Nutrition News Bites- February 14th, 2011

by Rachel Perez

USDA re-calculates cholesterol and vitamin D content in eggs. 

Turns out eggs are lower in cholesterol than previously thought, with new USDA data calculating 185mg cholesterol in large shell eggs, a 14% decrease from the last analysis in 2002.  Vitamin D content increased 64% to 41 IUs, but calorie and protein estimates remained the same at 70kcal and 6 grams respectively.  Some speculate improved diet quality of hens has caused the nutrient change.

Controversial study links diet soda and heightened stroke risk

Last week a poster at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference observed that out of 2,564 study volunteers, those who consumed diet soda every day had a 48% increased risk of suffering stroke or heart events compared with non-soda drinkers.  The authors comment, “If our study is replicated, it would suggest diet soda is not optimal,” however the study awaits publication.

Click here for AHA press release.Valentines Feature: The Health Benefits of Falling in Love

The Washington Post investigates the scientific connection between loving relationships and health outcomes such as blood pressure, depression, and injury recovery.  Just how strong is love’s healing power?

Drought in China may raise global wheat prices, tip food supply

Last week the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that China’s failing winter wheat crop could increase already stressed world wheat prices.  As the world’s largest wheat producer, a drought affecting 12.75 million acres out of 35 million acres of wheat fields could cause China to increase wheat importation.  Resulting shifts in global food supply could tax American wheat, forcing corn prices even higher.

Local: Proposal calls for ban of unhealthy foods in Massachusetts’s public schools

Massachusetts regulators proposed nutrition standards that would ban items such as french fries, soft drinks (including diet soda), and white-bread sandwiches from the a la carte lines, snack shops and vending machines in all MA public schools.  If approved, the new rules would start in the 2012-2013 school year

Study: Diet patterns in early childhood may affect IQ scores later in life

A study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health analyzed the diets of over 14,000 children at age 3 and tracked IQ scores for 5 years.  They found that children who ate high amounts of fat, sugar, and processed foods had a lower IQ at age 8 years, compared to those who ate high amounts of fruits and vegetables.  The authors note, “Cognitive/behavioral effects relating to eating habits in early childhood may well persist into later childhood, despite any subsequent changes (including improvements) to dietary intake.”

New “Clear on Calorie” initiative for beverage labeling

Consumers can expect to see front-of-pack calorie labels popping up on beverages, as PepsiCo, Coca-cola Co., Honest Tea and others join the American Beverage Association’s (ABA) Clear on Calorie initiative.  Susan Neely, ABA president and CEO notes, “America’s beverage companies are doing their part to help people achieve a healthy weight.”

International conference calls for greater incorporation of nutrition into farming practices

Last week agriculture and health leaders gathered in New Delhi for the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) 2020 Conference.  Discussion centered on agricultural changes to reverse global malnutrition, suggesting incentives for farmers to grow more fruits and vegetables.  Shenggen Fan, director general of IFPRI, addressed nutrient deficiencies by asking for expansion of programs that add vitamins and minerals to crops.

USAID press release here.Food Trends: Demand for sprouted foods on the rise

Going beyond alfalfa and mung beans, foods from sprouted grains are a growing food niche.  However evidence is lacking that foods from sprouted or germinated sources are more nutritious.   Just a fun read for our Sprout readers!

USDA approves genetically engineered corn for commercial farming

U.S. reserves of corn hit their lowest level in 15 years, largely due to the ethanol industry’s increasing demand.  The USDA approved commercial growing of genetically engineered corn that is easier to convert into ethanol, despite objections from industry.

Rachel Perez is a second year Nutrition Communications student.  Feel free to email her at  


with feedback or any nutrition nibbles you might find!



The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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