Have you ever stood near the checkout of a grocery store and stared at the rack of chocolate bars, debating whether anyone would judge you for buying the king-size?
You know the regular size is enough to satisfy your craving, but the bigger candy bar is only 40 cents more and it just... Looks. So. Good.
Worry no more – Mars, Inc. is going taking that decision out of your hands. The company that produces M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, Snickers and Twix bars has vowed to stop shipping any Mars chocolate products that exceed 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013.
How many times have you been to the movie theater, ordered a regular-sized popcorn or soda and been asked, “Would you like a large for a quarter more?” What about ordering a sandwich at your local deli? "Make it a combo!" you probably say.
We’re trained early on, oftentimes by our parents, to clean our plates or no dessert. Frequently, regardless of how hungry we are, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
Sure, the medium-sized popcorn would’ve been entirely satisfying, but if offered the larger portion, we’re going to take it and eat it – all of it.
Editor's note: Laura Schmidt and her colleagues, Robert Lustig and Claire Brindis, are the authors of "The toxic truth about sugar." To read the full commentary, visit the science journal Nature.
I am a medical sociologist, which means I study the health of whole societies. I've spent more than 20 years studying the best possible ways to address alcohol problems in societies - what works and what doesn't to protect people from harm.
I work as a professor in the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and at the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. This allows me to connect with other scientists who come from very different backgrounds but who want to work together on big problems - think of a Manhattan Project, only one focused on protecting health through the collaboration of scientists who study everything from tiny cells to entire societies.
So three years ago, a pediatric endocrinologist named Rob Lustig walks into my office and asks for my help. Rob tells me that he's finding many connections between the metabolism of fructose (sugar) and ethanol (alcohol) in his work on metabolic functioning, liver damage and the obesity epidemic.
Read the full story - Opinion: Why we should regulate sugar like alcohol
School meals will have to offer fruits and vegetables to students every day under standards issued by the United States Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.
The meal programs, which feed about 32 million students in public and private schools, will have to reduce sodium, saturated fat and trans fats. Schools must also offer more whole grains as well as fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.
These standards go into effect July 1 and will be phased in over a three-year period, according to the USDA.
The new nutrition standards are largely based on recommendations by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, as part of efforts to curb childhood obesity. Recent numbers show that about 17% of children in the United States are obese.
Read the full story: "USDA issues new rules for school meals"
The idea of a well-rounded school lunch may skip the "wellness" factor and skip straight to the "rounded" - in the form of pizza.
Congress unveiled its latest short-term $182 billion spending bill late Monday, which among the legislation, would deny funding to the new - and healthier - school meal nutrition standards the Department of Agriculture proposed earlier this year amid growing concerns of childhood obesity.
FoodCorps is sending passionate, dedicated service members to American communities hoping to revolutionize the way we eat.
Many of us have heard the statistics - about one-third of American adults and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese. One in seven low-income, preschool-aged children are also considered as such.
These numbers can be overwhelming, and when faced with a stagnating economy, high unemployment and a deeply divided Congress, it’s hard to see a solution.
But in 2009, when President Obama signed the Kennedy Serve America Act into law, expanding the AmeriCorps program, one group of people saw the opportunity for change.
Hold that cheeseburger.
Across the pond in Europe, Denmark is becoming the first country in the world to impose a so-called fat tax on foods high in saturated fats.
That includes everything from cheeseburgers and pizza to butter, milk, cheese and oils. Many Danes stocked up on these yummy groceries before the tax went into effect his weekend.
How much the "fat tax" is depends on how much saturated fat is in any given food, but it comes out to about $3 for every 2 pounds of saturated fat.
Read Should there be a tax on foods high in saturated fats? at The Cafferty Files
While the United Nations convenes for a two day high-level meeting to discuss ways to curb the death toll from non-communicable diseases a celebrity chef is asking the General Assembly to focus their attentions on one issue in particular: obesity.
In an open letter to the U.N.'s Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, celebrity chef, television personality and healthy food activist Jamie Oliver pleads with the group to recognize the global impact of the obesity epidemic and take concrete measures to educate the public about healthier cooking and eating.
Hospitaliano is about to get a whole lot healthier.
Darden Restaurants, the world's largest full-service restaurant company and the parent organization behind popular chain eateries including Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, announced today that it is committing to reduce the calorie count and salt content of its food and provide more nutritious options on its children’s menus.
McDonald’s Happy Meals are getting their fat and calories trimmed, the fast food giant announced Tuesday.
The seemingly ubiquitous Happy Meals that have drawn the ire of health advocates and have been blamed for contributing to childhood obesity, will carry apple slices, reduced portion of french fries and a choice of beverage, including new fat-free chocolate milk and 1% low-fat white milk.
The core of the Happy Meal will remain the same as kids will still get fries (a smaller portion) and a choice of a hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets.
The changes are scheduled to begin September with the hopes that all 14,000 restaurants will transition to the new Happy Meals by the first quarter of 2012.
The suggested retail price of the Happy Meal will not change.
Read the full story: "Happy Meal gets a makeover"