by Amy Reiter in Food News, December 11, 2015
by Amy Reiter in Food News, December 4, 2015
Coke-funded obesity group goes belly-up
That didn’t take long. The Global Energy Balance Network, a nonprofit organization that played down the role of calories from food and beverages in the obesity epidemic (and which, a New York Times expose revealed in August, was funded by Coca-Cola), announced last week that it would shutter immediately “due to resource limitations.” In November, the University of Colorado, where the organization’s leader is a professor, said it would return a $1 million donation from Coca-Cola, while the University of South Carolina, where another of the group’s leaders is on the faculty, says it plans to keep a $500,000 donation from the beverage giant. The announcement came only days after Coke’s chief science and health officer, Rhona S. Applebaum, who helped orchestrate the Global Energy Balance Network’s establishment, announced her retirement.
by Amy Reiter in Food News, November 20, 2015
A healthier Kiss
The thing about Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars is that they’re always reliably the same, right? Not this year. Hershey’s has announced that both of those candy staples will now be made with simple, recognizable ingredients and no artificial flavors. The formula change, starting with holiday Hershey’s Kisses, is part of the chocolate giant’s larger commitment to greater transparency about ingredients. “We started making our great-tasting chocolate in 1894 with ingredients you might find in your pantry, like cocoa, milk, sugar and vanilla, and we’re continuing that tradition today,” Mary-Ann Somers, Hershey’s vice president and general manager of U.S. confection, said in a press release. “People want to see ingredients that they know and are familiar with in their foods and we’re listening.” The holiday Kisses will also come in packs featuring a SmartLabel QR code that provides consumer access to information about nutrition and allergens. Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, November 13, 2015
Ah, youth. Millennials are less concerned about calories and fat in the foods they eat than the population at large and are more inclined to use technology as a health and wellness tool, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2015 Food and Health Survey. The survey also found that millennials (born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s) are more likely to believe higher-protein foods may have unhealthy attributes, are more apt to use diet-related apps and online support groups, rely more heavily on the support of family and friends in their efforts to maintain a healthy diet, and tend to trust health and nutrition bloggers and to feel more optimistic about the healthful potential of food innovations and new inventions. “Millennials are a unique generation, and their approach to health and fitness is no exception,” Sarah Romotsky, R.D., director of health and wellness for the IFIC Foundation, told Food Business News.
by Amy Reiter in Food News, November 6, 2015
Junk Food Is Not the Sole Culprit
While no one’s saying soda, candy and fast food are healthy, a new study suggests they alone cannot be blamed for the obesity epidemic. Cornell University Food and Brand Lab co-directors David Just, Ph.D., and Brian Wansink, Ph.D., analyzed the dietary habits of about 5,000 U.S. adults and found that, for 95 percent of the population, there was no link between the consumption of soda, candy and fast food and weight gain. “These are foods that are clearly bad for you and if you eat too much of them they will make you fat, but it doesn’t appear to be the main driver that is making people overweight and obese,” Just told HealthDay. The researchers said eating less and exercising more overall is the key to controlling weight, and they clarified that they are not endorsing a junk food diet, even in moderation. “These foods aren’t good for you,” Just said. “There is no good argument for soda in your diet.” Read more
by Sally Wadyka in Food News, November 4, 2015
Hide the Leftover Halloween Candy
Cutting back on sugar consumption can dramatically improve the health of obese children in only 10 days, even when they remain at the same weight, a new study has found. Foods with added sugar were eliminated from the diets of the children who participated in the National Institutes of Health-backed study and replaced with other carbs to maintain calorie intake. The children’s weight was deliberately kept stable; nevertheless, all 43 children in the study showed improvements in blood pressure as well as cholesterol and blood sugar levels. “We can turn a child’s metabolic health around in 10 days without changing calories and without changing weight — just by taking the added sugars out of their diet,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Benioff Children’s Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco, told The New York Times. “From a clinical standpoint, from a health care standpoint, that’s very important.” Read more
by Cameron Curtis in Food News, November 1, 2015
While studying for a master’s degree, Eve Turow started noticing something interesting happening among her friends and classmates. “Everyone was always talking about food,” she recalls. That simple observation spawned a four-year research project and eventually the book A Taste of Generation Yum (Pronoun, 2015). In it Turow examines why millennials (also known as Generation Y) — the 80 million people born between 1980 and 2000 — have traded in the bright-orange mac and cheese of their childhood for craft beers, artisanal cheeses and organic, free-range everything.
by Amy Reiter in Food News, October 30, 2015
We all love when pumpkin is back in season and products abound to deliver the best of that favorite flavor, but what’s the next kind of seasonal produce making headlines? Sweet potatoes. Products are popping up all over this month welcoming sweet potatoes as the new star of healthy snacks.
by Toby Amidor in Food News, October 29, 2015
Dried fruit: yea or nay?
Is dried fruit good for you or something to be avoided? Time magazine put the question to nutrition experts and most agreed that dried fruits — raisins, figs, prunes, etc. — were great, healthy go-to snacks, albeit with a caveat or two. “Dried fruits are an excellent source of fiber and a concentrated source of antioxidants,” University of Scranton chemistry professor Joe Vinson said. Yet while dried fruits are convenient, portable, durable and often downright tasty, they also contain a lot of sugar, so it’s a good idea to keep portions small and check to make sure they don’t contain any added sugar. “When the native sugar of the fruit is combined with extra added sugar, you are now in the realm of candy,” David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, told the magazine. Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, October 26, 2015
This year’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo took place in Nashville; the expo was filled with aisles of new foods that you will soon see on your market shelves (if you haven’t already!). Here are seven healthy options that are worth trying.
First, a recent “genomic” analysis by the online food guide Clear Food determined that 14 percent of the 345 different hot dogs and sausages sold under 75 brands it examined contained either ingredients not listed on the label or had “hygienic” issues, in which a “non-harmful contaminant is introduced to the hot dog.” What’s more, 2 percent of the samples were found to contain human DNA. (Ew.)
Vegetarians get no bragging rights, though: Two-thirds of the vegetarian frankfurters tested contained human DNA, and 10 percent of all vegetarian products tested were found to contain meat — be it chicken in a vegetarian breakfast sausage or pork in a veggie hot dog.
Still, some major brands fared better than others: Butterball, McCormick, Eckrich and Hebrew National received especially high marks, as did some regional and specialty brands.
Now, on the heels of that alarming news, comes reason for frankfurter fans to feel even more fearful: Read more