Massachusetts is full of nutrition news this week!

  • Massachusetts released new state regulations on the foods that can be sold in public schools, which are arguably the strictest enacted by any state yet. The rules, approved by the MA Public Health Council, apply to all food sold in vending machines, snack shops, and extra menu items – everything except for federally-subsidized lunches served in the main cafeteria lines – and go into effect in August 2012. Look for a breakdown of exactly what the regulations entail in a later post. [Boston Globe]
  •  A controversial article* written by Harvard researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association argues that parents of severely obese children should be stripped of their custody rights. Arguing that out of medical concern and to protect the interests of the child, such children should be placed in foster care until they lose enough weight. There are so many things wrong (and disturbing) with this argument that I don’t know where to begin. Besides the fact that social services are already overwhelmed and couldn’t possibly handle an influx of obese children (just think about it in terms of sheer numbers), the most upsetting part is that the author places the blame for a child’s obesity solely on “poor parenting,” when obesity is a health condition with a multitude of causes. [The Atlantic, JAMA]
  • As part of Mayor Menino’s Healthy Food Initiative (which recently banned soft drinks from state offices), Boston food trucks will be required to offer at least one healthy option. Perhaps that’s why the 15 newly approved food trucks supposed to launch yesterday but, due to a variety of factors, didn’t – turning the day into a “soft launch” instead, with only 6 of 15 new trucks parked at the city’s new locations. [Boston Globe]
  • Surprise, surprise, ball-pits and other playgrounds at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s are dirty places full of gross germs, including staph bacteria and possibly meningitis. And probably dirty diapers. [Huffington Post]
  • And speaking of Massachusetts, methinks the staff of popular food website Serious Eats was in and around Boston recently given the number of MA-related posts. They ate plenty of lobster rolls, sushi, flatbread, and dumplings, to name a few. [Serious Eats]

*If you would like a PDF copy of the original article, please contact me in the comments with your email address and I’ll send it your way.