• Michelle Obama announced yesterday that large retailers like WalMart and others would be working together to eliminate or reduce food deserts by opening or expanding 1,500 stores in such communities. A food desert is an area where residents lack access to affordable, nutritious food in low-income areas. As much as I dislike Wal-Mart (for their labor practices, mostly) and other similar retailers, this seems like an important initiative – whether it will actually increase access to (and consumption of) healthy foods remains to be seen. [New York Times USDA Fact Sheet Obama Foodorama]
  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which publishes the Nutrition Action Newsletter and advocates for nutrition issues, released it’s list of “Xtreme Eating Awards.” The “awards” are given to restaurant meals that are excessively high in calorie, fat, and sodium content – some of them topping an entire day’s worth of calories. The executive director said, “[the] winners certainly contribute to obesity, and to heart disease, high blood pressure and other illnesses…And just as bad, these huge meals shape our way of thinking what’s a normal size meal.” [CSPI]
  • According to a new Bundle study on spending, Bostonians spend 92% less than the national average on fast food. Plano, Texas tops the list, spending 2.3 times more than the national average. [Bundle]
  • A study by Tufts University of the calorie content of chain restaurant meals found that many restaurants’ give an inaccurate count of the calories. Almost 1 in 5 restaurants underestimated counts by 100 calories compared to what was advertised on their menu or website. This was particularly true for soups and salads, which people often believe to be healthier options when dining out.  Beware! [Boston Globe]
  • Boston hospitals ranked among the U.S. News top hospitals in the nation – Massachusetts General Hospital came in 2nd this year (behind perpetual winner Johns Hopkins), moving up from 3rd, and Brigham & Women’s slid in at number 8. [Bostonist]

Stay cool this weekend!