Junk Food still in Schools

February 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Food Watch

Mostly a PR stunt, although with good intentions, the push to reduce child obesity has very few teeth. I feel that the institutions that are responsible (yes large corporations vie daily to influence the RDA of foods etc that are introduced into our schools) for the foods in our schools are interested mostly in profits and have little regard for the health of our children.


In my opinion we need to focus more on nutrition and less on profitability. Source more fresh produce for local schools from local growers when possible. Take out the vending machines, do away with canned and processed foods offering ONLY ORGANIC FOODS AND NO GMOs!



 Junk food widely available at U.S. elementary schools despite anti-obesity push

By Dina ElBoghdady, Published: February 6


Nearly half of elementary school children can buy junk food at school, a trend that contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic and underscores the need for federal regulation of school snacks, according to a study published Monday in a pediatric journal.


The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, comes as federal regulators are crafting a proposal that would set new nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold in vending machines, snack bars and elsewhere in schools.








The proposal will not cover foods that are part of the federally subsidized school meal program. That program was revamped recently by the Obama administration and requires participating school cafeterias to start serving twice as many fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and less sodium and fat when the next school year begins.


Consumer advocates are hoping for an equally dramatic change in so-called “competitive foods” that are sold outside the school meal program. They say these foods, including potato chips and cookies, are widely available but barely regulated in schools.


Federal law bans only a small subset of competitive foods, such as sodas and certain types of candy, from being sold in cafeterias during mealtime. But those products are available to kids in other venues at school, even during lunch, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Such foods also include sandwiches, pizza and other a la carte items that are not federally reimbursed.


“Really, it’s a very weak regulation at this point,” said Lindsey Turner, lead author of the study and a health psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We’re at a time of transition and opportunity for these competitive foods.”


The study, based on mail-back surveys from about 3,900 public and private elementary schools nationwide, found that about half of the students could buy foods in one or more competitive venues during the 2009-10 school year. Access to these foods did not change significantly during the 2006-07 through 2009-10 school years.


The study highlighted “striking” regional differences. About 60 percent of public elementary school kids had access to sugary snacks in the South, where childhood obesity rates are the highest. This compares with 24 percent in the West and 30 percent in the Midwest. But fruits and vegetables also were more available in the South.


The study assessed only access to snacks, not consumption or the link to obesity. It cited a separate 2009 study, however, in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showing that 29 percent of elementary school students consumed competitive foods, usually unhealthy ones. A separate study strongly linked the availability of unhealthy foods and drinks in competitive venues with greater calorie intake.


In early 2010, the American Beverage Association said that its members had voluntarily reduced the calories in drinks shipped to schools by 88 percent. Its members also stopped offering full-calorie soft drinks in elementary school vending machines.


Jim McCarthy, president of the Snack Food Association, said he had not seen this week’s study. But the group’s members, including Frito-Lay and Kraft, have been voluntarily reducing fats, sodium and sugars in their products for at least six years, he said. Last week, the chairman and highest-ranking Democrat on the House agriculture committee wrote a letter urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make sure that the final proposal is consistent with the standards set for the federally funded school meal program.


If you haven’t taken a look at the school menu lately you might want to have a look. Then ask yourself, honestly, is that a healthy way to eat…for anyone?

Sugar is Like Poison to your Body

February 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Health News

Well what can I say? We have been telling everyone for years that sugar is not a good substance to put in your bodya and now the Univ. of CA is saying it should be as highly regulated as alcohol. Perhaps a bit of a stretch on the regulation end of it, but the fact is that the stuff is toxic to your body.


If people just stopped consuming anything with sugar, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup as ingredients just imagine the changes we would see. I predict that physical maladies of all kinds would drop dramatically, thus reducing health care costs and we would then not even need a ‘National Health Care’ system….miraculous it would be!


The article below came from Yahoo news…


Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say

LiveScience.comBy Christopher Wanjek | LiveScience.com – Wed, Feb 1, 2012


A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down. But it also makes blood pressure and cholesterol go up, along with your risk for liver failure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.


Sugar and other sweeteners are, in fact, so toxic to the human body that they should be regulated as strictly as alcohol by governments worldwide, according to a commentary in the current issue of the journal Nature by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).


The researchers propose regulations such as taxing all foods and drinks that include added sugar, banning sales in or near schools and placing age limits on purchases.


Although the commentary might seem straight out of the Journal of Ideas That Will Never Fly, the researchers cite numerous studies and statistics to make their case that added sugar — or, more specifically, sucrose, an even mix of glucose and fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup and in table sugar made from sugar cane and sugar beets — has been as detrimental to society as alcohol and tobacco.


Sour words about sugar


The background is well-known: In the United States, more than two-thirds of the population is overweight, and half of them are obese. About 80 percent of those who are obese will have diabetes or metabolic disorders and will have shortened lives, according to the UCSF authors of the commentary, led by Robert Lustig. And about 75 percent of U.S. health-care dollars are spent on diet-related diseases, the authors said.


Worldwide, the obese now greatly outnumber the undernourished, according to the World Health Organization. Obesity is a public health problem in most countries. And chronic diseases related to diet such as heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers — for the first time in human history — kill more people than infectious diseases, according to the United Nations.


Less known, and still debated, is sugar’s role in the obesity and chronic disease pandemic. From an evolutionary perceptive, sugar in the form of fruit was available only a few months of the year, at harvest time, the UCSF researchers said. Similarly, honey was guarded by bees and therefore was a treat, not a dietary staple. [6 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies]


Today, added sugar, as opposed to natural sugars found in fruits, is often added in foods ranging from soup to soda. Americans consume on average more than 600 calories per day from added sugar, equivalent to a whopping 40 teaspoons. “Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy,” the researchers write.


Many researchers are seeing sugar as not just “empty calories,” but rather a chemical that becomes toxic in excess. At issue is the fact that glucose from complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, is safely metabolized by cells throughout the body, but the fructose element of sugar is metabolized primarily by the liver. This is where the trouble can begin — taxing the liver, causing fatty liver disease, and ultimately leading to insulin resistance, the underlying causes of obesity and diabetes.


Added sugar, more so than the fructose in fiber-rich fruit, hits the liver more directly and can cause more damage — in laboratory rodents, anyway. Some researchers, however, remained unconvinced of the evidence of sugar’s toxic effect on the human body at current consumption levels, as high as they are.


Economists to the rescue


Lustig, a medical doctor in UCSF’s Department of Pediatrics, compares added sugar to tobacco and alcohol (coincidentally made from sugar) in that it is addictive, toxic and has a negative impact on society, thus meeting established public health criteria for regulation. Lustig advocates a consumer tax on any product with added sugar.


Among Lustig’s more radical proposals are to ban the sale of sugary drinks to children under age 17 and to tighten zoning laws for the sale of sugary beverages and snacks around schools and in low-income areas plagued by obesity, analogous to alcoholism and alcohol regulation.


Economists, however, debate as to whether a consumer tax — such as a soda tax proposed in many U.S. states — is the most effective means of curbing sugar consumption. Economists at Iowa State University led by John Beghin suggest taxing the sweetener itself at the manufacturer level, not the end product containing sugar.


This concept, published last year in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy, would give companies an incentive to add less sweetener to their products. After all, high-fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous in food in part because it is so cheap and serves as a convenient substitute for more high-quality ingredients, such as fresher vegetables in processed foods.


Some researchers argue that saturated fat, not sugar, is the root cause of obesity and chronic disease. Others argue that it is highly processed foods with simple carbohydrates. Still others argue that it is a lack of physical exercise. It could, of course, be a matter of all these issues.


Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books “Bad Medicine” and “Food At Work.” His column, Bad Medicine, appears regularly on LiveScience.


My advice is to just stop consuming anything that looks like sugar…try natural, uncooked/unfiltered honey or Coconut Palm Sugar…these should work as well and have some health benefits to boot!

Stroking out under 40

February 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

The new info out is of a dramatic increase in strokes in young people under 45, especially those under 34. No reason given in the media.

I have a few opinions about this and it is mostly common sense: GMO products, JUNK FOOD DIET, little exercise-too much computer, lots of debt-no jobs,polluted air & water are among those reasons I would list as primary causes of this issue.

What do you think?

Strokes up among younger US population: study

Feb 9 03:51 PM US/Eastern

Stroke hospitalizations among Americans under 45, particularly teenage boys and men under 34, rose dramatically between 1994 and 2007 but fell among older people, said a study on Wednesday.

Researchers said they could not speculate on the cause, since the study only examined the number of hospitalizations across age and gender, but that the results merit further investigation of obesity and high blood pressure.

“I believe this is the first large study to report these findings, stratified by age and gender,” said Xin Tong, a health statistician with the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We cannot link anything in particular to the trend in younger patients, but I believe the role of obesity and hypertension will prompt a big discussion. Unfortunately, right now we can’t speculate on the causes.”

CDC analysts found that stroke numbers had declined by 25 percent in men and by 29 percent in women over age 45.

But the good news ended there. The number of hospitalizations for ischemic stroke — a stroke caused by a vessel blockage that interferes with blood flow to the brain — rose 51 percent in boys and men age 15 to 34.

The rate among girls and women age 15 to 34 rose 17 percent in the same period.

When it came to men age 35-44, they saw a 47 percent increase in stroke hospitalizations and a 36 percent increase among women of the same age group.

Tong said medical professionals should take note of the shift when treating stroke patients, keeping in mind that younger people could benefit from a clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) within hours after a stroke.

“Acute ischemic stroke is currently considered something that mostly happens to older people, but awareness of rising rates in the young is important or else tPA and other important stroke treatment may be unnecessarily delayed in younger patients,” she said.

The research was presented in Los Angeles at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011.

If you have young people at home, urge them to eat better…get out and play and/or exercise and limit TV and video games AND texting.

Heart disease set to soar

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Health News

Recent study indicates that the cost of heart disease set to soar. Given the current state of health in general here this forecast is more likely to be correct. As a country we have fallen behind most of the rest of the world in many of the ‘health’ categories.

Rather than develop a heart condition wouldn’t it be wise to do whatever you can to prevent it? If overweight, lose the pounds. If you aren’t exercising, get some. If you are eating poorly (junk foods, processed foods) then change your diet.

U.S. cardiovascular disease costs will triple by 2030, study says

There’s a new forecast of the cost to treat heart disease in the U.S. over the next 20 years — and it isn’t pretty.

According to a study published Monday in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Assn., the annual cost to treat heart disease — including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and other conditions — will triple by 2030, from $273 billion to $818 billion (in 2008 dollars).

U.S. medical expenditures are already the highest in the world, hitting 15% of gross domestic product in 2008, the authors reported.

To generate the forecast, researchers took current disease rates and applied them to population estimates suggested by census data. They assumed no major changes in treatment.

Today, 36.9% of Americans have some form of heart disease. By 2030, 40.5% — about 116 million people — will, according to the Circulation study. Cases of both stroke and heart failure were projected to rise about 25%.

The most expensive condition to treat will remain hypertension, because of its prevalence. Hypertension is a risk factor for stroke, coronary heart disease and heart failure.

Shortages of doctors or nurses could push costs even higher, the study authors wrote. Continued rises in rates of diabetes and obesity could too, they said. The researchers estimated that more than half of the increase in hypertension cases would be caused, at least in part, by Americans’ increasing body mass. The ill effects of the obesity epidemic are poised, they wrote, to reverse the progress made when many Americans quit smoking.

The good news? Heart disease is preventable. Reducing obesity would help keep the numbers of affected Americans down, the authors noted. Simple lifestyle changes, like cutting the sodium in our diets, could also have a significant impact, they said.

“The U.S. healthcare system often rewards practices that treat disease and injury rather than those that prevent them,” they wrote, calling on policymakers to move that focus toward prevention.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

If you haven’t tried it, get some Enerfood or the Amino Acid Balanced Meal Replacement from EnerHealth Botanicals. They also have an herbal heart toner that can help if you suspect an issue with your heart.

100 Bankrupt Cities in U.S.

December 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Economy, Featured

Probably preaching to the choir here, but I have to say these things over and over again it seems like since I believe it is the single largest issue we as a country must face!

We are going down the tubes financially and it is accelerating. From the top of government down and bottom up, too much debt and not enough income! This as many Americans know now is a recipe for disaster!

Many cities are late on their payments and there will be many bankruptcies across this country. Has anyone noticed that our standard of living is declining? It will get a lot worse and much faster when the dollar ceases to be the world’s reserve currency. We will make 3rd world countries look appealing be contrast.

Here the spoiled will rebel and riot and burn as their goodies are taken away, we are just plain old not used to it. Of course, another scenario is we, much like the frog in water who dies gradually as the heat is turned up, will not even notice that we died sometime in 2009.

$2tn debt crisis threatens to bring down 100 US cities

Overdrawn American cities could face financial collapse in 2011, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowings and derailing the US economic recovery. Nor are European cities safe – Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice: all are in trouble

More than 100 American cities could go bust next year as the debt crisis that has taken down banks and countries threatens next to spark a municipal meltdown, a leading analyst has warned.

Meredith Whitney, the US research analyst who correctly predicted the global credit crunch, described local and state debt as the biggest problem facing the US economy, and one that could derail its recovery.

“Next to housing this is the single most important issue in the US and certainly the biggest threat to the US economy,” Whitney told the CBS 60 Minutes programme on Sunday night.

“There’s not a doubt on my mind that you will see a spate of municipal bond defaults. You can see fifty to a hundred sizeable defaults – more. This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of defaults.”

New Jersey governor Chris Christie summarised the problem succinctly: “We spent too much on everything. We spent money we didn’t have. We borrowed money just crazily. The credit card’s maxed out, and it’s over. We now have to get to the business of climbing out of the hole. We’ve been digging it for a decade or more. We’ve got to climb now, and a climb is harder.”

American cities and states have debts in total of as much as $2tn. In Europe, local and regional government borrowing is expected to reach a historical peak of nearly €1.3tn (£1.1tn) this year.

Cities from Detroit to Madrid are struggling to pay creditors, including providers of basic services such as street cleaning. Last week, Moody’s ratings agency warned about a possible downgrade for the cities of Florence and Barcelona and cut the rating of the Basque country in northern Spain. Lisbon was downgraded by rival agency Standard & Poor’s earlier this year, while the borrowings of Naples and Budapest are on the brink of junk status. Istanbul’s debt has already been downgraded to junk.

Whitney’s intervention is likely to raise the profile of the issue of municipal debt. While she was an analyst at Oppenheimer, the New York investment bank, in October 2007 she wrote a damning report on Citigroup, then the world’s largest bank, predicting it would cut its dividend. She was criticised for being too pessimistic but was vindicated when the bank was forced to seek government support a year later. She has since set up her own advisory firm and is rated one of the most influential women in American business.

US states have spent nearly half a trillion dollars more than they have collected in taxes, and face a $1tn hole in their pension funds, said the CBS programme, apocalyptically titled The Day of Reckoning.

Detroit is cutting police, lighting, road repairs and cleaning services affecting as much as 20% of the population. The city, which has been on the skids for almost two decades with the decline of the US auto industry, does not generate enough wealth to maintain services for its 900,000 inhabitants.

The nearby state of Illinois has spent twice as much money as it has collected and is about six months behind on creditor payments. The University of Illinois alone is owed $400m, the CBS programme said. The state has a 21% chances of default, more than any other, according to CMA Datavision, a derivatives information provider.

California has raised state university tuition fees by 32%. Arizona has sold its state capitol and supreme court buildings to investors, and leases them back.

Potential defaults could also hit Florida, whose booming real estate industry burst two years ago, said Guy J. Benstead, a partner at Cedar Ridge Partners in San Francisco. “We are not out of the woods by any stretch yet,” he said.

“It’s all part of the same parcel: public sector indebtedness needs to be cut, it needs a lot of austerity, and it hit the central governments first, and now is hitting local bodies,” said Philip Brown, managing director at Citigroup in London.

In Europe, where cities have traditionally relied more on bank loans and state transfers than bonds, financing habits are changing. The Spanish regions of Catalonia and Valencia have issued debt to their own citizens after financial markets shut their doors because of the regions’ high deficits. Moody’s cut to the rating of the Basque country on Friday left it still within investment grade but noted “the rapid deterioration in the region’s budgetary performance in recent years”. It said it expected it to continue over the medium term.

In Italy, Moody’s and S&P have threatened to downgrade Florence, while Venice has been forced over the past few months to put some of the palazzi on its canals up for sale to fund the deficit.

“Cities are on their own. Governments won’t come to their rescue as they have problems of their own,” said Andres Rodriguez-Pose, professor of economic geography at the London School of Economics. “Cities will have to pay for their debts, and in some cases they will have to carry out dramatic cuts, such as Detroit’s.”

California crunch

Vallejo, a former US navy town near San Francisco, is still trying to emerge from the Chapter Nine bankruptcy protection it entered in 2008.

The city, now a symbol of distressed local finances, is still negotiating with the unions, which refused to accept a salary cut plan two years ago. Paul Dyson, an analyst with the Standard & Poor’s credit agency, said Vallejo, which is mostly a dormitory town for Oakland or San Francisco employees, did not have enough local industry to sustain its finances and property tax – a major source of local income – plunged with the collapse of the real estate market. The S&P credit-rating agency has a C rating on the town – the lowest level.

With a population of about 120,000, Vallejo has $195m (£125m) of unfunded pension obligations and has to present a bankruptcy-exit plan to a Sacramento court by 18 January. Since 1937, 619 local US government bodies, mostly small utilities or districts, have filed for bankruptcy, Bloomberg News recently reported. US cities tend to default more than European municipalities as they usually rely on bonds issued to investors, which enter into a default if the creditor misses payments. European towns, by contrast, traditionally depend on bank loans and government bailouts.

Are you ready for the total economic collapse of our country?

Organic Farming can make a difference

December 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Organic farming can make a huge difference in not only our country but the world...

By Anne Engllish, IFOAM

The Financial Times, Oct 14, 2010

So far, the world has always managed to meet the challenge of food productivity. In fact, today we have 25% oversupply measured in calories after losses. The challenge is to provide access to food for the poor. The strategy of ecological intensification using organic principles and practices is a new paradigm to feed the world while empowering the poor and mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss.

Why is it that we have abundant food yet there are one billion hungry or starving people in the world, most of them living in rural areas? And the world is expected to produce 70% more food by 2050. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that 80% of this has to come from productivity increases and only 20% from new land. Production has to consider the loss of biodiversity, degeneration of soil, water scarcity and of course climate change.

Hungry people first

It is widely accepted that organic agriculture contributes to the alleviation of poverty, but there are still mis-conceptions that organic agriculture cannot feed the world. According to Markus Arbenz, who is Executive Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), “It can! Organic agriculture currently has similar yields to conventional agriculture and often much higher yields in regions of the world where production environments are tough.” And he adds, “Conventional practices deplete soils and thereby undermine long term food security. The reality is that conventional, green revolution-based or industrial agriculture fails to feed 15% of the world’s population – so it’s clear that focussing on production alone is an ill-advised strategy. Sadly, smallholder farmers are pushed-out through international investments, through land-grabbing and through bad governance. This reflects the prioritisation of profit opportunities by businesses and the international community over food security for the poor and the livelihoods of local people.”


According to Arbenz, “We need a paradigm shift – a new strategy based on affordable production systems for the poor through the smart use of biodiversity and the solutions that nature offers while acknowledging the diversity of cultures and leveraging the knowledge and practices they bring.” Eco-intensification is the alternative that the organic movement suggests. It sees immense potential to achieve greater productivity and resilience by enhancing the biological activity of farming systems rather than outsourcing performance to costly, toxic inputs with wide-ranging adverse effects.

Robert Jordan, Advocacy Manager at IFOAM explains, “Practices such as composting improve the biological activity of the soil which in turn accelerates nutrient cycling and healthy plant growth. Nitrogen which is the most important nutrient for plant growth is obtained by integrating plants that naturally fix nitrogen in the soil from the air. Other ecological functions that are stimulated by organic farming practices include pest and disease regulation, soil building, water cycling and pollination.”

Best practice in food security

Small farmers already produce 70% of the world’s food and form the backbone of food security throughout the developing world. Arbenz says, “We need to recognise the world’s small farms as the most appropriate means in which to secure food supply for all, including the poor and to cool the planet.”

Ethiopia and Egypt are two countries already adopting strategic elements advocated by the organic movement. In both countries, land has been regenerated with organic agriculture and peoplecentred approaches that have resulted in thousands of people finding confidence in their ability to feed their families. The Ethiopian government has since put organic practices at the heart of their national agriculture development policies and in Egypt agricultural pesticide use has been dramatically reduced after consultation with local organic farmers.

Arbenz says, “Supporting small farmers worldwide would strengthen the livelihoods of the poor and assure access to food for all. To make this a reality, we need the right policies at international, national and local levels, we need corporate social responsibility and we need to support the capacity of the poor, with relevant research and advisory services in ecological intensification.”

Support your local farmers especially the ones that adhere to organic growing practices!

Obesity Costs

November 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Health News

In a previous article posted here the cost of obesity to the country were estimated at 76 billion, now this research is saying 170 billion is the cost! Which is correct or does it really matter? Either way the cost is way too high and sadly it is the obese person that has the power to change their ways and lose weight.

Urge your fat friends to lose weight, it is good for the country perhaps? It is definitely a positive health benefit for that individual.

While 170 billion is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the Fed printing 100s of billions of dollars in the blink of an eye….it all adds up.

Obesity costs U.S. $168 billion, study finds

ATLANTA (AP) — Nearly 17% of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on obesity, according to new research that suggests the nation’s weight problem may be having close to twice the impact on medical spending as previously estimated.

One expert acknowledged that past estimates likely underestimated the costs and said the new study — which places obesity-related medical costs at around $168 billion — probably is closer to the truth.

“I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date,” said Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy researcher at Emory University who has focused on the cost of health care.

The new research was done by John Cawley of Cornell University and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University. It was released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.

An influential recent study released last year — which has been cited by federal health officials — estimated that obesity-related medical costs have reached $147 billion, or about 9% of total medical costs.

The earlier study also estimated that obesity adds about $1,400 to a person’s annual medical bills. The new study suggests the added cost is double that, exceeding $2,800.

Cawley and Meyerhoefer used a database that other obesity researchers have used — a federal survey of U.S. citizens and their doctors and other medical providers, which is considered the most complete information on the cost and use of health care in the country.

The new study looked at the data base’s information on nearly 24,000 non-elderly adult patients from the years 2000 through 2005. Results were reported in 2005 dollars.

Why did Cawley and Meyerhoefer come up with larger estimates?

— Past studies have relied just on self-reported weight, and many people understate their actual weight. The new research made statistical adjustments to come up with what are believed to be truer figures.

— The authors tried to better establish that excess weight was a cause for the medical costs. Previous studies stopped short of saying obesity caused the costs because there was too great a chance other factors could be responsible. Cawley and Meyerhoefer tried to overcome that problem by also looking at the weight of study subjects’ relatives to determine if obesity ran in the family. If so, they labeled the medical costs of a fat person in that family to be caused by obesity.

The two researchers at first were a bit surprised by how large their estimates were, but obesity is clearly a major burden on society, said Cawley, an associate professor of policy analysis and management.

“It’s hard to find conditions that aren’t worsened or made more expensive by obesity,” he said.

Thorpe said the new estimates highlight a need to invest more in obesity-fighting programs.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tell them about the Amino Acid Balanced Meal Replacement from EnerHealth Botanicals or the EnerFood from the same company to lose weight. If they try the products they will not regret it!

Heroin and Junk food equally addictive!

October 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Health News

So now we have some independent scientists, a rarity indeed, saying that junk food is as addictive as heroin! That in itself should be enough for everyone to avoid both items. There is something wrong when you crave junk food and have to have it. This was pointed out in the documentary, ‘Supersize Me’.

Even scarier is the research that shows that kids get 1/2 of their daily calories from Junk Food!  We are living in a world completely full of junk food addicts!  The book ‘Junk Food Nation’ hit it right on the head.  Folks if you read something and it sounds just too outlandish to be true…well unfortunately it usually is or is proven to be true.

Get off junk (food) and on healthy, dense nutrition foods. Enerfood is one that i recommend to everyone..so does Mike Adams the Health Ranger. Eat fresh as often as you can and I am not talking about Subway…locally grown and/or organic produce.

Junk food as ‘addictive as drugs’

Junk food is almost as addictive as heroin, scientists have found.

A diet of burgers, chips, sausages and cake will programme your brain into craving even more foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat, according to new research.

Over the years these junk foods can become a substitute for happiness and will lead bingers to become addicted.

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Confessions of a running addict

Dr Paul Kenny, a neuroscientist, carried out the research which shows how dangerous high fat and high sugar foods can be to our health .

“You lose control. It’s the hallmark of addiction,” he said.

The researchers believe it is one of the first studies to suggest brains may react in the same way to junk food as they do to drugs.

“This is the most complete evidence to date that suggests obesity and drug addiction have common neuro-biological foundations,” said Paul Johnson, Dr Kenny’s work colleague.

Dr Kenny, who began his research at Guy’s Hospital, London, but now works at Florida’s Scripps Research Institute, divided rats into three groups for his research, due to be published in teh US soon.

One got normal amounts of healthy food to eat. Another lot was given restricted amounts of junk food and the third group was given unlimited amounts of junk, including cheesecake, fatty meat products, and cheap sponge cakes and chocolate snacks.

There were no adverse effects on the first two groups, but the rats who ate as much junk food as they wanted quickly became very fat and started bingeing.

When researchers electronically stimulated the part of the brain that feels pleasure, they found that the rats on unlimited junk food needed more and more stimulation to register the same level of pleasure as the animals on healthier diets.

The next time you pull into a fast food joint to appease your kids think about it twice…are you adddicting them to very unhealthy substances? Why on earth would anyone become addicted to junk food…what are they putting in this stuff to cause this?

Childhood obesity

October 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Health News

We have to protect our future and the future of our country. One of the best ways to do this, and one that is in the control of most parents, is to give our children better nutritional choices. It will take some time as most of the kids I know are addicted to the ‘tastes’ of junk foods. They refuse anything that doesn’t come in a box or frozen package!

That obesity is an epidemic among children is not big surprise given that all they want are empty calories…get them on some Enerfood or Amino Acid balanced meal replacement and start immediately.

Childhood Obesity Driven by Empty Calories

Submitted by Kathleen Blanchard RN on 2010-10-04

Childhood obesity has become a focus of researchers who now say empty calories in the diet are a major source of the current epidemic. Scientists say 40 percent of calories consumed by 2 to 18 year olds are from solid fat and from added sugars, found in an analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Jill Reedy, PhD, MPH, RD, and Susan M. Krebs-Smith, PhD, MPH, RD, both of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. says the childhood obesity epidemic “is now widely regarded as one of the most important public health problems in the US”. In order to curb the problem children must increase activity levels and limit empty calories.

The study found that half of empty calories come from soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk. Among 2 to 18 year olds the top sources of calories were from grain desserts, pizza, and soda, with ten percent of calories coming from sugar sweetened beverages.

Empty Calories Linked to Childhood Obesity Varies by Age and Ethnicity

In the analysis the researchers found variances in the type of empty calories consumed by children, related to age and ethnicity. For 2 to 3 year olds, milk, fruit juice, reduced-fat milk, and pasta and pasta dishes were identified as the major sources of energy – 4-8 year olds are getting their calories from pasta and reduced-fat milk.

Mexican Americans consumed more energy from milk than from sugar-sweetened beverages; fruit drinks and pasta and pasta dishes are contributing to obesity for 2- to 18-year-old non-Hispanic blacks, and a combination of soda and fruit drink consumption rather than milk of any type was found to be a source of empty calories among non-Hispanic blacks and whites.

In a commentary to the article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Rae-Ellen W. Kavey, MD, MPH, University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology, Rochester, NY, talks about sugar as a contributor to childhood obesity.

“High added sugar consumption which occurs most commonly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a constellation of cardiovascular risk factors, both independently, and through the development of obesity. Multiple studies have shown that presence of these risk factors in childhood is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and early cardiovascular disease.

Randomized trials of nutritionist-guided interventions show us that diet change can be accomplished and is associated with important cardiovascular benefits. This combined body of evidence suggests that reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages should be considered a critical dietary approach to reducing cardiovascular risk in childhood.”

Another finding implicated school vending machines as a contributor to childhood obesity. Rather than buying school lunches, children are more likely to buy less healthy snacks and beverages even when healthier options are available.

The study highlights the need for dietary changes that can reduce the number of empty calories consumed by children that also varies with age and ethnicity.

According to background information from the study, 23 million children and adolescents in the US overweight or obese. Dr. Krebs-Smith says, “the flow of empty calories into the food supply must be reduced”. A combination of dietary changes and physical activity are needed to fight childhood obesity and reduce the risks of chronic disease in adulthood.

If you don’t start doing something about your child’s eating habits they won’ be healthy enough to participate in the ‘running’ of our country. Then we are all in trouble.

Want Raw Milk…get a lawyer!

July 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Food Watch, Health News

Why isn’t Raw Milk a legal option in all places? It isn’t because it is dangerous, the stats show otherwise. So we have a government agency trying to stamp out healthy competition, pun intended. At least that is the way I read this.

If you have GMO, pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, bring it on-all A OK. But if it is natural or organic watch out, there is some agency that will try to control you, permit you, regulate you and/or eliminate you!

Want raw milk? Lease a farm—and hire a lawyer 18

by David Gumpert

22 Jul 2010 4:00 AM

Raw milkFor two months earlier this year, Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger let the proposed contract sit unsigned on his desk.

The agreement specified that a nonprofit organization known as Right to Choose Healthy Food, and headed by raw food advocate Aajonus Vonderplanitz, would lease his farm’s 50 cows and dozens of chickens — “the works,” says Hershberger. In exchange, the organization would have access to all the food from the animals: milk, eggs, and meat.

Then, on June 2, agents from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection raided his Grazin’ Acres farm near Madison, and placed seals on the refrigerators in his small store. He was operating without a retailer license and a dairy license, the regulators said. The fact that he wasn’t open to the general public, but was selling direct to “members” of his farm, didn’t matter.

The day after the raid, Hershberger cut the DATCP seals and defiantly re-opened for business. His confidence was buttressed by the fact that he decided that day to sign the contract with Right to Choose Healthy Food.

The deal is “simple,” says Hershberger, and besides, “I think Aajonus knows what he’s doing.”

The wizard of raws

Vonderplanitz followed up by sending a letter to Wisconsin’s DATCP explaining that Hershberger

… is not engaged in commerce. His farm animals are leased to Right To Choose Healthy Food’s Grazin’ Acres Farm Coop Club who owns them. Vernon Hershberger is the boarder, caretaker, milker, packager, and deliverer of our animals’ products. Since the private club owns dairy, egg, and meat production, there is no commerce involved. Since no commerce of buying or selling raw milk and our other products to the public is involved, or distributed in public places, government agencies have NO JURISDICTION over the production, labeling and use of the club’s products consumed by its members, nor is any permit required … It is shameful for (DATCP) to try to prevent us from producing and distributing our health-giving raw milk and other farm products to our members by threatening and imposing false warrants, seizures, and arrests of our property. Since you were duly warned that this was a private club and you had no jurisdiction over it, your actions were criminal stealing, kidnap, and trespass.

Though DATCP agents have since been back to his farm twice more with search warrants, the last time taking Hershberger’s computer, checkbook, and other records, there has been no sign of any criminal or other charges being filed against the farmer.

If the experiences of other farmers like Hershberger are any indication, there’s a good chance no charges will come. Over the last eight years, Vonderplanitz has put together lease agreements giving Right to Choose Healthy Food, and its hundreds of consumer members around the country, the rights to the land and produce of about 40 small farms.

While there have been a number of raids, especially in recent months, as I described previously for Grist, there have yet to be any legal challenges brought against the lease arrangements, he says. “If they had jurisdiction, they would have busted us a long time ago,” he told me.

Not only is Vonderplanitz not afraid of a legal challenge, he welcomes one. “I hope they file charges against us,” he says. While the distribution centers in major urban areas, like the one raided in Venice, must comply with fire codes and zoning regulations, they need not comply with food licensing or labeling laws required of foods sold to the public, he argues. Nor must they comply with the federal prohibition on interstate sales of raw milk. There can’t be such a prohibition for member leaseholders, he maintains, since they own the farm products when they are produced.

“If you take your property from Pennsylvania to California, there is no federal jurisdiction,” he says. Vonderplanitz likens the farm lease agreements to automobile leases. “In lease agreements, you have total ownership of the contract and responsibility for the items leased. If you wreck a leased car, you are totally responsible.”

The analogy is important, he says, since lease-related law has a 75-year history of recognition by our legal system. “Herdshare” and “cowshare” agreements, used in many states to give raw-milk drinkers shares in cows and goats, are less legally secure, he says. He likens the rights of a herdshare owner to those of an owner of stock in a major corporation, where shareholders have certain financial rights, but don’t necessarily have right to the corporation’s products, or responsibility for the products. (Though herdshare rights were upheld by an Ohio court in 2006, and the state didn’t appeal the case.)

Vonderplanitz maintains that the lease agreements aren’t just devices to enable foodies to avoid complying with food licensing rules and the federal interstate raw milk prohibition, and has successfully persuaded farmers who’ve considered backing out of the agreements to stand firm.

In a case last winter, a Midwest farmer in the midst of a two-year lease agreement with Right to Choose considered shutting down his raw milk production after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sought to enforce warning letters maintaining the farmer was violating the federal prohibition on raw-milk sales across state lines. Vonderplanitz says he told the farmer that his group would enforce its lease agreement by taking over the farm and cows to continue producing milk for members. The farmer, encouraged by Vonderplanitz’s commitment, decided to fire his lawyers, who’d encouraged him to accept the FDA mandate, and continue with the Vonderplanitz organization. Vonderplanitz says he notified the FDA, much the same as he did Wisconsin DATCP in the Hershberger case, that the farm was under a lease agreement, and says the farm continues to provide his members with raw milk.

Another farmer who signed on with RTCHF was Daniel Allgyer. He made his decision shortly after agents from the FDA showed up at his Pennsylvania farm last April with a search warrant and a letter alleging he was involved in interstate sale of raw milk. Allgyer continues to supply RTCHF with milk.

Vonderplanitz sees himself as having “rescued” these and other farmers from possibly being thrown out of business by FDA and state agriculture authority actions against private food organizations. “They have left all the people alone since I notified the authorities.”

The raid on the RTCHF warehouse in Venice, Calif., three weeks ago, along with that on Sharon Palmer’s farm in nearby Ventura County, whose goats are under lease to RTCHF, represent payback in Vanderplanitz’s view.

“They are looking for any way they can to break us,” he says. “They’re not going to get away from it.”

He says a number of prominent Los Angeles lawyers have offered legal services, and RTCHF plans to sue the government agencies involved in the raids against Rawesome and Sharon Palmer’s farm for $1 million apiece, for false arrest.

Crackdown habit

It’s hard to know what the government agencies will do. While they have clearly shied away thus far from a legal confrontation over the leasing matter, the various searches suggest officials are seriously considering legal action, such as charges of violating the ban on interstate sale of raw milk. Or else they could continue their harassment actions in hopes of intimidating consumers and farmers, and scaring them away from the increasingly popular leasing arrangement.

Even without government legal action against RTCHF, there is the pending suit against the FDA by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund challenging the federal prohibition on interstate commerce of raw milk.

Clearly, we are moving closer to judicial consideration of how far consumer rights extend when it comes to consumers opting out of the factory food system and arranging for private access to the nutritionally-dense foods of their choice.

These are the sort of tactics that we as a People must stand up to. Support Farm to Consumer legal fund.

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