1). The Danish government is making waves by imposing the world’s first fat tax. There’s a Freakonomics analysis about it here. I’m skeptical. Cigarette taxes don’t stop smoking, and taxes on sugars have increased consumption of substitutes, with no overall effect on obesity rates or other health outcomes. The tax specifically targets saturated fats, but that could have unintended consequences by shifting ingredients to more highly processed fillers that have long-term health effects that are just as bad or possibly worse. It happened with soft-drinks. We’ll see. The history of dietary nudges suggests this will have little effect.
Thanks to Greg Houseman via twitter for the tip.
2). The Diet Blog has a decent round up of new research. The item about coffee consumption was of particular interest to me. I’ve been reading a lot about coffee consumption and I”m split about how I should feel about its long-term effects. Moderate consumption seems to promote insulin sensitivity and a higher metabolism, but it might do weird things to your kidneys and electrolyte balance since it drains water out of your system.
I spend a lot of time writing in coffee shops and I drink a lot of coffee because it’s better than cakes and domed drinks. It’s the least worst option, but I end up drinking more coffee than I would like.
3). In the NY Times they have a write up of how you should reject food from people without affending them. The author thinks it’s best to lie. I have no good answer for that question. I’ve flip-flopped on it my whole life and have never found anything that works without unpleasant consequences. Thanks to Feed Me I’m Cranky for the pointer.