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Junk Food

September 27, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Purveyors of fast food such as McDonald's try to make impression on young consumers. And a new study of kids' brains shows that it's working. Researchers at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center did MRI scans of kids' noggins while showing them assorted corporate logos. Turns out that when a logo for a fast-food chain comes up - the golden arches, say - the pleasure centers of kids' brains light up, showing that a connection is being made to something considered a treat or a reward.
September 6, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots blog
Obesity among Philadelphia's nearly 900,000 schoolchildren has ticked downward slightly, a new study says, suggesting that efforts to reverse the rising tide of fat among the nation's children are paying off. In 2009-2010, 20.5% of the Philly's kids weighed in as obese, and 7.9% were considered "severely obese. " Writing in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, a team of Philadelphia public health officials and researchers called those figures "unacceptably high. " But they noted that the latest statistics are down from measures taken in 2006-2007, when 21.5% of Philadelphia's schoolchildren were obese and 8.5% were severely obese.
August 28, 2012
Marshall Reid was bullied at school because he was overweight. He found a way to fight back that has kept the bullies at bay and changed his life: He's a healthy eater and a successful author. He and his mother, Alexandra, wrote the book, "Portion Size Me" about how their family changed their habits and how other people can too. Marshall and his family spent much of the summer traveling the country in their vintage Airstream, meeting young people and talking about their book. Marshall, 12, said he really likes seeing new parts of the country, but he had one complaint: "There's so little room, and my parents seem to fail to reason that the bigger person needs the bigger bunk.
August 24, 2012 | By Mark Medina
A day has passed since Kobe Bryant turned 34, but that's hardly going to prevent friends and Lakers fans from showering him with gifts. Of course, the NBA's Larry O'Brien championship trophy remains the best present Bryant would ever want, even if he already has five of them. But no one can buy that. Not even Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. They may have built a championship-contending roster by acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, but the Lakers still have to play together. So that puts the onus on Bryant's friends and fans to come up with different gift ideas, if they haven't already.
August 14, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Junk food is everywhere. We're eating way too much of it. And we're getting fat. Most of us know what we're doing and yet we do it anyway. So here's a suggestion offered by two researchers at the Rand Corp.:  Why not take a lesson from alcohol control policies and apply them to where food is sold and how it's displayed? “Many policy measures to control the obesity epidemic assume that people consciously and rationally choose what and how much they eat and therefore focus on providing information and more access to healthier foods,” note Dr. Deborah A. Cohen and Lila Rabinovich of Rand.
August 9, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
Did anyone happen to catch Honey Boo Boo Child and her family on their new show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" on TLC last night? The show chronicles the Georgia family of "Toddlers and Tiaras" alum Alana Thompson as they help Alana, a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo Child, on her quest to becoming a beauty queen. On last night's premier episode, Honey Boo Boo Child and her family visit the " Redneck Games " fair, where sister “Pumpkin” (Lauryn) bobbed for raw pig's feet, Alana and her sister “Chubbs” (Jessica)
August 8, 2012 | By James Rainey
Mitt Romney used a speech at a Chicago fundraiser Tuesday to make a point about individual initiative and entrepreneurship. To do it, he used the example of McDonald's, the family-owned burger stand that grew into a worldwide behemoth. What could be homier and more American than enjoying a little McDonald's and the company's success story? Politicians like cozying up to fast food because, well, they might actually like it, but it also gives them a chance to show they can be just regular folk.
August 2, 2012 | By Betty Hallock
OLYMPIC APPETITES Olympic athletes consume several thousand calories a day -- often in the form of junk food . "I love fatty desserts," says gold medalist swimmer Nathan Adrian , such as white cake topped with rainbow sprinkles. [ Wall Street Journal ] BURNING QUESTIONS Norman Lear answers the query : What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? (And he's 90 but has 17-year-old daughters?!)  [New York magazine] ON VALUE AND TRUFFLES " Is it really worth spending money on fine dining when so much of the happiness we experience is simply our brains fleeing from cognitive dissonance?"
July 31, 2012
YELP, DRAMATIZED A video series of professional actors reading Yelp reviews . It's moving. (Gawker) WHITE RUSKIES Momofuku's cereal milk meets White Russian : the recipe.  (Leite's Culinaria) MEATLESS MONDAY FLAP The beef industry isn't pleased when a USDA staffer suggests "Meatless Mondays" in the cafeteria. (Los Angeles Times) JAMIE OLIVER VS. DAVID BECKHAM Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticizes athletes such as soccer star David Beckham who promote junk food for endorsement deals.
July 28, 2012 | Mike Bresnahan
On second thought, maybe the original Dream Team was better. So says Kobe Bryant, who lighted a metaphorical fire around his feet earlier this month by saying this year's U.S. team would beat the original cast of NBA stars from 1992. This time, though, Bryant indicated that Michael, Magic and Larry were more talented than LeBron, Kevin Durant and himself. "I didn't say we were a better team," Bryant said Friday amid a mob of reporters at an introductory Olympic news conference.
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