In a new interview Michelle Obama defended her “Let’s Move!” anti-obesity program against critics who call it a government intrusion.
The new standards were required under a 2010 school nutrition bill that increased funding for meals.
A new study says a tax on soda could save 26,000 lives over a decade, National Journal reports.
BNA's Health Law Reporter released its list of the most critical issues facing healthcare providers in 2012, with the health reform ranking as the industry's biggest concern.
Virginia Democrats are proposing their own state insurance exchange, The Washington Post reports.
A Texas court upheld the state's law requiring an ultrasound before an abortion, Reuters reports.
The Obama administration is seeking immunity from a lawsuit brought by victims of U.S.-funded medical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s.
The joint House-Senate agriculture spending bill unveiled Monday night blocks stringent school meal standards, following intense lobbying from the pizza and French fry industries.
The bill bars the Department of Agriculture from putting in place tough new standards that are scheduled to go into effect next year. The spending bill would classify tomato paste on pizzas as a vegetable, eliminate limitations which keep potatoes and other starchy vegetables to two servings per week and weaken restrictions on sodium.
The trade group American Frozen Food Institute immediately released a statement that "commends" appropriators for their "balanced approach to implementing new school meal standards."
Four consumer protection groups on Wednesday asked federal regulators to investigate PepsiCo and its Frito-Lay brand for what they call "deceptive" and "unfair" digital marketing practices aimed at children and adolescents.
The complaint to the Federal Trade Commission alleges that PepsiCo broke the law with its Doritos campaign by "disguising" its marketing efforts through video games and social media. The plaintiffs — the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog and The Praxis Project — urge the FTC to bring action against the company.
PepsiCo did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
The Senate voted late Tuesday to adopt more flexible — some would say weaker — nutrition standards for school meals following intense lobbying by the potato and frozen-food industries.
New federal nutrition standards scheduled to kick in next September would have limited servings of potatoes and other starchy vegetables to 1 cup per week, the equivalent of two servings. An amendment to the Agriculture spending bill from Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that prohibits limits on vegetable servings passed by voice vote.
The top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday compared Republican defenders of unbridled food marketing to children to past champions of the tobacco industry.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) drew parallels between Wednesday's hearing on proposed voluntary marketing restrictions and a 2003 hearing during which some Republicans promoted the safety of smokeless tobacco.
"I just find this an amazing hearing," Waxman said. "The only thing I can analogize it to is after all the tobacco issues we discussed for many years, Republicans took charge and we never heard anything more about tobacco. Then, suddenly we had a hearing about tobacco. And the hearing was about how smokeless tobacco should be encouraged as a way for smokers to give up smoking. It was geared to promoting an industry that no doubt supported financially many of the members. I wonder if this hearing is about the same subject."
Anti-obesity advocates are putting pressure on federal officials to follow through with tough voluntary guidelines for food marketing to children.
Seven advocacy groups, including the American Heart Association, are sponsoring an ad in Capitol Hill publications Thursday urging the Obama administration to "stand by kids and release strong marketing guidelines." Four agencies proposed stringent voluntary guidelines in April but have gotten strong pushback from the food and marketing industries who argue that the guidelines would infringe on their freedom of speech rights - even though they're voluntary.Advocates say the final guidelines are expected within the next few weeks, and they're worried the administration will water them down under pressure. The Prevention Institute is holding a tele-briefing with reporters Thursday to draw attention to the issue. And the Center for Science in the Public Interest has a form letter for people to write to the president.
The food industry was cautiously optimistic Wednesday after the Obama administration appeared ready to scale back voluntary guidelines for marketing food to children.
The group working on the issue "anticipates making significant changes to both the marketing and nutrition principles" that have raised industry's ire, administration officials wrote to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). The letter also praised a new industry self-regulation effort as complementing the group's work.
"We intend to take this significant development into account, as well as the other [29,0000] stakeholder comments, when developing our final recommendations," the letter reads.
Seventy-five experts in nutrition, marketing, medicine and public health wrote to President Obama on Tuesday to urge him to fight for restrictions on food advertising for children as the issue comes to a head in Congress.
Republicans and the food and marketing industries have assailed proposed voluntary guidelines aimed at curbing childhood obesity, and the House included a rider in its financial services spending bill blocking the recommendations. Senate Democrats, on the other hand, reiterated their support for the agencies' work in their spending bill.
"While numerous factors contribute to obesity and children's poor diets, food marketing plays a key role," reads the letter to the president. "The Institute of Medicine's comprehensive study of 30 years of research concluded that food marketing affects children's food choices, food preferences, diets, and health. The $2 billion a year that food companies spend marketing to children is testament to the fact that food marketing works."