In Case of Fries

Sunday, January 16, 2005

How Do We Learn To Eat?

Is the release of new government dietary guidelines going to influence how you eat? This year’s revision reveals a deep seated need to clean up our act and eat as though our life depended on it. I’m planning on sitting down to read the Guidelines, however, if you’ve read Marion Nestle’s Food Politics it can be difficult to digest all this government information due to the bitter taste in your mouth. Unfortunately special interests have a big hand in monetarily urging the government what is best for us, and our eating habits are a huge area of potential and sustained revenue.

There are a few good guys fighting the hard fight, like the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Please support these underdogs by subscribing to their Nutrition Action Health Letter. If you are interested in eating healthy and smartly, this newsletter is great motivation. The typical issue carries four – five articles covering results of recent nutritional studies and also slicing through major advertising sleaze. The last article is usually an indepth nutritional value comparison chart of a chosen food item (ex: store and bakery bought muffins). The back page has a thumbs up, thumbs down spot that highlights some under-realized baddies and goodies lurking in our midst. For example, CSPI lead the media this summer in reporting the nutritional information on Starbucks’ Frappuccino line:

… a venti Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino has 650 calories. Add whipped cream and you’re up to 780 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat. It’s a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza (plus 160 calories) that you sip through a straw.

The other new Blended Cremes are no better. A venti Double Chocolate Chip with whipped cream hits 750 calories and 16 grams of sat fat.
Nutrition Action HealthLetter, July/August 2004

The CSPI accepts no government or industry funding, and footnotes their Healthletter articles with sources. Does your Health Magazine do that? Ummm, no.

Can we train ourselves to eat better? Can you live as a better example for your kids? Fighting that sugar-high need is tough, but there are those out there who want to make it easier to resist.

Off my soap box now…

** note on graphic, creating images like this have been a back burner idea of mine for years. My elevator at work has one of these safety signs that I meditate on whenever I’m elevatoring instead of stepping those stairs. Please feel free to download a higher quality version here to print out and stick up in your work place, at school… you get the idea. Send a picture of it in action!

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