There has been much discussion on the proposal to ban large (>16 oz.) serving sizes of non-diet soft drinks in New York City. I am glad it has people talking about the problem of obesity, but I am not sure this policy is the best approach on balance. My colleagues and I examined the available studies published as of 2010 that might indicate whether such a policy would have the desired effect (Mattes et al., 2010).We found five randomized, controlled studies that had attempted to determine whether asking people to reduce their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs, of all types, including soft drinks) would result in weight loss. In people who are already overweight, it appears that there is a very small mean effect in weight reduction, although it is not statistically significant when looking at the range of effects in the whole sample. Keep Reading
The effect of soyfoods on cognition has been a topic of some controversy. Because soybeans contain isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens, some researchers have theorized that they could prevent cognitive decline that occurs with aging as estrogen is believed to do. However, the results from a Hawaiian population study published in the year 2000 linked soy consumption with greater risk of cognitive impairment (White et al., 2000). Keep Reading
The title of a recent article in Food Technology (December 2011, pp. 32–37) on “Cleaning up Processed Foods” should trigger negative reactions for any food science and technology professional. Although the title may be an attempt at being provocative, the implications of this title for an article published in Food Technology are very serious. In a societal environment with the image of processed foods being questioned almost daily, communications from IFT should contribute to a better understanding of food processing. Keep Reading
There has been a lot of media attention given to a product that is unfamiliar to most consumers, even though they have been eating it for the last 20 years. Lean finely textured beef, known by the derogatory term “pink slime,” has come to mean many things to many people. And as is often the case with something unfamiliar, people sometimes jump to conclusions that are based on incomplete facts.
On March 28 and 29, IFT will be holding its annual Wellness conference in Rosemont, Ill., offering attendees unbiased perspectives, news about emerging trends, and information on how other organizations within the food industry are penetrating the health and wellness sector. Recently, Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor at IFT, spoke with Linda Eatherton, Partner and Director of Global Food & Nutrition Practice at Ketchum, who will speaking at the conference’s closing session about what consumers around the world will want from food companies in 2020. Linda joined Ketchum in 2001 to lead the firm’s worldwide Food & Nutrition Practice. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Public and Industry Communications for Dairy Management Inc.
America’s history includes a rich tradition of agricultural productivity, and we have all benefited from it. Agricultural laws and policies have supported that productivity, recognizing the special attributes of agricultural production and the public interest involved in promoting food security.
Along the way, however, public interest has often taken a back seat to special interest. Farm policy has driven food policy, and farmers have been encouraged to farm in ways that are not sustainable, sometimes producing crops that do not contribute to our health, preserve our environment, or strengthen our regional economies. Keep Reading
After reading the President’s Message on “Food Science and Sodium” by Dr. Roger Clemens in the January issue of Food Technology magazine, I assume that this column has generated considerable feedback and I would like to add my two cents worth. Roger and I have in the past had some friendly debates on this issue, which I think is healthy.
I come to the sodium issue as someone who has considerable experience with human taste perception, in general, and salt taste perception, in particular. But I claim no special expertise on blood pressure regulation or on how much sodium humans ought to consume. Hence, I have nothing authoritative to say on the salt intake health controversy other than to suggest that to describe recommendations by the vast majority of health professionals and relevant government agencies worldwide as “conventional wisdom” is a bit misleading. Keep Reading