Nutrition & Health News, week of Feb. 10

10 Feb
  • Michelle Obama has been making appearances across the country to promote her Let’s Move! campaign during its second anniversary. So far, she’s gotten Jay Leno to eat fruits and vegetables, won a push-up contest against Ellen DeGeneres, and had a fitness throw-down with Jimmy Fallon in the White House (she won that one too). As the Let’s Move! campaign shifts its priorities from obesity prevention to promotion of physical activity, she’s all about practicing what you preach. [photo via Obama Foodorama]
  • A study released by the CDC shows that Americans’ blood levels of trans-fatty acids decreased by 58% between 2000 and 2009. Trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils, are common in processed foods and the worst type of fat one can consume. After trans fats were linked with poor health effects, the FDA required foods companies to label trans fat content explicitly – leading many companies to find alternatives to using partially hydrogenated oils in their products. While there are still plenty of foods that contain trans fat, this is definitely a public health win! [Fooducate]
  • Walmart released its own front-of-pack (FOP) labeling system for food products, which is largely based off recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (although not identical) to the FDA. Because the FDA has yet to make a decision on a standard FOP labeling system, Walmart is now one of the many food manufacturers, grocery store chains, and industry groups that have created their own labels. Although the labels are supposedly meant to help consumers make healthy choices, they can be misleading without standardization. That being said, Walmart’s standards for labeling something “great for you” are stricter than most, only applying to 20% of the store’s own branded foods. [The Atlantic]
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