The White House and the Food and Drug Administration have announced their plan today to update the nutrition facts label on food packages, a move that is being heralded and praised by nutrition experts and enthusiasts alike.
Proposed changes include:
- Calories displayed more prominently. Congress and the FDA are pushing for a larger, bolded font for calories and all parts of the label that affect obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
- Serving Size. Have you ever noticed a bottle of soda actually contains 2.5 servings, while the average American drinks the whole thing in one sitting? Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert, thinks this means we are all in for a big reality check. The new label will change the serving size from what we should eat to what people actually consume.
- Detailed sugar labeling. The improved labels will have a new line for “added sugars,” or sugars not occurring naturally and have been including only after chemical processing (think naturally-occurring lactose in yogurt vs. added aspartame in a Yoplait). What does Hartley have to say about that? “Finally.” (more…)
First lady Michelle Obama has been a crusader for better children’s health though her Let’s Move! campaign and other initiatives to fight childhood obesity. Now, she’s opening up the doors of the White House to demonstrate how she helps her family eat healthy despite their hectic schedules.
Ms. Obama admits that she enjoys indulging in French fries from time to time, reminding us that “healthy eating does not have to be an all or nothing approach.” She says the key is to find a balance, adding that the “problem is when the treats become the habits.”
It’s no surprise that the Obamas use MyPlate principles to guide meal planning, as Ms. Obama was a prominent speaker during the USDA’s new logo launch. “Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables alongside proper portions of lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy,” she says, and advises families to “be more conscious of the types of foods we’re putting into our bodies.”
Michelle Obama has done a lot of work to help educate Americans about healthy eating. In addition to planting an organic garden on the South Lawn of the White House and spearheading the fight against childhood obesity with her Let’s Move! campaign, the first lady will also be writing a book about good nutrition.
The book deal was announced yesterday by Obama’s agent, Robert Barnett, and the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House. Crown says the book will be “inspirational and instructive, and will provide ideas and resources for readers to get involved in the movement to create community, school and urban gardens, support local farmers’ markets, and make small lifestyle changes to achieve big health results.” They book will also include some of the Obama family’s favorite healthy recipes.
Now that victory has come and gone for President-elect Barack Obama, it’s time for him to start looking ahead and contemplating heavy decisions that are facing our nation’s new leader.
There’s the economy, two wars, precarious relations with Iran and Pakistan. And there’s this: who is going to be cooking the meals in the White House next year?
I know, it’s a pressing issue that will be a defining moment in Obama’s first term. So, who is in the running?
The New York Daily News reported last weekend that there are three chefs under consideration for the Obamas’ White House chef. They are former Oprah chef Art Smith, authentic Mexican chef Rick Bayless (not sure who has the corner on inauthentic chef), and NBA star Carmelo Anthony’s personal chef, Daniel Young. (more…)