When the Shop 'n Save in Pittsburgh's Hill District closed its doors for good, residents lost the ability to go to a supermarket near their homes. But they also lost something less tangible: a symbol of hope, opportunity, and change for their neighborhood.
Kathryn Derose, a senior policy researcher at RAND and an Episcopal deacon, works with Latino and African-American churches to address health issues in their communities. Her research has shown the power of the pulpit to fight health disparities, counter stigma, and encourage healthy living.
Where items are placed and promoted in stores is the most important predictor of what people buy. If stores restricted sugary beverages to a single out-of-the-way area, people who really wanted to buy them could, but would have to intentionally seek them out. Others might be less likely to buy a sweetened drink on impulse.
The United Kingdom is banishing so-called “guilt lanes,” supermarket cash register aisles permeated by junk food. This is a necessary step in the nation's fight against obesity. But what's really needed is a comprehensive approach.
In the middle of a nationwide obesity epidemic, a handy device dripping with temptation often lurks around the workplace corner—the vending machine. Decreasing the ubiquity and availability of low-nutrient junk food could go a long way toward addressing obesity in the United States.
Too many Americans are being harmed by a food environment that lacks the necessary standards to make it easier for people to maintain a healthy weight. Policies aimed at portion control and cleaning up the food swamp could make a difference.
By instituting its innovative food warning label policies, Chile has become a beacon of light to countries around the world. The new government would do well to consider why it should maintain these policies, which in the long run will benefit business and the country as a whole.
Nearly 30 years into the ongoing global epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases, Chile has taken the lead in identifying and implementing obesity-control strategies that could prove to be the beginning of the end of the epidemic. The country's success on this front can serve as a lesson plan other countries could follow.
CVS is cutting back on candy at the cash register, making junk food less visible and "healthier" snacks easier to find. Any move that nudges consumers toward healthier choices should be applauded, but CVS could take the lead as a retailer and do away with junk food displays by the cash register altogether.
Rolling back nutrition standards means increasing risks for Americans and does not bode well for population health. Every effort should be made to maintain strong nutrition standards to protect the health of all Americans.
Two in three Americans are overweight or obese. There are many popular theories about what's causing the obesity epidemic, but many are not supported by data. What's clear is that most U.S. adults eat too many calories.
Although good intentions led to the new nutrition labels, it is unlikely that they will improve the quality of the American diet. The label changes have not been tested in a real-world setting with the various factors that influence what people buy.
It is hard to tell whether or not the new sugar tax proposed in the UK budget will actually make a difference. There is no conclusive proof that a tax on sugar-based beverages leads to reductions in obesity levels.