Pop-Tarts Vs. Almonds: FDA To Review Antiquated Definition Of ‘Healthy’
What food the agency deems healthy is constrained by rules first defined in the 1990s when low-fat content was the main concern of health professionals and sugar wasn't even on the radar. Under the current guidelines, a sugary cereal might be called healthier than salmon or nuts. “The problem, of course, is that the foodscape can change quickly, but Food and Drug Administration regulations change very slowly," says David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.
The Wall Street Journal:
FDA Seeks To Redefine ‘Healthy’
What’s healthier than a Pop-Tart? Not almonds, according to today’s regulatory rules. That could change as the Food and Drug Administration kicks off a review of the 1990s official definition of “healthy” at the urging of food companies and lawmakers. The regulator is planning to ask the public as well as food experts for comment on what should be the modern definition of healthy, setting off a process that could take years to complete. But the decision to redefine the term marks a major step in the FDA’s effort to catch up to changing ideas about health and eating habits. (Gasparro, 5/10)
In other public health news, a new campaign targets high maternal deaths in the U.S. and a new study touts the benefits of exercise for depression and anxiety —
The Washington Post:
Can Exercise Cure Depression And Anxiety?
A new study by researchers at the University of California at Davis Medical Center found that exercise increased the level of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, both of which are depleted in the brains of patients with depression and anxiety. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that allow the brain to communicate with the body. Richard Maddock, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and lead author of the study, said he hopes the findings will encourage more doctors and patients to consider exercise as therapy for these two conditions. “It’s becoming more accepted, but there hasn’t been enough research in this area to make people confident.” (Loudin, 5/9)