Blog Posts for: Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
06/17/2008 | Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
The Simple Math of Menu Labeling
A person walks into a McDonald’s. She orders a Big Mac, fries, and a chocolate shake. Here’s what’s going to go into her body:
05/20/2008 | Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
USDA Launches New Website on Commodity Foods
For those of you interested in learning more about the government's commodity foods program, the USDA Commodity Food Network has a new website. The network is part of the Food and Nutrition Service.
10/09/2007 | Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
We saw it coming a few years ago, when the Oreos Hundred-Calorie Pack showed up in school vending machines and grocery stores. Now, the junk food industry has gone whole hog. They’ve reformulated over 10,000 snack products to have a little less sugar and fat, and packaged them in smaller amounts. This highly processed junk food now meets updated nutrition standards for calories, fat, and sugar set by many school systems and several states for foods sold outside the school meal programs. So, for example, despite legislation passed in 2005 in California, which was supposed to ban junk food and sodas from schools, the state's public school students can still make a meal out of potato chips and cookies, albeit it lower-calorie, lower-fat chips and cookies. They’re what the industry is calling “better-for-you” foods.
07/25/2007 | Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
Weighing in on Children’s Advertising
The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services held a forum in Washington D.C. last week called “Weighing In: A Check-Up on Marketing, Self-Regulation and Childhood Obesity” which I attended, along with our Coordinator of Legal Initiatives, Jennifer Pomeranz. It was timed to coincide with a news release announcing the commitment from 11 major food and beverage companies to self-regulating limits on how and what they advertise to kids. Kellogg’s, the 12th, announced their commitment in June.
06/28/2007 | Roberta R. Friedman, ScM
What's in a name?
Should we use the term “obese” when we talk about children and their weight? It’s a sensitive issue, but one that should be brought into the public arena for discussion. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that children whom most people would probably call overweight should be called “at risk for overweight” and those we might say are obese, should be called “overweight.” This is partly because children’s body mass index (BMI) is measured differently from adult BMI, because children’s bodies are still growing and changing. It’s also because the term “obese” can be stigmatizing and may affect self esteem.