Takepart: "Other Countries Restrict Predatory Junk-Food Ads, but America Won't Budge"

"So, Why Should You Care? In 2010, the World Health Organization published 16 pages’ worth of recommendations for ways in which United Nations member states could reduce the influence of junk-food marketing to children. The document cites a study from the U.K. that revealed that 62.5 percent of all advertisements during children's programming were for food products, compared with 18.4 percent during prime-time programming, and that 'the majority of adverts seen by children around the globe are for heavily processed foods high in fat, sugar, salt and calories.'...More than one-third of all American children and adolescents are overweight or obese, and as of 2014, the U.S. has the fifth-highest childhood obesity rate in the world. Different economic and political structures are at play, but whether it's South Korea or the U.K. or Russia or the U.S., childhood obesity is similarly problematic and deserves to be addressed."

Read the full article at takepart.com. Click here for more information on policies regarding advertising to children.

McDonald's Happy Meal ad for the Disney film 'Home.' (Photo: Getty Images)

McDonald's Happy Meal ad for the Disney film 'Home.' (Photo: Getty Images)

Burke: Sugar is the new tobacco

Written by Patrick Burke for the Democrat & Chronicle

"...The sugar problem finds its way into the costs of doing business with “our annual health care spending on issues of weight ($190 billion) now exceeds those caused by smoking.”  On an individual basis, average annual medical bills for obese men are $1,152 more than for non-obese. For women, the gap is more than $3,600.  Dr. Eisenberg goes further, suggesting obesity in the marketplace reduces worker productivity.

The addition of refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have exploded in processed foods and soda over the last 50 years to where the average American currently consumes 130 pounds of sugar annually, which is 60 percent above the toxic level of 80 pounds.  Sugar is the new tobacco."...

Read the whole article written by Patrick Burke for the Democrat & Chronicle at: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/columnist/burke/2015/11/24/sugar-obesity-suckered-jeffrey-eisenberg/76336238/

Telomeres

Written by Jeffrey Eisenberg, MD, Author of Suckered

A telomere is a sequence of DNA at the end of our chromosomes. These end caps are protective as they preserve genetic information. However, telomeres shorten with each cell division. They burn down like a candlewick, leaving the chromosomes vulnerable to damage. Eventually the telomere length “runs out” and the cell can no longer rejuvenate. The result is cellular death.

It is hypothesized that humans can live to be 122 years old based on the study of telomere length. So why do the overwhelming majority of us fall so short of these expectations? Well, it turns out that inflammation, stress, and sugar accelerate the rate at which telomeres shorten. This speeds up the rate of biological aging, and is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease.

The American Journal of Public Health (10/16/14) was the first study to show that soda consumption is associated with telomere shortening and cellular aging. It is based on the work of Elizabeth Blackburn, a USCF researcher who received the Nobel Prize in 2009, who calculated that the daily consumption of a 20oz sweetened sugary beverage (SSB) was associated with 4.6 years of accelerated biological aging. (Comparable to the effect of smoking)

So telomere length is epigenetically influenced by nutrition. If we can eat more healthily, (avoiding excess sugar and processed carbohydrates while maximizing our exposure to antioxidants and anti-inflammatories) we may be able to slow down the rate of telomere shortening, repair damaged telomeres, and even lengthen these same telomeres. Be like a Vulcan: “Live long and prosper!”

In Sugar Versus Syrup Fight, Both Sweeteners Face Bitter Reality

From Bloomberg Business:

After years of bickering, U.S. sugar companies and their rivals, the makers of high-fructose corn syrup, are going to trial over what exactly constitutes a “natural” sweetener. Big Sugar argues high-fructose corn syrup doesn’t qualify. Big Syrup, predictably, disagrees.

This news is directly relevant to Chapter 5, “A Growing Problem”, which additionally discusses the history of Big Corn Syrup vs. Big Sugar, and describes how our society has reached this point.

Read the full article here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-06/in-sugar-v-syrup-battle-both-sweeteners-face-a-bitter-reality

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A 20% Sugar Tax?

A new study by the British Medical Association has proposed a 20% tax on sugary products to subsidize fruit and vegetable production in an effort to combat the obesity epidemic.

The study takes a look at why the UK is becoming more obese, and stresses the importance of education early on in childhood about healthy dietary choices.

To download the entire study from the BMA in a .PDF format, click here.