Current label on left, proposed label on right
I think the proposed changes to food labels and portion sizes are generally pretty good. Certainly from an info design perspective it makes sense to create at least a little contrast (e.g., by emphasizing the calories) as well as some proximity (putting the percent daily values closer to their respective nutrients. From a public health perspective, it should be much better for portions to be more realistic, as well as to have added sugars called out on the labels (though not sure why they didn’t go ahead and create an “Added Fat” call-out too).
All of this said, it’s not clear that kids are going to care that their sugar-sweetened beverage now explicitly says how much of both (calories & sugar) they are getting. And of course, the more food you eat without labels, the better. But perhaps it will cause business to respond with healthier options … either in the foods that would be re-labeled or as additional offerings.
NPR has a good write-up here. Not surprisingly, Marion Nestle approves.
Posted in Diet, Policy, Public health | 2 Comments »
Mark Sisson says the “single best exercise there is, hands down, is the one you’ll do:”
Because heavy squats are fantastic for strength, unless you don’t do them. Because sprinting makes you lean and fast, unless you’re not sprinting. The same is true for everything. It only works if you do it. …
The key is figuring out which exercise you’ll actually do. And I don’t need scientific references for the notion that you’re more likely to do a physical activity that you actually enjoy doing. It’s a fundamental law of nature.
Sounds quite a bit like Yoni Freedhoff’s suggestion to live “the healthiest life that you can enjoy, not the healthiest life that you can tolerate.”
Posted in Exercise, QOTD | 2 Comments »
Move and Be Free’s Chris Serong argues that laziness doesn’t exist and that we should look at exercise and movement from a different perspective:
If [exercise] really was about health, the language would be different. They wouldn’t tell you exercise is good because it makes you thin, they’d tell you exercise is good for you because exercise is good for you. That’s the truth. It’s the activity itself that does you good. Not this other thing that might happen down the track, this other thing we pin all our hopes on. …
Exercise, training, moving your body – this stuff should be joyful, it should be the natural human expression of freedom and emotion. And if you’re doing it because you’re wishing you weren’t you, or you weren’t the way you are – you’re not practicing movement for the sake of getting better at movement – you’re trying to atone for your sins. …
Do what’s helpful. The other shit – all of it – it’s not easy, but if it’s not helping you, you can let it go.
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I put this in the TMOZ category because I don’t have a “today’s moment of eff” category. I’m not sure things have improved in the nearly 25 years since Carl Sagan wrote Why We Need To Understand Science.
Posted in TMOZ | Leave a Comment »
Disease Proof author Dr. David Katz revisited a post from late last year, wondering: Should choosing a meal really require choosing a Messiah?
Couldn’t the proponents of low-carb eating acknowledge that jellybeans were part of the problem, but pinto beans- not so much? The vegans have important arguments about the treatment of our planetary cohabitants, sustainable eating for a population of 7 billion, and planetary stewardship- but if anything, these get lost when they fail to allow for the fact that game and fish figure in the diets of some of the world’s longest-lived, most vital peoples. We could have been right about reducing saturated fat intake, and wrong about what we ate instead. We could agree that eating real food, close to nature, rich in nutrients, and mostly whether or not exclusively plants would be far better than the typical American diet, and would occupy ground common to the disparate theologies of food. …
Whether about wheat or meat, sugar or starch, calories or carbohydrates, this fat or that fat, we seem to have an insatiable appetite for mere grains of truth about diet and health, rather than the complete recipe. Planting such seeds, we are reaping just what we are sowing: more heat than light, unending opportunities for food industry abuses, stunning lack of public health progress, and the very kind of trees that make the forest impossible to see.
Maybe Chris Masterjohn has the right idea:
Posted in Diet, Public health, QOTD, Real food | 2 Comments »
Food Politics’ Marion Nestle has written today about new food-based dietary guidelines Brazil has issued for public comment. [If you can read Portuguese, here's the original.] The guidelines are:
- Prepare meals from staple and fresh foods.
- Use oils, fats, sugar and salt in moderation.
- Limit consumption of ready-to-consume food and drink products.
- Eat regular meals, paying attention, and in appropriate environments.
- Eat in company whenever possible.
- Buy food at places that offer varieties of fresh foods. Avoid those that mainly sell products ready for consumption.
- Develop, practice, share and enjoy your skills in food preparation and cooking.
- Plan your time to give meals and eating proper time and space.
- When you eat out, choose restaurants that serve freshly made dishes and meals. Avoid fast food chains.
- Be critical of the commercial advertisement of food products.
What I find fascinating is how many of the guidelines have to do with something aside from what foods to eat, such as the guidelines about eating meals with others (4 & 5) and the guidelines about cooking & planning (7 & 8).
Nestle is a fan:
The guidelines are remarkable in that they are based on foods that Brazilians of all social classes eat every day, and consider the social, cultural, economic and environmental implications of food choices.
It will be interesting to see if/how the guidelines change as a result of the open comment period, as well as the reaction to them from the US dietary establishment.
Side note: Nestle got a translation of the guidelines from University of Sao Paulo’s Carlos A. Monteiro, author of a study defining the concept of “ultra-processing” and contributor to these draft guidelines.
Posted in Cooking, Nutrition, Policy, Public health | 5 Comments »
Snow edition ;).
Posted in Friday cat blogging | 1 Comment »