Healthy Nibbles: 12 September 2011 Edition

18 Sep

From our eyes to yours … here’s what’s up in health and nutrition news for the week of September 12th, 2011:

Being able to read food labels requires a basic understanding of some common nutrients and how much of each should be consumed on a daily basis. When it comes to actually understanding food labels, however, it’s important to consider not only the explicit information provided, but also the less obvious implicit information that is all too often overlooked. To help read between the lines, here’s a run down of some of the common ways that food labels may mislead consumers. [Health Zone] Missing from this list, however, …

… are a few ‘hidden’ (and really rather questionable) ingredients that are often glossed over on nutrition facts panels. [Washington Post] If all of this ambiguous and misleading labeling has you questioning your competency as a health conscious consumer, fear not, …

… a novel nutrition rating system is stepping into the Canadian spotlight to help delineate some of the confusion surrounding food labels. According to the new ‘Guiding Stars’ program, ingredient and nutritional content information is integrated into a single, comprehensive rating such that the more stars a food product receives, the better its overall nutritional value. Extra stars for those of you who recognize the HHNS faculty member who was not only mentioned in this article, but who also serves as a member of the scientific advisory panel for the program. [Globe & Mail]

Student life is typified by the (0ver) consumption of various hallmark beverages. After all, the process of grant/ethics/term paper/thesis writing seems to necessitate bottomless cups of coffee, beer, and energy drinks (not necessarily in that order). That being said, it pays to know how some common beverages contribute our overall health, and how each of them stack up when it comes to quenching thirst or adding pounds. [Health Zone]

Food accessibility is just one aspect of promoting healthy consumption. The other, often more complex component is actually getting people to take advantage of it. Such is the challenge that administrators of Novato High School in California are currently experiencing. In spite of valiant efforts to MAKE cafeteria meals more healthy, some students are still opting to buy their food from local food trucks that cater to cravings for less healthy options such as hot (are you kidding me?!) Cheetos. On the bright side, at least these teens are getting some exercise by walking to and from these food trucks, right? Small comfort, I know. Can’t blame a girl for trying to be optimistic. [NY Times]


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