We have a splendid issue to start off the year 2017. Our French colleague, Dr France Bellisle, provides us with an interesting perspective of differences between foodways in the two countries in the lead article on cultural resistance to an obesogenic world, with attention to some infrequently examined differences in eating lifestyles between France and America. There are some fascinating insights that deserve further reflection. The piece comes with a CE quiz for those who wish to take it.
We’ve all seen the many “apps” now available on smartphones and other devices to monitor everything from our heartbeats to our food intakes. But are they ready for prime time in assessing our energy intakes? Dr. Cheryl Gilhooly provides the results of her review of them.
The US Department of Agriculture and some States sponsor a number of boards for helping to market various agricultural commodities. Is this a good or a bad thing from the standpoint of nutrition information and education? Our editorial board member. Dr. Phyllis Bowen. has written a very thoughtful piece about them using examples from her work with the California Dried Plum advisory board. The article is called "Role of Commodity Boards in Advancing the Understanding of the Health Benefits of Whole Foods: California Dried Plums." This particular board has changed the image of the fruit in question (formerly known as prunes) and also has stimulated and funded some interesting nutrition research.
Although a great deal of progress has been made in lessening the burden of dietary deficiencies among children in the USA, some children still do not receive enough of the essential micronutrients. In "Making Micronutrient Adequacy of American Children a Reality," we take a look at some of the methods for dealing with these problems, which include not only nutrition education, but food fortification and in a few cases use of dietary supplements.
Debuting in the New Year is our newest column on food and nutrition science led by Dr. Roger Clemens, former president of the Institute of Food Technologists, ably assisted by Dr Peter Pressman. The goal of this column is to take an in-depth look at some food ingredients that we see on labels but that most of us, even those of us who are health professionals, know very little about. This month they take a look at food gums; what they are, why they are needed, and how they are used in food products. Future columns will deal with other ingredients, particularly those currently getting a lot of press.
We conclude the issue on an historical note as our contributing editor, Lou Grivetti, brings the history of herbs, spices, and flavoring agents to a close. This article discusses the fusion of herbs and spices in the 19th through the 21st Century North American culture. It has been a fascinating saga!
This year we have planned at least one supplement and will continue to make at least one article in each issue available temporarily free on the web. We urge those of you who are subscribers to also use our archives, which now contain 50 plus years worth of issues and special supplements. The webpage offers additional services that may also be helpful to you.
Best wishes and have a good winter.
Johanna Dwyer Editor