The 'consumer awareness' section of the Obesity Society website is targeted at the general public, providing consumers with the latest information and news about new products and services, the activities of food companies, and some interesting facts.
Choosing the right milk for you
Choosing the right type of milk is becoming more difficult as more varieties of milk are becoming available on the market. There is a wide range of fresh, long life, concentrated, powdered, flavoured, and non-dairy milk varieties.
For children, because of their nutritional requirements, there are some milk varieties that are preferred or recommended for consumption, whereas other varieties are generally not encouraged. For adults it's a matter of preference.
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller from the Human Nutrition Unit of the University of Sydney has written a number of books titled "The New Glucose Revolution", a guide recommended for health-conscious readers who want to understand the glycaemic index concept and how to incorporate it into their diet to achieve blood sugar control and other favourable health outcomes.
The "New Glucose Revolution: Life Plan" is a guide that aims to expand our healthy eating choices, providing the tools to put all the latest knowledge into practice.
Dietitians from the International Diabetes Institute have written a handy book titled, "Food: The flip side! The Shopper's Guide to Healthy Food Choices", aimed at assisting consumers make educated food choices at the supermarket. The book specifically targets people with Diabetes or Heart Disease, the overweight, and anyone interested in eating nutritious food and establishing healthier eating habits. Happy reading!
Low carbohydrate / high protein diets have become huge in America. Large numbers of Americans are following the Atkins Diet and other popular 'fad' diets aimed at increasing protein intake and reducing or restricting carbohydrate intake. As a result, there has been a great demand for low-carb products. America's food industry has responded by introducing a number of low-carb products onto the market. Bread, cereals, pasta, dairy, desserts, cakes, candy/confectionery, potato chips, snack foods, soft drink and alcohol, are now becoming available in low-carb varieties.
The Sanitarium website is a great site to visit to gain access to a number of healthy recipes, questions and answers, nutrition facts and product information. You can also subscribe to receive Sanitarium's free email newsletter, "Good Food News", which features the latest nutrition news, health benefits of different types of foods, interesting recipes, health updates, exercise tips and current food research. It is published by Sanitarium's Nutrition Education Service. Have fun!
In March this year, McDonald's Australia announced a number of initiatives, which aim to give consumers more choice and healthier alternatives. Such initiatives include:
The introduction of the Salads Plus menu. This is now a permanent feature on the McDonalds menu, which brings a healthier, lighter focus to the original menu, consisting of a range of products that have 10 grams of fat or less, per serve.
- Introducing nutrition information panels on the packaging of regular menu items. This allows for enhanced consumer information and education, enabling individuals and families to make better dietary choices.
- Introducing hamburger buns that are low in sugar.
- Reducing the calorie / kilojoule (energy) and sugar content of Salads Plus muffin and yoghurt menu items.
- Launching an alternative (healthier) Happy Meal for children, containing fruit and vegetables.
- Using a liquid canola cooking oil blend in restaurants, to aim for enhanced cooking methods.
- Introducing a new breakfast menu known as "Quickstart". McDonald's have teamed up with some of Australia's favourite brands to launch this new menu, which offers cereals, fruit, yoghurt and juices.
In America, McDonald's has made available super-size portions, advertised as offering good value for money. In response to the obesity epidemic sweeping the country, as well as the poor nutrition these super-size portions offer, McDonald's has decided to phase out its super-size French fries and soft drinks later this year. This move is another one of McDonald's steps to appeal to health- and weight-conscious consumers.
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