Doctors write a prescription for fresh produce
July 23rd, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Bad cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure; these are all conditions that often prompt a trip to the pharmacy. But now, physicians are administering a different treatment entirely: produce. Doctors at select clinics across the country are writing some obese patients "prescriptions" for fruits and vegetables.

The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program provides daily $1 subsidies to buy produce at local farmers markets. FVRx, as it is also known, is funded through Wholesome Wave, a non-profit organization which operates from private donations. Each member of a family gets the $1 prescription so, for example, a family of five would end up getting $35 per week to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Man suffers heart attack while eating "Triple Bypass" burger at Heart Attack Grill
February 15th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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"Doctor" Jon Basso thought "Nurse" Bridgett was kidding when she informed the Heart Attack Grill owner that a customer was suffering some medical difficulties in the dining room.

The situation was, in fact, as serious as a heart attack. FOX5 News Las Vegas reports that this past weekend, a man in his 40s began experiencing chest pains while consuming one of the restaurant's signature 6,000 calorie "Triple Bypass" burgers. Basso, who is not a medical professional, called 911, and EMTs and paramedics arrived on the scene quickly.

The customer - or "patient" as they are referred to at the restaurant, which moved from Chandler, Arizona to Las Vegas last October - is reportedly alive and recuperating. Sadly, that's not the case for the restaurant's 575-pound spokesman, who died last March at the age of 29.

Take my snack cakes? Over my blinded, bloated body!
January 12th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian, podcast host and author of the upcoming memoir "Agorafabulous! Dispatches Fom My Bedroom."

Diabetes is scary. But a world without Twinkies is hard to swallow.

Like other red-blooded Americans, I breathed a sweet sigh of relief when Hostess Brands announced that despite its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing it would not, in fact, cease production of Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and other seductively-named products.

Hostess also announced that there would be no layoffs, but do we give a flying Yodel about that? After all, ours is a nation in love with dessert, especially when said dessert is crafted largely of saturated fat and sugar in a laboratory.

Food is not the athlete's enemy sez Joe Bastianich
July 5th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and a judge on the FOX series "MasterChef." An avid runner, Joe has competed in numerous marathons and triathlons and will be tackling his first full Ironman in Kona this October. With that experience in these two worlds, he offers The Chart's Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge community his thoughts on having satisfying meals while training.

Whether you are already athletic and looking to up your game with a triathlon, or are just beginning your journey on the road to getting fit, what you put in your body plays a big role in the performance you’ll get out of it.

We’ve been taught to think of food – especially carbs – as our enemy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Food is what fuels our bodies, allowing us to physically push ourselves to reach our own potential for fitness and athleticism. But when we think about a diet to match a healthy active lifestyle, too often we mistakenly buy into the old adage that getting in shape means resigning to a bland and unsatisfying diet of meager proportions. For someone who’s spent their entire life in some of the best Italian restaurants in the country, bland, meager, and unsatisfying just isn’t going to cut it.

Read Athletes, please, eat the pasta!

Previously - Joe Bastianich's rock 'n' roll dreams

Lunchtime poll – should schools rule kids' lunches?
April 12th, 2011
12:45 PM ET
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Any e-mail tip from Ali Velshi tends to be the most interesting thing in my inbox, and today was no exception. As he'll be discussing on today's CNN Newsroom, Monica Eng and Joel Hood of the Chicago Tribune report that a school on the city's West Side is prohibiting its students from bringing home-prepared lunches to school, unless they have a medical excuse or an allergy.

Instead, the children at Little Village Academy, must either purchase lunch from the school's cafeteria, or opt to skip lunch entirely. Unsurprisingly, students and parents alike are unhappy with the blanket policy, and are speaking out.

5@5 - Chef Annie Somerville
March 9th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Anyone remember the Outback Steakhouse commercial with Jemaine Clement of "Flight of the Conchords" fame touting his diet as "semi-veg?"

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

OK ... so maybe we're the only ones.

In any event, there's a growing movement of people, aptly dubbed "flexitarians," doing just that – living a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle with the occasional pork chop here and there.

One such person is Chef Annie Somerville of the vegetarian Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, California. She certainly doesn't have beef with folks eating meat - she just thinks you might want to consider doing it a little less often.

Five Reasons to Be a Flexitarian: Annie Somerville

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Diets • Eating Habits • Health News • News • Think • Vegetarian

Clean food fuels this NASCAR driver
February 18th, 2011
06:30 PM ET
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Who needs Mobil 1? There’s enough hamburger, bratwurst, and pork chop grease around the infield garages at Daytona International Speedway to lube every pushrod, crankshaft and exhaust valve in the joint.

It may not be 200 mph, but the speed at which pit crews, officials, and media types race around the garage area can be dizzying. There’s little time to lounge and enjoy the warm Florida sunshine, let alone a proper meal. What precious minutes crew members may have between adjustments and repairs are spent refueling themselves. It doesn’t take a keen eye to see there’s plenty of fuel around - and not the Sunoco kind.

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Filed under: Eating Habits • Health News • News

January 31st, 2011
01:15 PM ET
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In light of both the class action lawsuit alleging that Taco Bell's "seasoned beef" is in fact insufficiently beefy and the USDA's new dietary guidelines, Newsroom's Kyra Phillips and I chatted about the role of personal responsibility when it comes to your nutritional intake. (That is assuming that you're lucky enough to have a choice in the matter - as author Lawrence Ross pointed out on Twitter.)

Knowledge is power, but are you harnessing it for yourself?

USDA says halt the salt
January 31st, 2011
09:14 AM ET
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The federal government plans to unveil new dietary guidelines Monday that urge people to eat less salt, a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman said Monday.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius plan to formally unveil the guidelines at 10 a.m.

The guidelines, which are updated every five years, recommended that those over 51, African Americans and people with a history of hypertension, diabetes or kidney problems limit their salt intake to a little over a half a teaspoon. For everyone else, the daily recommendation remains at 2,300 milligrams - about one teaspoon of salt.

Read Feds: Eat less salt

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