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Michael F. Jacobson
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Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., is co-founder and executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health advocacy organization supported largely by the 900,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter. CSPI is a key player in battles against obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems, using such tactics as education to legislation to litigation. Jacobson has written numerous books and reports, including Nutrition Scoreboard, Six Arguments for a Greener Diet, Salt: the Forgotten Killer, and Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks are Harming Americans’ Health.

Entries by Michael F. Jacobson

Federal Excise Tax on Sugar Would Be Sweet

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 1:39 PM

The SWEET Act is not the spoonful of sugar that will help the medicine go down for Big Soda but it is, indeed, the right prescription for the diseases brought on by excessive consumption of sugar drinks.

The Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax Act would impose an...

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Stalling on Salt

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Don't bother reaching for that shaker of salt next time you eat out. The chain restaurant industry has already decided for you how salty you like your food, and they think you like it plenty salty!

Salty enough that nearly 100,000 Americans will die this year because of...

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Meet the Anti-Mediterranean Diet

(2) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 7:49 PM

There's much to be said for the so-called Mediterranean diet -- diets low in red meat and high in fish, nuts, vegetables, beans and heart-healthy fats like olive oil. But if that's the diet you want to eat, you certainly aren't going to find it at "Italian" chain restaurants in...

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Fed Up With Big Soda?

(31) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 5:07 PM


Every once in a few years, a documentary about food captures the public's imagination and inspires people to make changes in their lives and in our food environment. The latest, and perhaps the most strategic, of these is Fed Up, the...

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10 Food Hacks for Workplace Wellness (PHOTOS)

(20) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 8:22 AM

Americans spend almost half of their waking hours at work. For too many of us, much of that time is spent sitting in a chair. And when we leave our desk to go to a meeting or conference (to another chair, naturally), our thoughtful meeting host might be kind enough...

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Kwan Should Stop Spinning for Coke

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 4:03 PM

Michelle Kwan and the Obama Administration's President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition might find it easier to land a triple salchow than explain the Olympic figure skater's role as one of Coca-Cola's "Four Pack" for the Sochi winter games next month.

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Delicious and Healthy School Meals Around the U.S. (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 1:16 PM

Schools across the country have been working hard to implement updated nutrition guidelines for school meals. There are challenges, but schools' efforts are paying off. More than 80 percent of schools are well on their way to meeting healthy school lunch standards, including providing more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains....

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Trans Fat -- On the Way Out

(16) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 12:32 PM

At long last, the Food and Drug Administration has announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oil is no longer "generally recognized as safe" for use in food.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has been trying to reduce or eliminate the use of partially hydrogenated oil...

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Halloween Warning: Watch Out for Neurotoxic Artificial Food Dyes in M&M's Candies

(34) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 5:37 PM

If you know a child with ADHD, you know hyperactivity can make it difficult for parents trying to raise happy, healthy children. And you know that the day after Halloween is one of the most disruptive days of the year!

But did you know that many food and...

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9 Funky Food Labeling Fiascos -- And 1 Solution

(18) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 3:53 PM

When nutrition facts became mandatory on packaged foods in 1993, interested consumers could, for the first time, learn how many calories and nutrients were in their foods. Popular, readable, and consumer friendly, nutrition facts labels earned its designer an award for design excellence from President Bill Clinton. Ingredients list, however,...

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Reasonable Certainty of No Harm?

(3) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 1:29 PM

Many food labels read like the contents of a chemistry set, not a cracker or beverage: sodium stearoyl lactylate, acesulfame potassium, sucrose acetate isobutyrate. But the real issue is not the complexity of the ingredients' names, but whether the ingredients are safe.

The Food...

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Berries Over Bugs

(214) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 1:54 PM

A couple of months ago, a report from the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization invited the prospect of insects being a bigger and bigger part of our diets in the future. High in protein and healthy fats, easier on the environment than heftier animals like cows, pigs, and chickens,...

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Ending Food Ignorance: Education Is Too Important to Leave to Big Food

(17) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 2:28 PM

Would you be surprised to know that there is a highly-sophisticated, multi-billion-dollar campaign underway designed to teach your children about food? There is. In fact, experts agree that this campaign is wildly successful. Unfortunately, the massive instructional campaign to which I refer is the $2 billion effort by...

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Frying, Lying, and Dying: Why Partially Hydrogenate a Healthy Food Into the Worst Meal in America?

(13) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 10:52 AM

I've been studying food issues for 40 years, and for the past 20 years, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been conducting laboratory analyses of popular restaurant meals. Over the years, we've published jaw-dropping nutrition numbers for things as diverse as movie theater popcorn, Kung Pao Chicken,...

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The Deadly Fake Fat Lurking in the Supermarket -- Still!

(54) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 8:39 AM

Artificial trans fat -- the kind that comes from partially hydrogenated oil -- has been called a "metabolic poison" and the "most dangerous fat in the food supply." It promotes heart disease by raising one's "bad" cholesterol (LDL), which clogs arteries, and lowering one's "good" cholesterol (HDL), the kind that...

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The New York Times Bungles the Latest Salt Report

(34) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 3:09 PM

Cutting back on salt is smart and safe, no matter what the New York Times says. In an editorial and an article, the Times misrepresented the findings of a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Here's what the Times got wrong:


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Risky Meat: Will Your Meal Send You to the Hospital?

(79) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 1:16 PM

Everyone knows undercooked meat can be a risky proposition. For most Americans, a case of foodborne illness is a mild case of nausea or diarrhea that passes in a few days. Few of the 48 million people who are infected each year from tainted foods seek medical attention....

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What Big Soda Learned From the Marlboro Man

(6) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 5:52 PM

If you want to understand the soda industry today, take a look back to the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Under siege 20 years ago, Philip Morris' corporate affairs division issued an internal "Five-Year Plan," which surveyed a landscape of "unabated activism," more regulation, and "deteriorating" attitudes about...

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Sweet Nothings

(4) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 11:31 AM

When I first began my work on food safety and nutrition in 1970, people knew that tasty, familiar white sugar was just "junk" and "empty calories." Sugar was derided because it was devoid of vitamins and minerals and it promoted tooth decay.

But recent studies have begun to demonstrate...

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Eat Your Veggies

(17) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 2:07 PM

Everyone who talks, writes, or preaches about nutrition puts fruits and vegetables at the pinnacle of goodness. While they may lack magical powers, most are excellent sources of potassium (which helps lower blood pressure), vitamins (like A and C), fiber (which helps the digestive system run smoothly), and other nutrients....

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