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Nutrition News Roundup: Feb 2nd

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So much to talk about this past week! The food news never stops.

Likewise, the trans fat free band wagon keeps wheeling along. The latest companies to get in on the act: Burger King and the hotel chain Marriott International. Marriott announced their hotel restaurants will be trans fat free as soon as mid-February while Burger King plans to lose the nasty fats by late next year. They are currently consumer testing various substitute oils to ensure product acceptability.

And it doesn't stop there; Crisco is now almost completely trans-fat free according to its maker Smucker's. The new formula, to be shipped to the grocery nearest you soon (how soon is soon?), has less than 1/2 a gram of trans-fat per tablespoon. It's predecessor contained 1.5 grams trans fat per tablespoon. Good news but it doesn't make Crisco healthy. It's still all fat and much of it saturated fat.

Same goes for Burger King and Marriott.. Their high fat items will still be high in fat and calories, and not exactly health food. But progress nonetheless.

Speaking of high calorie food, President Bush apparently met with industry leaders this week urging them to emphasize healthy eating and physical activity in their marketing campaigns. Bush told bigwigs from McDonald's, Kraft PepsiCo etc "Childhood obesity is a costly problem for the country...We believe it is necessary to come up with a coherent strategy to help folks all throughout our country cope with the issue."

Sound progressive doesn't it? But for now seems like it may be just words. Bush stated he doesn't believe the government should get involved and set policies, and it is the individual's responsibility to maintain a healthy diet, not the US governments. That's worked so far right?

On a more positive note, Dole foods will be pilot testing their own healthy vending machines in 15 schools in 4 states: Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Kansas. Among the items the lucky schools will be stocked with: Dole fresh fruit, fruit bowls, prepared salads, sandwich wraps and milk. So keep your fingers crossed that these school kids will actually purchase the items and the program will be expand expand expand. To learn more about Dole's healthy vending machine program click here to see the press release.

What have you seen this week in the news that caught your eye?

Have a fruit and veggie filled day!
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.

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