Allison Aubrey

Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News, where her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also a contributor to the PBS NewsHour.

Aubrey is a 2016 winner of a James Beard Award in the category of "Best TV Segment" for a PBS/NPR collaboration. The series of stories included an investigation of the link between pesticides and the decline of bees and other pollinators, and a two-part series on food waste. Along with her colleagues on The Salt, Aubrey is winner of a 2012 James Beard Award for best food blog. She was also a nominee for a James Beard Award in 2013 for her broadcast radio coverage of food and nutrition. In 2009, Aubrey was awarded the American Society for Nutrition's Media Award for her reporting on food and nutrition. She was honored with the 2006 National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism in radio and earned a 2005 Medical Evidence Fellowship by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Knight Foundation. She was also a 2009 Kaiser Media Fellow in focusing on health.

Joining NPR in 1998 as a general assignment reporter, Aubrey spent five years covering environmental policy, as well as contributing to coverage of Washington, D.C., for NPR's National Desk.

Before coming to NPR, Aubrey was a reporter for the PBS NewsHour. She has worked in a variety of positions throughout the television industry.

Aubrey received her bachelor of arts degree from Denison University in Granville, OH, and a master of arts degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Can't cool off this summer? Heat waves can slow us down in ways we may not realize.

New research suggests heat stress can muddle our thinking, making simple math a little harder to do.

There's new evidence to support a decades-old strategy for preventing the tick bites that lead to all sorts of nasty diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

The remedy involves spraying your clothing with permethrin — a pesticide that's chemically similar to extracts of the flowering chrysanthemum plant.

Coffee is far from a vice.

There's now lots of evidence pointing to its health benefits, including a possible longevity boost for those of us with a daily coffee habit.

Tick bites can cause all sorts of nasty afflictions. And if you're bitten by a Lone Star tick, here's one more to add to the list: a red meat allergy.

Laura Stirling, 51, a Realtor who lives in Severna Park, Md., was diagnosed with the allergy last year. She got a tick bite while walking on a trail with her dog, Gunner, near her home.

"I found [the tick] 3 or 4 inches to the left of my hip bone," Stirling recalls. At the time, she say, she didn't think much of it. "I just took it off and threw it away."

A little bit of alcohol has been shown to be protective of heart health. But how does drinking influence cancer risk?

A new study finds that light drinkers have the lowest combined risk of developing cancer and dying prematurely — even lower than people who don't drink at all. But here's the rub: In this study, "light" drinking is defined as one to five drinks per week.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Maple syrup producers are furious, and they're letting the Food and Drug Administration know about it. The issue? A controversial regulation over how to label sugar on the bottles of the syrup. NPR's Allison Aubrey joins me now to talk about it. Good morning.

If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

If you've avoided romaine lettuce because of the E. coli outbreak, you can start buying it again.

After weeks of warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to toss out romaine grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region, the CDC says there are no longer any greens coming from this region.

The romaine that's for sale now in restaurants and supermarkets nationwide is coming from California's Salinas Valley.

Americans are rediscovering the coldest aisle in the supermarket.

According to a new report, sales of frozen foods, including vegetables and prepared foods, are now on the rise following a multi-year slump.

The uptick is new — and modest. But growth "is accelerating as consumers begin to see freezing as a way to preserve food with fewer negatives," concludes a report from RBC Capital Markets.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, it's official. Beginning today, all restaurant chains in the U.S. with 20 or more locations must post calories on menus or menu boards.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, back in 2010, the federal calorie posting mandate was born.

Many chains, including McDonald's, Panera and Starbucks, began posting calories several years back. But the proposed regulations hit several snags as industry groups lobbied for changes. Now, there's no escaping them.

When Melisa Martinez's son, Juelz, was born very prematurely at 25 weeks back in January, doctors at University of California, Davis Children's Hospital gave him probiotics. "They told me the probiotics may help reduce the risk of infection," Martinez says. Now, Juelz is home and doing well.

Will people drink less sugary soda if the price goes up? A new study suggests the answer is ... yes.

Researchers at Drexel University surveyed residents of Philadelphia both before and after a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks took effect. They also surveyed people in three other cities that don't have a beverage tax. The researchers found Philadelphians were about 40 percent less likely to drink sweetened beverages daily after the tax went into effect, compared with people in the other cities.

People who are diagnosed with prediabetes can delay or prevent the disease if they change their lifestyle and lose a significant amount of weight. But here's the challenge: How can people be motivated to eat healthier and move more? Increasingly, the answer might include digital medicine.

"Just telling people to do things doesn't work," says Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health. If it were easy, there wouldn't be more than 80 million adults in the U.S. with prediabetes.

Burgers and chicken nuggets are still the mainstay of the Happy Meal. But on Thursday McDonald's announced its goal to market more balanced kids meals around the globe.

The company says by the end of 2022, at least 50 percent or more of the kids meal options listed on menus will meet new global Happy Meal nutrition criteria: Meals will have 600 calories or less; no more than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat; no more than 650 mg sodium; and no more than 10 percent of calories from added sugar.

The flu doesn't just make you feel lousy. A study published Wednesday finds it can increase your risk of having a heart attack, too.

"We found that you're six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after being diagnosed with influenza, compared to the year before or after the infection," says study author Dr. Jeff Kwong, an epidemiologist and family physician with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario in Canada.

The idea that each of us has a unique nutrition blueprint within our genes is a delicious concept.

Perhaps, this helps explain the growth in personalized nutrition testing and services such as Habit, Profile Precise and Nutrigenomix.

So, what exactly can these tests tell you?

Listen up, night owls: If you're sleeping six or fewer hours per night, you're not doing your health any favors.

A new study finds that getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night may help you tame your sweet tooth.

Looking for a diet that is simple to follow? You might want to give the Mediterranean diet a try.

It's not so much a prescriptive meal plan as it is a well-balanced pattern of eating. Think lots of whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, olive oil, fish and smaller amounts of dairy, poultry and even a little red wine (if you like).

Back in the 1960s, the fact that our diets influence the risk of heart disease was still a new idea. And there was a debate about the role of fats and the role of sugar.

The sugar industry got involved in efforts to influence this debate. "What the sugar industry successively did," argues Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco, "is they shifted all of the blame onto fats."

If you're gluten-free, you may turn up your nose at Aunt Betsey's macaroni and cheese. And what if you've got a vegan teenager in the family who'd like the Thanksgiving feast to be turkey-free?

A poll from the University of Michigan finds that for families with a picky eater or someone on a special diet, holiday meals can be tricky.

Scott Gottlieb, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner appointed by the Trump administration, has this in common with Michelle Obama: He wants to know what's in the food he eats.

And this, it seems, includes calorie counts.

Now, the FDA has released its guidance on implementing an Obama-era rule that requires chain restaurants and other food establishments to post calories on menus or menu boards. The mandate was written into the Affordable Care Act back in 2010.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As deaths from opioid overdoses rise around the country, the city of Baltimore feels the weight of the epidemic.

"I see the impact every single day," says Leana Wen, the city health commissioner. "We have two people in our city dying from overdose every day."

What counts as dietary fiber? That's up for debate.

The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing 26 ingredients that food manufacturers use to bulk up the fiber content of processed foods to determine if there's a health benefit.

If you're a nutrition-label reader, the list includes some familiar-ish sounding ingredients — such as inulin, which is often sourced from chicory root.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Just a few months after a controversial tax on sugary drinks took effect in Cook County, Ill. - that's where Chicago is - commissioners have voted to repeal it. As NPR's Allison Aubrey reports, it is a big win for big soda companies.

Chicken nuggets. French fries. Pizza. Repeat.

This repertoire of kids menu items may seem familiar to many families, but one fast-casual chain aims to put a lot more options in front of its young customers.

Beginning this month, there's a kid-sized version of almost everything on Panera's regular menu. The portion shrinks, as does the price. "Kids now have the choice of 250 different combinations," Panera CEO Ron Shaich told NPR.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

An estimated 4 percent of Americans have food allergies, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded that allergies are a growing public health concern. But diagnosing allergies can be tricky, and kids can outgrow them, too.

An estimated 133 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, enough to fill Chicago's Willis Tower 44 times. Globally, 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted annually.

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