Announcements

Michelle Obama Gets Food Companies to Act

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Thank to Michelle Obama’s crusade to combat children’s obesity, major food companies such as PepsiCo and Kraft Foods are changing their products.
She is, in fact, “defining defining her role as first lady by taking on the $600 billion food and beverage industries in a quest to end childhood obesity within a generation,” observes Kate Andersen Brower of Bloomberg Business Week, in an artticle entitled, “Michelle Obama’s ‘Spotlight’ on Obesity Enlists Kraft, PepsiCo.”
“Her lobbying of companies to make products healthier, labels easier to read and limit marketing of unhealthy foods to kids is paying off,” Brower observes.
A month after she began her campaign, “PepsiCo Inc., the world’s second-largest food and beverage company, pledged to stop selling full-sugar soft drinks in schools by 2012.” In addition, Kraft Foods Inc., the maker of Oreo cookies and Oscar Mayer lunch meats, jumped on board, announcing that it would further reduce the sodium content of its products..
Reporter Brower points out that the first lady’s efforts are part of a “movement to recast what the food industry is selling,” according to David Kessler, who was Food and Drug Administration commissioner from 1990 to 1997. “She puts the spotlight on the issue like few others can,” Kessler told Brower.
The American Beverage Association — which represents soda companies — has now joined Michelle Obama’s effort by running a national ad, which claims that the industry is committed to reducing beverage calories in schools by 88 percent.
Things started happening after a well-publicized meeting in Washington on March 16 when the first lady addressed members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents major food companies such as Kraft and PepsiCo. At that GMA meeting, Obama urged the companies to reduce sugar, fat and salt in their products and “to move faster and to go farther” to make them healthier.
The first lady has “accelerated our focus,” Kraft’s president of health and wellness, Rhonda Jordan, told the Bloomberg Business Week reporter Brower, who then quotes Patrick Basham, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based research group that promotes libertarian policies.
Basham believes that the first lady’s anti-obesity efforts are “in sync with public skepticism about `the motives of big business’ in the wake of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression.” He also believes that the recent moves by the companies may be an effort to prevent government crackdown.
“The food industry is terrified of being either legislated out of business or so regulated they won’t be able to do what they want,” Basham told Brower.
What’s intriguing is that Michelle Obama became concerned about child nutrition for personal reasons.
She told audiences at a National PTA Conference in Arlington, Virginia, on March 10, that she got a “wakeup call” when her pediatrician voiced concern about her family’s eating habits.
While I applaud the first lady’s efforts, as always, no matter what changes the large food companies institute, I encourage people to reduce or even eliminate their consumption of processed foods.
Vegetables and fruits that come courtesy of Mother Nature are best for our bodies. Plus, they taste better — something you’ll discover after you cut back on processed carbs.
We just don’t need to consume large quantities of packaged foods that usually have

Announcements

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Dig Deeper Before Believing the New Corn Lobby Ads & Consuming the Stuff

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Have you seen any of the TV spots, print and online banner ads that seek to convince us that high fructose corn syrup is fun to consume?
Before you believe the many new ads from the Corn Refiners Association — which is spending a reported $20 million to $30 million to convince us of its safety — I urge you to get facts from my recent Gab With The Gurus Radio Show, where I had the following guests:
Curt Ellis, director and producer for the fascinating documentary “King Corn.”
Cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., co-author of my book Sugar Shock!
Nutritionist, author and personal trainer Pedro Bastos, a colleague of Loren Cordain, Ph.D., acclaimed for his Paleo Diet.
Biochemist and food and beverage formulator Russ Bianchi, who is also chief executive officer and managing director of Adept Solutions.
Richard J. Johnson, M.D., author of The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That is Making You Fat and Sick (His interview is coming up.)

Blood Sugar Blues

TV Ads Make Kids Fatter: Ban Those Junk Food Ads Targeted at Children

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Well, we already knew this, but it’s interesting to see that a study concluded watching too much TV can make kids fat.
But, specifically, watching those food commercials aimed at them that makes them wider. And if there was a ban on fast food TV advertising, that could help reverse childhood obesity trends, according to a new study from researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
In fact, just getting rid of thoses enticing TV spots for fast food could reduce the number of overweight children by 18 percent, found the researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Now that’s an impressive stat. And it’s a very simple change to make.

In the News

“How Many Licks” Sweepstakes

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From Gerry Pugliese for Connie’s SUGAR SHOCK! Blog. Lick your way to a sugar rush! Don’t worry: I’m not urging you to do that. Rather, Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pops is giving you the chance to win $50,000 by answering Mr. Owl’s 38-year old question, “How many licks does it take to get to the center […]

Blogger or Web Spotlight

Calorie Counting: Are New Yorkers Skipping Sweets & Other Foods Now Because Of the High Calorie Count?

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Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the bestselling book Freakonomics, raises an interesting topic in today’s Freakonomics blog, hosted on the New York Times. He wonders if people in New York are picking lower-calorie foods that calorie counts are posted in restaurants with more than 15 oulets. Noting that the new regulations present a "great opportunity […]