More thoughts on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines

Please excuse me while I geek out on behavior change theory for a moment…

I finally had a chance to sit down and read through the entire 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines document. I was pleased to note that the authors recognize that healthy eating is not as simple as choosing more fruits and veggies from the local supermarket. Many individuals simply do not have access to fresh produce and/or cannot afford to purchase healthy items. Page 56 of the guidelines uses a Social Ecological Framework to demonstrate the multiple levels of influence that affect one’s eating behaviors.

It is essential that policymakers and health advocates acknowledge the integral role that one’s surrounding environment plays in food consumption. I hope that this broad societal factor will continue to be taken into consideration as we move forward in our efforts to reverse the obesity epidemic.

A foodie aside… Austrian Breakfast

This morning I treated myself to a yummy brekkie that I learned from my Austrian aunt:

Recipe (quantities are approximate):

1 C wheat farina

2 C milk

2 eggs, separated

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp Sugar

A pinch of salt

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients except egg whites together in large bowl until frothy. Whip egg whites until just before they form peaks, fold into batter. Pour into preheated and buttered nonstick shallow frying pan on low heat. Cover and cook, lifting mixture to allow remaining liquid to flow to the bottom. Once majority of liquid is evaporated (10 min or so) use wooden spoon to break it into pieces and turn up the heat, cooking until it is browned to your preference. Serve with homemade whipped cream and top with a bit more sugar if you would like it sweeter. Bon appetit!

Interesting Wednesday Tidbits

  • The Political Economy Research Institute released a case study of transportation infrastructure development in Baltimore. Their finding? Pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects create 4 to 5  more jobs per $1 million spent than road projects. Another reason to invest in bikes and active transport!
  • study by the Society of Actuaries published new figures estimating the cost of obesity and overweight. Their number: $300 BILLION.
  • Marion Nestle has written a couple of great articles recently. See this Atlantic piece for a summary on the new school food nutritional standards and her blog post about front-of-package labeling and the dietary quality of supposedly ‘healthier’ kids products.

Also – on a side note: As I progress in planning the School Food Tour I find that I am acquiring exciting new skills that I did not anticipate learning. Such as how to create a website. Cool!