(From Alliance for a Healthier Generation)
The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, announced a proposal on Thursday to ban trans fat, which can be found in hugely popular snacks such crackers, cookies, baked goods and microwave popcorn, in a sweeping move that would force food manufacturers to reformulate processed foods that currently use this artery-clogging artificial unsaturated fat.
The FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are unsafe for consumption, and opened a 60-day review period to collect data on the time food companies would need to alter their products before the ban takes effect. Trans fat intake boosts the amount of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, raising the risk of heart disease due to the buildup of plaque inside the arteries.
“While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States … further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said, in a statement.
Over the past decade the consumption of trans fat in the U.S. has significantly fallen, due to health concerns following the FDA’s proposal in 1999 requiring food manufacturers to clearly mention the amount of trans fat on food labels listing nutrition facts. However, the proposal came to force only in 2006, and according to the FDA, trans fat intake of people in the U.S. dropped from 4.6 grams a day in 2003 to about 1 gram a day in 2012.
Among the products the FDA singled out are cakes, frozen pies, snack foods, frozen pizza, vegetable shortenings and stick margarines, coffee creamers, refrigerated dough products, such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls, and ready-to-use frostings, meaning a ban would affect manufacturers across the board.
However, trans fat would not be completely eliminated from foods even after the ban, because it also occurs naturally in small amounts in meat, dairy products, and in fully hydrogenated oils, where it is produced during manufacturing.
The FDA urged consumers to check detailed nutrition facts on food labels even if they claim “0 grams trans fat,” because under current regulations, manufacturers are allowed to print such a claim if the food limits trans fat to 0.5 grams or less of trans fat per serving.
Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association said, in response to the FDA’s proposal, that food processing companies in the U.S. have “voluntarily lowered” the amounts of trans fat in their food products by more than 73 percent.
(From International Business Times)
Last weekend, NYC Health in partnership with Fund for Public Health NY, displayed a Come See What’s Cookin’, KIDS! photo exhibition at farmers’ market locations in Brooklyn and Queens. The exhibition showcased photos taken by kids capturing what they had learned during the healthy eating and cooking program.
From July to October 2013, Come See What’s Cookin’, KIDS! held classes for kids at farmers’ markets in the Bronx, Corona and Jackson Heights in Queens, and in Bushwick, Brooklyn. These fun and interactive classes focused on healthy eating, food sources, and how food grows. Parents also joined by learning how to include kids in the kitchen, encourage new foods, and were given healthy meal and snack ideas.
Over the course of three weekends, program organizers asked kids to take a photo of whatever comes to mind and to explain their reason for taking the photo. The kids’ responses were recorded in the exhibition in the form of quotes alongside the photos, and include images of foods, teachers, and the markets.
The photos showed that kids were not only excited about trying new foods and attending classes, but also participating in the market as part of a larger community. The results are beautiful and inspiring!
(From Alliance for a Healthier Generation)
Michelle Obama is releasing a hip hop album to inspire kids to eat healthy!
Another reason to eat breakfast: Skipping your morning meal may put you at higher risk for heart disease.
The new study, published in the journal Circulation, finds that men who routinely skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease compared to men who ate breakfast.
Now a lot of folks may be wondering: Is there something truly beneficial about the timing of breakfast? Or is it just the case that people who eat a morning meal also tend to have a lot of other good habits, such as exercising more and smoking less, compared to those who skip?
Rimm and his colleagues took pains to account for the fact that the breakfast eaters in their study were different. Still, the findings held.
MyPlate Kids’ Place has resources that can help children make healthier choices. ChooseMyPlate.gov offers science-based advice to help kids and their parents build healthy meals and maintain or achieve a healthy weight. MyPlate Kids’ Place provides online resources and tools for children to help them make wise choices in a fun and appealing way.
Parents and teachers are invited to use the MyPlate Kids’ Place resources to deliver credible information and find “teachable moments” that will influence children’s choices at home and at school.
(From the US Dep. of Agriculture)