Weekly Roundup: Get the FACTS About Kids’ Cereals

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The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity unveiled its Cereal FACTS report on Friday, finding that while cereal companies have improved the nutritional quality of many of their products, they still have a long way to go when it comes to marketing to kids. Companies increased advertising to children for many of their least nutritious products.

“While cereal companies have made small improvements to the nutrition of their child-targeted cereals, these cereals are still far worse than the products they market to adults. They have 56 percent more sugar, half as much fiber, and 50 percent more sodium,” said co-author Marlene Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center. “The companies know how to make a range of good-tasting cereals that aren't loaded with sugar and salt. Why can't they help parents out and market these directly to children instead?”

Read more about the report in this blog post.

American Medical Association Backs Obesity Education, SSB Taxes

Citing the ongoing obesity epidemic, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced its support for legislation this week that would require obesity education for students in grades 1-12, and adopted new policy in support of taxes for sugar-sweetened sodas to pay for obesity-fighting programs, MSNBC reports.

Childhood Obesity a Top Voter Concern

A new voter survey finds that Americans' top priorities regarding child health include obesity. Fox News reports 17 percent of adults said childhood obesity is the top child health priority presidential candidates should focus on.

Report Compares Soda Companies’ Responsibility Campaigns to Big Tobacco

Time reports about a new paper that argues corporate social responsibility campaigns put forth by soda manufacturers are similar to endeavors undertaken decades ago by the tobacco industry. These campaigns, the researchers argue, are designed to refocus responsibility from corporations onto consumers, increase the popularity of the companies’ products and prevent government regulation.

Study: Obesity Straining Earth’s Resources

The obesity epidemic is not only bad for individual health and the economy, it’s also bad for the planet, a new study finds. The MinnPost reports that researchers are concerned that obesity is putting a huge strain on food resources across the globe.

Obesity Surgery Linked to Alcoholism

Gastric bypass surgery, an invasive procedure designed to help severely obese patients lose weight, could be leading many to develop alcoholism, the Washington Post reports. The surgery shrinks the size of a person’s stomach in order to limit food intake. But it also could change how the body digests and metabolizes alcohol, allowing people to feel alcohol’s effects much more quickly.

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