11 Stories

Sure, We Read the Calorie Charts—Then Eat More

Customers say they seek guidance from signs, but receipts tell a different story

(Newser) - A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of calorie-counting charts in fast-food restaurants. Half of those surveyed in New York City say they noticed the charts, and about 28% say the information influenced their orders for the better. But a look at overall customer receipts shows people are ordering... More »

Recession Marks the End of Supersized America

'Great Recession' comes as a reality check after decades of '80s-style excess

(Newser) - The recession has brought the long '80s boom to an end, but maybe a better America can emerge from the ashes of a self-destructive age of excess, Kurt Andersen writes in a Time cover story. It was plain that the years of giddy growth that started around 1983 had to... More »

American Salt Intake Is 2X Too High

(Newser) - Most Americans eat way too much salt, and people with salt-sensitive medical conditions consume twice as much as they should, Scientific American reports. The American average is 3,456 milligrams per day. The FDA guideline for someone not at risk is 2,300 milligrams, or one teaspoon. For older people,... More »

Cobblers in Stitches Thanks to Recession

Dwindling trade gets boost as Americans pinch pennies

(Newser) - If this recession reaches Great Depression levels, there may not be enough cobblers to go around. There are only 7,000 of them left in the US—down from 120,000 in the 1920s—and their business is piling up faster than they can manage as strapped Americans repair shoes... More »

Worst Threat to Earth? Way Too Many People

Rate of human growth and consumption may destroy civilization

(Newser) - With the number of humans on Earth expected to reach 9.5 billion by the second half of the 21st century, policymakers and environmentalists should turn their attention to the grave dangers of overpopulation and overconsumption, Paul Ehrlich—author of 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb—and wife Anne write in... More »

Pixar's Lovable Robot Has Important Lessons For Us

Wall-E warns about our over-consumption

(Newser) - Yes, Wall-E has environmental themes, but its main point is a moral one, writes Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. Not simply a critique of capitalism, as some conservatives have suggested, the movie sets its satirical sights on our self-imprisoning culture of consumption—and the snacking, reclining consumers in the... More »

Forget the Rebound; 'This Thing's Going Down'

We can't expect a quick recovery from the economic downturn

(Newser) - A cycle has emerged in the economic mood of recent months: a round of bad news sends markets into a tailspin, then things appear to improve, complete with predictions that the worst is behind us, only to fall apart again, writes Steven Pearlstein in the Washington Post. It’s time... More »

Consumers Beware

Don't worry about overpopulation, prof writes—worry about consumption rates

(Newser) - Don’t worry how many people there are in the world—worry how much each is consuming, noted author and professor Jared Diamond argues in today’s New York Times. People in the developed world consume 32 times more than counterparts in the developing world; if the 5.5 billion... More »

Earth Flunks Its Annual Physical

Most vital signs bad as planet suffers from greenhouse gas

(Newser) - Most of the Earth's vital stats are "pronouncedly bad," according to a research institute that tracks 44 indicators of the world's health. Only six were positive. More wood was harvested this year than ever before, meat production and consumption hit record highs, people ate 156 million metric tons... More »

Japan Fights Heat Tooth and Nail—But Not With A/C

Tokyo cooks up stigma against energy waste

(Newser) - The Japanese are waging a painful war against energy consumption, meeting summer needs not with air-conditioning but with business casual clothing and a good dose of grinning and bearing it. The 2-year-old Cool Biz movement, which aims to keep office temperatures at 82 degrees, took off in earnest this summer,... More »

UN's Take On Climate Change Grows Sunnier

Some measures may enhance global GDP

(Newser) - Policy and behavior changes can help limit greenhouse-gas emissions and slow climate change, say experts at a UN conference in Bangkok—and at a reasonable price. Some curbs on emissions may even enhance global GDP, but time is short. Within 10 to 20 years, global emissions should begin dropping to... More »

11 Stories