Is 2024 going to be a big year for nutrition policy?

Plus: A few tips to combat anxiety.

Monday. Can you hear me now? Good. 

It’s so weird to think about how much we rely on our phones. AT&T customers across the country were left twiddling their thumbs last week as widespread internet and cellular outages were reported by over 75,000 people on Thursday morning alone. Imagine having to endure a morning commute without email or TikTok. Scary stuff. 

Speaking of scary stuff, we desperately need to turn our nutrition around in this country. So, what is the FDA doing to help us get this ship moving in the right direction? Let’s dive in.


The FDA Tackles Nutrition (Or Tries To)

aisle, food, cheese, dairy refrigeration, cookies, biscuit, cereal, tea, coffee, yogurt, almond, rice, soy milk rice, spice, sauce, cereal, quick milk, store shelf shelf, store, supermarket, supermarket aisle

The FDA is launching a major push on nutrition, aiming to improve Americans’ health by focusing on what we eat. Even though the FDA oversees about 80% of the U.S. food supply, it’s been criticized for not giving enough attention to nutrition. Until now, the FDA has really only focused on what makes foods and ingredients safe, but it has never really focused on what makes food healthy. Those are two very different things. 

Diet-related diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are getting worse (IT’S TRUE—READ MORE), especially in certain communities. The FDA wants to change that by making big moves in nutrition policy.

First up, the FDA is working on establishing clear guidelines for what foods can be called “healthy.” They’re updating the definition and plan to introduce a special “healthy” logo for products that make the cut. This can obviously go in many directions, but at least it's a start. The FDA is also planning to introduce labels on the front of food packages to help shoppers make quick, healthy choices. 

Salt is another big target for the FDA. Too much salt can lead to heart problems, so the FDA wants food companies to cut back on how much they add to packaged foods. This one is kind of whatever for us at the Daily Tonic. We have written about this before, but the health risks of sodium in mainstream nutrition circles seem largely overstated (READ HERE). The real takeaway here is that you should eat less packaged foods, regardless of what companies do to their salt content. 

Sugar is also on the FDA’s radar. They’re thinking about how to reduce the amount of added sugars we eat, which is something almost every American could benefit from. The Nutrition Facts labels on the back of food packages already show how much “added sugar” is in food, but the FDA wants to do more. 

Has the change in sugar labeling actually decreased sugar consumption, or have companies changed their recipes to make foods healthier? It’s tough to say, but the FDA is working on figuring it out. 

This nutrition push by the FDA is part of a bigger plan that came out of a White House conference on food in 2022. The goal is to get all hands on deck so we can tackle food insecurity and diet-related diseases. Other parts of the government are working on things like making school lunches healthier and bringing nutrition into healthcare programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

On paper, this all sounds great. But given the government’s track record of getting stuff done, I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath. 

Will these nutrition policies actually make a difference? We’ve had nutrition information on food packages for years, but Americans’ health hasn’t gotten better. Restaurant menu calorie counts haven’t had much impact either. If the past decade has taught us anything, it’s that finding policies that work to improve our diets and health is not an easy thing to do. 

The key takeaway? We desperately need to improve our diets and health in the U.S. Is that something we can do through food policy? Maybe, but at least the FDA is trying, and it is putting these issues front and center for us to talk about them. That alone is more than we’ve done in the past. 

One interesting thing happening outside of policy is the conversation around Ozempic, a medication for diabetes that’s also used for weight loss. This new category of weight loss drugs has been very effective, and while we will hate suggesting a pharmaceutical shortcut for something that we can improve through healthier habits, these new drugs could be a powerful catalyst to help people make some real change. 


Tonic Shots

  • Yoga poses for people with low back pain. (READ MORE)

  • Young doesn’t mean healthy. More people in their early 20s are out of work from ill health than early 40s, according to a recent study. (READ MORE)

  • Are food allergies a thing of the past? What you need to know about Xolair, the new drug that helps prevent allergic reactions. (READ MORE)


Fasting-Like Diet Reduced Prediabetes Markers and Signs of Aging by 2. 5 Years

Monthly cycles of a diet that mimics fasting can improve insulin resistance and other markers of prediabetes and reduce fat in the liver, a new study shows. Researchers say this diet also reduced signs of immune system aging and biological age.

The fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) involves five-day cycles of a diet low in overall calories, protein, and carbohydrates and high in unsaturated fats, such as the kind found in olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

The diet was developed by study author Valter Longo, PhD, a professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology in Los Angeles.


A Few Tips To Combat Anxiety

Nervous The Big Bang Theory GIF

Anxiety has recently snowballed into a big issue in the United States, affecting both adults and children. While a certain level of anxiety does actually serve a purpose—motivating us to prepare for public speaking or remain alert in heavy traffic—excessive anxiety can be debilitating.

And it's a rapidly growing concern, with over 40 million U.S. adults, or 19.1%, diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent statistics. Additionally, about 7% of children between ages 3 and 17 grapple with anxiety annually, with most symptoms emerging before age 21.

Add to that the recent headlines about war, terrorism, and the constant fingerpointing, and it is no wonder so many of us feel anxious all the time.

So what can we do about it?


Support Our Team 🧡

We're all about making your journey towards better health enjoyable and insightful. By becoming a member of The Daily Tonic family, you're not just supporting us, you're elevating your own wellness journey!

We believe in the power of community and the impact of your support. Your membership helps us continue delivering the best health and wellness newsletter around. If you enjoy starting your day with a dose of wellness wisdom from The Daily Tonic, consider joining us as a member.

🌿 Continue Reading

This is the web version of The Daily Tonic.

Subscribe to get full access to all our newsletters with more subscriber-only content. Get science-backed health news and stories straight to your inbox. See you there 📬