Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Readers of Food Labels Weigh Less – A U.S. National Health Interview Survey of 25,000 people found that those who reported scrutinizing labels while grocery shopping had lower body mass indexes and weights than those who paid less attention to what was in their food; the difference was especially pronounced for women. Living in urban areas, being college educated and married increased the likelihood of reading nutrition labels.
- National Chocolate Consumption Tied to Nobel Prize Odds – Don’t eat it just for the antioxidants: It turns out the higher a country’s chocolate consumption, the more Nobel laureates it spawns per capita, according to findings released today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Swiss have won the most, followed by the Swedes. The Swiss average 120, 3-ounce bars for every man, woman and child, per year, or one bar about every three days. No word on if hot cocoa counts.
- Tomatoes Can Cut Risk of Stroke – A Finnish study published in the journal Neurology found that men with the highest levels of lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, were 55% less likely to have a stroke than the men with the lowest levels. A cup of marinara sauce has more than 31,000 micrograms of lycopene while the average raw tomato has about 3,165 micrograms, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Los Angeles County Launches “Choose Less, Weigh Less” Campaign – The County of LA launched a campaign designed to encourage Angelenos to make healthier decisions around portion sizes. The “Choose Less, Weigh Less” blitz extorts residents to carefully consider portion sizes and raises awareness about daily recommendations for calorie intake. Nearly 24% of county residents were obese in 2011; the rates show an astonishing 74% increase since 1997.
- Soda Machines to Start Posting Calorie Counts – Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. unveiled an initiative to encourage consumers to make healthier beverage choices. The companies committed to listing calorie counts on vending machines next year, a move critics said was aimed at averting calls for special taxes and other regulations.
Photo courtesy of EverJean.