Well-being is on the mind of many Americans this year, as nearly half report they want to make health-related improvements in their lives in 2006, according to a recent Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive health survey. Plans for eating better, exercising more and losing weight lead the pledges for 2006.
White tea, tropical fruits, chocolate and "small plate" dining are all poised to enjoy a big year in 2006 according to predictions from the Center for Culinary Development. Restaurants and retailers also are expected to begin giving more details about where their foods come from, experts say.
Most grocery stores, warehouse stores and other retailers appear to be increasing their adoption of self-checkout systems, and a consulting firm says it's seeing a "60% to 70% growth in the number of lanes installed." So far men appear more willing to embrace the change, while women and older people still gravitate toward traditional checkout lanes.
The law passed by the Maryland legislature last week, requiring large employers such as Wal-Mart Stores to spend at least 8% of their payroll on health care, may have trouble being duplicated in the many other states that are trying because the other bills are written too broadly, analysts say. Nevertheless, the law has already succeeded in raising the debate on how to handle the nation's uninsured.