Friday, April 30, 2010

A Bizarre Food Month

Since I’ve become a RD I don’t know if I’ve seen a stranger month with regards to bizarre food trends. It seems like we take one step forward and two steps back.

First, KFC decides to release the Double Down! A bacon and cheese sandwich with two fried chicken breasts instead of buns. It says it has only 500 calories but when I added the ingredients up using Sparkpeople, I got something closer to 740 calories.

Next, I see that Mead-Johnson has released chocolate flavored toddler formula.

Then I receive the mother of all propaganda on the "Benefits of Cereal" from General Mills. My favorite part is on page six where they compare Trix to Cheerios. They argue that both are good, healthy breakfast choices. They write, “From a calorie and nutrient standpoint, are both products a good breakfast choice? Yes, they are.”

News comes in that Santa Clara county has banned toys from kids meals if they have more than 485 calories, 600 mg of sodium or high amounts of sugar and salt.

Also this week, 16 companies agreed to begin reducing their salt intake by 25% over the next five years.

Finally, IHOP announced their new menu item, pancake stackers. This “sandwich” is two pancakes with a layer of cheesecake in the middle.

Such a random group of news bites about food. To me it shows the disconnect in most peoples thinking. We want to be healthy with balanced diets, but we love the absurd (like the double down or pancake stackers), but then we are disgusted about what it does to our waistline.

There are those that argue, the government has no business making laws that limit our food choices. But the problem is, we are not choosing what is best for us. We continue to choose high fat, high sugar and high salt foods and then wonder why nearly 68% of the population is either overweight or obese. At some point, enough is enough! The only reason that companies are starting to reduce salt intake is because of government initiatives by Mayor Bloomberg, for example, and recent reports from theIOH that say, they only way we will reduce the intake of sodium is through government regulation.

What ever you believe, this month has certainly given us food for thought!

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