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Top Food News of 2011
This year has seen headlines that have had a major impact on the practice and perception of healthy eating and exercise in America. Without any further ado, here are the news stories of 2011 that kept Calorie Count members talking.
Celebrities' Weight Loss Goes Mainstream
This was the year that celebrities let it all hang out and shared their weight loss secrets with the world. Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Preston, Seth Rogen, Drew Carey, Sara Rue, and other household names lost considerable amounts of weight this year. A good number of them signed up for endorsements with weight loss programs including Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, among others.
Hunger Hormones Fingered in Weight Regain
There are no celebrities or scandals attached to this one, but this relatively small study sheds light on the physiological mechanisms that support weight regain after losing weight on a restricted diet. Knowing that your hunger hormones may be out of whack for at least a year after you lose weight is a wake up call that maintaining weight loss is the new losing weight.
MyPyramid falls to MyPlate
With an introduction by the health conscious First Lady Michelle Obama, the aptly named MyPlate was unveiled as the new icon for healthy eating promoted by the United States Department of Agriculture. With a renewed focus on lowering consumption of processed foods, adding more fruits and vegetables, and eating more whole grains, the USDA gets points for finally making their Dietary Guidelines for Americans more mentally palatable.
A ‘Dancing’ Star Told to Eat More
After revealing that her diet consisted of just 1400 calories a day despite a reported 5 hours of dance rehearsals, Kirstey Alley, yo-yo dieter and then Dancing with the Stars contestant was told by her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, she should eat more. While there's no proof of this, this may have been the first time a celebrity was told to eat more on national television.
The FDA Lowers the BMI requirement for LapBand Surgery
The ability to get major surgery to combat obesity just opened up to 26 million more people. The FDA changed the BMI of those eligible for LapBand surgery from 40 to 35. Now a 5’6” woman with diabetes needs to be at least 186 pounds as opposed to 216 to go under the knife.
Unhealthy Foods Get Taxed
Countries worldwide considered taxing unhealthy foods and soft drinks. Dubbed the world’s first fat tax, Denmark’s taxes on foods high in saturated fat brought attention to the consideration that increasing the cost of unhealthy food may be beneficial to public health. No word yet on how this will shakeout here in the US where a soda tax has been considered in a number of cities.
Obesity Rates Level Off
Based on self-reported height and weight, the Gallup Poll reported a slight decline in obesity levels in the US when compared to 2010 levels. Based on a BMI 30 or higher, about 26% of Americans reported being obese in the first three quarters of 2011.
Meal Delivery Services Get a Boost
More a trend than a news story, meal delivery businesses boomed in 2011 creating a way of outsourcing food preparation for dieters. Celebrities, working moms, and everyone in between have flocked to these to avoid the guesswork of preparing a healthy meal or spending hours at the grocery store. Many provide chef-prepared meals delivered fresh or frozen, 5 or 7 days a week.
hCG Diet Debunked
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration urged retailers to stop selling hCG diet products. Despite a bevy of weight loss success stories, Elizabeth Miller, acting director of FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud says, “These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, hCG must be working. But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the hCG.”
Food Goes Mobile
No, there’s no app that will make your full, but new companies are now bringing food to you. According to the National Restaurant Association, one in five people saw a food truck in their community this year. In addition to health conscious food trucks, vending machines have also gotten a makeover with a number of companies specializing in healthier fare instead of the candy bars and sodas for which vending machines are known.
What food headlines got your head spinning this year?