Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emile Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about urban agriculture and the solution it provides for sustainable and healthy living. The Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) in Birmingham, Alabama, however, is much more than an urban farm. Their vision is to educate 10,000 Birmingham children annually.
While growing up, many children may have heard "clean your plate" or been denied candy. But how do parental attitudes toward food affect a child's weight?
Denying certain foods to children or pressuring them to eat every bit of a meal are common practices among many parents. But researchers at the University of Minnesota found parents who restricted foods were more likely to have overweight or obese children. And while those who pressured children to eat all of their meals mostly had children of normal weight, it adversely affected the way those children ate as they grew older, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Fried chicken fingers, hamburgers, French fries and sugary sodas dominate children's menus in most chain restaurants, and most kids' meals fall short of meeting basic nutritional standards, a nonprofit health advocacy group said Thursday.
Some 97% of nearly 3,500 kids' meals analyzed don't meet basic nutritional standards, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said in its report "Kids' Meals: Obesity on the Menu."
What's more, 91% don't meet the National Restaurant Association's own nutritional guidelines for its Kids LiveWell program, a voluntary program for restaurant owners, according to the report.
Read the full story - Obesity on the menu for kids, group says - on CNN Health.
In Mississippi, you will never be denied a colossal soda or huge restaurant portion because of a city ordinance.
Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law preventing counties, districts and towns from enacting rules that limit portion sizes. It follows New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to ban the sale of large, sugary drinks in the city - a move that fizzled when a judge blocked the effort.
The Mississippi measure was dubbed the "Anti-Bloomberg" bill.
The new law says only the state legislature has the authority to regulate the sale and marketing of food on a statewide basis.
Got milk? It turns out that low-fat versions may not be the answer to helping kids maintain a healthy weight.
Long a staple of childhood nutrition, milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which can help to build bone, and experts believed that lower-fat versions could help children to avoid the extra calories that came with the fat in whole milk.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year, according to new research presented this week at an American Heart Association conference.
"This means about one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is caused by drinking sugary beverages," says study author Gitanjali Singh, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The term 'nanny state' can be heard echoing throughout New York City as the ban on large size sugary soft drink goes into effect next week.
Some businesses are figuring out ways to work around the ban.
It's a statistic we've been hearing far too often - and for far too long. Two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese - and the problem is only getting worse.
Even Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage company, is now calling obesity "the issue of this generation."
The world's most valuable brand took the last seat at a crowded table Monday, when it launched an ad campaign aimed at "reinforcing its efforts to work together with American communities, business and government leaders to find meaningful solutions to the complex challenge of obesity."
The chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, has a long and controversial history.
Used to manufacture some plastics – like the kinds in soda or water bottles – and as an anti-corrosive in aluminum cans, BPA has been under fire for some time from consumer advocacy groups.
The FDA recently banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups after concerns were raised about potential side effects on the “brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children,” according to the FDA website.