OBESITY

An article appeared in the Matt Furey newsletter that is mailed to health conscious individuals.  I obtained a copy and thought you as readers might be interested in health articles, and items that would improve your overall physical and mental condition! 

 

Today’s message comes from my brother, Sean. And it’s a good one. Enjoy.

Matt Furey

 http://www.mattfurey.com

The prevalence of obesity has reached stratospheric proportions.

So what should they do to avoid calories?

They swill Diet Soda.

I remember many years ago when the circus came to my hometown in Pork Country,
USA. They had an exhibit, or
booth called the “Hall of Mirrors.” You stood in front of one mirror, and it made
you tall and thin. The next mirror made you short. Another mirror made you
enormously fat. It was big fun for a youngster, and I remember getting big laughs
out of that tent.

Diet Soda is a Hall of Mirrors, an illusion, and a toxic illusion at that.

The chemicals contained in Diet Soda are a powerful contributor
in the obesity epidemic. In addition to stimulating your appetite, increasing
your carbohydrate cravings, and facilitating fat storage and weight gain,
artificial sweeteners like aspartame (NutraSweet) and sucralose (Splenda) contain
a Pandora ’s Box of other goodies.

No Splenda advertisement will ever tell you that chemists add three chlorine
molecules to sugar molecules to create the final product. No Splenda ad will say
that there product could:

1. Mess up insulin regulation.


2. Shrink the thymus gland.

3. Enlarge your liver and kidneys.

4. Reduce your growth rate.

5.Give you diarrhea.

6. Reduce your red cell count.

When you see all the ads for Diet Soda, none of them will say that aspartame can
trigger or worsen:

Brain Tumors…Multiple Sclerosis…Epilepsy…Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…Parkinson’s
disease…Alzheimer’s…Mental Retardation…Lymphoma…Birth defects
Fibromyalgia…Diabetes.

Just keep these things in mind when you stop at the local 7-11, grocery store, or
restaurant, and want something to drink.

Just in case you were wondering, the regular stuff isn’t good for you either.

A recent announcement by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
says that soda has become the largest source of calories in people’s diets.

Is it a coincidence that ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) has risen as schools
fill the hallways with soda machines and candy dispensers. Is it a coincidence
that there are so many obese kids since this practice started.

Not if you knew that carbonated soda provides more sugar in a two year olds diet
than cookies, candy, and ice cream combined.

Did you know that regular soda can also cause:

Obesity
Tooth Decay
Caffeine Addiction
Weakened bones
Insomnia
Kidney stones

All these problems with soda and diet soda and I haven’t even gotten to caffeine.
which comes with its own suitcase full of problems. I’ll be writing more about
that soon.

To boil it all down for ya Bubba:

Water is you best option for a beverage. And after that …. I’ll get to that later
on, too.

To better health,
Sean Furey

 


Now! Let's add insult to injury.  This article should be cause for concern.  Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the USA and European countries.  What can be done about it?  We'll find out as we continue to provide information followed by solutions!

 

Study Links Middle Age Obesity to *Dementia


NewsMax.com Wires
Friday, April 29, 2005
LONDON -- The most convincing research so far suggests that being fat in your 40s might raise your risk of developing dementia later in life.

In a study that followed more than 10,000 Californians for almost 30 years, researchers found that the fatter people were, the greater their risk for Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The results were published online Friday by the British Medical Journal. "This adds another major reason for concern about the obesity problem and it now unfolds yet another area where ... we have to say, 'for G-d's sake, we better get cracking,"' said Philip James, an obesity expert who was not connected with the research and who heads the International Obesity Task Force.
The study data showed that roughly 7 out of 100 normal-weight people developed dementia. Among overweight people, the risk was almost 8 out of 100; and for obese people, it was 9 out of 100.

This latest research comes amid questioning and confusion in the United States over the dangers of being overweight. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said a new analysis showed that being too fat caused far fewer deaths than previous government estimates. The announcement led to attacks by critics and restaurant-funded groups who say the threat of fat has been hyped by the U.S. officials.

Funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the California study was conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Medical Foundation. The project followed 10,276 people, in their early to mid-40s, for an average of 27 years. They had detailed health checkups from the mid-1960s to early 1970s.

Between 1994 and 2003, dementia was diagnosed in 713, or about 7 percent, of the study volunteers. The scientists examined links between dementia and obesity using two different measurements _ body-mass index and the thickness of skin folds under the shoulder blades and under the arm.

Adjusting for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and other factors, the study found a higher risk of dementia for heavy people. Using the body-mass index, which measures height and weight to classify how fat people are, obese people were 74 percent more likely to develop mind-robbing dementia than normal weight people. Overweight people were 35 percent more likely to develop it.

The effect was more profound for women than men. Obese women were twice as likely as women of normal weight to develop Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, while for men the risk increased by 30 percent.

However, when the researchers used skin-fold thickness, instead of the body-mass index, to measure obesity, there was no difference between the men and women; both were up to 70 percent more likely to develop dementia if they had a thick fold between the tweezers than if they had a thin fold of skin on the test. And the thicker the skin fold, the higher the chance of later dementia, the study found.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the study, according to James, is that the researchers eliminated the influence of heart disease, diabetes and other conditions that might be the real culprits in dementia.

"We really adjusted for everything under the sun that is related to dementia. We brought in stroke, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease _ everything that has been implicated _ and yet we still found this effect," said the study's leader, Dr. Rachel Whitmer, gerontological epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Foundation. "That suggests that there's another pathway _ it's not just that being overweight raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes and that's why these people get dementia."

The study was not able to explain how obesity might increase the risk of dementia, but does propose several theories.

One is that fat cells are known to produce harmful, inflammatory chemicals, and there is evidence that these may cross into the brain.

James suggested a dietary lack of the right kinds of fatty acids, such as those found in fish, might also be a factor.

"It's been shown that the Western societies are short of fatty acids of this type," he said, adding that obese people "will be very deficient in these long-chain essential fats, which are known to be fundamental for brain development."

Scientists are studying whether fish oil supplements can prevent dementia.

© 2005 The Associated Press

*
de·men·tia (di-men'sh?)
n.
Deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain. It is sometimes accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes.
Madness; insanity. See synonyms at insanity.
[Latin dementia, madness, from demens, dement-, senseless. See dement.]

 


 

Not only are we eating ourselves sick, now we are also eating ourselves into an undesired mental state as well.  Can we bring this under control?  Yes!  But it requires work.  Some fast food chains have already reduced their portion sizes, from super size to medium size.  Something must be done, as the overall health ramifications will be astronomical if left unattended.

 

 "When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you;
 
put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite.
 Don't be desirous of his dainties, seeing they are deceitful food."
  proverbs 23:1-3

 

How would this apply you might ask?  I do not sit and eat with a King!  Oh; but you do, if you sit before Father Yahweh and Yahshua the Messiah and ask them to bless your food!  Does Yahweh live with you?  Does Yahshua have residence with you?  Then this passage has application!  So!  Put a check on that appetite!

 

 "For the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor; and drowsiness clothes them in rags." Proverbs 23:21

 "For as they were in the days before the flood: eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark.
 And they did not know until the flood came and took all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of Man."
  Matthew 24:38-39

What would you say is the Number one health problem today?  Stay tuned for the answer as the quasi experts see it!



 

 


AMERICA'S #1 HEALTH PROBLEM


 


 


 
Why is There More Stress Today?

 
 Time magazine's June 6, 1983 cover story called stress "The Epidemic of the Eighties" and referred to it as our leading health problem; there can be little doubt that the situation has progressively worsened since then. Numerous surveys confirm that adult Americans perceive they are under much more stress than a decade or two ago.  A 1996 Prevention magazine survey found that almost 75% feel they have "great stress" one day a week with one out of three indicating they feel this way more than twice a week. In the same 1983 survey only 55% said they felt under great stress on a weekly basis. It has been estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. Job stress is far and away the leading source of stress for adults but stress levels have also escalated in children, teenagers, college students and the elderly for other reasons, including:  increased crime, violence and other threats to personal safety; pernicious peer pressures that lead to substance abuse and other unhealthy life style habits; social isolation and loneliness; the erosion of family and religious values and ties; the loss of other strong sources of social support that are powerful stress busters.

 

 

 

Why is Stress Now Different and More Dangerous?
 

 

 
Contemporary stress tends to be more pervasive, persistent and insidious because it stems primarily from psychological than physical threats.  It is associated with ingrained and immediate reactions over which we have no control that were originally designed to be beneficial such as:
 
These and myriad other immediate and automatic responses have been exquisitely honed over the lengthy course of human evolution as life saving measures to facilitate primitive man's ability to deal with physical challenges.  However, the nature of stress for modern man is not an occasional confrontation with a saber-toothed tiger or a hostile warrior but rather a host of emotional threats like getting stuck in traffic and fights with customers, co-workers, or family members, that often occur several times a day.  Unfortunately, our bodies still react with these same, archaic fight or flight responses that are now not only not useful but potentially damaging and deadly.  Repeatedly invoked, it is not hard to see how they can contribute to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain and other "Diseases of Civilization".
 



 
How Can Stress Cause So Many Different Diseases?
 

 
 Many of these effects are due to increased sympathetic nervous system activity and an outpouring of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress-related hormones.  Certain types of chronic and more insidious stress due to loneliness, poverty, bereavement, depression and frustration due to discrimination are associated with impaired immune system resistance to viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and cancer.  Stress can have effects on other hormones, brain neurotransmitters, additional small chemical messengers elsewhere, prostaglandins, as well as crucial enzyme systems, and metabolic activities that are still unknown.  Research in these areas may help to explain how stress can contribute to depression, anxiety and its diverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, skin and other organs.

 
 
 

... What happens in the mind of man is always reflected in the disease of his body ...

 
 
René Dubos-

 




 

Obesity a Growing Health Epidemic:

 

 THE rising incidence of obesity is a growing health concern for all age groups in the Philippines and around the world. Defined as an unhealthy amount of body fat, obesity has become a global epidemic that until recently had gone mostly unrecognized. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, three million deaths are attributable to overweight and obesity annually. Worldwide, there are a billion overweight adults, 300 million of whom are clinically obese. Unless urgent action is taken the WHO predicts that the number of the world's overweight will swell to five million in the next 20 years. The factors contributing to obesity are not expected to recede anytime soon. In many cultures in the past, obesity had been prized as sign of wealth and health. But being overweight is not about being rich and well fed. While there are many causes that contribute to obesity, the strongest factors have been an unbalanced diet combined with reduced physical exercise; a sedentary workforce, and lifestyle choices compounded by a high-fat, high-sugar content diet. The Food and Agriculture Organization has sounded an alarm over childhood obesity which is also rising everywhere because children are becoming less active while taking in more calories. Many developing nations are facing a double challenge - widespread hunger on one hand and the rapid increases in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases on the other. Statistics show that obesity accounts for two to three percent of total health care costs in developed countries and has a severe impact in terms of lost productivity at the work place and on a company's medical fees and lost productivity. The costs are likely to skyrocket over the next few years as obesity catches up to smoking as the number one preventable cause of death in many countries. While experts concede that genes play an important factor in determining a person's weight gain, it is in many cases preventable. From a moral perspective, overeating appears unacceptable in a world where close to a billion people are still constantly hungry. To those who tend to overeat, it would be to their advantage to be aware of the inherent risks and hazards of an unbalanced diet and to change their eating habits to significantly curb the upward trend in this health epidemic.


 

What About The Use of Caffeine?

Should we use caffeine?  How much caffeine is safe?  Let's take a look at some facts concerning caffeine!

 

Nutritional facts and myths about caffeine

by Amy McComb

 

Caffeine is one of the world's most widely-used drugs. Anthropologists believe that it may have been used as far back as the Stone Age. From a pharmacological point of view, caffeine is one of a group of stimulants called methylxanthines or xanthines; these compounds occur naturally in some plants. Caffeine was first used medicinally by Europeans in the 1500s. They used caffeinated beverages to help headaches, vertigo lethargy and even coughs. Caffeine, more recently, has been used to alleviate fatigue, increase motor skills, relieve migraines - when used in combination with other drugs - and as a treatment for hyperactive kids (although there has been no research to confirm caffeine's usefulness in this case). Natural caffeine is found in the nuts, seeds, and leaves of certain plants.

The caffeine in coffee comes from the coffee Arabica plant. In order to make Coca-Cola, caffeine is extracted from the Kola nut tree. Tea is made from the leaves of Thea Sinensis and, not only does it contain caffeine, but it also contains theophylline, another stimulant. Chocolate is made from cocoa and contains a different xanthine besides caffeine called theobromine.

An average cup of coffee has 40 to 150 mg of caffeine. Tea has 1 mg of theophylline and 50 mg of caffeine. An average cup of hot chocolate has 10 mg of caffeine, and 200 mg theobromine. Coca-cola has 45.6 mg of caffeine, while Jolt (which has the most caffeine of any soft drink) has 72 mg.

 

Some popular myths about caffeine include:

Myth: Caffeine (i.e. drinking coffee) the morning after will help a hangover.

Truth: Caffeine-containing foods and beverages will not actually help "sober up" someone who has consumed too much alcohol.

Myth: Soft drinks don't contribute very much to caffeine consumption.

Truth: Coca-Cola is the number one thing Americans have for breakfast every morning.

Myth: Caffeine intake may cause one to have a worse sleep (i.e. perhaps interfere with REM).

Truth: Caffeine has variable effects on sleep, depending on the individual. Studies at Vanderbilt University have found many individuals whose sleep patterns are unaffected, while others report poorer quality of sleep.

Myth: Caffeine causes high blood pressure.

Truth: Scientists reviewed the results of 17 studies and concluded, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, that coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages don't cause any persistent increase in blood pressure.

It is worth noting, however, that caffeine-sensitive individuals can experience a very small, short-lived rise in blood pressure, lasting a maximum of several hours. Studies repot that any rise in blood pressure is never more than that normally experienced when climbing stairs.

Myth: Caffeine increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Truth: A 1990 Harvard University study examining potential links between coffee intake and cardiovascular disease confirmed earlier studies by concluding that "there was no deleterious or salutary effect of coffee consumption". Also, a recent review of studies done on the consumption of caffeine of the equivalent of approx. 5 or 6 cups a day did not negatively effect the frequency or severity of cardias arrhythmias.

Myth: Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is harmful.

Truth: Three major studies with over 15,000 women have found that there are no birth defects associated with caffeine consumption. Even the kids of the heaviest coffee drinkers were not found to be at higher risk of birth defects. This myth came from a study done on rats in the 80s by the FOA. The offspring of rats given to suggest the same thing occurs in humans but they continue to advise that pregnant women consume as little caffeine as possible. Since, the FOA has admitted that there is no evidence to suggest the same thing occurs in humans but they continue to advise that pregnant women consume as little caffeine as possible.

Myth: Caffeine affects fertility.

Truth: The largest study done on around 3000 women's caffeine intake and fertility reported that caffeine is not linked to fertility problems. (Centre for Disease Control and Harvard Medical School, 1990).

Myth: Caffeine affects children more than adults.

Truth: Adults are just as sensitive to caffeine's potential effects as children. Children may even have the advantage over adults to eliminate caffeine from their bodies twice as fast than adults. The major difference is body size. Children only need to intake a small amount in order to generate the same effect that a larger amount would cause in adults.

Myth: Caffeine improves information retention.

Truth: Caffeine appears to improve selective attention for relevant information and discard irrelevant information. However, significant doses of caffeine have also been shown to substantially decrease an individual's attention span.

Myth: Caffeine does not accumulate within your body over time .

Truth: Caffeine does not accumulate in the body, but its metabolites are retained in the body for years. The build -up of those metabolites may lead to the deterioration of brain, heart, kidney and bladder cells.

Myth: Coffee is not considered very harmful.

Truth: In Saudi Arabia, coffee is considered enough of a drug that taxes have been substantially raised on this product . It has been completely banned in Iran.

Myth: Mothers should not consume caffeine while breast-feeding.

Truth: Though caffeine may permeate into breast milk, nursing mothers can consume up to 300mg of caffeine (2 -3 cups) without passing significant amounts of caffeine to the baby.

Myth: Caffeine consumption can decrease bone density.

Truth: Researchers have found no direct link between low bone density and high caffeine intake. Studies done at the Mayo clinic have found that even though caffeine intake marginally increases urinary calcium excretion, caffeine was not an important risk factor for osteoporosis.

Myth: Caffeine is carcinogenic.

Truth: Studies to date have indicated that caffeine itself may not be a carcinogen , but one study by Vogelstein states that "it allows cell replication to occur when damaged DNA is present it will increase the mutation rate of cells and increase the probability of cancer." Coffee contains many other carcinogenic substances in small quantities.

Myth: Decaffeinated coffee/tea is caffeine-free.

Truth: Not completely. The decaffeination process of coffee and tea effectively removes about 97% of caffeine, but 2-5mg of caffeine remains in the average cup of coffee.

Myth: Consumption of coffee rarely kills people.

Truth: Although fatalities reported from coffee drinking are rare, it is possible to overdose. The lethal dose for 50% of the population is 150 mg/kg of body weight, which for the average person, comes to 10-12 grams. Weigh it out with salt one day and get a rough idea of how much caffeine can kill you.

 


 

 

What is your opinion concerning caffeine now?  I believe caffeine would be acceptable, if consumed in moderation.  Excessive coffee intake could prove harmful for some.  The reduction in caffeine intake would be beneficial for us all!

 


  Recently, an article appeared that you might find interesting.  This article centers on the reluctance of some of the major food distribution companies, to accept any blame, and make the necessary changes.  Diabetes is now a very serious problem and will only get worse if left unattended.  Read this article for useful information.

 


 

JUNK FOOD NATION

Who's To Blame For Childhood Obesity?

by Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor

 

In recent months the major food companies have been trying hard to convince Americans that they feel the pain of our expanding waistlines, especially when it comes to kids. Kraft announced it would no longer market Oreos to younger children, McDonald’s promoted itself as a salad producer and Coca-Cola said it won’t advertise to kids under 12. But behind the scenes it’s hardball as usual, with the junk food giants pushing the Bush Administration to defend their interests. The recent conflict over what America eats, and the way the government promotes food, is a disturbing example of how in Bush’s America corporate interests trump public health, public opinion and plain old common sense.


The latest salvo in the war on added sugar and fat came July 14— 15, when the Federal Trade Commission held hearings on childhood obesity and food marketing. Despite the fanfare, industry had no cause for concern; FTC chair Deborah Majoras had declared beforehand that the commission will do absolutely nothing to stop the rising flood of junk food advertising to children. In June the Department of Agriculture denied a request from our group Commercial Alert to enforce existing rules forbidding mealtime sales in school cafeterias of “foods of minimal nutritional value”—i.e., junk foods and soda pop. The department admitted that it didn’t know whether schools are complying with the rules, but, frankly, it doesn’t give a d-mn. “At this time, we do not intend to undertake the activities or measures recommended in your petition,” wrote Stanley Garnett, head of the USDA’s Child Nutrition Division.
Conflict about junk food has intensified since late 2001, when a Surgeon General’s report called obesity an “epidemic.” Since that time the White House has repeatedly weighed in on the side of Big Food. It worked hard to weaken the World Health Organization’s global anti-obesity strategy and went so far as to question the scientific basis for “the linking of fruit and vegetable consumption to decreased risk of obesity and diabetes.” Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson—then our nation’s top public-health officer—even told members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association to “go on the offensive’ against critics blaming the food industry for obesity,” according to a November 12, 2002, GMA news release.
Last year, during the reauthorization of the children’s nutrition programs, Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois attempted to insulate the government’s nutrition guidelines from the intense industry pressure that has warped the process to date. He proposed a modest amendment to move the guidelines from the USDA to the comparatively more independent Institute of Medicine. The food industry, alarmed about the switch, secured a number of meetings at the White House to get it to exert pressure on Fitzgerald. One irony of this fight was that the key industry lobbying came from the American Dietetic Association, described by one Congressional staffer as a “front for the food groups.” Fitzgerald held firm but didn’t succeed in enacting his amendment before he left Congress last year.
By that time the industry’s lobbying effort had borne fruit, or perhaps more accurately, unhealthy alternatives to fruit. The new federal guidelines no longer contain a recommendation for sugar intake, although they do tell people to eat foods with few added sugars. The redesigned icon for the guidelines, created by a company that does extensive work for the junk food industry, shows no food, only a person climbing stairs.
Growing industry influence is also apparent at the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. What companies has the government invited to be partners with the council’s Challenge program? Coca-Cola, Burger King, General Mills, Pepsico and other blue chip members of the “obesity lobby.” In January the council’s chair, former NFL star Lynn Swann, took money to appear at a public relations event for the National Automatic Merchandising Association, a vending machine trade group activists have been battling on in-school sales of junk food.

Not a lot of subtlety is required to understand what’s driving Administration policy. It’s large infusions of cash. In 2004 “Rangers,” who bundled at least $200,000 each to the Bush/Cheney campaign, included Barclay Resler, vice president for government and public affairs at Coca-Cola; Robert Leebern Jr., president of federal affairs at Troutman Sanders PAG, lobbyist for Coca- Cola; Richard Hohlt of Hohlt & Co., lobbyist for Altria, which owns about 85 percent of Kraft foods; and José “Pepe” Fanjul, president, vice chairman and COO of Florida Crystals Corp., one of the nation’s major sugar producers. Hundred-thousand- dollar men include Kirk Blalock and Marc Lampkin, both Coke lobbyists, and Joe Weller, chairman and CEO of Nestle USA. Altria also gave $250,000 to Bush’s inauguration this year, and Coke and Pepsi gave $100,000 each. These gifts are in addition to substantial sums given during the 2000 campaign.
For their money, the industry has been able to buy into a strategy on obesity and food marketing that mirrors the approach
taken by Big Tobacco. That’s hardly a surprise, given that some of the same companies and personnel are involved:
Junk food giants Kraft and Nabisco are both majority owned by tobacco producer Philip Morris, now renamed Altria.
Similarity number one is the denial that the problem (obesity) is caused by the product (junk food). Instead, lack of exercise is fingered as the culprit, which is why McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coke and others have been handing out pedometers, funding fitness centers and prodding kids to move around. When the childhood obesity issue first burst on the scene, HHS and the Centers for Disease Control funded a bizarre ad campaign called Verb, whose ostensible purpose was to get kids moving. This strategy has been evident in the halls of Congress as well. During child nutrition reauthorization hearings, the man some have called the Senator from Coca Cola,
 Georgia’s Zell Miller, parroted industry talking points when he claimed that children are “obese not because of what they eat at lunchrooms in schools but because, frankly, they sit around on their duffs watching Eminem on MTV and playing video games.” And that, of course, is the fault not of food marketers but of parents. Miller’s office shut down a Senate Agriculture Committee staff discussion of a ban on soda pop in high schools by refreshing their memories that Coke is based in Georgia.
A related ploy is to deny the nutritional status of individual food groups, claiming that there are no “good” or “bad” foods, and that all that matters is balance. So, for example, when the Administration attacked the WHO’s global anti-obesity initiative, it criticized what it called the “unsubstantiated focus on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods.” Of course, if fruits and vegetables aren’t healthy, then Coke and chips aren’t unhealthy. While such a strategy is so preposterous as to belaughable, it is already having real effects. Less than a month after Cadbury Schweppes,
the candy and soda company, gave a multimillion-dollar grant to the American Diabetes Association, the association’s chief medical and scientific officer claimed that sugar has nothing to do with diabetes, or with weight. Industry has also bankrolled front groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom, an increasingly influential Washington outfit that demonizes public health advocates as the “food police” and promotes the industry point of view.

Meanwhile, public opinion is solidly behind more restrictions on junk food marketing aimed at children, especially in schools. A February Wall Street Journal poll found that 83 percent of American adults believe “public schools need to do a better job of limiting children’s access to unhealthy foods like snack foods, sugary soft drinks and fast food.” Two bills recently introduced in Congress, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy’s Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act, both place significant restrictions on the ability of junk food producers to market in schools.
Interestingly, this is a crossover issue between red and blue states. Concern about obesity and excessive junk food marketing to kids is shared by people across the political spectrum, and some conservatives, such as Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs and the Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, as well as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, have argued for restricting junk food marketing to children. This may be one of the reasons New York Senator Hillary Clinton has once again become vocal on the topic of marketing to children, although Senator Clinton has called not for government intervention but merely for industry self-regulation, requesting that the companies “be more responsible about the effect they are having”—exactly the policy the industry wants.
A vigorous government response would clearly garner the sympathy of the majority of Americans. The growing chasm between what the public wants and the Administration’s protection of the profits of Big Food is a powerful example of the decline of democracy in this country. Let them eat chips!
grant to the American Diabetes Association, the association’s chief medical and scientific officer claimed that sugar has nothing to do with diabetes, or with weight. Industry has also bankrolled front groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom, an increasingly influential Washington outfit that demonizes public health advocates as the “food police” and promotes the industry point of view.

Gary Ruskin is executive director of Commercial Alert. Juliet Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College, is the author of Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. She is a member of Commercial Alert’s board of directors.

 



 

SUGAR STATS:
 

Yours in Yahshua, Hawke

 

 

 

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