Wouldn’t you know, just after we got finished with Halloween and all of the associated issues with treats, Happy Meals are back in the news again this week. Contrary to early reports, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors didn’t ban Happy Meals entirely, but it did put severe limitations on what kind of fast-food meals can include free toys. From the Wall Street Journal’s health blog: “There’s a 600-calorie cap on such meals, with no single item containing more than 200 calories. The meal must include fruits and veggies, and there are limits on sodium and fat. The sugar content of the accompanying beverage is also restricted.” The bill passed with a veto-proof majority. So in other words, it’ll be tough to get that Power Ranger unless you’re eating a bun-less burger, some apple slices, and a few carrot sticks. The question is, will it have any effect on childhood obesity?
Next, now that the election frenzy has died down, it’s time to remember that there’s still a lame duck session of Congress that has some work to do. This session will give lawmakers a brief window of opportunity to take one more stab at reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act. Can they do it? The Healthy Schools Campaign gives you a few different (easy) ways to take action.
Also in the news this week (and it seems like it’s almost always in the news): childhood obesity. This time we want you to follow this link to an important editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer noting the connection between child hunger, poverty, and obesity. This editorial follows a moving series on hunger that profiles residents of one of the poorest congressional districts in the country. Powerful stuff and well worth a read.
OK, let’s close out with something nice (and tasty) to think about for a change. Thanksgiving is only 20 days away – what will you cook? The New York Times’ Well blog (Tara Parker-Pope on Health) is going to give us new vegetarian recipes every day from now until Thanksgiving. With Orange-Scented Sweet Potato and Fruit Gratin, it seems like they’re off to a pretty good start. And for a very sweet and wise account of getting kids to eat vegetables (for real), check out the “Spread Vegetable Love” story on EatDinner.org. Now if only they’d serve Grace’s “Broccoli with the Flavor” in a Happy Meal, we’d be on to something.
Happy Friday to all.