Reading List: Top 5 Overrated Food Trends, McDonald's Food Safety & A Dating Site Scandal

by in Food News, January 8, 2010

In this week’s nutrition news: New health goals for Americans, McDonald’s excellent food-safety standards and how small changes can keep diabetes at bay.

Did Americans Meet Their Healthy Goals for 2010?
Every 10 years the government sets standard health goals for Americans. Most goals tend to be ambitious — for example, lowering our collective salt and fat intake. Americans didn’t fare well on either of these (both have gone up in the past 10 years!). For the 2020 goals, the government plans to set forth more attainable, simpler objectives and hope that creates a more positive mindset and result. The idea is that baby steps are a smarter way to reach better healthy. What do you think?

McDonald’s Outstanding Food Safety Guidelines
I’m not a big fan of Mickey D’s, but according to this USA Today article, McDonald’s has top-of-the-line food safety practices (even I was impressed!). At the plant, a 32-person cleaning crew works from 2 to 6 a.m. Hamburger meat is kept cold in special bins the size of hot tubs, and trucks delivering the food are sealed shut with a steel bolt — only the purchaser can unlock them with a bolt cutter (or the meat gets sent back). School lunch programs, please, take notes!

Gain A Little Weight? You’re Not Dating Material
A highly selective dating site, Beautifulpeople.com, just kicked off about 5,000 members after they posted holiday pictures that showed they’d gained weight. Seems other members complained that some folks had let themselves go; in response the site locked them out until they lost the pounds. Would you really want to meet friends or potential lovers here?

Preventing Diabetes
A large national study set out to examine ways to help prevent and delay onset of diabetes. The study divided its 3,000-plus volunteers into three groups: one group received medication, the second received motivational nutrition counseling and the third got a “fake” pill. Of the three groups, those who had the nutrition counseling and were highly motivated did twice as well as those who just took their medication. As it turns out, it took only a few small changes in exercise and eating habits to help control blood sugar more effectively.

Overrated Food Trends
This Chicago Tribune article, written by a registered dietitian and colleague Janet Helm, talks about the top five overrated food trends of the year. On the list: super juices, coconut oil, infused water, chia seeds and agave nectar. Have you tried any of these foods?

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Update: Health Experts Weigh in on Proposed Nutrition Label Redo

Earlier this year, the FDA released details of the proposed nutrition label makeover. Many experts have been weighing in on the new look trying to determine if the proposed changes will help consumers make more informed decisions or add to the confusion.

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