make someone change?

Candy Linked To Violence
A new study published in the British Journal of Psychology found 10-year-old kids who ate candy or chocolate every day were more likely to be arrested for a violent crime 20 years later (yikes!). The study tracked more than 17,000 children born in the 1970s over several decades. Sixty-nine percent of the young candy eaters were arrested by the age of 34, but family life and violence within homes (which can say a lot about a child’s behavior later in life) was not examined closely. I think we need a little further research before jumping to conclusions.

2009 Top Green Rankings
Check out if your favorite food or beverage company made Newsweek’s 2009 Green Rankings. Coca-Cola Enterprises is number one thanks to its goal to recycle all its bottles and other packaging materials. Molson Coors Brewing came in at number four; they’ve been working hard to increase the use of alternative energy sources. Other high scorers: H.J. Heinz (the ketchup makers), General Mills and Campbell’s Soup.

New Healthy Book for Kids
My two girls love reading, but rarely do I find books about healthy eating. I recently came across a new one titled How Austin Got His Muscles, written by registered dietitian Shari Bilt Boockvar. It shows kids they can grow big and strong by eating lots of fruits and veggies and that dessert is okay too — my kind of book!

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