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This blog post illustrates the challenges of having a Whole Grain labelling scheme without any rules as to how much sugar, salt and fat are added to the products.

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Most Food Ads on Nickelodeon Still for Junk Food

Nearly 80 percent of food ads on the popular children’s network Nickelodeon are for foods of poor nutritional quality, according to an analysis conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. That represents a modest and not quite statistically significant drop from 2005, when CSPI researchers found that about 90 percent of food ads on Nick were for junk food.

Self-Regulation is unable to protect children in the US.

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CO2 labelling on Danish bread

As the first food manufacturer in Denmark Lantmännen Unibake is about to disclose specific CO2 emissions for their products through labelling.

Google translation

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New objective and scientific food nutrient profiling system proposed by US researchers

Adam Drewnowski, PhD, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington and collegues have proposed a new, positive and science-based approach to inform people about what to eat rather than what not to eat.

Outlined in this month’s issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the Nutrient-Rich Foods (NRF) Index proposes a new model for ranking foods based on their nutrient composition, which could be used to help consumers improve their diets.

Pubmed and Nutraingredients-usa.

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An Apple A Day And Kidney Stones

Researchers have found another reason to eat well: a healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages is an effective way to ward off kidney stones.

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Modern technology motivates kids to bike to school

freikometerThe Freiker (FREquent bIKER) program began in Boulder, Colorado in the spring of 2004. The founder, Rob Nagler, couldn’t convince his children to ride their bikes to Crest View, less than one mile away.

Freiker nudges children to regularly bike/walk by employing an inventive combination of advanced technology and incentives. With the aid of an RFID tag on their backpack or helmet, children record their efforts through the Freikometer, a solar-powered radio frequency ID reader, which scans their tag and counts the number of days they ride or walk. Children log on to the Freiker web site to see the number of rides they have accumulated and, at the end of the year, receive prizes and rewards. The program is operated through schools with the efforts of volunteers and support from Freiker. There are 12 systems operating in the US and Canada.

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Obesity, diets, and social inequalities

The highest rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are observed among groups with the lowest levels of education and income and in the most deprived areas. Inequitable access to healthy foods is one mechanism by which socioeconomic factors influence the diet and health of a population. As incomes drop, energy-dense foods that are nutrient poor become the best way to provide daily calories at an affordable cost. By contrast, nutrient-rich foods and high-quality diets not only cost more but are consumed by more affluent groups.

This article discusses obesity as an economic phenomenon. Obesity is the toxic consequence of economic insecurity and a failing economic environment.

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Research strategies for environmental and policy change on obesity, physical activity, and diet

Numerous authoritative reports have identified environmental and policy interventions as the most promising strategies for creating population-wide improvements in diet, physical activity, and obesity. Yet many methodologic challenges to conducting environmental and policy research must be overcome to enable this area of study to advance. A meeting titled “Study Designs and Analytic Strategies for Environmental and Policy Research on Obesity, Physical Activity, and Diet” was held April 8, 2008. The results of this conference is presented heres and can be used to improve the quality and quantity of environmental and policy research as well as the translation to action to control obesity.

Abstract or slides etc..

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Does a tax on junk food make sense?

The logic for a tax on fattening food may seem obvious. About one-third of Americans are obese, up from 15% in 1980. Fat people are more prone to heart disease, diabetes, bone disorders and cancer. An obese person’s annual medical costs are more than $700 greater than those of a comparable thin person. The total medical costs of obesity surpass $200 billion a year in America, which is higher than the bill for smoking.

But would a fat tax affect behaviour? Numerous studies have shown a relationship between the price of food, especially junk food, and body weight. As fast food has become relatively cheaper, so people have become fatter. A new paper* from the RAND Corporation, another think-tank, suggests that taxing calories could have a sizeable, if gradual, effect on people’s weight.

A new theoretical paper in the Journal of Public Economics even suggests that a tax on junk food could increase obesity, especially among physically active people. If junk food, which is quick and easy to obtain, becomes relatively dearer, people will spend more time shopping for fresh ingredients and preparing food at home. That could leave less time for exercise.

Read more in the Economist.

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