Family doctor Yoni Freedhoff rounds up scary comments tweeted from the F3K Food and Nutrition Influencer Conference. A frightening sample:
“Processed foods are not the problem – maybe they are the affordable solution- we just have to mk them healthier”DrDecker #F3K #spon
#f3k #Amsterdam US #nutrition experts discuss how #dietarysupplements can fill in the nutrition gaps even if ya think you’re eating right
@MelissaJoyRD @ lots of food joy #F3K Did ya know food processing can increase nutrients we need more of & reduce what we need to limit
Healthy eating requires – balance of foods, right portions, & proper prep. Don’t worry about “processed” focus on right choices. #F3k #spon
From “dietary supplements can fill in the nutrition gap” to “Don’t worry about processed” you’ll want to read the whole horror story.
As I blogged last week, a revamp of product nutrition labels is in the works. The first lady took center stage to tout the proposed label changes.
Apparently it’s not the price of the groceries, but the nutrition labels on food packages that make grocery shopping such a difficult and trying experience for the moms of America.
“So there you stood, alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder, is there too much sugar in this product? Is 50 percent of the daily allowance of riboflavin a good thing or a bad thing? And how on Earth could this teeny little package contain five whole servings?
“This stream of questions and worries running through your head when all you really wanted to know was, should I be eating this or not? Is this good for my kids or not? And if it is healthy, how much of it should I be eating? But unless you had a thesaurus, a calculator, a microscope, or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck. So you felt defeated, and you just gave up and went back to buying the same stuff you always buy.
Seriously? The current nutrition labels are so confusing that the average Mom throws up her hands in frustration, tossing Oreos, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and a couple of 12-packs of Coke into her basket in defeat?
And the miraculous changes that are going to enable mothers around the country to suddenly start feeding their kids nutritiously and healthily?
Among other things, the revised nutrition label shows the calorie count in large, bold print; it includes the amount of “added sugar,” and it reflects more realistic serving sizes.
Oooooooooh…now I get it.
Lawyers are pitching state attorneys general in 16 states with a radical idea: make the food industry pay for soaring obesity-related health care costs.
It’s a move straight from the playbook of the Big Tobacco takedown of the 1990s, which ended in a $246 billion settlement with 46 states, a ban on cigarette marketing to young people and the Food and Drug Administration stepping in to regulate.
Salivating dogs, I say. Salivating dogs.
“I believe that this is the most promising strategy to lighten the economic burden of obesity on states and taxpayers and to negotiate broader public health policy objectives,” said Paul McDonald, a partner at Valorem Law Group in Chicago, who is leading the charge.
Heh. McDonald is leading the charge.
A clown of another kind entirely, but I digress…
“It’s not a matter of casting the food industry as villains,” McDonald said. “There’s a cost of what they’re doing that they’re not internalizing, and the taxpayers are paying for it. The states don’t have many choices.”
What they’re doing is producing and selling a product. And there is a cost…they use it to figure out how much to charge so they can make a profit when consumers choose to purchase and consume it.
Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, is known for his lecture “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which went viral, attracting more than 4 million views. He believes litigation should zero in on diabetes. “It’s the diseases related to obesity that are expensive,” he said.
“We need policy to change,” said Lustig, who recently got a law degree and launched a nonprofit to continue his advocacy. “I think we’re going to have to battle [the food industry] like we battled tobacco.”
I am very grateful for the work Lustig has done to help educate people about the dangers and evils of sugar, but for God’s sake, man! The very last thing we need is more government intervention.
Let’s not forget that it’s the same government that gave us the Food Pyramid and, now, MyPlate to hasten us down the path toward obesity, diabetes, etc.
The Food and Drug Administration is proposing several changes to the nutrition labels you see on packaged foods and beverages. If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.
Some of the changes, like swapping the nutritional content & % daily value columns, seem superfluous, but we’ll get used to such changes quickly enough.
The proposed labels would remove the “calories from fat” line you currently see on labels, focusing instead on total calories found in each serving. Nutritionists have come to understand that the type of fat you’re eating matters more than the calories from fat. As such, the breakdown of total fat vs. saturated and trans fat would remain.
This will add a step for low-carbers like us in that we’ll now need to add that calculation to figure out the fat/carb/protein distribution percentages. That said, I think we can do the math.
Balancing out that minor inconvenience, however, is this positive proposed change:
The FDA is also proposing changes to serving size requirements in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. For example, if you buy a 20-ounce soda, you’re probably not going to stop drinking at the 8-ounce mark. The new rules would require that entire soda bottle to be one serving size — making calorie counting simpler.
Most of the required serving sizes will be going up; no one eats just half a cup of ice cream, for instance. Others, like yogurt, will be going down.
Definitely with them on the ice cream!
As much as we try to avoid prepared/packaged food, most of us end up using some of it (hopefully as minimal as possible), and the labeling is invaluable in terms of knowing what you’re putting in your bod.
There are, however, always going to be those who are not content with providing consumers with information so they can make informed decisions of their own. Enter the nutrition nannies:
While the American Heart Association and advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest commended the FDA’s changes, they noted that there was more to do.
Both organizations said the FDA’s sodium recommendation was still too high. Brown said the association will continue to recommend sodium intake be limited to 1,500 milligrams a day.
CSPI said it will also request that the FDA include a daily value of 25 grams for added sugars. “Thus, the Nutrition Facts label for a 16.9-ounce bottle of soda would indicate that its 58 grams of added sugars represents 230 percent of the DV,” the group said in an e-mail.
This is one of those ‘I wish I’d written this’ type of deals…
I’m not going to excerpt this much because you really should read it yourself I just want to pull out this bit for extra attention…
In case you’ve never thought it through, here’s a quick list of where the scientific method can go wrong, and these days, almost invariably does:
1. The hypothesis can be nonsense, wish fulfillment or fantasy.
2. The “falsifiable prediction” or predictions may not be falsifiable. How, for instance, could one disprove the existence of God? It’s a classic case of a non-falsifiable prediction.
3. The experimenter may stack the deck by faking results or discarding those that that don’t agree with his hypothesis.
4. The experimenter may refuse to discard his theory no matter how much proof accrues against it, or may adopt it without legitimate evidence.
5. At the peer review stage, the “scientist” may stack the deck by submitting only to those who already agree with his hypothesis and dismissing those who disagree as “deniers”, or refuse to show his results in full or at all in order to allow replication of his experiment.
You may say, “Those things could never happen”. Except they do, on a regular basis.
One of the more common arguments against cutting carbs and increasing fat is “because SCIENCE!!”
Which if you have the audacity to ask ‘what science exactly?’ is often follwed by a good old fashioned ‘because shut up he/she explained.’
If you’ve ever spent more than a minute looking into nutritional science you can’t help but walk away with the scientific process. But the problem isn’t science, it’s people.
When you begin to reject wholecloth the modern diet I think it’s all too easy to fall into (or for? this kind of stuff…
If you want to write about spiritually-motivated pseudoscience in America, you head to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It’s like a Law of Journalism. The museum has inspired hundreds of book chapters and articles (some of them, admittedly, mine) since it opened up in 2007. The place is like media magnet. And our nation’s liberal, coastal journalists are so many piles of iron fillings.
But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.
I’m talking, of course, about Whole Foods Market. From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t. (snip)
Nearby are eight full shelves of probiotics—live bacteria intended to improve general health. I invited a biologist friend who studies human gut bacteria to come take a look with me. She read the healing claims printed on a handful of bottles and frowned. “This is bullshit,” she said, and went off to buy some vegetables. (snip)
At times, the Whole Foods selection slips from the pseudoscientific into the quasi-religious. It’s not just the Ezekiel 4:9 bread (its recipe drawn from the eponymous Bible verse), or Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, or Vitamineral Earth’s “Sacred Healing Food.” It’s also, at least for Jewish shoppers, the taboos that have grown up around the company’s Organic Integrity effort, all of which sound eerily like kosher law. There’s a sign in the Durham store suggesting that shoppers bag their organic and conventional fruit separately—lest one rub off on the other—and grind their organic coffees at home—because the Whole Foods grinders process conventional coffee, too, and so might transfer some non-organic dust. “This slicer used for cutting both CONVENTIONAL and ORGANIC breads” warns a sign above the Durham location’s bread slicer. Synagogue kitchens are the only other places in which I’ve seen signs implying that level of food-separation purity.
One of our category headings is Alchemy, which is pretty much how I would define this nonsense. Alchemy is the notion that there is a magical solution to the problem of our poisoning ourselves with our diet that will allow us to keep right on poisoning ourselves without consequence. Yeah, that could happen!
I find this to be one of the bigest battles we, as humans, have to fight when it comes to diet. It seems we are hard wired to fantastical and magical thinking when it comes to diet.
So tell us, how do keep from falling into the trap of magical thinking about diet?
A recent study found that…
Average obese woman gets just 1 hour of exercise a year
THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A new study suggests that obese women get just one hour of vigorous exercise a year, while obese men don’t do much better at fewer than four hours.
The findings startled the researchers, whose main focus was finding better ways to measure how much exercise people get.
“They’re living their lives from one chair to another,” said Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We didn’t realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it’s offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in three people in the United States is obese, a step above being overweight. Obesity boosts the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke, diabetes and some cancers.
Interestingly enough I can speak to this with some authority. About two years ago I weighed in around four hundred pounds. I was all but crippled with both rheumatoid and osteo arthritis. I couldn’t stand for more than ten minutes at a time and my health was failing.
I knew I needed to do something but didn’t know what. Mj and I were both experiencing health challenges and like most we had tried to diet previously with exactly no success. I of course had the added challenge that due to the arthritis exercise was out of the question.
Long story short? As soon as we cut the carbs and upped the fat the weight literally began to melt off and within a year I’d lost a hundred and seventy pounds and shed seven pant sizes. My Rhuema pain level which had been a constant four became a zero and all of this occured with zero exercise. Zero, nada, none.
So I am firmly in the Taubes camp. We have the relationship between health, diet, and exercise almost exactly backwards. Healthy thin people’s bodies direct dietary energy into the muscles while in obese people the energy is directed to fat storage. You have to change what the body does with the energy before anything else.
And apparently no matter how many studies refute the false ideology of calories in calories out they (Doctors; Researchers; etc.) are stuck on stupid in a big way. And I also agree with Taubes that for most of the Docs and researchers this is a morality play and in their minds the real problem is that the obese are weak willed and unwilling to do what they manifestly cannot do. Be thin, often like the Docs and researchers themselves.
So is exercise important? I imagine it is to some degree but I also have a funny feeling that the modern obsession with it stems from not having any good answers to the obesity crisis.
Look, I’m all for a meat heavy diet but I suppose it does matter what, or perhaps whose meat it is, right?
Hotel Selling Cooked Human Meat Found In Onitsha *Police Arrests 11 With Fresh Human Heads
On Thursday Onitsha police arrested 11 people after they discovered 2 fresh human heads in a hotel (name withheld) very close to the popular Ose-Okwodu market in Anambra state.2 AK47 rifles & other weapons were also discovered in the hotel.
The arrest followed tip-offs from area residents on Thursday morning.
The hotel owner, 6 women and 4 men were arrested.
After police got access to the hotel, they made a startling discovery of two human heads wrapped in a cellophane bag, two AK47 rifles, two army caps, 40 rounds of live ammunition and so many cell phones.
“Each time I came to market, because the hotel is very close to the market, I always noticed funny movements in and out of the hotel; dirty people with dirty characters always come into the hotel. So, I was not surprised when the police made this discovery in the early hours of yesterday,” said a vegetable seller in the area
A Pastor who was among the people who tipped off the police on Thursday said: I went to the hotel early this year, after eating, I was told that a lump of meat was being sold at N700, I was surprised. So I did not know it was human meat that I ate at such expensive price.”
Well, so long as the heads were fresh I guess it’s alright!
Eeeew, just eeeew…
So beyond the obvious ‘ick’ factor are there any health concerns with this stuff? Mark’s Daily Apple did some digging and came up with…
The FDA has deemed it “generally safe” (what confidence!) and there’s got to be something in PubMed that justifies their conclusion… right? Well, I searched far and wide and while there is a ton of research on culinary and industrial applications of transglutaminase, there was nothing about the safety thereof. Nothing good, nothing bad. It simply wasn’t there in any direction.
And appropos of nothing he ends with…
Honestly, though, I don’t think transglutaminase in and of itself represents a big problem.
Well that’s nice and all but for some odd reason I’m not feeling real trusty toward the food industry these days. The lack of studies is all I need to know to feel pretty darn confident that this is something that shouldn’t be entering my body, thank you very much.
We’ll stick with real food if it’s all the same to you.
If you’ve read this blog you know Malthus is a bit of a hobby horse of mine so imagine my surprise when a menber of the intelligentsia, in a piece on what scientific theories need to be dustbinned, opined thusly…
T. Robert Malthus (he used his middle name) thought population must outstrip food supply and “therefore we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavouring to impede,” disease, hunger and war. We should “court the return of the plague” and “particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations”. This nasty idea—that you had to be cruel to be kind to prevent population growing too fast for food supply—directly influenced heartless policy in colonial Ireland, British India, imperial Germany, eugenic California, Nazi Europe, Lyndon Johnson’s aid to India and Deng Xiaoping’s China. It was encountering a Malthusian tract, The Limits to Growth, that led Song Jian to recommend a one-child policy to Deng. The Malthusian misanthropic itch is still around and far too common in science.
Yet Malthus and his followers were wrong, wrong, wrong. Not just because they were unlucky that the world turned out nicer than they thought; that keeping babies alive proved a better way of getting birth rates down than encouraging them to die; not just because technology came to the rescue; but because Malthusians have repeatedly made the mistake of thinking of resources as static, finite things that would “run out”. They thought growth meant using up a fixed heap of land, metals, water, nitrogen, phosphate, oil, and so forth. They thought the birth of a calf was a good thing because it added to the world’s resources, but the birth of a baby was a bad thing because it added to the mouths to feed.
This completely misunderstood the nature of a resource, which only becomes a resource thanks to human ingenuity. So uranium oxide is not a resource before nuclear power. Shale oil was not a resource till horizontal fracking. Steel was not easily recyclable till the electric-arc furnace. Nitrogen in the air was not a resource till the Haber process. The productivity of land was transformed by fertiliser so globally we now use 65% less land to produce the same amount of food as 50 years ago. And a baby is a resource too: a brain as well as a mouth.
The few economists, such as Julian Simon and Bjorn Lomborg, who tried to point this out to the Malthusian scientists, and who argued that economic growth was not the cumulative use of resources but the increase of productivity—doing more with less—were called imbeciles or had pies thrown in their faces for their trouble. But they were right again and again, as population and prosperity grew together to levels that the Malthusians kept saying were impossible.
Behold the niceness…
Yet somehow with all this niceness floating about humans are getting demonstrably less healthy. Hmmm, what could possibly explain this phenomena?