Report: Americans Want Menu Labeling

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-woman-ordering-food-image21147851The majority of Americans want to see calories and other nutrition information added to menus and menu boards, according to a new report out this month by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Evidence that menu labeling leads to a reduction in calories when dining out is mixed, but the report does suggest that seeing posted calories  may lead to consumers eating fewer calories daily, even after they leave the restaurant

Building on its 2008 research report, this report reviews nearly fifty new studies exploring consumer support for menu labeling as well as the effects of labeling on consumer awareness, purchase intentions and actual food purchasing.

Studies that were conducted in controlled settings or that relied on survey data were given less weight in the report as they may not reflect what happens in the real world. The studies that were conducted using real-life restaurant scenarios offered mixed results in terms of the effect of labeling on what we choose to order and how many calories we consume when eating out. Continue reading


New Report, Old Behaviors: How to Make Healthy the New Normal

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-little-boy-choosing-bio-apple-food-fruit-vegetable-shopping-store-image29720357Cancer is American’s number one health concern, according to AICR surveys. Yet, a new report shows that as a nation we are shockingly slow to make and support lifestyle changes that could prevent about one-half of all cancer cases – and the accompanying cost, loss and suffering – in the United States.

The Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures (CPED) 2013 from the American Cancer Society reports on trends for tobacco use, obesity, diet, physical activity and screening. Although there’s a slowing in the increase of overweight and obesity, over 2/3 of Americans still fall into this category.

The science is clear: by staying lean, eating a healthful plant-based diet and being physically active Americans could prevent 1/3 – or about 400,000 cases – of the most common cancers every year. Just about every American recognizes that tobacco use and too much sun are cancer risks, but many Americans are not aware of the link between obesity and cancer. In fact, if everyone were a healthy weight, we could prevent over 116,000 cases of cancer every year. Continue reading


Today Begins National Public Health Week

Picture 85Since 1995, the American Public Health Association has designated the first full week of April as National Public Health Week, a time to appreciate the issues that impact our overall well-being as a nation.

This year’s theme is “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money,” and AICR applauds its focus on prevention as a key strategy to make diseases like cancer more rare, and less costly — whether those costs are measured in dollars or in human lives.

The National Institutes of Health has crunched the numbers, based on 2008 data. How much does cancer cost the nation financially each year?

Total cost: $201.5 billion

Direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures): $77.4 billion

Indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death): $124 billion

Continue reading