Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign brings in sharp focus the insidious obesity trend among children and teens. Report after report warns of the consequences: obese children are more likely to become obese adults, who in turn are more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and perhaps pancreatic cancer, among other diseases.
For a little light, albeit wonkish, reading, pick up a copy of America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, otherwise known in town halls across the country as the Healthcare Reform Act. It begins innocently enough: "To provide affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans and reduce the growth in healthcare spending, and for other purposes."
The vast majority of natural products go to market in easy-to-use, easy-to-produce bottles, jars, blister packs, and cartons. But packaging isn't always routine.
David Kessler has one. So does Lyndon LaRouche. But the one that matters most belongs to Margaret Hamburg, MD.
By law, the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) team up every five years to evaluate the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines are the set of nutritional rules that lie behind the federal government's food programs, including the National School Lunch Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; the Healthy People initiative; and the Food Pyramid, to name a few.
Just the right amount of time has passed since Iovate Health Sciences removed Hydroxycut products from stores shelves to dispassionately examine the decision, how it came about, and what it could mean for the weight-loss category. Supplement recalls trigger a certain amount of melodrama as typified by this MSNBC headline: "FDA Warns Dieters: Stop Hydroxycut Use Now." Time tends to put these messages in perspective.
Let's face facts. Consumers have had a miserable time staying on top of nutrition trends. First, fats were the root of all diet evil, then carbs, then sugar, then artificial sweeteners, then dairy products, then some proteins, then bread, and on and on. Give consumers a lot of credit for not completely surrendering the fight to eat healthy.
Adhering to strict good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for tablets and capsules is a challenge for nutraceutical companies both large and small—and soon, smaller companies may face this challenge as well. As an example of strict GMP guidlines, GMP advises: "Process controls for dietary supplement manufacturers include establishing and meeting specifications to ensure the finished dietary supplement contains the correct ingredient, purity, strength, and composition."
The Food and Drug Administration that we know, love, and on occasion love to hate, may soon be a memory. The winds of change are blowing toward Rockville, and the agency may never be the same.
Of all the foods in all the world, who would have guessed that peanuts would be the cause of a national food safety shiver that in all likelihood will change how FDA does business?