• McDonald’s announced this week that it will be offering “healthier” options in the Happy Meal – automatically including a serving of produce (apple slices) and reducing overall calories, fat, and sodium. The serving of fries will be reduced by 1oz, but is still automatically included, and a meal still has 19g of fat (4.5 of it saturated!). Marion Nestle calls these changes “tiny baby steps” in the right direction and I’m inclined to agree. [New York Times]
  • As the leader in anti-obesity initiatives through Let’s Move!, Michelle Obama got a lot of flack for ordering a 1,700 calorie meal at Shake Shack in Washington, D.C. this week. President Obama responded by saying, basically, she believes healthy eating is important, but so is moderation – everyone deserves a treat once in awhile and the First Lady is not about to deny herself fries and a milkshake. [Obama Foodorama]
  • The USDA is in the process of (finally) redesigning the nutrition label to be more clear and user-friendly for consumers. Hopefully the USDA will consider designs submitted to a project at UC Berkeley School of Journalism that asked people to redesign food labels,  judged by Michael Pollan (who is a professor at Berkeley) and other experts. The winning designs are certainly creative (and graphically interesting), but I’m not convinced that any of them completely solve the current label’s problems. You can vote for your favorite on their website. [GOOD]
  • Boston Medical Center reports that they have seen an increase in the number of underweight children visiting the emergency room. A 2010 survey in the BMC ED revealed that 28% of families with children reported not having enough food to eat in the last month. They attribute the increase to rising food prices and the poor economy, with more and more MA residents enrolling in food stamp benefits (SNAP). Not only does underweight cause health problems, but it may be linked to obesity later in life due to body adaptation in starvation conditions. [Boston Globe]

Happy weekend!