Changes Aimed at Helping Americans Lose Weight
Advocates predict that more than half the people in 39 stages, including Michigan, will be obese by 2030. Video by fox47news.comvideo
America is piling on the pounds.
Advocates predict that more than half in 39 states, including Michigan, will be obese by the year 2030. But regulators are hoping changes in the way food is marketed will help Americans lose weight.
According to Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. In an effort to help the American weight problem, McDonald's has decided to start listing calorie information on menus in 14,000 restaurants.
A new law requiring that takes effect next year, and McDonald's is getting a head start.
And in New York, the Board of Health has voted to ban the serving of sugary drinks in containers bigger than 16 ounces over the objection of some.
"We do not believe that restricting the size of one product in certain establishments in the city is the comprehensive approach that we need to deal with this issue," says Eliot Hoff, of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices.
The ban applies to ballparks, restaurants, movie theaters and food trucks, and its something Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pushed.
"This is the single biggest step any city I think has ever take to curb obesity," says Bloomberg.
But will it work? Will posting calorie counts and banning Big Gulps really help Americans lose weight?
"We don't know specifically whether these things will work until they're tried," says Kelly Brownell, the director of the Rudd Center.
He says there are some studies that suggest moves like these may be effective.
"One thing that's nice is that different cities and states are trying different plans and this provides lots of natural experiments that you can use to converge on a small set of best practices," Brownell says.
And, he adds, the conversation alone is healthy.
"People are paying more attention to the obesity problem and at all levels of government, officials are now thinking 'what can we do, what should we do, what do we need to do in our locality.' And those conversations will lead to good things."
By the way, a Big Mac has 550 calories according to McDonald's nutrition information.