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Upcoming APHA Webinar Series on Food, Justice, and Health Equity

As part of National Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association is hosting a 4-part webinar series on food, justice, and health equity. The first in the series is this Thursday, April 10th on “Food justice, Obesity & the Social Determinants of Health.” Speakers include Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH APHA President-Elect and Cecilia Martinez, PhD, Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy.

Here’s the description of this week’s webinar from APHA: Healthy communities depend on food environments that allow for access to healthy food. Where you live should not dictate how well you eat, or how that food is grown, but it often does. APHA President Elect, Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, discusses food environments as drivers of obesity and related diseases, as well as critical elements in achieving health equity. Respondent Dr. Cecelia Martinez of the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) will discuss community indicators for food justice.

Register here for the 4-part webinar series. Be sure to check out the other events on the NPHW website!

 

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Food Policy News: Week of February 28th, 2014

nutrition-label-artboard_1
Source: Food and Drug Administration
  • New research from the Berkeley Media Studies Group implicates in Big Soda in coloring media coverage of recent (failed) soda tax proposals in Richmond and El Monte, California. Their research found that the soda industry actively recruited community members – including pastors, business owners, and local politicians – to speak out against the taxes, making it appear as if opposition came from the community. Their ties to the soda industry (in some cases, these people were paid) were not disclosed. [Berkeley Media Studies Group]
  • The latest obesity rates were just released in a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report and show that obesity is decreasing in the youngest age group, children aged 2-5, according to 2011-2012 NHANES data. Although the NYT emphasizes the 43% reduction in obesity among this small age group, the more important takeaway is that obesity rates appear to be leveling off (although increases were shown in some groups) and are still alarmingly high. [New York Times]
  • The FDA revealed the first image of redesigned food labels, the first major redesign since they were implemented nearly 25 years ago. The redesign is long overdue and there have been several other efforts to promote a more informative label, including front-of-pack labels (e.g. herehere, and here). In response to growing portion sizes, misinformation, and consumer concern about certain nutritional content (e.g. added sugar), the new labels will make a few small tweaks that will hopefully provide consumers will easy-to-interpret nutrition information. Importantly, serving sizes will not be the suggested size, but will represent the amount that consumers typically eat – e.g. 1 cup of ice cream, rather than 1/2 cup. Nutrition expert Marion Nestle supports the new design. However, some are skeptical that the changes will improve consumers’ ability to choose healthier foods, given that only a small fraction actually use the labels. [New York Times]

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