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FROM THIS EPISODE

A federal committee on dietary guidelines reports that 65% of American women are overweight or obese along with 70% of men. Its findings on how we got that way — and what should be done — have surprised most nutritional experts and outraged parts of the food industry. 

Also, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen expresses cautious about rate hikes amid positive economic growth. On today's Talking Point, the for-profit college industry is in trouble after federal criminal probes and a plan to close a loophole that allows them to capitalize on veterans' benefits. We talk with a former student who's refusing to pay back her loans.  

Photo: Peter Dahlgren

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Sasa Woodruff
Jenny Hamel

Yellen Cautious about Rate Hike amid Positive Economic Growth 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee today the Fed is pleased with economic improvement. "Domestic spending in production has been increasing at a solid rate. Real gross domestic product has now estimated to have increased at a 3.75% annual rate during the second half of last year." It was not what you'd call a rousing endorsement of progress — and Yellen indicated the Fed's in no hurry to start raising interest rates, as we hear from New York Times reporter Binjamin Appelbaum.

Guests:
Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times (@BCAppelbaum)

America's Diet…and the Environment? 33 MIN, 31 SEC

Every five years, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee issues a report used to shape federal nutrition policy — including the $16 billion school lunch program. This year's report contains unprecedented advice: instead of eating red meat in moderation, we should eat less. The meat industries are up in arms not just about health warnings — but especially the claim that livestock production contributes to global warming. And that's not the only surprise from the panel that helps determine official Dietary Guidelines.  It says eggs and coffee don't cause heart trouble after all. As special interests and politicians take aim at conclusions so different from what's gone before, what's the American public to think?

Guests:
Chase Purdy, Politico (@chasepurdy)
Robert Davis, Everwell
Nicolette Hahn Niman, rancher and former environmental attorney (@BN_Ranch)
Stephanie Feldstein, Center for Biological Diversity (@sfeldstein)

More:
Purdy on the federal nutrition panel's advice on meat
Hahn's 'Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production'
Center for Biological Diversity on "meatstinction," the seven-course cost of meat production

Obama and Former Students Go After For-Profit Colleges 9 MIN, 50 SEC

"The future of the for-profit college industry is looking pretty dismal right about now — and that, many would agree, is generally a good thing." That's the first line of an article in The Atlantic magazine, "The Downfall of For-Profit Colleges."

After investigating the "shady" practices of some for-profit colleges, the Obama Administration is going after their budgets. We hear how loopholes may be closed and talk to an angry former student who refuses to pay back her loans

Guests:
Alia Wong, The Atlantic magazine (@aliaemily)
Ann Bowers, Corinthian College graduate (@tarasann60)

More:
The Debt Collective
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (Harkin report, full report)
Harkin Report (summary)

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