A friend of mine sent me an email today sharing some of her thoughts about a plant based diet and suggested I might like to post it on my blog; so here it is:
On September 1st, 2009, I blogged about a New York City advertising campaign about "pouring on the fat", that likened drinking soda to drinking fat (i.e. body fat), that had a graphic and rather gross poster. A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a television commercial that was also run in the same campaign. Now this is really gross! It is not recommended viewing for the faint of heart, but please take a look anyway. After watching this if you drink soda you will likely drink less, and if you don't drink soda you can feel real good about that choice.
A recent study predicts that the number of Americans with diabetes will double in the next 25 years to a staggering 44 million, leading to annual health care spending on diabetes of an even more staggering $336 billion. Diabetes is linked to obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise - the modern American diet, full of highly processed and sugar-laden “food” is the main culprit. The answer to this devastating epidemic is simple, and common sense; people need to eat healthy organic and natural foods, and get regular exercise.
A recent study predicts that the effects of increasing obesity in the US are forecast to outweigh any benefits from continued reductions in smoking rates over the next decade.
There has been a debate for many years about whether organic foods are healthier and more nutritious than non organic foods (i.e. foods sprayed with poison). Last month a UK study found that there was no evidence of nutritional superiority of organics. This month there is a French study that shows that there are nutritional benefits to organic.
The following if from Natural Foods Merchandiser's blog:
Store-bought vegetables are not as good for you as they were 40-50 years ago.
According to the USDA, fruits and vegetables were packed with far more nutrients back then than they are now.
Experts attribute the nutritional drop to hybrid breeding of crops, designed more for size and color and ability to survive transport, than nutritional value.
Johnny nailed it when he commented (in response to my blog post about taxing soda to limit obesity):
"I think a better solution would be for the government to take all the money that it currently uses to subsidize the meat industry and use that to improve the heathcare system.
"If people had to pay what it actually costs to get their burgers, fast food would be a lot less popular and people would be a lot healthier because they'd be eating less meat."
Never a truer word has been said!
An August 23, 2009 LA Times article is an interesting read on the push to tax junk food. Apparently what really helped people give up smoking was to tax tobacco product so much that smokers started to finally just give it up in increasing numbers; and the increased taxes are supposed to go towards health care system costs. I don't like to advocate increased taxes, but this is one type of tax that may help, especially if the taxes do actually go directly to funding the health care system. The article raises various issues in implementing such a tax regime.
The New York Health department has given up the idea of taxing soda as a weapon in the war against obesity and have instead started a graphic advertising campaign showing a soda being poured into a glass, with the soda turning into liquid fat on its way to the glass. Pretty graphic, and some may even think gross, but it really gets across the message that drinking soda is a major cause of obesity. Pretty creative, and great to see the government actually get serious about getting the message across.
Aloha, there have been some interesting articles in the media this week. The first is that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day (i.e. a small mountain), compared to the following recommended amounts advised by the American Heart Association "most women should limit their sugar intake to 100 calories, or about six teaspoons, a day; for men, the recommendation is 150 calories, or nine teaspoons" (and even this is probably more than actually needed). All this added sugar (generally highly refined - thus having any goodness removed e.g.