Label Policy : First, a great thanks to Jennifer Pomeranz at the RUDD Center for getting back to me so fast on the labeling law update.  She gave me some information that comes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI.  I have mentioned them before and am a fan.  Here is the email content from Hannah Jones, Nutrition Policy Project Assistant:
As you may know, a number of policy issues are holding up the final rule for national menu labeling.  
The key policy issues to address are:
Definition of Retail Food Establishments
  • The final rule should cover all retail food establishments that sell restaurant-type food, including movie Theaters, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
Alcohol labeling
  • Alcohol should be required to be labeled in the final rule.  According to the Dietary Guidelines, alcoholic beverages are the fifth largest source of calories in American adults’ diets.
Vending Labeling
  • Vendors should not be allowed to post a sign next to a vending machine instead of posting calories beside each individual item or the selection button.  Nutrition information needs to be easy to see, find, and use.
Colace: At some point this week, I heard a commercial for the OTC product Colace.  I don't even remember what was said, only that I thought - No No - these pills are just not the best way to maintain regularity.  So I wrote down Colace on my O&E list and today I looked it up.  I found  information on a PubMed website.  Colace is a type of stool softener that should be taken on a temporary basis by people who need to avoid "straining" to have a bowel movement.  Oh, let us all avoid straining - don't you think?  Whole grains and fiber - unless you are unable to eat actual foods (and some people really can't) - are a much better way to maintain your constitution.  Food is so much better than pills, powders and enemas! 

Heinz/TGIF -REALLY?:  Heinz Co has a business relationship with TGIF - at least the TGIF frozen food items that you can buy at a grocer.  This week a business wire story proclaimed the benefit of this relationship ($250 million for Heinz) and highlighted a new product.  I had a bit of a jaw drop over the product - macaroni and cheese wedges.  (Who is it that thinks the food manufacturing industry cares about obesity?)
The snack is pasta and cheese that is made into a wedge, breaded and then baked? fried? - who knows.  A 3 wedge serving, just 81grams, has 240 calories and 3.5 g of saturated fat.  The ingredient list is HUGE and certainly would not qualify as minimally processed!
Here is a paragraph from the Business Wire article published 3-7-2012.

T.G.I. Friday’s frozen Mac & Cheese Wedges combine macaroni pasta with a creamy cheddar, Parmesan and Romano cheese sauce and are coated in a crispy breading. This innovative new product that embodies the fun and flavor of the T.G.I. Friday’s brand begins shipping this month and will be available at major retailers in a 15.5 oz box for a suggested retail price of $5.99.

Grown Ups and Milk: I will attach the story that caught my eye, especially because Marion Nestle is quoted there in and she says some things that I have said.  (I always like that!) The gist of it is that schools are under order to limit the amount of sugary sweetened beverages students have access to, and the percent of fat in the milk served(good changes based on efforts to reduce overweight and obesity in our children).  This however, leads to a reduction in sales for the milk industry and so  - adults are the new target for chocolate milk.  And make no mistake, those Milk - It Does a Body Good campaigns are NOT from a health organization - they are from a retail organization. And because they are coming after you, you might want to read the story here
I will leave you with some great words of wisdom from  Marion Nestle (from the attached article).
"As the pressure on schools has grown to get chocolate milk out, they're looking for any new marketing," says Marion Nestle, nutrition professor at New York University. "I'd never recommend drinking a sweetened drink. People shouldn't drink their calories."

Funny that she also advises that after a workout one should eat a sandwich.  I was just telling my friend today that I don’t drink sports drinks (w/ sugar – or calories) and that I actually have gone on long runs with peanut butter sandwiches in my running belt!