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Study of supermarket meals gives food for thought

Medical Xpress 
A recent study in Australia found that supermarket ready-to-eat-meals generally should have been classified as unhealthy, but still received a passing grade from the Health Star ranking system.  Lead researcher Dr. Claire Pulker from the School of Public Health at Curtin University said 54 percent of the meals were found to be unhealthy according to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. As more people are buying these products due to COVID-19, it is important that they understand the health risks. Read more

Federal Court Strikes Down Trump Administration School Nutrition Rollbacks

Center for Science in the Public Interest

In a critical victory, a federal court struck down a rule by the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Agriculture that rolled back nutrition standards on whole grains and sodium in school meals on the ground that the USDA failed to provide public notice of its plan to gut the standards. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and Healthy School Food Maryland brought the case in federal court in Maryland, represented by Democracy Forward.  Read the statement here.

plant-based-food-climate-change

Vancouver MP tables bill proposing national school food program for all

CBC British Columbia

Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies, the federal NDP health critic, introduced the School Food Program for Children Act on February 4. The bill would require the minister of health to develop a national school food program for all Canadian children at little or no direct cost to children and their families. “The last time the federal government seriously discussed implementing a national school food program was during Second World War,” Davies said. “So I think it’s long past time that we started taking a look at this. Read more

New healthy food pilot program coming to some P.E.I. schools

CBC PEI

A new healthy food program was rolled out at some P.E.I. schools on Monday February 3. The pilot project is the first step in the province’s promise to have a lunch program in place for students across the Island next fall. Organizers say there is a focus not just on healthy foods, but also reducing waste and sourcing food locally. The pilot programs will be offered on a pay-what-you-can model with a maximum price of $5 per day.  Read more

Teenagers campaign for ‘traffic light’ labels on food packaging

The Guardian

Bite Back 2030, a campaign group led by teenagers, is calling for traffic light-style front of pack labelling to be made mandatory in the UK. The group said progress on improving child health was stalling. “We want honest, simple and helpful labelling like the traffic light system out there on everything. And if food companies won’t do it voluntarily, we want the government to step up and step in. The UK should be leading by example, not falling behind,” said Bite Back 2030’s youth chair 16-year-old Christina Adane. Read more

Good nutrition means longer life, says Canadian study

CBC News

Postdoctoral fellow Fei Men and Prof. Valerie Tarasuk at the University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences and colleagues used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey to compare longevity in people with food security to those who are marginally, moderately or severely food insecure. The focus of the study is food insecurity but at root, it’s about the health problems and mortality associated with poor nutrition.  Read the article here

Healthy diet could save $50 billion in health care costs

Science Daily

A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with investigators at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, analyzed the impact of 10 dietary factors and estimated the annual cardiometabolic disease costs of suboptimal diet habits. The team concludes that suboptimal diet costs approximately $300 per person, or $50 billion nationally, accounting for 18 percent of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes costs in the US.

You can read the study here

Double burden of obesity, undernourishment stalks world: report

CTV News

Low- and middle-income countries risk seeing their development progress slashed by the double-edged sword of obesity and undernutrition, both caused by a lack of access to affordable healthy food, a report in The Lancet warned. This “double burden of malnutrition”, affects more than a third of some 130 countries classed as low-and middle-income, and it is increasingly seen in the same household — most commonly an overweight mother and a child stunted by undernutrition living under the same roof.

You can read the report here

Advocates want federal government to adopt national school food program

CBC News

With Parliament set to open Dec. 5, a group of advocates is hoping the federal government will support a national school food program based on the new Canada Food Guide. Canada is the only G7 nation without such a program.There was some political interest from federal parties throughout the last election, the Liberals had a national food program in their spring budget before the election, and the Green and New Democratic parties also had it in their platforms.  Read the article here.

What’s so bad about processed foods? Scientists offer clues

CTV News
Three recent studies offer more clues on how our increasingly industrialized food supply may be affecting our health, they also underscore how difficult nutrition science and advice can be. Distinguishing which processed foods might be better or worse is increasingly difficult as companies continually re-engineer products to make them seem more wholesome. Read full article here.