Author Archives: Melissa Musiker

Musings on the Nutrition Facts Panel

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) and the now ubiquitous Nutrition Facts Panel came into being in the early 1990s. Since then, with the exception of some minor tweaks, the labels have remained largely unchanged — until last Thursday, when the FDA announced a proposal for an overhaul. The proposed updates had been in the works for nearly a decade; stakeholder consultations, opportunities for comment, and endless conversations meant that virtually nothing in the proposed updates came as a surprise.
Posted on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 By Melissa Musiker
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Six Trends to Watch for the Food & Beverage Industry in 2014

A big part of what we do at APCO is listen to the stakeholder conversations on issues that impact our clients and their sectors. From this listening, it has become clear to us that the biggest communications challenge for the food and beverage industry is that everyone is a stakeholder because everyone needs to eat. And because everyone eats and because it is so trendy to be a little bit obsessive and incredibly knowledgeable about any and all things food and drink related, there is a growing population of pundits sharing their viewpoints through both social and traditional media.
Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 By Melissa Musiker
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Happy Healthy Weight Week?

Melissa MusikerJanuary 20 – 26 was National Healthy Weight week. Strategically positioned to be right in the middle of the post holidays and  New Year’s resolution use-your-gym-membership season, the premise behind Healthy Weight Week is to remind people concerned about their weight to stop fixating on numbers and focus on building healthy habits and a more positive self-image. Recognizing the economic difficulties facing society as a result of rising healthcare costs associated with obesity, and the fact that a winning and innovative strategy to address this crisis is needed, Hastings Center bioethicist emeritus Dr. Daniel Callahan, in a recently released controversial paper,  posits three potential solutions to addressing the obesity epidemic: strong and somewhat coercive public health measures childhood prevention programs and extreme social pressure on the overweight.
Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 By Melissa Musiker
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New investments in prevention and wellness redefine “kid food” in school lunches and on children’s menus

Melissa MusikerThe term “kid food” conjures images of chicken nuggets, hamburgers, pizza, mac and cheese, hot dogs or French fries. “Healthy food,” meanwhile, brings to mind apples, broccoli, kale, fat-free yogurt, steamed chicken or fiber-dense cereal. The imagery is dichotomous, but that may be starting to change. Recent changes to the National School Lunch Program and children’s menus in quick-serve and casual-dining restaurants are likely to have a significant impact on the way we think about kid food in this country.
Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 By Melissa Musiker
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Who is responsible for the weight of the nation? Depends on how you vote

Melissa MusikerEarlier this month there was an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine as a follow up to the Weight of the Nation events that took place in May. It suggested that the public health advocacy community and liberals are ready to take action on obesity, but unfortunately entrenched business interests and conservative politicians are getting in the way. This editorial is largely built around the graph featured below, which is based on public opinion data collected by Bleich and Blendon in 2011.
Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012 By Melissa Musiker
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Obesity and the Olympics: Rethinking What it Means to Look Like an Athlete

Melissa MusikerWe live in the age of information, and we are being inundated by a never-ending torrent of information about obesity and health. There is no way to avoid it; it is part of our daily lives. And it is nearly impossible to make sense of it all. The International Food Information Council (IFIC), a repository of fantastic information about food and nutrition, has been keeping tabs on media impressions on obesity for more than a decade. The interest in obesity has been at a sustained and high level for more than two years with no signs of slowing down. Obesity is personal, compelling and complex. New news and new angles on the topic can be found on a daily basis.
Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 By Melissa Musiker
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Musings from the Summer 2012 Fancy Food Show

Melissa MusikerI recently attended the Summer Fancy Food Show at the DC Convention Center. As an industry watcher and avid foodie, this was a great opportunity to learn about what is happening in the food and beverage industry. Amid the sea of chocolate, cheese and charcuterie, product trends paralleled broader health and wellness trends in food.
Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2012 By Melissa Musiker
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Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact

Melissa MusikerAll too often we want to see dramatic results. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve vowed to exercise more or eat healthier, only to quickly give up when I don’t see big changes. That’s why it is so refreshing to have a client like Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters®. Share Our Strength® is a national nonprofit organization whose goal is to end childhood hunger in America. One of their many programs is Cooking Matters, which empowers low-income families with the skills, knowledge and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals
Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 By Melissa Musiker
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A New Look at How We Count Calories

Melissa Musiker is a registered dietician and a member of APCO’s Washington, D.C., health policy team.Last week the American Society for Nutrition released a consensus statement on energy balance and implications for body weight regulation. In general, the statement supports much of the currently held notions about the importance of maintaining appropriate energy balance over [...]
Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012 By Melissa Musiker
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Food Day in the U.S. Highlights the Hunger-Obesity Paradox

Today is Food Day in the United States. Food Day is an event coordinated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest with the goal of bringing together eaters of all types “to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.” According to its organizers, Food Day is a nationwide grassroots mobilization for healthier diets and improved food policies. With literally thousands of events big and small being planned for today, it is clear that people are thinking about their food more than they ever have before.
Posted on Monday, October 24th, 2011 By Melissa Musiker
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