Mexicans love their soda. Construction workers go to their jobs in the early morning clutching giant two-litre or even three-litre bottles. Babies in strollers suck on bottles filled with orange soda. In the highlands of Chiapas, Coca-Cola is considered to have magical powers and is used in religious rites.
But Mexico also loves the soda industry. Vicente Fox, who in 2000 became the country’s first democratically elected president, had earlier been president of Coca-Cola Mexico and then head of the company’s Latin American operations. The symbolism was noteworthy: soda companies – particularly Coke, which controls 73% of the Mexican market (compared with only 42% in the US) – have amassed extraordinary influence over health policy in Mexico.
Controversial report calls for tax on sugary foods and drinks and a crackdown on the marketing of unhealthy products to children.
A report on sugar’s ruinous effects on people’s health that was controversially delayed by Jeremy Hunt urges ministers to impose a “sugar tax” and crack down on the marketing of unhealthy products to children and two-for-one deals in supermarkets in an effort to tackle childhood obesity.
The report, compiled by Public Health England (PHE), the government’s advisory group, sets out a range of tough policies that need to be taken to reduce the consumption of sugary foods and drinks that are fuelling the obesity crisis and costing the NHS £.5.1bn a year. It is being published on Thursday, but the Guardian has obtained an advance copy.
By Dr. Mercola
Instead of eating whole foods — real foods — the contemporary American diet typically consists mostly of sugar, highly processed grains, and a montage of chemicals that are anything but food.
To some extent, this isn’t your fault. Added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods under more than 60 different names, and these foods are carefully created in a laboratory with one thing in mind… profits.
If food manufacturers can create a winning combo of ingredients that you crave and can’t stop eating, it means you’ll keep coming back for more. Create they do, and it’s not by accident.
Dr. Howard Moskowitz, a long-time food industry consultant, is known as “Dr. Bliss.” A Harvard-trained mathematician, Moskowitz tests people’s reactions and finds the “optimal” amount of sugar for a product.
Essentially, he helps them find the “Goldilocks” zone of sugar, unhealthy fat, and salt that gets you to overeat and buy another bag or box even though you know you shouldn’t. And he’s made the sugar industry billions.
Meanwhile, food giant Kellogg’s spent $32 million in 2014 just to advertise Pop Tarts. If you’ve seen them in the grocery store recently, you may see such alluring tag lines as “Limited Edition” and “made with real nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove” (for its seasonal pumpkin pie flavor).
The drop in soda consumption represents the single
largest change in the American diet in the last decade.
Five years ago, Mayor Michael A. Nutter proposed a tax on soda in Philadelphia, and the industry rose up to beat it back.
Soda lobbyists made campaign contributions to local politicians and staged rallies, with help from allies like the Teamsters union and local bottling companies. To burnish its image, the industry donated $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
It worked: The soda tax proposal never got out of a City Council committee.
It’s a familiar story. Soda taxes have also flopped in New York State and San Francisco. So far, only superliberal Berkeley, Calif., has succeeded in adopting such a measure over industry objections.
The obvious lesson from Philadelphia is that the soda industry is winning the policy battles over the future of its product. But the bigger picture is that soda companies are losing the war.
Type 2 diabetes used to be known as “adult-onset” because it is most common among the middle-aged and elderly, but in the last two decades increasing numbers of children have succumbed, due to poor diets and lack of exercise.
Details of the case are being presented on Thursday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm by Michael Yafi, director of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Texas, Houston.
Since there is no global registry, it is not possible to say definitively that the girl is youngest patient ever but Yafi said his own research had not revealed any other cases in this age group.
“I’m sure there probably are others but they are either undiagnosed or not reported yet,” he told Reuters.
Diabetes is a growing problem worldwide with the number of diabetics estimated to be 387 million in 2014 and forecast to soar to 592 million by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
“This is a global problem,” Yafi said. “Type 2 diabetes is no longer limited to adults. Now when I see any obese child I screen the patient for type 2 diabetes.”
After decades as a fugitive from ignorant and sometimes corrupt bureaucrats, saturated fats can come in from the cold. A new study fingers trans fats as the real culprit in heart disease.
For decades we’ve been told to cut back on butter, eggs, meat, and cheese for the sake of our hearts. But a new systematic review of the science proves there’s no additional cardiovascular risk from eating saturated fats.
Researchers at McMaster University analyzed the results of 50 observational studies assessing the association between heart disease and either saturated or trans fats.
Study Compares American Diabetes Association Low-fat Diet to High-fat Ketogenic Diet for Helping Diabetes: Ketogenic Diet Wins
Health Impact News Editor
A study published in April 2014 compared two diets with overweight diabetic people.
One group ate the standard recommended diet by the American Diabetes Association, which was a low-fat, high carbohydrate, restricted calorie diet, as per the USDA dietary guidelines for a “healthy” diet. This group was assigned a “registered dietician with several years of diabetes education experience.” The group was encouraged to eat a diet that was 45-50% carbohydrates, while restricting calories and fats. As per the study: “the diet includes high-fiber foods (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes), low-fat dairy products, fresh fish, and foods low in saturated fat.”
The other group, almost in direct contrast to the ADA diet, was encouraged to eat a very low carbohydrate, high fat, non calorie-restricted ketogenic diet. Their goal was to reach a state of “ketosis,” defined as a blood beta-hydroxybutyrate level between 0.5 and 3 mM, as measured twice a week at home using blood ketone test strips.
So what results did this study find comparing these two contrasting diets?