This week marked the first occurrence of San Diego schools' Meatless Monday menu, which will include veggie burgers, salad bars, cheese pizza and sunflower-seed butter and jelly sandwiches, rather than cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and other dishes containing meat. The district offers vegetarian options daily, but officials say the changes, adopted in June, are intended to help promote healthy eating.
Nutrition experts say simple changes can make fattening comfort food healthier without sacrificing taste, such as substituting turkey or chicken for ground beef in meat loaf and using whole-grain bread and reduced-fat cheese for grilled-cheese sandwiches. Registered dietitian Holley Grainger recommends using chicken broth, low-fat milk or Greek yogurt in mashed potatoes, or stirring in a mild soft cheese or adding garlic and herbs for extra flavor.
As the PPACA's medical loss ratio rules cut into insurers' profits, many are entering agreements to employ doctors directly, acquiring information technology companies and participating in accountable care organizations.
Cooking shows, including reality-TV programs such as "Hell's Kitchen," create more informed consumers and do not necessarily add to the nation's obesity problem, says dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, creator of the F-Factor Diet. Marlene Schwartz of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University disagrees, saying that watching TV promotes a sedentary lifestyle and that the programs may increase hunger and snacking.
A new spot by Crispin Porter & Bogusky is a mash-up of SpongeBob SquarePants and Sir Mix-A-Lot's rap classic "Baby Got Back" as emceed by Burger King's brand icon, the King. The campy spot is a send-up of rap videos, but some critics argue it is too sexually charged for SpongeBob's core audience of young children. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has launched an effort to get the commercial yanked. Burger King says the spot is intended for adult audiences.