Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 6, 2015

Posts in "Nutrition"

February 23, 2015

This Week: HHS Budget Hearings Shadowed by Exchange Enrollment Tax Woes

Congress returns from a recess break and this week dives into an examination of fiscal 2016 spending bill requirements. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell will defend HHS agency funding at Wednesday and Thursday House committee hearings. However, Burwell will likely be quizzed mostly on other topics such as health exchange enrollment estimates plus exchange development and contingency planning. Burwell will also get an opportunity to explain a recently announced expanded enrollment period for people who didn’t comply with the health law’s individual mandate in 2014 and the release of erroneous subsidy data to 800,000 tax filers currently preparing their 2014 tax forms. A House hearing this week will focus on the tax implications of the exchange enrollment process. Also, a Senate hearing on Thursday reviews medical and public health preparedness.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Thursday is scheduled to mark up legislation (S 142) sponsored by Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida that would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a childproof packaging rule for liquid nicotine, which is used to refill electronic cigarettes.

Today, the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services formally published a notice seeking public feedback on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. The new guidelines seek to change public behavior on sugary drinks and continues an effort to reduce meat consumption.

September 17, 2014

Food Manufacturers Make Gains in Cutting Calorie Counts

Health care advocates and groups concerned about an obesity crisis have long pressed food manufactures to cut calories in packaged food products. Roughly two-thirds of the calories Americans consume come from packaged foods and beverages, especially from saturated fats and added sugars. It appears food manufacturers all along have been reducing calories. A group of food manufacturers in 2009 pledged to reduce calories but the effort has not been independently verified.

This week, a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and authored by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the companies removed 6.4 trillion calories by 2012, more than quadrupling the pledged amount.

CQ Roll Call’s Georgina Gustin reports that calories in packaged foods produced by companies organized into a healthy weight promotion coalition dropped an average of 78 calories per capita, per day, from 2007 to 2012. Calories in foods produced by non-participating companies fell by 11 calories, and calories in private label brands fell by roughly the same amount, for a total reduction of about 99 calories per person.

 

August 29, 2014

Democrats Seek to Spur Restaurant Menu Calorie Count Rules

Two prominent Democrats, who spearheaded 2010 Affordable Care Act provisions that require the posting of nutrition information and calorie counts on restaurant menus, are urging the administration to issue new regulations on restaurant menus. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., this month sent a letter to the White House’s regulatory review office urging the release of the final rule, which has been in the works for months . They also backed eliminating  proposed exemptions, including menu notices at entertainment venues such as amusement parks and bowling alleys. The Food and Drug Administration published proposed rules on restaurant menus in 2011 and the FDA forwarded a final rule proposal to the White House in April.

By Paul Jenks Posted at 10:18 a.m.
Nutrition

August 1, 2014

A Sugar Tax? Rosa DeLauro Wants One.

Medical Research Rally

DeLauro. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just in time for the closing of a comment period on proposed new rules on nutrition labels on most packaged food products, Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro weighed in with a letter to the FDA encouraging the plan to keep added sugar as a stand-alone line on the proposed food nutrition labels. It wasn’t her only proposal this week on keeping the sweet ingredient in check.

Full story

By Paul Jenks Posted at 3 p.m.
Nutrition

July 28, 2014

Al Franken Looks Forward to State Fair Food; Don’t Count on Lots of Healthy Options

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(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Congress is preparing to begin its annual August recess at the end of the week. For many lawmakers, it means a trip to the state fair. Al Franken is ready.

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New FDA Food Labels: $2 Billion on the Line?

The Food and Drug Administration earlier this year proposed changes to nutrition information labels included on most packaged food products. The agency has extended the public comment period until Aug. 1 on the proposed label rules.

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July 21, 2014

Obama’s Snack Comments Upstage White House Nutrition Dinner

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The president gets a cone at a shop in St. Paul, Minn., in June. He went “off message” about ice cream during a White House event on school nutrition standards. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

First lady Michelle Obama is battling GOP congressional appropriators over possible changes to her effort to overhaul nutrition standards in the federal school lunch program. Roll Call’s Cady Zuvich reported on the recent “Kids’ State Dinner” at the White House, which touted the new USDA school nutrition standards:

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 2:45 p.m.
Nutrition

July 16, 2014

CDC Ranks States on Physical Activity (Not on Recipes)

For the past several years, Roll Call has matched up states in a competition on the best food item offered by each one. This year’s Taste of America winner was Utah’s cherry cobbler. While some of the contest recipes are fairly healthy choices … others probably could help prompt some reflection about caloric intake. There are other ways, though, to measure health in each state, of course.

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