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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nutrition in the News

This week 2 stories highlighted the news in nutrition. 
New York City  bans large, sugary drinks.   This story got a lot of coverage across the media.  Mayor Bloomberg took a stance against the supersized sugary drinks.  What actions were taken?
  •            Many food establishments in New York City are being banned from serving sugary beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces.
  •              Food establishments affected by this ban are pizzerias, movie theaters, fast-food restaurants, delis, even the concession stands at Yankee stadium

So is this ban which is effective in March, a good or bad thing?  That depends on who you talk to.   Some public health experts support the ban because of America’s growing problem of obesity.  The  Wall Street Journal  noted that the beverage and restaurant industry are opposed to this ban, as are 6 out of 10 people in New York City.   
Some establishments are trying to figure out if they are even affected by the ban.  As the article in Wall Street Journal notes, Starbucks has to determine if their 24 ounce Frappuccino can now be sold, especially since it contains a lot of milk and not just sugar.
McDonalds to Post Calories
Do you like to eat at McDonald’s? Well next week you will be able to more easily determine how much calories are packed into that burger and fries.  McDonald’s has announced they will post calories inside the restaurant and even on their drive-thru menus. 
A McDonald’s press release  was issued on September 12th and stated this action was being taken to “further inform and help customers and employees make nutrition-minded choices.”  Additionally, the company will use USDA’s MyPlate to recommend food items meeting the food groups in MyPlate.  To further promote nutrition, McDonald’s is launching a nutrition e-learning program for its 750,000 employees.  This is to educate their employees on the calories and nutrition in the McDonald’s menu items. 
An announcer on National Public Radio’s Market Watch said McDonald’s announcement has already affected her favorite food item that she usually partakes in at McDonald’s.  She usually has gotten the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese which has a whopping 750 calories.  Now that she has taken the initiative to look up the calories in her usually burger, she says she will be switching to a Double Cheeseburger which is 440 calories.  Good substitution as she cuts back on 310 calories by making this one simple change in her diet. 
So, going to McDonald’s next week?  Look for the new calorie charts and check out how many calories your fast-food lunch or dinner contains.  Can you make a healthier choice at McDonald’s?  Will you use the new calorie postings to choose foods with less calories and less fat? 

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