Stories about: health

FDA tired of misleading food labels

chocolate cheeriosWhether it’s Chocolate Cheerios advertising that it “may reduce the risk of heart disease”, Juicy Juice claiming it aids “brain development” or Nestle’s Drumsticks showcasing it has “0g Trans Fat” but leaving out that eating them may actually help make you fat – the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is fed up with false and misleading claims on food labels.

The FDA has sent out a group of letters warning companies about their misleading advertising practices. The commissioner of food and drugs, Margaret Hamburg, M.D., stated on the FDA’s website, “Today, ready access to reliable information about the calorie and nutrient content of food is even more important, given the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases in the United States.”

The FDA sent out 17 letters in total addressing the questionable labeling on 22 food products. You can view a list of all of these products on the FDA’s website.

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Insurance coverage for alternative therapies

24710045.thbAlternative medical practices, such as acupuncture and dietary supplements, have often been relegated to the fringe of established medicine. But some senators are pushing forward an amendment that could get alternative therapies covered by insurance.

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Obesity rates leveling off for the nation’s children?

ludwig
David Ludwig, MD, PhD

Since 1980, national childhood obesity rates have more than tripled. But a new study, released last week, suggests that the percentage of obese children may have reached a plateau. In Massachusetts, the percentage of obese children has remained stable—at 30 percent—since 2003. Nationally, the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.

The report, released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, includes a clever map that charts the percentage of overweight and obese children and adults in all 50 states. Despite this leveling off,  David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Obesity Program, thinks the nation’s obesity problem is far from solved. Here, he weighs in with the Boston Globe about the unacceptably high rate of childhood obesity.

Among the figures:

  • Out of the 10 states with the highest rate of obese and overweight children, eight are in the South
  • Mississippi has the highest level of obese and overweight children, at 44.4 percent.
  • Minnesota and Utah are tied for the lowest rate of obese and overweight children
  • No states saw a decrease in adult obesity

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Our nation’s obesity epidemic

ludwig
David Ludwig, MD, PhD

Since 1980, national childhood obesity rates have more than tripled. But a new study, released last week, suggests that the percentage of obese children may have reached a plateau. In Massachusetts, the percentage of obese children has remained stable—at 30 percent—since 2003. Nationally, the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.

The report, released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, includes a clever map that charts the percentage of overweight and obese children and adults in all 50 states. Despite this leveling off,  David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Obesity Program, thinks the nation’s obesity problem is far from solved. Here, he weighs in with the Boston Globe about the unacceptably high rate of childhood obesity.

Among the figures:

  • Out of the 10 states with the highest rate of obese and overweight children, eight are in the South
  • Mississippi has the highest level of obese and overweight children, at 44.4 percent.
  • Minnesota and Utah are tied for the lowest rate of obese and overweight children
  • No states saw a decrease in adult obesity

Read Full Story