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5@5: US adult obesity rate surpasses 40% | Family of deceased Publix employee sues chain

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Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Annual report shows no downturn in prevalence of obesity in the US

An alarming new report out of Trust for America's Health reveals that America's adult obesity rate has hit 42.4%, marking the first time the figure has exceeded 40%. This means the national adult obesity rate is up 26% compared to data from 2008, and childhood obesity is following a similar trend. Food Politics points out the clear link here between food insecurity, which is also on the rise, and obesity rates.

Family of a Publix employee allegedly not allowed to wear mask is suing the chain for his death

Seventy-year-old father of four Gerardo Gutierrez asked his employer, Publix, if he could wear a mask at the start of COVID-19 pandemic. His family says the company declined this request. Then, three weeks after exhibiting symptoms of the deadly virus April 6, Gutierrez died. Now his adult children are suing the supermarket chain for $30,000 in damages and setting a precedent for many other grieving families of retail and meatpacking workers whose lives were placed below profit. Eater has the full story.

Bernie Sanders stands with Amazon warehouse workers

It's no surprise that Senator Bernie Sanders is in favor of workers obtaining decent wages and safe workplace conditions through unionizing. His latest statement of this nature came in support of employees at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer, Alabama, who recently filed notice with the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon has historically gone to great lengths to suppress unionization efforts; for instance, it has fired and smeared its workers who were vocal about the company's questionable policies and actions. Common Dreams reports.

Austin-based Whole Foods Market gets an F for wasteful plastic

Environment Texas Research & Policy Center, TexPIRG Education Fund, and other nonprofits have banded together to urge the Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market to cut down on its single-use plastic packaging. While the company was one of the first to get rid of plastic bags at checkout, it has lagged in this area in recent years according to activists. Get the scoop at Culture Map ...

Sesame may finally get official recognition as one of our most common allergens

The House of Representatives has passed a bill to add sesame to the official list of major allergens. Besides forcing companies to add it alongside a food allergy warning on packaging, the move would also expand research into allergy treatments and allow the Food and Drug Administration to add other ingredients to this list as long as they meet certain criteria. The Counter delves into the federal action surrounding sesame over the past few years.

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