KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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What’s In A Word? FDA Seeks Input On Definition Of ‘Healthy’

The Food and Drug Administration hasn't updated its recommendations on what is considered healthy since the '90s when low fat content was the main focus of health professionals and sugar wasn't even really on the radar. It will still be years before there's significant movement, but the agency is finally taking steps toward updating it.

The Wall Street Journal: FDA Takes Step Toward New ‘Healthy’ Labeling
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday took the first step toward redefining its decades-old definition of “healthy,” following pressure from food companies that say the current regulations are outdated. Regulators are now seeking opinions from consumers, companies and other members of the public on how the term “healthy” should be used on food packaging. It’s a process that will likely take years to complete. (Gasparro, 9/27)

In other news about healthful eating, nutrition and exercise —

Health News Florida: Chill Out: Stress Can Override Benefits Of Healthful Eating
Eating well has many known benefits. But a good diet may not be able to counteract all the ill effects of stress on our bodies. A new study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, suggests stress can override the benefits of making better food choices. To evaluate the interactions between diet and stress, researchers recruited 58 women who completed surveys to assess the kinds of stress they were experiencing. The women also participated in what researchers call a "meal challenge," where they were each given two different types of meals to eat, on different days. (Aubrey, 9/27)

The Washington Post: Craving Candy Or Soda? They Could Be Harder To Find In Md. Vending Machines.
It could get a bit harder for people in Prince George’s County to buy chips, cookies or soda in county facilities, if a bill to limit those choices and stock vending machines with healthier options is embraced by the County Council. Vice Chair Dannielle M. Glaros (D-Riverdale Park) introduced the bill Tuesday, saying she wanted to address the negative health impacts of sugary and fatty foods in a county with high rates of diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases. (Hernandez, 9/27)

Minnesota Public Radio News: Conference Links Poor Native American Nutrition To Historical Trauma 
Stepping away from a breakout session at the First Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition, Ryan Bad Heart Bull — a tall, fit man in a dark-blue suit — said the event had been a monumental experience."It's been fascinating to learn the ways and the methods that other tribes have been using to provide better options for themselves as well as bring the community together," he said. He's part Oglala and Hunkpapa Lakota, an enrolled member of the Pine Ridge Reservation. He's also a new registered dietician, and said he's the first Native American to graduate from the University of Minnesota's Dietetic Internship program. Heart Bull said the gathering was historic because it's part of a food movement to reclaim Native American health. (Xaykaothao, 9/28)

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