Right now weight loss programs and plans are trending across the United States. In some cases there are actual mandates being put in place to help you eat healthier, shed pounds and move more. Take Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, for example. He banned sales of products with trans fat last year and recent studies seem to show that it is having an impact on the city's populace, with consumers making healthier food choices. More recently, a city-wide soda ban is poised to go into effect, forcing consumers to buy smaller serving sizes of sweetened beverages. Of course you can elect to buy two sixteen ounce drinks so you can still enjoy the portion size that you want, but Mayor Bloomberg's hope is that whittling down the cup size will at least give you a moment to pause and consider that one smaller caloric beverage is quite enough.
The latest proposal - again in New York City - is to control the dispensing of baby formula to new moms in hospitals. Mayor Bloomberg and others feel that breastfeeding is of paramount importance to the health of the newborn. So he would like to have new moms exposed to in-hospital breastfeeding education so they will be inspired to nurse their newborn and continue once they leave the hospital If they have to ask for the formula and wait for it to be signed out by a nurse, similar to a drug, then maybe the "more convenient" breastfeeding option will be more attractive (especially if there is a hungry wqailing baby involved). Studies do seem to indicate that breastfeeding has a host of health benefits, including a lower risk of obesity for the nursing child.
Some more mainstream programs nationwide include:
Market Bucks, a program that encourages consumers to shop in local Farmer's Markets.
Mobile produce trucks that visit lower socio-ecnomic neighborhoods
Corner produce stands, which have become quite popular in New York City.
Mobile healthy "Pop Up" lunch trucks that tour cities and post their next location online.
Many experts feel that access to healthy foods is key to conquering the obesity crisis. Education is also considered a vital component in the fat equation. Learning about nutrition, learning to shop for healthy ingredients and cook simple, tasty nourishing meals can also help to make inroads in obesity management. Food workshops that bring families together to learn about healthy eating could help to make home-cooking a family affair.
From a personal perspective I think we need to intercept obesity trends by making cooking a hip social trend. Why not meet and cook classes? Or date and cook classes? Food is a wonderful equalizer and ice breaker, so what better way to deal with an ongoing "appetite crisis" then by combining the dating scene with a healthy cooking scene? Food preparation can inspire great conversation, helping to facilitate getting to know one and other, while learning basic skills. You'll have foodies and chefs and those who have never learned even the simplest cooking techniques converging in an educational environment that is warm, inviting and fun. You can make new friends or snare a date. Cook, eat and meet!!