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Image via Wikipedia
Image by Mike Saechang via Flickr
7 foods to die for. Des Moines: "Suck it, Jamie Oliver. Hell, we enjoy a good salad with fresh garden veggies and maybe some lean grilled chicken from time to time. But if you’re searching for all-natural, organic, healthy options for a meal, turn away. This is not that story."
MSN.com reports: Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett doesn't run away from the most obese city title. "I'm not saying we shouldn't be last," he says. "There are issues here that are real that we're not running away from. We have an obesity problem." In Oklahoma City almost one in three people weighs in as obese, and the diabetes rate is a sky-high 10.5 percent. The city lacks farmers' markets, and virtually everyone drives to work.Where is your city? And where are you?
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
San Francisco, Calif.
San Diego, Calif.
San Jose, Calif.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Virginia Beach, Va.
New York, N.Y.
Kansas City, Mo.
St. Louis, Mo.
Los Angeles, Calif.
New Orleans, La.2
San Antonio, Texas
Las Vegas, Nev.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
From Eater National: "It's a given that restaurant meals are high in calories, but Claim Jumper — the national Gold Rush-themed restaurant chain with 46 locations in eight states in the western U.S. — may very well be be the biggest transgressor when it comes to calorie overload. After much demand, the chain has finally released the nutritional information for the notoriously large, gravy-laden dishes it serves. Apparently, the reason anyone goes there is for the 'value' and the ridiculous portions: doggy bags are expected. But the raw numbers are completely mind-boggling. Here's a look at the nutritional info of some of their signature dishes:
· Beef Back Ribs: 4,301 calories, 156 grams of saturated fat, and 7,623 mg of sodium.
· Black Tie Chicken Pasta: 3,773 calories, 134 grams of fat, and 4,638 mg of sodium.
· Citrus Chicken Salad (Charbroiled): 2,520 calories, 33 grams of saturated fat, and 1,776 mg of sodium.
Image via WikipediaMy experience and millions of other experiences have now been verified by researchers.
“In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss,” says Eric Ravussin, a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and an expert on weight loss. It’s especially useless because people often end up consuming more calories when they exercise. The mathematics of weight loss is, in fact, quite simple, involving only subtraction. “Take in fewer calories than you burn, put yourself in negative energy balance, lose weight,” says Braun, who has been studying exercise and weight loss for years.
But in the exercising group, the dose of exercise required was nearly an hour a day of moderate-intensity activity, what the federal government currently recommends for weight loss but “a lot more than what many people would be able or willing to do,” Ravussin says.
Exercise for many women (and for some men) increases the desire to eat. Read more...
Baltimore Sun: Docs down on Double-Down: "Is it a sandwich or a controlled substance?
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the new KFC Double Down, the bunless fried-on-fried wonder that started shortening American lifespans today, should be treated like the latter.
The committee has asked KFC to market the Double Down as if it were tobacco or alcohol, which means not advertising it within 500 yards of a school or otherwise promoting it to kids."
"Just as many young people don't understand the risks of tobacco, they often do not realize that high-fat, meat-heavy meals greatly increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some types of cancer," Susan Levin, the committee's director of nutrition education, wrote in a letter to David C. Novak, chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc., KFC's parent company.
The Double Down is a bacon-and-cheese sandwich that uses two fried chicken fillets in place of bread. It has 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.
Image via WikipediaWhen I started this blog in 2006, it just seemed like common sense that restaurants needed to provide portions in the rightsize. With an expanding economy and expanding waistlines, it was clear, something was going to explode. Unfortunately, both did.
Restaurant chains roll out small bites at small prices - USATODAY.com: "Some of the nation's most familiar casual-dining chains are suddenly thinking smaller.I think it's how all generations must eat.
They're rolling out tapas-like small plates of shareable items that typically are cheaper than appetizers by a buck or two — or even three.
With business still in the tank — and customers hard to lure out of the I-can-eat-cheaper-at-home mentality — a cadre of casual-dining icons, including Houlihan's, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen and BJ's Restaurants, are trying to boost business with value-priced items to be passed around the table.
The move comes at a time when the $75 billion casual-dining business — and the restaurant industry overall — continues to suffer.
For the most recent month available, 57% of restaurants reported a same-store sales decline in January from a year ago — worse than the 49% in December, says the National Restaurant Association.
Casual-dining chains are trying just about anything. They're particularly eager to attract socially minded Millennials who are just as comfortable sharing a plate of food as they are sharing social media.
"This is how the next generation is eating," says Bob Hartnett, CEO at Houlihan's, which just rolled out 23 small-plate items. "And we're in the business of giving people what they want. If we don't give it to them, they'll find someone else who will."
Image via WikipediaI don't know if U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro reads my blog, but the Connecticut Representative led the historic fight for obesity in the new Health Care Bill. Now all across America, you will know what the calories are in a Whopper, Big Mac or a simple Mocha, just by looking at the menu.
Provision In Health Care Bill Requires Many Restaurants To Post Calorie Count - Courant.com: "The provision, championed by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, received little fanfare and was overshadowed by other aspects of the health care overhaul. But public health advocates hailed it as historic and predicted it would become a powerful weapon in the national fight against obesity.
"When people have information about calories, they do make better choices," said Marlene B. Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.
A study conducted by the center found that people ate considerably less when calorie information was listed on a restaurant's menu. And given that almost 50 percent of all meals are prepared outside the home, "people simply have the right to know this information," Schwartz said.
Everyone knows a Big Mac packs a punch, but the caloric calculus isn't always easy or obvious: Sometimes a salad can contain far more calories than a pizza slice. Under the provisions of the bill, diners will be confronted with the calorie counts of their meals right on the menu, or at the drive-through window; not in tiny writing on the wrapper or on a website they can't access until later.
DeLauro has pushed for the bill at the federal level for several years, but in the past it had been stalled by opposition from the restaurant industry. However, the industry signed on to the measure this year, saying a blanket federal policy is better than a state-by-state approach.
"Different laws in each state would make it difficult to comply," said Nicole Griffin, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. "Now we'll have national uniformity, something we've been advocating from the beginning."
"Dining out no longer has to be a nutritional guessing game," said Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit health-advocacy group based in Washington. "People could cut hundreds, thousands, of calories from their diet."
Calorie counts must be listed on menus, menu boards, drive-through displays and vending machines under the law. Additional information—such as sodium levels, carbohydrates and saturated fats—must be available on request. Temporary specials and custom orders are exempted.
A growing number of state, county and local regulations already require similar disclosures, and those rules will be superceded by the federal law.
There has been debate about whether such menu labeling actually affects consumers’ behavior. Some recent studies have found that such labeling leads to healthier eating: The New York City health department examined the behavior of 12,000 customers of 13 chain restaurants in 275 locations in the city before and after menu labeling was implemented in the city in 2008.
Preliminary results show that one in six fast-food customers report using the calorie-count information. Consumers who said they used the information bought items with 106 fewer calories compared with those who didn’t see or use the information.
From Culinate.com: Traditionally the flavor of processed orange juice depended only on the oranges squeezed. Now the flavor is sourced from all parts of oranges everywhere. Many consumers would be shocked and disappointed to learn that most processed orange juice, a product still widely perceived to be the definition of purity, would be undrinkable without an ingredient referred to within the industry as “the flavor pack.” Read more...
#1. California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing (full)
30 g saturated fat
2,082 mg sodium
CPK is no stranger to the title of “Worst Salad in America”—in fact, last year’s Thai Crunch Salad from California Pizza Kitchen won this dubious distinction for having over 2,000 calories.
#2. Cheesecake Factory Caesar Salad with Chicken
16 g saturated fat
1,481 mg sodium
23 g carbohydrates
The top three words you never want to see sharing a space with “salad” on a menu: tuna, taco, and yes, the mighty Caesar.
#3. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad with Oriental Vinaigrette
This salad starts out with a bed of “Fresh Asian greens,” according to the menu. Unfortunately, these greens serve as a bed for deep-fried chicken tenders and carbohydrate-heavy crispy noodles. Without dressing, this dish rings in at 840 calories—already more than in an Applebee’s hamburger.
Read the others...
From Slow Food USA:: "Over the last few months, more than 17,000 kids, parents and ordinary citizens have sent letters to Congress asking legislators to invest in healthier food when they reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act this spring. 3,000 of those letters were hand-written (or hand-drawn, with crayons) and then mailed to legislators’ offices by post, with help from Slow Food leaders across the country.
Anna Green, one of the leaders of Slow Food High Desert in Central Oregon, worked with teachers and school administrators at La Pine Middle School to help eighty students write letters to U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. Anna scanned a few of the best letters and sent them to us in a PDF – click here to read them. As a teaser, here are a few of the best quotes:
“We want real grated cheese made in Oregon.”
“I think us kids diserve [sic] better food in school.”
“We shouldn’t have any more greasy food.”
"Obesity continues to bet on the children’s tongues as wards of the irresistible junk food companies. After all, his ranks keep swelling and the Fat Pride movement is picking up steam."
Image via WikipediaI have been saying this for a while. Posting nutrition information is good for consumers and business.
From QSRweb.com: Studies show calorie postings affect consumer choices, not bottom line: A recent Ohio State University study provides more evidence that consumers do pay attention to calorie counts of meals when they are provided conveniently.
The study collected data about choices consumers made among 12 entrees offered at a university dining center that operates much like a QSR. Researchers found that when nutrition information was provided at the point-of-purchase, sales of high-calorie entrees dramatically decreased, while sales of lower-calorie items substantially increased. After the nutrition information was removed, sales of the higher-calorie items gradually increased again.
Of significance to operators, sales did not decline during the study, said Gail Kaye, one of the study's authors. The revenue per entree sold remained consistent before, during and after the nutrition information was offered. This finding could help reduce qualms of restaurants hesitant to offer calorie information to consumers for fear that sales would decrease.
Image via WikipediaI like the idea, but don't count on the money going towards obesity prevention. Remember the billions of dollars the states promised to spend on stopping smoking. Most of it went up in smoke within the general budgets.
A California lawmaker introduced legislation on Thursday that would tax sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks and use the proceeds to bankroll programs to fight childhood obesity.
The bill, introduced by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, would slap a 1-cent levy on every teaspoon of added sugar and other caloric sweeteners in commercial beverages sold.
Initial projections from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy estimated the excise tax on beverage distributors could raise $1.5 billion a year, with funds going directly to cities and schools to pay for childhood obesity prevention programs throughout the state.
Image via WikipediaWhy must companies grow their profits every 90 days? Has Wall Street fundamentally ruined America?
For reasons that make no sense to me at all, corporations are not allowed to simply make a profit. Their profits must constantly increase. They must report growth in profits to Wall Street every 90 days.
For food companies, this is not so easy. We already have twice as many calories available in the food supply as needed by our population - nearly 4,000 calories per capita per day. How to deal with this? Find new buyers.
General Mills says its “recipe for profitable growth” will target three specific groups: Hispanics, aging baby boomers (those aged 55 and over), and millennials (baby boomers’ kids aged 16-33).
Image via WikipediaFinally the FDA is moving out of the 1990s, and relooking at nutrition labeling.
NY Times: Consider the humble chip: most potato or corn chip bags today show a one-ounce serving size, containing a tolerable 150 calories, or thereabouts. But only the most disciplined snacker will stop at an ounce. For some brands, like Tostitos Hint of Lime, that can be just six chips.
So to get ready for front-of-package nutrition labeling, the F.D.A. is now looking at bringing serving sizes for foods like chips, cookies, breakfast cereals and ice cream into line with how Americans really eat. Combined with more prominent labeling, the result could be a greater sense of public caution about unhealthy foods.
“If you put on a meaningful portion size, it would scare a lot of people,” said Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina. “They would see, ‘I’m going to get 300 calories from that, or 500 calories.’ ”