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, October 2, 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, August 14, 2015
Is full-fat on trend?
For years, we’ve all been urged to curtail our consumption of saturated fat, advice that affected our appetite for butter, meat and whole milk — or at least the amount of those foods we ate. But, a new report published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute has determined, Americans are rebelling against the old guidance, which has grown murkier, and eating more full-fat foods. Butter sales rose 14 percent in 2014 and an additional 6 percent in the first three months of 2015, while sales of whole milk climbed 11 percent and skim milk purchases plummeted 14 percent in the first six months of 2015. The authors suggest the trend may be part of larger shift toward natural – organic, unprocessed – foods. “Full-fat milk sounds a lot more natural to people than 2 percent or skim milk,” lead author Stefano Natella told The New York Times. “Cows don’t produce skim milk. You have to process it to take out the fat.” Read more
by Amy Reiter in Food News, July 10, 2015
Now in Soda News
There’s lots of news bubbling in Soda Land. PepsiCo has begun shipping its new version of Diet Pepsi, tweaked to eliminate the artificial sweetener aspartame and replace it with two other artificial sweeteners: sucralose and acesulfame potassium (aka Splenda and Ace-K). The company, which is doing a big marketing push behind the reformulation, says it is responding to consumer demand, but it remains to be seen whether the switch from one artificial sweetener to two others will go down easy, particularly with Diet Pepsi stalwarts. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has not changed Diet Coke, which contains aspartame, but it is engaged in its own efforts to fight sinking soda sales amidst health concerns: Through a new nonprofit organization, the Global Energy Balance Network, Coke is funding scientists who contend that America’s obesity problem is not about how much (or what) Americans eat and drink, but rather about how much we exercise, despite ample evidence to the contrary, The New York Times reports. Read more
by Dana Angelo White in Uncategorized, July 16, 2014
Sugary Drinks Are Killing Us … Really
How bad are sugary drinks for us? On a global scale, their toll is staggering. According to a recent analysis of data from dozens of international dietary surveys and large-scale studies, published online in Circulation, sugar-sweetened-beverage consumption causes more than 184,000 deaths — about 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 from cancer — worldwide every year. (Gulp.) In the United States alone, about 25,000 deaths annually are attributable to sugary drinks, The New York Times reports, noting that experts are calling for the elimination of sugary drinks from our food supply altogether. Read more
by Sara Reistad-Long in Food News, May 8, 2014
Looking for that morning or afternoon buzz? Caffeinated creations — including coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks — vary not only in their pick-me-up powers but also in their nutritional benefits. Find out which ones offer the most (and least) perks.
Caffeine content: A typical cup of coffee (8 fluid ounces) contains 80 to 100 milligrams.
Perks and minuses: While black coffee contains an almost nonexistent amount of calories (about 5 per cup), too much cream and sugar will quickly change that. On the plus side, coffee is rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants that may benefit brain and heart health.
by Sara Reistad-Long in Food News, February 20, 2014
In this week’s news: Tofu firms up its fan base; Butter Image Rehab 2014 continues; and a soda giant refreshes its ingredient list.
Tofu, Always Blending In, Takes a Mainstream Approach
Given tofu’s admirable protein content, lack of cholesterol and relatively high amount of calcium, you’d think health reasons might be its biggest selling points. Yet those qualities didn’t seem to matter so much among women ages 20 to 35 in new research from Brian Wansink’s Cornell Food and Brand Lab. When the researchers told the study’s non-tofu eaters about the health benefits, just 12 percent said they’d consider giving it a go. But when the scientists talked about price or showed an easy ten-minute recipe with the tagline “Cooks Like Chicken,” nearly 50 percent of non-users jumped on the bandwagon. Whether it tastes like chicken seems beside the point: The three most popular uses — tofu scramble, tofu stir-fry, salad mix-in — seem to accommodate just about any mystery meat.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, April 23, 2013
In this week’s news: California takes a hard stance on soft drinks; marketers realize there’s more bread to be made in the gluten-free aisle; and an amino acid in spinach gets the spotlight.
California to Bust Soda’s Bubble?
Along with several medical experts, a California state senator proposed adding a warning label to the packaging of sodas not unlike what now appears on cigarette packaging. The wording — developed by a panel of national healthcare leaders — would read, “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.” According to data cited, one soda a day raises an adult’s chances of being overweight by 27 percent and a child’s by 55 percent.
by Dana Angelo White in Food News, June 10, 2012
Should you go for the sugar-filled soda or the one made with artificial stuff? Find out which is better to sip on when you’re in the mood for soda.
It’s filled with sugar and a ton of empty calories, but soda can be part of a healthy eating plan if it’s consumed rarely and as a special treat. However, studies have found that soda is one of the top sources of sugar in our diets. New York City has even tried to ban the sale of sugary beverages that are larger than 16 fluid ounces to help keep soda portions in check.
In addition to leading to weight gain, studies have found that folks who guzzle large amounts of soda tend to drink less milk and take in fewer nutrients like calcium. Furthermore, drinking large amounts of soda can be detrimental to your bones. Soda contains high amounts of phosphates, which can deplete the body’s calcium stores.
In an effort to help New Yorkers clean up their diets, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a ban on large-sized sugary drinks. Will NYC lead the trend for other cites fighting the battle of the bulge?
The Fizzy Facts
If it were to take effect, this law would ban the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 fluid ounces (2 cups). Fast food chains, restaurants, delis, food carts and sports arenas would have to comply. Vending machines and large bottles sold at supermarkets would not be affected.
A standard vending machine bottle of soda (20 fluid ounces) may contain anywhere from 16 to 22 teaspoons of sugar – that’s 240 to 330 empty calories! Energy drinks and sweetened teas (also part of the ban) contain high doses of added sweeteners as well.