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FDA Study: Restaurants Should Offer Smaller Portions, More Fruits, Vegetables to Fight Obesity

An interesting FDA-funded report conducted by The Keystone Center lays out some common sense suggestions for fighting the rampant epidemic of obesity where it really begins: In some 900,000 restaurants and businesses that serve food in America. Although eating restaurant food isn't linked directly to obesity, numerous studies included in the report cite America's status as "a fast-food nation."

Some of the suggestions offered in the report that should sound very familiar to you:

  • Consuming more fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating smaller portions of food.
  • Restaurants offering better nutritional information about the foods they prepare for consumers.

That last recommendation, however, is extremely troubling to food lobbying organizations like the National Restaurant Association because it could cost their member businesses as much as $46,000 to analyze the real nutritional content of their menus. Still, that's a raindrop in a hurricane compared to the annual medical costs associated with obesity. About two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and the medical costs associated with that condition are estimated to be more than $90 billion ANNUALLY.

That figure ought to frame the study I posted yesterday about the true cost of super-size meal deals in a totally different and disturbing perspective. In the meantime, don't expect the federal government to do anything about the problem. They're too busy tracking your phone calls...

USA Today June 2, 2006

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