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Calorie Count Blog

Top Food News of 2011

By +Carolyn Richardson on Dec 29, 2011 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

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.

Your thoughts…

What food headlines got your head spinning this year?


As far as I'm concerned nothing beats plain, old-fashoned common sense when it comes to EVERYTHING in life. Losing weight and keeping it off is no different. I have fallen prey to many, many gimmicks in the past myself when I was young and lazy, not willing to put in the work. It hurts my heart deeply to see people waste so much money on all this crap. Close your wallets, put in the work and have a healthy new year!Kiss

I love that Kirstey Alley was told to eat more to lose weight. Soo many people out there have the misconception that the more you eat, the more you gain but that just simply isn't the case.  It is all about creating the right deficit to lose.  1400 calories for somebody who is working out is way too low.  I am glad this was mentioned.  Maybe it will shed some light and wake some people up that they need to eat to rev their metabolism and avoid starving themselves!

There is a blatant error in this article.  A woman who is 5'6" and weighs 186 pounds has a BMI of 30.  She would not be elgible for LapBand surgery.  I calculated this on this very website.  Do your homework before you start spouting off!

Every one has their own way of keeping confident and sticking to their ways of loosing weight. To loose weight is not a just hey ill eat good today thing. Loosing weight and eating healthy and being healthy is a life style. You do not loose weight or become healthy over a day, or a week or even a month. It takes weeks and months.
Being healthy is a life style. You either have it in you to do it or you don't.

Original Post by: bcawley

There is a blatant error in this article.  A woman who is 5'6" and weighs 186 pounds has a BMI of 30.  She would not be elgible for LapBand surgery.  I calculated this on this very website.  Do your homework before you start spouting off!

You are absolutely right! We left out a very important fact - one can be eligible for LapBand surgery with a BMI between 30 and 40 plus one obesity-related illness (such as diabetes). Sorry for the confusion and thank you for pointing this out to us!

Original Post by: bcawley

There is a blatant error in this article.  A woman who is 5'6" and weighs 186 pounds has a BMI of 30.  She would not be elgible for LapBand surgery.  I calculated this on this very website.  Do your homework before you start spouting off!

bcawley!  Take your happy pill !!  Ha ha.  And have a great day. :)

Some of these are quite encouraging I say- the best way to loose weight and be healthy is not a secret method- eat adequte calories, not too little or too much, have no-low sat/trans fat, sugar, simple carbs and processed products and go for whole foods, good fats, complex carbs, EXERCISE and sanother important aspect- mental health- the healthy lifestyle helps this and vice versa.

A spelling/ grammar point - one "loses" weight. I hope to "lose"weight.

"Loose" is for the opposite of tight; for example: sometimes rapid weight loss results in "loose"skin.

Sorry if I sounded harsh.  I just resent statements that are misleading and could be dangerous by encouraging someone to have surgery rather than follow a healthy lifestyle.

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