NYC appeals ruling on big-soda ban
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to limit sugary drinks to 16 ounces.
March 29th, 2013
07:02 PM ET

NYC appeals ruling on big-soda ban

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed would happen, the New York City Law Department has filed an appeal after a New York judge scrapped the city's controversial ban on big containers of soda.

"Consistent with our desire to get a quick appellate review, the city filed its brief with the appeals court this week," said Fay Ng, senior counsel for the department's appeals division, in a written statement. "The sugary drinks proposal is an important part of the mayor's health initiative."

The Board of Health regulation would limit the size of drinking cups for sugary beverages to a maximum of 16 ounces at food service establishments in the city.

The regulation was adopted in September to help lower obesity rates, but a state Supreme Court judge overturned it as "arbitrary and capricious."


Filed under: Health • New York • Nutrition • U.S.
Controversy fizzing over Bloomberg's soda ban
Large portions of sugary drinks lead to obesity, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says.
June 4th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Controversy fizzing over Bloomberg's soda ban

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has created a soda controversy that may take more than a 44-ounce Big Gulp to quench.

Citing what he says is the contribution sugary beverages make to obesity in the U.S., Bloomberg proposed a ban the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in any of the city's restaurants, delis, movie theaters or even street carts.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do,” Bloomberg told The New York Times in making his proposal last week.

Soda has been a hot topic across the Web since.

Bloomberg has his supporters, including a former president.


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Filed under: Food • Health • New York • Nutrition • Politics
Overheard on Gimme a Triple Bypass, but hold the fries
A heart attack at the Heart Attack Grill? What do you think?
February 16th, 2012
02:06 PM ET

Overheard on Gimme a Triple Bypass, but hold the fries

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The story about an apparent heart attack suffered at Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas was naturally a talker for readers of Eatocracy, our food blog. This story presents a bit of a quandary for some readers.

Man suffers heart attack while eating "Triple Bypass" burger at Heart Attack Grill

People who have been to the restaurant shared their opinions.

Amanda: "I've been to this place once when it was in Chandler, Arizona, and you get fat by just walking in the door. This place is a novelty restaurant, so you know what your getting into when you go there. You reap what you sow, if your going to eat a 6,000 calorie burger by yourself. But as much as this article highlights the restaurant, it probably wasn't the burger that gave him the heart attack ... just saying ..."

Tr1Xen: "No joke ... this guy's probably been eating food like that his whole life."

Can a Triple Bypass burger really give you a heart attack right then and there? FULL POST

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Filed under: Food • Health • Las Vegas • Nevada • Nutrition • Overheard on • U.S.
Overheard on Twinkie apocalypse averted, for time being
Twinkie maker Hostess has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Our commenters shared memories and opinions about the treats.
January 12th, 2012
07:08 PM ET

Overheard on Twinkie apocalypse averted, for time being

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Tallahassee: " There's a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go ... empty.'


phfyrebyrd: "The same thought popped into my head when I heard the news. My condolences, Tallahassee. 😉

Whether wrapped in plastic or fried at fairs, the humble Twinkie is the elongated pastry that pleases.'s intrepid foodies have been following the story of Hostess Brands' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filling, er, filing, very closely. Commenters shared their memories and thoughts about these pastries and the impending zombie Twinkie apocalypse referenced above.

Stay gold, Twinkie the Kid. Stay gold.

An informal and highly unscientific poll attached to the bottom of this Eatocracy post showed that something like 27% of the clickers had not eaten a Twinkie in years. But many others found themselves yearning for years past.

eastcoaster: "Isn't it funny that Twinkies bring back this nostalgia for our long lost childhoods where we had no idea that what we ate (quite frequently) was likely to be harmful to us. It will be interesting to see just how this translates into medical/health headlines 30 years from now. Maybe we'll all be surprised with, 'Gen Xers are the most healthy generation despite the tremendous amount of junk food consumed in the in their early years!' Then we'll bring back the Twinkies..."

You get to growing up and all that stuff ... FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Food • Nutrition • Overheard on
Overheard on Americans' struggle to turn fatness into fitness
First lady Michelle Obama has been in the forefront of promoting healthier eating habits for Americans.
January 2nd, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Overheard on Americans' struggle to turn fatness into fitness

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Day two of 2012 has begun, and people everywhere are starting to dig into those New Year's resolutions. Of course, many want to lose weight. In a timely opinion piece, CNN contributor David Frum says our current way of life dooms us to our fatness, and he commends first lady Michelle Obama for trying to do something about it. Our readers had a bunch of theories of their own.

Why we're getting fatter - and what to do about it

Readers debated the role of diet, exercise and personal responsibility in the struggle to win the battle of the bulge. Many said the problem lies with people themselves.

getreal67: "I agree with part of the article. Americans are getting fatter because they eat more and exercise less. But fixing the problem has nothing to do with redesigning cities or societies. It has everything to do with redesigning one's lifestyle. Some discipline and a treadmill or exercise bike in a basement with a fan blowing is all you need. But instead Americans will continue to spend billions on worthless 'snake oil' trying to find the magic bullet (which by the way does not exist)."

Some shared winning weight-loss strategies. FULL POST

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Filed under: Health • Nutrition • Overheard on
Update: Weight up, cholesterol up for man who lost 27 pounds on Twinkie diet
August 30th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Update: Weight up, cholesterol up for man who lost 27 pounds on Twinkie diet

Nutrition professor Mark Haub, who lost 27 pounds eating mainly Twinkies, powdered donuts and Oreo cookies, is back to an average American diet.

Since ending his junk food experiment in November, he has gained 2 pounds and his cholesterol has also increased a little bit, he said. He also has gained a new insight into the debate over healthy eating.

"People have a hatred towards (processed) foods," he said. "I like them. I eat them. It's amazing how people believe if it's processed, it's not food."

What also caught Haub by surprise was "how vitriolic people can be when they take a stance, whether it's low-carb or paleo diet. It's like politics. Those discussions can get heated. It's the same thing with religion, I'm right. You're wrong."

Last fall, Haub shed 13% of his weight over two months restricting his diet to 1,600 calories while eating "junk food." Surprisingly, his cholesterol readings improved and his level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, decreased. This could have been explained by the decreased consumption of calories.

November 8, 2010: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

Today he eats three meals a day, consuming about 2,200 calories with food choices like turkey sandwiches, peanut butter, and snacking on pears.

"The main thing I did was reduce portion size," he said about what he learned from the diet. "It's that concept of mindfulness or mindful eating - I eat relatively the same. I just eat less."

And he still munches on an occasional Twinkie or snack cake.

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Filed under: Food • Health • Nutrition
Jill Biden to visit largest refugee camp in effort to feed Horn of Africa's hungry
The United Nations says almost half the Somali children arriving at Dadaab refugee complex are malnourished. Many die en route.
August 8th, 2011
09:05 AM ET

Jill Biden to visit largest refugee camp in effort to feed Horn of Africa's hungry

Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, is in Kenya with former Republican Sen. Bill Frist and other dignitaries to emphasize the U.S. government's commitment to tackling the famine that has left more than 12 million East Africans in need of food.

During her trip, Biden will visit the Dadaab refugee complex, a camp that receives more than 1,000 Somalis a day and is home to more than 400,000 displaced people. The camp is designed to accommodate about 90,000 refugees.

The region is facing its worst drought in six decades, and the United Nations has declared a state of famine in five regions of Somalia with warnings that the situation is deteriorating and could easily spread. Though food insecurity is also affecting Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia, the greatest concerns emanate from war-torn Somalia, which has known no central government since 1991.

The United Nations is working to round up $2.5 billion to address the situation, which the organization says could be ongoing for six months or more.

Biden's trip to Dadaab aims to draw attention to the plight of the Horn of Africa and highlight the Feed the Future program, a U.S. government effort aimed at "helping countries transform their own agricultural sectors to grow enough food sustainably to feed their people." She also will visit Nairobi's Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and meet with President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei.


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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Famine • Food • Health • Joe Biden • Kenya • Nutrition • Politics • Security • Somalia • Terrorism • United Nations • World
Plate icon to guide Americans to healthier eating
The new icon, MyPlate is designed to remind Americans to adopt healthier eating habits.
June 2nd, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Plate icon to guide Americans to healthier eating

The food pyramid has been dismantled in favor of a simple plate icon that urges Americans to eat a more plant-based diet.

One half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, with whole grains and lean protein on the other half, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Low-fat dairy on the side, such as a cup of skim milk or yogurt, is also suggested.

The new plate icon is designed to remind Americans to adopt healthier eating habits, in a time when more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

"It's an opportunity for Americans to understand quickly how to have a balanced and nutritious meal," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "It's a constant reminder as you look at your own plate whether your portion sizes are right, whether you've got enough fruits and vegetables on that plate."

Vilsack, first lady Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin spoke at a Thursday press conference to unveil the new plate icon.

Obama has led a national campaign for healthier diets and more physical exercise, called Let's Move, which aims to reduce childhood obesity in the United States within a generation.

The goal of the new icon is to simplify nutritional information, Obama said.

"When it comes to eating, what's more useful than a plate?" she asked. "It's a quick simple way for all of us to be mindful of the foods we're eating."

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Filed under: Health • Nutrition
June 2nd, 2011
07:50 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

As another candidate throws his hat into the ring, remember that Live is your home for the 2012 presidential election!

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Testimony resumes in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.


Obesity: A national security threat?
January 3rd, 2011
01:02 PM ET

Obesity: A national security threat?

Is the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. a threat to national security?

"Oh, yes," said Maj. Gen. Paul Monroe, retired from the U.S. Army.

CNN Radio's Jim Roope talked with Monroe and an Army recruiter to examine the issue. Monroe, with the group Mission: Readiness, released a study saying the obesity rate among children and teens - one in three according to the CDC - is a threat.

"The military found that one in four recruits are not eligible because of weight," he said.

"And not everyone wants to be in the military, and when you reduce it by 25 percent, it's a real problem," Monroe said.

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Montano, an active-duty recruiter with the Army, says he wouldn't go as far as calling childhood obesity a threat to national security, but it is a challenge.

"As recruiters trying to recruit America's force, we have a lot of our kids this day and age that are obese," Montano said.

He says the military does have a program to get obese and overweight kids Army-ready.

Click the audio link to hear the complete story:

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Filed under: Health • Military • Nutrition
November 13th, 2010
07:32 AM ET

Contaminated cheese recalled in Colorado

Mauri gorgonzola cheese sold in Costco wholesale stores is being recalled because of possible E. coli contamination.

Colorado health department officials are warning consumers who purchased Mauri gorgonzola cheese with "sell by" dates of January 13, 2011, and January 14, 2011, that the product has been recalled by the distributor, DPI Specialty Foods of Tualatin, Oregon.

The cheese was distributed only to Costco stores in Colorado in one-pound wedges.

Consumers who have any of this cheese should not eat it. They should return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place it in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals from eating it, the health department said.

Colorado and several other state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have been investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections among people who sampled or purchased cheeses that were part of a "Cheese Road Show" at Costco stores October 14-17.

E. coli O157:H7 causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe.

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Filed under: Colorado • Health • Nutrition • Recalls • U.S.
November 12th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

Wendy's serves up new fries

Wendy's new fries leave some of the skin on.

Wendy's is serving up a new kind of fry.

The nation's No. 3 fast-food chain has revamped its french fry recipe for the first time in its 41-year history, leaving the skin on, using a proprietary oil and sprinkling on sea salt.

The new fries, released nationwide Thursday after being test-marketed in three cities, are "designed to give French fry lovers a hotter, crispier taste experience with an enhanced potato flavor and texture," says a press release from parent company Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia.

The new fries are slimmer than their predecessors but contain more calories and salt, according to Opposing Views writer Mark Berman.

In the latest Zagat Survey, Wendy's fries finished fourth behind McDonald's, Five Guys and In-N-Out Burger, with Burger King trailing Wendy's.

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Filed under: Business • Nutrition
November 9th, 2010
10:37 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Elizabeth Smart testifies of a bizarre, terrifying captivity: Elizabeth Smart relived what she called "my nine months in hell" on Tuesday, describing details of her life as a captive plural wife before ending a second day on the witness stand with a dramatic account of how her ordeal ended.

Cruise ship stranded without power after fire: A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier was scheduled to rendezvous Tuesday afternoon with a stranded cruise ship off the coast of Mexico, according to a Navy spokesman.


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Filed under: Crime • Elizabeth Smart • Health • Nutrition
November 9th, 2010
06:08 PM ET

San Francisco approves health guidelines for meals with toys

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that requires meals sold with toys not to exceed ceilings for calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. The meal must also contain a half a cup of fruit and at least three-quarters of a cup of fruits or vegetables.

Sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar, the legislation passed with a final vote of 8 to 3. It takes effect December 1, 2011.

Read more about the proposal on

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Filed under: California • Nutrition