Friday Health Wrap-Up

Here are a few news stories that caught my eye this week.

The first is an issue near and dear to my heart: the lack of groceries stores in poor, especially inner-city, areas.  After living in Brooklyn for 8.5 years I lived in my share of neighborhoods with inadequate or no access to fresh food.  I’m not even talking organic food, just fresh food.   It is hard to figure out how to solve this issue, it’s a real chicken or the egg sort of conundrum.  That being said it is nice to see New York City give it a shot.

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The other story is already notorious on-line, I saw this on Facebook numerous times this week but I just can’t leave it alone.  Really?  Fruit Loops are a Smart Choice?  This is the sort of thing that just makes me want to hit my head against my desk a few times.  This has got to be my favorite part of the article:

“The checkmark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’ ” Dr. Kennedy said. “Consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have the checkmark, by implication it’s not a ‘better for you’ product. They want to have a choice. They don’t want to be told ‘You must do this.’ ”

So, people don’t really want to be healthy, they just want to feel like they are eating healthy.  That at least seems to be the sentiment of this program.

I don’t buy that personally.  I do think that people are interested in eating better but I think that the media and dietetic associations give out vague and conflicting information.  Programs like this are exactly why people aren’t sure what the best thing is to eat when it comes to maintaining health.  Here’s my rule of thumb: if I pick up a product and I can’t tell on my own whether or not it’s healthy pretty fast then I assume its not.  You pick up a head of lettuce or goji berries and you know your eating something that supports your health.  You pick up a box of some sort of whole-grain, fruit sweetened, organic chocolate marshmallow squares and you have to think…and read…and think some more…just put it down and walk away.

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