Reading List: Dirty Airplane Food, Rising Obesity Rates, and Popular Cereals Recalled
In this week’s nutrition news: Adult obesity rates on the rise, 90 percent of Americans eat too much salt and CPSI asks the government to ban food dyes.
Here's one more reason to be leery of airplane food! We already know it tastes bad, but FDA food safety inspectors found numerous health code violations when visiting the three airline catering facilitates-- including live roaches and mouse droppings! Other violations included dirty equipment, employees practicing poor hygiene practices and lack of time and temperature control of food. These three caterers supply more than 100 million meals every year for nearly all the biggest airlines, including Delta, American, United, Continental and US Airways. There’s no doubt that when I fly to Israel in August, I will be packing my own food!
It's not a newsflash: much of the U.S. is obese. But a newly-released study says that obesity rates are still on the rise! The report revealed that the obesity rates jumped in 28 states. That puts more than two-thirds of states with obesity rates above 25 percent. Mississippi was deemed the “fattest” state for the sixth year in a row, while Alabama and Tennessee tied for second. But it’s not just about health -- it’s costing us money! A quarter of health care costs are related to obesity. So for the sake of our health and our wallets, let’s get healthier!
Last week the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) threated to sue McDonald’s overs its Happy Meal toys. This week, the group is calling for a nationwide ban of food dyes. You’ll find food dyes in lots of foods including all those rainbow-colored breakfast cereals, salad dressings and candies. Studies have linked these dyes to allergic reactions, hyperactivity and cancer.
We’ve been telling you about the proposed salt ban, and a new government report shows that many of us are ODing on salt. Most adults should be taking in less than a teaspoon of salt every day, but only 1 in 18 actually do (that’s less than 6 percent)! The issue: too much salt (a.k.a. sodium chloride) increases blood pressure, which is linked to heart disease and stroke. But don’t toss out your salt shaker just yet -- the majority of the salt is coming from processed and restaurant food, especially cold cuts and baked goods. This is just another reason why cooking fresh, wholesome foods at home whenever possible is the healthiest option.
Here’s another reason I’m glad I don’t buy sugary cereals — but many folks do. Kellogg Co. just recalled 28 million boxes of Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks. The company received about 20 complaints about the cereals, including 5 who complained of vomiting and nausea. If you open the box and smell or taste something unusual, (like a waxy texture or metal flavor) don’t eat it! Return it to the store for a full refund. To answer consumer questions on the recall, Kellogg has posted this information.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »