Healthy News Bytes

Here are some great news stories to check out:

Breastfeeding linked with lower breast cancer rates

Late night snacking related to decreased snacking satisfaction

Build a bike to power your TV

Helpful husbands should be the norm not the exception

Why you may say one thing and write another



Yesterday, an article was published in the NYTs about the presence of “Kids Eat Right” logo on Kraft singles – those floppy American “cheese” slices. The logo is a nutrition seal by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).  AND claims that the seal just means that Kraft supports “Kids Eat Right” not that AND has specifically endorsed the “cheese” slices. Confusing, right? Clearly, AND needs to rethink its marketing approach. So, 3 awesome RDs wrote a letter to AND and started a petition. Read below and sign the petition to support the removal of the seal!


Here’s the open letter written by 3 RDs and supported by hundreds thousands:

March 16, 2015

To Mary Beth Whalen, President Sonja Connor, leadership at the Academy and the Kids Eat Right (KER) Foundation: 

As long-time members and proud supporters of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), we are dismayed, shocked, and saddened by the blog post in last week’s New York Times.  The piece ( – ) reports on the KER Foundation’s Nutrition seal— a seal that the Academy states was not an endorsement of the product, but is an indicator of the brands that support Kids Eat Right.

As dedicated Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists and food and nutrition experts, we are protesting the Academy’s position to allow the Kids Eat Right logo on Kraft Singles, as well as the possibility to allow any future implied endorsement of any product by AND for the following reasons:

Flawed Understanding of the Marketplace

We wholly reject the rationale that the Academy used in their formal press release to defend the nature of the relationship between Kraft and the Academy. A logo on a product label is an endorsement, an alignment, and recognition of a paid relationship. Simply stating otherwise in a press release, no matter how emphatically, doesn’t change this fact. Rather, AND’s actions illustrate how profoundly out of touch AND is with business principles, which has put our professional integrity and credibility at risk. It is also a decision that is out of touch with members’ values.

Failure to Provide Transparency to AND Members and Consumers  

We work hard to provide full transparency in all of our own business relationships, and we expect the same from the Academy. Failure to be transparent about ANDs actions violates the Academy’s own Ethics Policy, which calls for the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and for members to not engage in false or misleading practices of communications.

Actions Requested of the Academy: #RepealtheSeal

We ask that the Academy make available to its members, the media and the public the following:

  • We ask for full transparency regarding the process of approval to allow the KER logo on the Kraft product— including the names of those involved, the meeting minutes of the discussion, and Board’s vote on this issue.
  • We ask for full disclosure of the terms of the financial agreement between KER Foundation and Kraft. We also request full transparency regarding the status of future agreements under consideration for use of our Logo.
  • We ask the Academy to provide their plan for the discontinuation of this specific relationship with Kraft and removal of the KER logo off Kraft Singles product packaging.

Academy members deserve strong leaders who will protect the integrity of the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist credential. This latest action is an embarrassing misstep that must be corrected swiftly in order to prevent further damage to the RD/RDN brand and to the Academy.



Rachel Begun MS, RDN
Kate Geagan MS, RDN
Regan Jones, RDN
Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists colleagues listed

Exercise AND Obesity on the Rise

A new public health report  found that exercise rates in the US are up – yeah!!! They also found that obesity rates are continuing to rise. You can read about it all over popular media (here and here are good ones).  What does this mean?

  • The data are from 2001-2011, so this before the effectiveness of more recent efforts can really be measured
  • We need to move more AND eat better
  • People eat more when they move more
    • Their body’s naturally are hungrier to no fault of their own
    • They allow themselves to splurge more and eat more because they exercised (think of that runner who carbo-loads for a 5K or 10K….not necessary)
  • The people are healthier even if their weight doesn’t show

I am a big fan of the last point and am disappointed I haven’t heard that argument. Too often we think of someone’s weight or appearance as the #1 indicator for health, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is just an easier proxy that other indicators of health. I don’t want to get on a soapbox, so I’ll save my comments for another post. If this sparked your interest, you should watch this amazing TED talk by a surgeon who had a similar revelation early in his career.

What NOT to say

A new study has found that talking to overweight kids about dieting and their weight made matters worse. That’s right – WORSE. These kids were more likely to binge eat and use unhealthy dietary practices to try to lose weight. Time and time again we have found that kids who use unhealthy dietary practices not only have a messed up relationship with food for their entire life, but are also more likely to be overweight in the future.

The study did find some positives for parents –  kids with parents who were good role models (when it came to a healthy lifestyle) were less likely to engage in these unhealthy dietary habits.

Take home point – put your money where your mouth is and keep your mouth shut 🙂

180,000 Deaths in a Bottle

An early release of a study on deaths associated to consumption of sugary drinks has suggested that over 180,000 deaths are occurring each year due to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Many news sites are covering this, so here are a few places you can read more about it: Forbes, Bloomberg, and CNN.

Be sure to keep in mind that there is no way to directly PROVE that sugary drinks increase death, since the deaths are due to chronic disease (i.e. people aren’t dropping dead solely b/c they are drinking a soda). However, many chronic diseases occur due to poor dietary choices – for example, sugary drinks increase calorie and sugar consumption which increase obesity and diabetes rates. These chronic conditions can lead to many problems that result in death.

Also, I think juice should be included in this study as well – 4 ounces of juice is one serving. Who drinks only 4 ounces? While it is 100% fruit, it is basically just sugar and it having 16 ounces is the same as drinking 16 ounces of soda.

Artificial Pancreas??

It looks like researchers are getting ever closer to finding an effective treatment for type 1 diabetes. A small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the use of an artificial pancreas in a small group of campers.  They found that when the campers used the artificial pancreas they had fewer low blood sugars over night. Hopefully this is a big step forward!

You can read more in this medpage article.