While lots more needs to be down on a policy level -- subsidizing fruits and vegetables, capping oversize portions, taxing soda and junk food, and limiting food marketing to children -- there are lots of things YOU can do to keep from becoming an obesity statistic.
Time and more investigation will shed more light on what happened to Freddie Gray. But at the same time, we should not forget the potential health situations and effects that Baltimore and communities around the country may continue to face once the headlines fade.
You are not necessarily stuck with your food environment. Lobby your workplace, school, neighborhood, or friends to more closely examine the food that's being offered.
Throwing out food scraps and leftovers hardly seems controversial until you consider the stats: Some 870 million people, one-in-eight on Earth, go to bed hungry every night, notes the World Food Programme.
For the field of nutrition, researchers can and should move beyond including baked chips, fat-free hot dogs, fat-free salad dressing and low-fat baked goods as a positive nutritional measurement of our food environment.
Eating can take on many different forms, depending on how much attention is paid and where that attention is placed. Through the practice of mindful eating, we strive to avoid these types of autopilot mealtime scenarios by reserving a time to focus only on our food.
It's easy to make fun of the "nanny state," but childhood obesity is not a joke. When the court arguments begin again, remember that this decision is about our future. It's about stopping the next generation of New Yorkers from developing potentially deadly habits.
Hold your applause for fast food giants like McDonald's -- call them out on their ineffective commitments and hold them to a higher standard.
Nothing about our current food system is inevitable. Fast-food companies have the opportunity to shake their bad reputation if they think anew. Our young black men and women are suffering from a health crisis, and fast-food chains have a responsibility not to profit off of their misfortune.
Our nation got itself into this mess of poor nutritional habits, rampant obesity and declining health over many decades. Let's make sure that the facts about food reform policies don't get left in the dust of sensationalism.
Sodexo, a multinational company based in France that provides food services to schools, college campuses, and the U.S. military, is a primary driver of the privatization and outsourcing of food services in America. But Sodexo has taken the low road to profitability.
Of course, it's the parents' responsibility to make sure their children are healthy. But it's also our nation's responsibility to make sure the environment we parent in doesn't make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to do so.
Excerpts from the new book ...
Hopefully, as the problem of food deserts and swamps gains greater recognition, communities will implement innovative and creative solutions. The USDA's Healthy Food Financing Initiative should focus on supporting this kind of innovation in communities across the country.
While these healthful groups of people may appear to have widely different diets, there is one common thread: Their intake of processed foods, added sugars, trans fats, and artificial ingredients is minimal, if at all existent.
We can approach the health problems that stem from unhealthy eating and physical activity as individual concerns requiring individual treatment. Or that there are social influences that affect what we eat, how we live and how healthy we end up.