Friday, December 16, 2011

WSJ 12/13/11 Low Readership of Nutrition Labels

A simulated grocery-shopping experiment found that consumers have a limited attention span for nutrition labels on food packaging, and that they read the labels far less frequently than they say they do, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Research.

Researchers recruited 203 people, mostly women, from Minnesota last year to view computer images of 64 foods. A brief description, price, and Nutrition Facts label were also displayed. The participants were unaware of an eye-tracker device that measured how long they viewed each component on the screen. The participants later completed a questionnaire about their normal shopping habits.

A third of the participants reported on questionnaires that they usually look at calorie content on labels. Nearly a third said the same for fat content, 20% for trans fats, 24% for sugar, and 26% for serving size. Eye-tracking data, however, showed that only 9% of the participants looked at calorie content on roughly 80% of items and even fewer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shari quoted in Fox News 12/5/11

Marta Montenegro: Do the Caveman & Paleo Diet Mix with HIIT Workouts?

  • marta spotlight bar.jpg
    Andrew Meade
  • marta him her.jpg
    Andrew Meade
If you work out regularly, you should be familiar high intensity intermittent training (HIIT). This type of training that alternate short periods of high intensity with same or longer recovery periods at low-moderate intensity for much shorter overall duration workout compared to the low intensity one hour steady state workout. This style has been linked to increase cardiovascular capacity and life span, and is faster for accelerating fat loss than traditional workouts.
As yogis have shown a tendency to practice mindful eating, HIIT followers have done their part by following the “caveman diet” or "paleo diet." Regardless the name, in general, both diets are based on mimicking the way our distant ancestors used to eat: mostly meat, seafood, nuts, fruits and veggies while avoiding grains, sugar, processed foods and dairy.
“Basically, eating lean proteins and any fruit/vegetable that was found pre-agricultural revolution. Very restrictive in other foods,” says Bob Seebohar, M.S, R.D, C.S.S.D, C.S.C.S., author of the book Nutrition Periodization for Athletes.
Working out at high intensity while following a diet like the "caveman diet" will definitely make you lose weight. However the questions are:
a) Is this the best diet to go with a type of HIIT workout?
b) Is this diet doable for a long time period?
And c) Does this diet provide all the nutrients and vitamins, minerals and fiber that the body need to function at its best?
No need to eliminate
A new study concludes that when subjects were given a high protein intake (3g/Kg) and worked at high intensity experimented less psychological stress and better recovery compared to normal protein intake (1.5 g/Kg). “Effect of Increased Dietary Protein on Tolerance to Intensified Training,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal.
It seems that programs such as Cross-Fit, Tabata workouts and other HIIT workouts are doing good promoting a protein rich diet. However, while the role of this nutrient has been well documented to keep a healthy body mass and metabolism, and to decrease body fat, experts advise on the health hazards of overconsumption, especially when other nutrients rich in fiber and vitamins and minerals are put aside.
Shari Portnoy, M.P.H., R.D.,, says that The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition recommends 1.2-1.7grams per Kg of body weight for athletes and those training. Non athletes need 0.8g per Kg of body weight.
“Any diet that eliminates a food group, eliminates essential nutrients,” says Portnoy. Indeed, this eating plan avoids grains and dairy and even though promotes fruit and vegetable intake; the overall carbohydrates consumption may be insufficient.
To Portnoy, the body needs carbohydrate meals to fuel and refuel properly, adding, “The brain runs on glucose only, a fuel received from carbohydrates. Using protein for fuel is inefficient because then what do you have left to build and repair muscle tissue?”
On this subject, Seebohar says, “If fruits and vegetables are consumed in good amounts (at least 10 servings), the carbohydrates needs can be somewhat met for shorter, intense exercise.”
However, when statistics show that Americans have a tough time to meet its five a day, it’s really hard to think that they’ll eat double the amount.
Portnoy explains that “protein does not provide more than 10-15% of the total energy requirement for an activity. It is not advantageous to use protein because it is crucial for building and repairing muscle tissue.”
Bring the carbs back!
There’s no doubt of the benefits to include the appropriate amount of protein when doing HIIT training. However, to make the most out of your workout, you need to provide the body the appropriate energy that carbohydrates – whole grains, high fiber types- only can supply. Even to efficiency metabolize protein, the body needs carbs to carry this nutrient to the muscles.
This is particularly important before and after working out. Seebohar says “usually eating 20 to 25 grams of protein with about 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrate within 1 to 2 hours pre workout then repeating it post workout is a good nutrient time system to decrease the loss of protein while doing HIIT type of training.”
Likewise, Portnoy adds that “protein consumed in close proximity to strength and endurance exercise can have gains on skeletal muscle. However, eating too much high protein foods before a workout can cause GI symptoms. Eating several protein containing meals and snacks throughout the day is better than one large meal.”
Dairy products are usually excluded in this type of diet, which goes against to what research is showing about the benefits of including dairy such as fat-free milk and Greek yogurt in our diets. In fact, dairy is a source of the bran chain amino-acid leucine, which has been shown to enhance strength performance, as stated in a study from the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.
In addition, dairy has whey protein, calcium and vitamin D which have also been related to decrease body fat and to maintain body mass. Equally, drinking milk after working out has proven to be an excellent recovery meal.
Bottom line: Weather you do HIIT training or not, eating close to earth can provide a healthy, weight loss/maintenance diet for the long run. This means eating lean meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, bulgur, beans, skim dairy food and healthy mono-saturated fats such as nuts, avocado and olive oil and Omega 3 fatty acids, while avoiding sugar and processed food. This is an eating plan that works for everyone, just adjust the serving sizes accordingly to your needs and if you workout make sure that you have a well balance pre- and post-workout meal.
Marta Montenegro is an exercise physiologist, certified strength and conditioning, coach and master trainer who is an adjunct professor at Florida International University. Marta has developed her own system of exercises used by professional athletes. Her personal website, combines fitness, nutrition and health tips, exercise routines, recipes and the latest news to help you change your life but not your lifestyle. She was the founder of nationally awarded SOBeFiT magazine and the fitness DVD series Montenegro Method.
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Shari Portnoy,MPH,RD,CPT quoted in Fox News.

RD as the Vegetarian Expert

Thinking About Going Vegetarian? Registered Dietitians Are Your Best Source for Sound, Tailored Advice

Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802
CHICAGO – As vegetarian diets become increasingly common, the American Dietetic Association's Evidence Analysis Library has published an evidence-based practice guideline for registered dietitians who work with individuals who follow or are interested in following a vegetarian dietary lifestyle.
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that "Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." And vegetarian adaptations of the USDA food patterns are included in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, with sample vegetarian food patterns that allow for additional flexibility in food group choices.
More information on following a vegetarian lifestyle is available on ADA's website.
ADA's practice guideline contains recommendations, based on scientific evidence, designed to assist practitioners on the appropriate nutrition care for vegetarians. The guideline includes recommendations for children, adolescents, adults and pregnancy, providing more than 30 nutrition recommendations related to vegetarian nutrition, including:
  • Macronutrients, including protein
  • Micronutrients, including vitamin B12
  • Knowledge, beliefs and motivations
  • Diet diversity
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Treating hyperlipidemia, obesity, Type 2 diabetes
  • Adherence to a vegetarian diet
ADA's guidelines support the use of evidence-based practice by RDs to improve the quality of care they provide to clients and patients. Guidelines are developed by expert work groups that include experienced practitioners and researchers and are reviewed by multidisciplinary teams consisting of health professionals such as RDs, physicians, pharmacists and registered nurses.
Since 2005, ADA has published guidelines on chronic kidney disease; HIV; adult weight management; celiac disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; critical illness; diabetes (types 1 and 2); gestational diabetes mellitus; heart failure; hypertension; oncology; pediatric weight management; spinal cord injury; and unintended weight loss for older adults.
Recommendations in ADA's guidelines, as well as grades assigned to the strength of the scientific evidence used in supporting the recommendations, should not be interpreted as endorsements by the American Dietetic Association of any brand-name product or service. Consumers who want to know more about nutrition and health are encouraged to consult with a registered dietitian in their area. Details on republishing information contained in ADA's guidelines are available on the vidence Analysis Library website.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food Labeling and the Dietitian Consultant by ADA

ADA Applauds Institute of Medicine's Front-of-Package Report, Reinforces Need for Consultations with Registered Dietitians

Friday, October 21, 2011
Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802

The American Dietetic Association supports a report released today by the Institute of Medicine calling for a standardized system for front-of-package food labeling that can be easily understood by most consumers. The report, "Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols," was authored under a committee of food, nutrition, business and communications professionals, including members of the American Dietetic Association, and intends to aid consumers in making informed and healthful decisions when they shop.
"As more and more nutrition information is thrust upon consumers from credible and non-credible sources alike, this report is a great step in the right direction to helping Americans decipher the healthfulness of the foods they buy," said registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association President Sylvia Escott-Stump. "Education of the public is our greatest tool in helping Americans lead healthier lives, and this proposed system is another means towards that end."
The report, which recommends eliminating the current front-of-package labels that research suggested did not resonate with consumers, outlines the need for a "shift in strategy, a move away from systems that mostly provide nutrition information without clear guidance about its healthfulness, and toward one that encourages healthier food choices through simplicity, visual clarity, and the ability to convey meaning without written information."
"We know that the numerous front-of-package labeling systems currently in use have not resonated with the public because of the variations from product to product and store to store. This new system is designed to provide clear, concise and consistent information across all products and stores," Escott-Stump said. "Ensuring everyone, no matter their age, education level or background, knows how the system works will be a key step to its acceptance and effectiveness."
According to ADA's Nutrition and You: Trends 2011 public opinion survey, 67 percent of consumers rate diet and nutrition as "very important," while 37 percent list food package labels as very credible sources of nutrition information

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Put Labels Higher on Packages for Health

Location of nutrition labels may determine how often they are viewed

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association shows that people report that they view nutrition labels more often than they actually do. In a simulated grocery shopping exercise, 203 participants observed 64 different grocery products displayed on a computer monitor. Each screen contained three elements, the well-known Nutrition Facts label, a picture and list of ingredients, and a description of the product with price and quantity information.
These three elements were presented so that one third of the participants each saw the Nutrition Facts label on the left, right, and center. Each subject was asked whether they would consider buying the product. Participants were aware that their eye movements would be tracked, but unaware that the study focus was nutrition information. Using a computer equipped with an eye-tracking device, University of Minnesota researchers observed that most consumers view label components at the top more than those at the bottom. Further data suggest that the average consumer reads only the top five lines on a Nutrition Facts label.
Self-reported viewing of Nutrition Facts label components was higher than objectively measured viewing. In fact, 33% of participants self-reported that they almost always look at calorie content on Nutrition Facts labels, 31% reported that they almost always look at the total fat content, 20% said the same for trans fat content, 24% for sugar content, and 26% for serving size. However, only 9% of participants actually looked at calorie count for almost all of the products in this study, and about 1% of participants looked at each of these other components (total fat, trans fat, sugar, and serving size) on almost all labels.
Consumers are more likely to view centrally located labels and nutrients nearer the label’s top. Because knowing the amounts of key nutrients that foods contain can influence consumers to make healthier purchases, prominently positioning key nutrients, and labels themselves, could substantially impact public health.”

More Restaurants using food labeling LA Times 10-22-11

October 22, 2011

Americans are craving more information about the food they are served, and fast-food companies, as well as casual restaurants, are increasingly obliging, many going well beyond legally mandated calorie counts.

They are updating their signs and menus for diet-conscious customers, and they also are highlighting potential problems for those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions.

Although responding to demand, quick-service restaurants also see that providing the additional information can help them stand out in the highly competitive marketplace.

"If you can demonstrate to families that you can offer them a safe meal, you establish a tremendous sense of loyalty and create repeat customers," said Chris Weiss, a vice president at the nonprofit Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. "As we look to the future, we'll definitely see more restaurants doing this."

Healthful eating is already at the forefront of the food industry. California requires large chains to disclose calorie counts for each meal, and similar federal rules are coming next year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Healthy food isn't more expensive,,,verified by NY times

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli ...” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”
Daniel Borris for The New York Times
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 — and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)
In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home. You can serve a roasted chicken with vegetables along with a simple salad and milk for about $14, and feed four or even six people. If that’s too much money, substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions; it’s easily enough for four people and costs about $9. (Omitting the bacon, using dried beans, which are also lower in sodium, or substituting carrots for the peppers reduces the price further, of course.)
Another argument runs that junk food is cheaper when measured by the calorie, and that this makes fast food essential for the poor because they need cheap calories. But given that half of the people in this country (and a higher percentage of poor people) consume too many calories rather than too few, measuring food’s value by the calorie makes as much sense as measuring a drink’s value by its alcohol content. (Why not drink 95 percent neutral grain spirit, the cheapest way to get drunk?)
Besides, that argument, even if we all needed to gain weight, is not always true. A meal of real food cooked at home can easily contain more calories, most of them of the “healthy” variety. (Olive oil accounts for many of the calories in the roast chicken meal, for example.)In comparing prices of real food and junk food, I used supermarket ingredients, not the pricier organic or local food that many people would consider ideal. But food choices are not black and white; the alternative to fast food is not necessarily organic food, any more than the alternative to soda is Bordeaux.
The alternative to soda is water.

I said it all along, it is cheap to eat HEALTHY!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wall Street Journal Sept 20. 2011 "Natural," Claim

But some recent consumer lawsuits claim that food companies are playing fast-and-loose with the “all natural” designation, effectively committing fraud against the shopping public, WSJ’s Ashby Jones reports.

The litigation begs the question: What properly qualifies as “all natural”?

It’s hard to say, because the FDA largely has declined to define “natural,” according to WSJ.

“The word hasn’t been defined well enough at all, so for years companies have been able to get away with basically defining it themselves,” said Michele Simon, an author and food-policy expert.

More than 20 years ago, the FDA issued an “informal policy” defining natural to mean that “nothing artificial or synthetic” has been included in or added to a product, but the distinction between “artificial” or “synthetic” and “natural” isn’t so clear, according to WSJ.

“With the few precious dollars the FDA has, we largely choose to focus on topics that affect public safety,” an FDA spokeswoman told WSJ. “The ‘natural’ issue doesn’t. That’s not to say it’s not important, but we frankly have more pressing things to deal with.”

Wesson cooking oils and Kashi cereals are among the products named in recent lawsuits challenging the natural designation.

ConAgra Foods, maker of Wesson oils, said that it stands “behind the accuracy of our labeling.”

A spokesman for Kashi, a unit of Kellogg Co, told WSJ: “Kashi provides comprehensive information about our foods to enable people to make well-informed choices. We stand behind our advertising and labeling practices.”

Although the labeling cases haven’t been particularly lucrative for plaintiffs’ lawyers, a few of the reported settlements have reached the seven-figure level, WSJ reports.

As PT Barnum said, "There is a fool born every day."
Those who pay more because the food is labeled natural, when the word hasn't been defined, is who Mr. Barnum is talking about.

Food companies are blaming the FDA for not defining the term. It isn't an easy task when you realize that Cyanide is natural in some fruits.
Blameing the FDA for lack of a more solid defination is like blameing a store with a loose lock instead of the theif that breaks in!!!

NY Times on Portion Size

August 2, 2011, 6:29 pm

The Problem With Serving Sizes

From left, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes has a serving size of 3/4 cup. Healthy Choice Chicken Tortilla Soup (microwaveable bowl) has a serving size of 1 cup, and Ritz Crackers have a serving size of 5 crackers.Tony Cenicola/The New York TimesFrom left, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes has a serving size of 3/4 cup. Healthy Choice Chicken Tortilla Soup (microwaveable bowl) has a serving size of one cup, and Ritz Crackers have a serving size of five crackers.
According to its label, a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream contains four servings. But when was the last time you measured out a fourth of a container of Cookies & Cream, then put the rest away for another day?
For many people, the reality is that much of a pint can easily vanish in one sitting. A large package of Cool Ranch Doritos lists a single serving as one ounce, or roughly 12 chips, but it’s hard to imagine keeping count of every last chip as you dig into a bag. And while 160 calories and two grams of saturated fat may sound like a small price to pay for a serving of Oreo cookies, keep in mind that technically speaking, a serving is a paltry three cookies.
In the face of mounting criticism, the Food and Drug Administration has been under pressure for years to force food makers to include more realistic serving-size information on their labels. The agency regulates the serving sizes that can be listed on packages by providing food makers with detailed guidelines to follow, which list the amounts of a specific food that a person would “customarily consume” in a typical sitting. But critics say these so-called reference amounts are often laughably small because they’re based in part on surveys of eating behavior that were carried out in the 1970s, when Americans ate less food and portions had not been supersized.
Now, in an effort to highlight the problems with some labels, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, has singled out what it says are some of the worst offenders.
At the top of its list are labels for canned soups, ice cream, coffee creamers and nonstick cooking sprays — all of which grossly understate the calories, sodium and saturated fat the average person typically consumes when eating these foods.
Canned soup may be one of the more stark examples. According to its label, a single serving of Campbell’s Chunky Classic Chicken Noodle soup is one cup — just under half a can — and contains about 790 milligrams of sodium. But in a national survey of 1,000 consumers, only 10 percent of people said they would eat a one-cup portion. Most, about 64 percent, said they would eat an entire can at one time, taking in 1,840 milligrams of sodium in a sitting. That is roughly 80 percent of the 2,300 milligrams recommended as the upper limit for daily salt intake under the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, and well above the 1,500 milligrams that health officials have said about half the population should adhere to (those with hypertension, African-Americans and people over 50).
A similar number of the people asked, 61 percent, said they would also eat the entire can of a condensed soup, like Campbell’s Chicken Noodle, which lists 2.5 servings per can. A single serving contains 890 milligrams of sodium, and the full can has 2,390 milligrams. About 27 percent of respondents said they would eat just half a can in one sitting.
The group also took issue with the “Healthy Request” labels, which are for soups that fall below 480 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Study: Foods To Lower Cholesterol WSJ 8/24/11


Monday, August 22, 2011

NYC Calorie Labeling Law---IT works!!!

WASHINGTON | Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:07am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York City's requirement that fast-food restaurants post calorie counts on menus led one in six customers to notice the information and buy foods with fewer calories, according to new research released on Tuesday.

While overall calorie consumption for the thousands of people tracked did not change, customers of McDonald's, Au Bon Pain and Yum Brands Inc's KFC were shown to make significant modifications, according to the study funded by the city of New York and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report, published in the British Medical Journal, is one of the first to show a 2008 New York City law, requiring restaurant chains to prominently post calorie information, changed customer buying habits

Way to go NYC for getting your people to read labels!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

8/16/11 Fruits and Vegetables--stop spending more--IFT

The IFT (Institute of Food Technology) posted this article. Finally someone agrees with me. Stop buying into market and just buy fruits and vegetables. Whatever the outside fruit and vegetable stand on my corner has, I buy. It is cheap and full of nutrients.

The researchers analyzed USDA Pesticide Data Program (PDP) results to identify the 10 most frequently detected pesticides on each of the 12 foods. Then, the probabilistic modeling method was used to determine the mean exposure of each pesticide for each food. The researchers compared this mean exposure estimate to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chronic reference dose, which is the estimated amount of a chemical that a person could be exposed to on a daily basis throughout the person’s lifetime without causing harm.

Winter and Katz found that the EPA’s reference doses for each of the pesticides exceeded the mean exposure estimates in all cases. In addition, the reference doses were more than 1,000 times higher than the exposure estimates in more than 90% of the comparisons.

“Such findings suggest that the potential consumer risks from exposure to the most frequently detected pesticides on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of foods are negligible and cast doubts as to how consumers avoiding conventional forms of such produce items are improving their health status,” wrote the authors.

Specifically, the researchers found that blueberries, cherries, and kale had reference doses that were 30,000 times higher than the exposure estimates for all of the 10 most frequently detected pesticides. Therefore, they concluded that these three commodities shouldn’t appear on the “Dirty Dozen” list. In addition, the researchers stressed that organic produce is not pesticide-free produce. In fact, while conventional produce was between 2.9–4.8 times more likely to contain detectable pesticide residues than organic produce, 23% of organic food samples still tested positive for pesticide residues.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Calorie labeling may help change meal choices 8/3/11 Institute of Food Technology

Calorie labeling may help change meal choices    8/3/11-Institute of Food Technology

A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that calorie counts on New York City fast-food menus may help people modify their meal choices. While overall calorie consumption for the thousands of people tracked did not change, customers of McDonald’s, Au Bon Pain, and KFC were shown to make modifications.
The researchers surveyed the lunchtime crowd at 168 randomly selected locations of the top 11 fast-food chains in New York City during lunchtime hours. They interviewed 7,309 adult customers 12 months before the law took effect and 8,489 customers in 2009 (nine months after the law was implemented). For the three main restaurant chains studied, customers on average bought 44 fewer calories at McDonald’s, 80 fewer calories at Au Bon Pain, and 59 fewer calories at KFC.
Subway, the popular sandwich chain, saw a significant increase in calories consumed during the survey because of its promotional offer for a $5, foot-long sandwich. The other chains saw little change in their customers’ purchases.
The researchers concluded that although no overall decline in calories purchased was observed for the full sample, several major chains saw significant reductions. After regulation, one in six lunchtime customers used the calorie information provided, and these customers made lower calorie choices.

8/2/11 Food Labeling New York Times

Designing a Better Food Label

How should the government improve the food label?
A project at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism has taken on the task of designing a better food label, asking for ideas to replace the current black and white Nutrition Facts label that appears on every food package. Although the designs aren’t part of the official effort to redesign food packages, the Berkeley project has generated dozens of new ideas that are likely to be considered by the United States Food and Drug Administration, which is in the process of revising the existing food label. This fall, the Institute of Medicine is expected to release its own report on food packaging and labeling.
“We asked food thinkers and design minds to come together and give advice on how they might rethink the food label and bring some insight into how design impacts choice,’’ said Lily Mihalik, co-creator of the project and a fellow in the News21 program, which is a journalism fellowship supported by the Carnegie and Knight Foundations. “There are a lot of things right with the current label, but at the same time people are confused. The question is whether a new nutrition facts label could help people make more educated decisions.’’
Renee WalkerClick on the photo for more.
The panel of judges included the food writer Michael Pollan; the consumer health activist Michael Jacobson; Dr. Robert Lustig, a San Francisco pediatrician; Laura Brunow Miner, a San Francisco graphic designer; and Andrew Vande Moere, a Belgian design professor.
The winning entry, from a San Francisco visual designer, Renee Walker, uses colorful boxes to depict the relative proportion of ingredients in a product. (Click on the photo to see four different examples of the label.)
“Walker’s design is dramatic, intriguing and holds great promise,’’ said Mr. Pollan. “I liked being able to see the visual breakdown of foods, although I wonder how her design would work with more complicated products, like Lucky Charms, say, or a PowerBar. Even so, it’s a step in the right direction. What I’d like to see next is some sort of color coding for the food groups and some attempt to show the degree of processing of various foods. Eating doesn’t have to be complicated; figuring out what’s in your food shouldn’t be

The articles is about new designs for the food label. Some graphic design students are working on for a class project. Who are their consultants? An author and a designer, not anyone involved in working with the public on nutrition.
Maybe RDs aren't seen as the experts.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Caught for not labeling Food--FDA June 2011

Your labeling violations include:
1. Your Diet to Go Tuna Meltover and New Century Foods Wahoo Burger products are misbranded within the meaning of section 403(w) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(w)] in that the labels fail to declare all major food allergens present in the products, as required by section 403(w)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(w)(1)].
Section 201(qq) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(qq)] defines milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans, as well as any food ingredient that contains protein derived from one of these foods, with the exception of highly refined oils, as “major food allergens.” A food is misbranded if it is not a raw agricultural commodity and it is, or it contains an ingredient that bears or contains, a major food allergen, unless either:
    1. The word Contains followed by the name of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived, is printed immediately after or adjacent to the list of ingredient [section 403(w)(1)(A) of the Act, [21 U.S.C. § 343(w)(1)(A)], or
    2. The common or usual name of the major food allergen in the list of ingredients is followed in parentheses by the name of the food source from which the major food allergen is derived (e.g. “wheat”), except that the name of the food source is not required when either the common or usual name of the ingredient uses the name of the food source or the name of the food source appears elsewhere in the ingredient list (unless the name of the food source that appears elsewhere in the ingredient list appears as part of the name of an ingredient that is not a major food allergen) [section 403(w)(1)(B) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 343(w)(1)(B)].
Your food labels fail to declare the following major food allergens specified by the Act:
  • Diet to Go Tuna Meltover: Your product contains the allergens, fish, milk, wheat and soy; however you fail to declare them on the product label.
  • New Century Foods Wahoo Fish Burger: Your product declares “fish” in the “Contains” statement; however it fails to declare the species of fish, i.e., wahoo and pollock, on its label as specified in the Act. Additionally, your product declares that it contains cod powder. If the ingredient contains cod protein, it must also be listed in the “Contains” statement.
2. Your Diet to Go Tuna Meltover and New Century Foods Wahoo Fish Burger are misbranded within the meaning of section 403(q) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(q)] in that your products fail to bear a nutrition facts panel on the product label as required by 21 CFR 101.9. Your website advertises these products as being part of your “low fat” diet food plan. These products are required to bear a nutrition facts panel because the product labeling bears a nutrient content claim. A nutrient content is a claim that characterizes the level of a nutrient (i.e., fat) which is of the type required to be in the labeling of the food.
Additionally, the nutritional information listed on your website for your Tuna Meltover and Wahoo Fish Burger products is not declared in accordance with 21 CFR 101.9. For example:
    • The calories from fat are not declared as required by 21 CFR 101.9(c)(1)(ii).
    • The Trans fat content is not declared as required by 21 CFR 101.9(c)(2)(ii).
    • The Vitamins and Minerals are not declared as required by 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(iii).
    • The sugar content is not declared as required by 21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)(ii).
    • The % Daily Values for all of the required nutrients are not declared.
    • The units for the declared fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber and protein content are not declared.
In addition to meeting the requirements of 21 CFR 101.9, your products must also meet the requirements set forth in 21 CFR 105.66 because they are represented for special dietary use in reducing body weight. Your firm’s products are represented as being useful in reducing or maintaining body weight because the menu and nutrition information on your website present the foods as part of meal plans such as “Low-Fat Traditional 1200 Calorie” and “Low-Fat Traditional 1600 Calorie.”
3. Your Diet to Go Tuna Meltover and New Century Foods Wahoo Fish Burger products are misbranded within the meaning of section 403(e)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(e)(1)] in that the labels do not contain the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor in accordance with 21 CFR 101.5.
4. Your Diet to Go Tuna Meltover and New Century Foods Wahoo Fish Burger products are misbranded within the meaning of section 403(e)(2) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(e)(2)] in that the labels fail to bear an accurate statement of the net quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count as required by 21 CFR 101.105. Your Diet to Go Tuna Meltover fails to declare a net weight and your New Century Foods Wahoo Fish Burger fails to declare the net weight in terms of pounds and ounces as required by 21 CFR 101.105(b)(2).
5. Your Diet to Go Tuna Meltover product is misbranded within the meaning of section 403(i)(2) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(i)(2)] in that the product is fabricated from two or more

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Food Labels Matter 6/30/11 in Food And Beverage Packaging

Labels matter to your customers and competitors
June 30, 2011

by Steven Kronenberg, guest columnist and attorney for Murphy, Pearson, Bradley& Feeney.

Although properly-documented health and nutrient content claims may promote food product sales, consumers and competitors may sue your company for false advertising and unfair competition if it exaggerates those claims. The Food and Drug Administration may also issue a warning letter that may require costly remedial measures. Proactively determining that your product’s claims are truthful, accurate, and well-documented may help your company promote its product while reducing the risk (and expense) of litigation and government investigation.

Consumers read product labeling and health/nutrient claims

Some studies have found that72% of consumers “often” or “sometimes” rely on food labeling nutrient claimslike “low fat” when deciding whether to buy a product. Similarly,a recent poll found that almost 70% of consumers read product nutrition facts and ingredients .

Consumers and competitors can sue companies for falsely advertising health/nutrient claims

The California Supreme Court recently held that plaintiffs who can truthfully allege that a product’s label deceived them into buying a product they would not have otherwise purchased can sue that product’s manufacturer for false advertising and unfair competition. (Kwikset v. Sup. Ct. (Benson) (2011) 51 Cal.4th 310, 316 [“Kwikset”].) In Kwikset, the plaintiffs alleged the Kwikset Corporation falsely labeled and advertised its locksets as “Made in U.S.A.,”although it manufactured some parts in other countries. (Id.) These alleged false representations purportedly violated country of origin labeling laws. (Id.) Plaintiffs claimed they relied on the company’s alleged misrepresentations in choosing to buy the locksets. (Id. at p. 319.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7/12/11 Michell Obama--Why not use RDs?

Michelle Obama's Shake Shack Burger Indulgence Defended by Nutritionists

PHOTO: First Lady Michelle Obama, a well-known advocate for healthy living and child nutrition, reportedly ate at Shake Shack, July 11, 2011.

Stop the presses, Michelle Obama might have eaten a hamburger.
The blogosphere erupted with criticism almost immediately after the Washington Post reported Monday that the first lady sat down at a newly opened Shake Shack in Washington D.C., where she ordered a ShackBurger, fries, a chocolate shake and a Diet Coke. According to the popular burger joint's website, that's a 1,556-calorie meal.
Many critiqued the first lady's public display of Shake Shack love as she continues to advocate for her Let's Move! campaign, an initiative to eliminate childhood obesity.
But even as the first lady-turned-health-advocate chowed down on a meal that contains almost an entire day's recommended calorie intake, most nutrition experts are telling people to relax.
"[This is an] unfortunate invasion of privacy for Mrs. Obama," said Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts School of Medicine in Boston. "She has kept her weight constant and engages in regular physical activity. An occasional indulgence is fine. For many people, that is what helps them keep on track most of the time."
Most experts agreed with Lichtenstein, while saying that the first lady's lunch is being unnecessarily scrutinized.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
First Lady Michelle Obama, a well-known... View Full Size
PHOTO: First Lady Michelle Obama, a well-known advocate for healthy living and child nutrition, reportedly ate at Shake Shack, July 11, 2011.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
First Lady Michelle Obama, a well-known advocate for healthy living and child nutrition, was seen indulging in a meal at Shake Shack, July 11, 2011.
Michelle Obama Remarks on Childhood Obesity Watch Video
The First Lady Keeps On Moving Watch Video
Michelle Obama Announces Nutrition Agreement Watch Video
"While the goal for healthy eating is to limit choices like fries and shakes, occasional treats won't hurt. The problem is that many Americans do this more than occasionally," said Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. "It is good to see that even someone as committed to health as the first lady knows that healthy eating is about balance not perfection."
One meal does not make up a dietary pattern, said Dr. David Katz, founder of the Yale Prevention Center.
"She ordered it, but we don't know how much she ate," he said. "Perhaps she did what is often advised under such circumstances; eat half, and wrap up the rest."
Dr. Randall Zusman, director of hypertension at Massachusetts General Hospital, said, "The problem for many persons is that their baseline diets and lifestyles are unhealthy; the norm for them is unhealthy and in that setting, a 1,500-cal lunch is only a small part of a much larger problem."
The first lady has acknowledged her occasional splurge on such foods in the past. Last year, she told ABC News' Robin Roberts, "I love burgers and fries, you know? And I love ice cream and cake. So do most kids. We're not talking about a lifestyle that excludes all that. That's the fun of being a kid. That's the fun of being a human."
Not to say that all medical experts were completely without their concerns.
"There are immediate adverse effects independent of weight," noted Dr. Peter McCullough, consultant cardiologist and chief academic and scientific officer at St. John Providence Health System, Providence Park Heart Institute, Warren, Mich., while citing the immediate cardiovascular implications of the meal.
And Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at University of Pittsburgh Medical, advised via email: "Shake OR fries OR burger, not all 3 at once!"
But Katz of the Yale Prevention Center had advice for those who sought to make an example of the first lady's lunch.
"I invite only those whose diets are housed with no walls of glass to hurl a burger in the first lady's direction on the basis of this one lunch," Katz said.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Radioactive beef, not radioactive Tofu WSJ July 2011

Radioactive beef discovered in Japan

According to The Wall Street Journal, on July 12, Japanese authorities found that beef contaminated with radioactive cesium had been shipped to shops and restaurants throughout the country. The beef, from six cattle raised on a farm near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, registered radioactive-cesium levels up to seven times that permitted by Japanese food safety standards. Some of the meat had already likely been eaten, government officials said.
Although experts said the level was too low to create health problems in people who ate just one or two servings, the report has reignited worries that the damaged Fukushima reactors could be poisoning staples from water to produce to fish. A month ago Japanese testers found higher-than-permitted levels of radioactive material in tea leaves that grew more than 200 miles from the nuclear plant—a sign contamination had spread farther than previously thought.
The six cattle—which had all passed external radiation tests—had been shipped earlier to Tokyo butchers, who had gone on to sell the meat to wholesalers and retail shops in eight prefectures, or states, and metropolitan areas. The farm that produced the contaminated meat had said it hadn’t given its cattle contaminated feed. The farmer later admitted he had fed his cattle straw that had been exposed to the elements—as well as radiation fallout—and that subsequent tests found to contain extremely high levels of radioactive cesium. That caused internal contamination that wasn’t detectable by the external radiation screening.
The Wall Street Journal article

New FDA labeling Post about regulations 7/12/11

Restaurant trade group asks FDA for flexibility on calorie posting

The National Council of Chain Restaurants has filed comments responding to menu labeling regulations proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), welcoming the proposal but asking for flexibility that would recognize differences between the restaurant industry and other foodservice sectors.
“Our members strongly supported adoption of a national menu labeling law, and we look forward to the orderly implementation of these requirements,” said NCCR Vice President Scott Vinson. “However, we have grave concerns regarding certain of the FDA’s proposed interpretations of the legislation Congress passed and the President signed into law. We hope the FDA will carefully consider our comments and adjust the final regulations to be consistent with the statute.”
In one example cited by NCCR in its 53 pages of comments, the FDA proposal includes an enforcement mechanism intended for the packaged food industry rather than the chain restaurant industry where food is prepared by hand and not machines. NCCR contends that the standard would be impossible for chain restaurants to comply with and would expose the industry’s thousands of small business franchisees to massive legal liability.
In addition, the NCCR asked that the FDA modify its initial proposal to ensure a smooth program rollout to the diverse array of chain restaurant concepts and similar retail food establishments. According to the NCCR, the FDA’s final regulations should incorporate a flexible approach in several key areas so that restaurants and other covered retailers are not burdened with unnecessary expenses and complexities, and consumers are provided information in ways that make sense and are easy to understand.
Press release
NCCR comments to FDA (pdf)