There have been a number of interesting stories about in food in the news recently – here is brief summary of three stories that might be of interest to you.
1. Grocery stores are hiring private companies to score or rate the nutritional value of the products on their shelves. Ok, so let’s do a little thought experiment. What happens if the rating company identifies all the junk food as junk food? Will this be news to people? Will customers respond by purchasing less? If so, will the grocery stores retain the ratings that discourage those sales? There are also a whole other set of questions related to who gets to say what is good for you and what is not (whole grains, anyone?). Will ratings and recommendations be based on sound scientific evidence? We’re not so sure. In the end, however (and not surprisingly), we find ourselves agreeing with Marion Nestle who is quoted in the article linked above as saying, “I think their purpose is to sell food products,” Nestle said. “If you want to encourage people to eat healthy, you want to encourage them not to eat food products. You want them to eat real food.” Amen sister.
2. Twinkie maker Hostess files for bankruptcy. According this article in the WSJ, sales of Twinkies have declined while overall bakery-snacks sales have been about flat. Nearly 36 million packages of Twinkies were sold in the year ended Dec. 25, down almost 2% from a year earlier. Now, I don’t like kicking people when they’re down and I hate to see people potentially lose jobs, but I can’t really think of anything that Hostess makes that is actually good for you to eat. A simple clue, when you can buy 10 to 12 cakes for $1 to 2.
3. A new study reports that statins can raise the risk of diabetes in postmenopausal women. The Huffington Post reports that results from a large government study that tracked the health of 153,000 postmenopausal women for many years showed that almost 10 percent of the statin (Lipitor, Crestor, etc.) users developed diabetes, whereas only 6.4 percent of women who hadn’t used statins developed diabetes. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone on statins should stop taking the medications, but it should make one think about other, perhaps less risky ways, to lower one’s cholesterol. The findings of this study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and the abstract can be found here.