CSPI’s work transforms the food environment in schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and public places and improves the way America eats.
Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, unhealthy eating and inactivity cause 678,000 deaths every year. CSPI pushes for policies that make it easier to eat well, be physically active, and maintain a healthy weight.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans contains the federal government’s basic nutrition advice for its citizens and forms the basis for much federal, state, and local nutrition policies. Read more.
Food labels play an important role in the battle against obesity and diet-related disease. Nutrition Facts labels should be updated, ingredient lists made more readable, and deceptive health claims and other practices should be stopped. Read more.
Healthy public places
Improving the nutritional quality of foods and beverages in worksites and public places is a low-cost public health strategy that can help to change social norms and create healthier food and beverage environments. Read more.
CSPI led the effort to place calorie counts on chain restaurant menus, starting with state and local laws and culminating with the passage the Affordable Care Act. The FDA is developing final regulations for calorie labeling for standard menu items at chain food service establishments. Read more.
Marketing to kids
Food marketing influences what children eat, and food companies spend $2 billion marketing foods that are mostly high in sugars, saturated fat, and salt. CSPI leads the Food Marketing Workgroup that is dedicated to eliminating harmful food marketing.
Salt is perhaps the deadliest ingredient in our food supply, causing high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and other health problems. Reducing sodium consumption by half would save an estimated 100,000 lives per year. Read more.
Schools across the country are implementing updated nutrition standards for school lunches, which should now include more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, low-fat instead of high-fat milk, and sensible limits on calories, unhealthy fats, and salt. Read more.
Taxes, warning labels, curbs on availability, and other policies can help reduce consumption of soda and other sugar drinks, which promote diabetes, obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and other health problems. Read more.
Labeling, local laws, and the FDA’s determination that artificial trans fat is no longer safe for use in food helped remove much artificial trans fat—the kind that comes from partially hydrogenated oil—from the food supply. CSPI is working to eliminate the last of what remains. Read more.
Placing candy, soda, and other sugar-sweetened beverages at retail checkout aisles is a powerful form of marketing that contributes to unhealthy eating. Read more.