The New York City of Department of Public Health put into effect this month a new effort to decrease consumption of added calories from sugary beverages. Beverages contaning sugar must be sold in servings of 16 ounces or less. Water and "diet" drinks may be sold in larger quantities. Research has linked larger portion sizes, plate sizes, and utensil sizes with an increase in caloric consumption. Subsequently, as the standard cups and plates that fill our cabinets have grown, so have our waistlines.
Arsenic in Rice
The Food and Drug Administration has an ongoing study regarding arsenic in rice consuption for 1200 products. Consumer Reports recently put out an article that has raised public attention to this issue. Rice absorbs trace amounts of arsenic in its natural growing conditions because it is grown in groundwater. The FDA has found no evidence thus far that causes concern for the level of contamination (1 gram arsenic per 115,000 servings of rice) however they will be completing the study and releasing their final results and a new standard at the end of this year. Organically grown rice and rice products are proving to have lower levels than inorganically grown. At this point the take home message remains to moderate rice products in the diet. Registered Dietitians are also encouraging use of organic products with babies and children as we find that children are susceptible to increased per-kilogram consumption of added chemicals.