What’s with all the moral outrage surrounding McDonald’s “better” Chicken McNuggets?

Three weeks ago, McDonald’s released a commercial touting their “better” chicken mcnuggets.

The aim of the commercial was to show how McDonald’s is responding to changing consumer tastes by making their food healthier….because “We all want what’s best for our kids” …so sayeth the commercial’s narrator.

Soon after the commercial aired on tv, people started flipping out.

Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich claimed McDonald’s is misleading customers about its food.

“I was offended watching this commercial during the Olympics about the preservative-free McNuggets,” Shaich said in a phone interview with Business Insider. “I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ Sure, you’ve got McNuggets that are preservative-free, but what are you dipping them in? Sauces that are filled with that stuff!” (link to article)

“Grossly misleading,” is how Bill Jeffery describes the commercial. The executive director of the Centre for Health Science and Law in Ottawa argues preservatives or no preservatives, deep-fried and salted Chicken McNuggets simply aren’t a healthy choice for children.

“What they’re advocating is so far removed from good nutrition, it’s almost kind of laughable.”

Cue the moral outrage

As a health & fitness professional, this is where I am supposed to jump on the bandwagon and slag McDonald’s for trying to sell us junk food under the banner of health & family & all that good stuff.

And yet…I kinda feel bad for McDonald’s.

Sure, McDonald’s claim/suggestion that their food is healthy is 100% BS. As is their claim that they want the best for my daughter.

mcnuggetsrcrap

What they want is to sell as much “food” to as many people as is possible…just like every other food manufacturer in the world.

And since the fastest growing segment of the food industry is “healthy” food, McDonald’s execs are re-formulating the menu & re-branding their image as quickly as possible.

In regard to their menu, McDonald’s has already stopped using chickens raised with antibiotics prescribed to humans and intends to:

  • switch to cage-free eggs in the next decade,
  • replace the corn syrup in their buns with sugar
  • cook McMuffins with butter instead of liquid margarine, and
  • remove the preservatives from their McNuggets

Which, IMHO, is pretty great for the world’s most popular JUNK FOOD restaurant.

McNuggets-ingredients

Because, we have to remember that since it’s inception, McDonald’s has sold fried meat, white bread, deep-fried potatoes, soft drinks, milk shakes and sugary condiments. And they’ve made billions doing that…because people love that stuff.

Unfortunately, as McDonald’s grew and their restaurants became assembly lines supplied by factory food, the quality of raw ingredients dropped through the floor.

Now, with the public’s shift towards healthier food choices, McDonald’s is responding by improving the quality of their factory food AND introducing healthier new options like kale salads.

Which is a move in the right direction. 

Just don’t expect them to go back to selling beef raised from cattle that eat grass…and fresh potatoes fried in oils that can handle high heat…and milkshakes made with milk from grass-fed cows…and buns baked without preservatives.

brontosaurus-burger

McDonald’s customers aren’t going to put up with a $10 Big Mac. Not going to happen. It would be financial suicide.

McDonald’s sells fast, cheap, sweaty, greasy & salty food…because that’s what humans like best. It’s in our dna.

And as long as McDonald’s is truthful in reporting the nutritional content of their food, even us health & fitness advocates have to cut Ronald some slack and accept that we are the ones responsible for the food we put into ourselves and our kids.

Even if their ads are manipulative & less than honest.

Reference

 

Henry Rollins v.s. McDonalds

A lesson in nutrition from an unlikely source – Mr. Henry Rollins

enjoy

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Restaurant Revolution: When Healthier Menus = Healthier Profits & Healthier Kids

In April 2012, Silver DIner, a full-service family restaurant chain with 15 locations in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, made three major changes to its children’s menu in order to make healthier items easier to choose.

  • Meals were re-designed to meet or exceed nutrition standards set by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program (59%, compared to 22% before the changes).
  • Healthy side dishes became the default choice – strawberries, mixed vegetables, or side salads–were automatically included with all kids’ meals by default.
  • And less-healthy choices such as french fries, soda and lemonade were removed from the menu.

NOTE: Fries and soda were still available…upon request.

What Happened Next?

  • Children’s meal prices increased by $0.79 for breakfasts and $0.19 for non-breakfast meals.
  • Restaurant revenue increased with yearly percent change as follows:
  • 2008-2009: +1.5%,
  • 2009-2010: −2.1%,
  • 2010-2011: +11.1%,
  • 2011-2012: +5.1%,
  • and 2012-2013: +5.1%.
  • Orders of healthy meals, strawberry and vegetable sides, milk, and juice increased
  • Orders of French fries, desserts and soda decreased
  • Total calories ordered by children decreased (684 kcal pre vs. 621 kcal post)
  • Except for the kids who requested un-healthy choices (935.0 pre vs. 942.9 post)

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Conclusions

  1. Chain restaurants can create healthier menus without alienating their ‘non-health-food’ patrons,
  2. Kids will eat healthier restaurant meals when menus are designed correctly,
  3. Chain restaurants can increase profits by making their menus healthier

Where do we go from here?

  • If I was a restaurant owner, I would consider taking a look at the Silver Diner kids menu and use it as a template for re-working my own kids menu
  • If I was a restaurant owner, I would consider applying the same menu format for the main menu as well
  • As a parent, I am going to send a link to this article to the restaurants I frequent most often. The number of obese children in our society is truly horrendous and we all need to pitch in to reverse this trend.

Please Help

Most people will never hear about this article, this research, this restaurant.

Please help by tweeting, sharing, pinning, tumbling, stumbling, etc.

Reference

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Junk Food and the Free Market

I wrote an article today for the Medium.com site. Here’s a little taste to whet your whistle. Click through if you want to read the whole enchilada.

An article in today’s Daily Beast (How Washington Dooms Millions of Americans to Premature Death by Nicholas Freudenberggot my brain spinning about food, obesity, junk food, diabetes, the free market, corporate responsibility, politics, personal responsibility and how all this ‘stuff’ has come together to create an epidemic of lifestyle disease.

In his article, NF brings up a number of interesting facts:

  1. Chronic diseases cause 7 out of every 10 deaths in the United States
  2. 49% of Americans have one or more chronic diseases.
  3. In the United States, tobacco, alcohol and diet cause more than 1.2 million annual premature deaths from heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other conditions.
  4. Chronic diseases account for $3 of every $4 spent on healthcare—about $1.5 trillion annually in the US of A.

So, how is it, that with all of this available data, the US spends less than 10% of total healthcare funding on health promotion / disease prevention?

  • Is it because public health campaigns don’t work?

Nope….while cases of diabetes have increased 176% in the last 30 years, it is estimated that 8 million ‘premature deaths’ have been prevented thanks to anti-smoking PSAs combined with increased taxes on tobacco products.

Public health campaigns can work…if they are well designed, well funded and receive government support.

So why isn’t that happening?

To find out the answer to that cliffhanger of a question, click through to the full article on Medium.com

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The World's First Paleo Fast Food Restaurant

Danish super-chef Thomas Rode Andersen is opening the world’s first Paleo fast food restaurant – Palæo

Designed as a 24-hr take-out restaurant, Chef Andersen believes he has a duty to champion the diet because too many people walk around “feeling like hell”.

“It’s all about going back to something original, going back to what we are designed to eat and the way our bodies are designed to work, and nothing to do with what we have come up with in the interim 10,000-12,000 years.”

It makes me wish that I lived in Copenhagen.

  • Super healthy food,
  • designed by a Michelin starred chef,
  • served 24 hours a day,
  • for a low price and
  • served in a quick & convenient take-out style.

How can you beat that?

Palæo’s menu will include:

Meatza

Paleo Wrap Sandwiches

  • Paleo Hot Dogs,
  • Paleo Spaghetti,
  • Paleo Soup, and of course…
  • A whole bunch of Salads and fresh squeezed Juices.

Mmmmmmmmm Paleo.

 

Reference

Childhood Obesity, Junk Food Profits and the U.S. Congress

Earlier this year, an interagency working group, made up of the Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced that they would be recommending that America’s food producers should voluntarily end all food advertising to children unless they were for healthy choices, such as whole grains, fresh fruits or vegetables.

Key words: recommending, voluntarily, children and healthy.

This first draft of voluntary guidelines set  maximum levels of fat, sugars and sodium, among other requirements, and asks food companies not to market foods that go beyond those parameters to children ages 2 through 17. The guidelines would apply to many mediums, including ads on television, in stores and on the Internet, in an effort to stem rising obesity levels.

Under the original proposal, salty, fatty or very sweet foods or foods with trans fats would no longer be advertised to children, defined as age 17 or under.

Once again… Key words: recommending, voluntarily, children and healthy.

In response, the food industry, backed by House Republicans, has aggressively lobbied against the voluntary guidelines, saying they are too broad and would limit marketing of almost all of the nation’s favorite foods, including some yogurts and many children’s cereals. Though the guidelines would be voluntary, food companies say they fear the government will retaliate against them if they don’t go along.

Officials from the Federal Trade Commission, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who jointly wrote the guidelines, will on Wednesday face the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has already made its distaste for the proposal clear. In a letter last month, Republicans on the committee wrote the agencies and called the (voluntary) guidelines “little better than a shot in the dark.”

Following the industry objections, the congressional pushback and a public comment period on the proposal, the government agencies involved appear to be softening their approach.

In testimony released by the committee before the hearing, David Vladeck, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the coalition of government agencies is “in the midst of making significant revisions to the original proposal.

Among the changes he suggested are narrowing the age group targeted and focusing on children aged 2 to 11 instead of up to age 17 and allowing marketing of the unhealthier foods at fundraisers and sporting events. Vladeck also said that his agency would not recommend that companies change packaging or remove brand characters from food products that don’t qualify, as was originally suggested in the guidelines.

“Those elements of packaging, though appealing to children, are also elements of marketing to a broader audience and are inextricably linked to the food’s brand identity,” Vladeck says in prepared testimony. Tony the Tiger is well-known as the mascot for Frosted Flakes and Toucan Sam for Froot Loops, both Kelloggs’ cereals.

So, there you go. Democracy in action.

  • Companies market questionable food-like products directly to children.
  • Parents and special interest groups bring attention to this business practice
  • Government investigates and prepares a series of voluntary recommendations
  • Lobbyists for the affected food producers work hard in an attempt to dilute the voluntary recommendations
  • Congress supports the position of the food lobby
  • Recommendations are watered-down
  • Food producers resume original marketing practices
  • Children influenced by said marketing grow up to be obese adults still affected by said marketing practices
  • Continuing increases in systemic obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome et al drive healthcare costs up and quality of life down

.

Reference

 

Too Fat for White Castle

A 290 lb stockbroker is suing the White Castle fast food chain because it’s booths are too small to accommodate his burger filled belly.

He claims that White Castle has a responsibility under The Americans with Disabilities Act to provide him with seating that can handle his ponderous paunch.

And ever since talk radio got a hold of the story, the response has been overwhelmingly negative towards Mr. Kessman. Callers and hosts have been in agreement that this is a frivolous lawsuit and that instead of blaming White Castle, Mr. Kessman should accept responsibility for his own lifestyle choices.

And while I agree that this lawsuit is ridiculous and should be tossed asap, it does raise some interesting questions.

  • Fast food restaurants make their money by selling mass quantities of standardized food to the average citizen.

And I’m sure that when White Castle designed their current restaurant seating, the average person could comfortably sit in their booths. Unfortunately, the average citizen is starting to look more and more like Mr. Kessman.

New York Post – ANGEL CHEVRESTT

So….I’m wondering if we should look at Mr. Kessman as a sort of canary in the obesity coalmine?

  • Is his lawsuit the beginning of a trend?
  • Will food producers face lawsuits based on disability or that they knowingly sold products that led to obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome?
  • Will obesity become the new smoking?
  • Will major food producers face multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuits?

Instead of trying to placate Mr. Kessman, should the executives at White Castle (and KFC, McDs, etc) see the writing on the wall and begin super-sizing all of their restaurants?

It may be ridiculous to think that a restaurant is responsible for how much food their customers over-eat, but if the average citizen is getting fatter, then companies who cater to the average citizen had better start making changes….before they find themselves in court….or losing market share to their competitors with bigger booths.

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Live Near Junk Food = Eat Junk Food : Live Near Health Food = Eat Junk Food

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, living in a neighborhood loaded with junk food restaurants makes it more likely that you will eat a lot of junk food.

Surprised?

Probably not.

For years now, nutrition “experts” have been telling us that people who live in “food deserts” in which healthy food is difficult to find are doomed to a life of pizza, cheetos, soda, type 2 diabetes and morbid obesity.

As a result, the U.S. federal government has made it one of their priorities to increase access to healthy “real” food in these target neighborhoods. And by priorities, I mean spending big piles of tax dollars.

The idea  is that we spend some money in the short term to:

  1. Eliminate food deserts
  2. Improve the health of people living in food deserts, thereby
  3. Improving their productivity, quality of life, income, thereby
  4. Raising tax revenue, thereby
  5. Getting a positive return on the initial investment of tax dollars

Too bad this same AIM study couldn’t find a similarly strong relationship between the consumption of healthy food (fruit, vegetables, etc) and people who live in neighborhoods loaded with supermarkets.

After crunching the data, the researchers concluded that “there is some evidence for zoning restrictions on fast food restaurants within 3 km of low-income residents but suggest that increased access to food stores may require complementary or alternative strategies to promote dietary behavior change.”

Because it’s not enough to build supermarkets and stock them with healthy food.

People eat junk food because they believe that the short term benefits outweigh the long term costs.

And until that belief is changed, junk food producers will continue to make a ton of money and our population will continue to get fatter and more diabetic. 😦

What to do, what to do, what to do….

Here’s what I think

What about you?

.

Reference

Godzilla vs the Meat Monster

Japan has been attacked by a monster more terrifying and dangerous than Mothra, King Ghidora and Megalon combined.

Developed in a secret off-shore laboratory…using a combination of gene splicing, irradiation and a delightful secret teriyaki sauce recipe, Burger King‘s Japanese food-scientists have created….

THE MEAT MONSTER

Comprised of:

  • 2 Whopper sized beef patties
  • 1 grilled chicken breast
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 3 slices of cheese
  • a fried egg
  • a fish patty
  • that delicious teriyaki sauce
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • mayo
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • pickles
  • onion
  • squeezed between two fluffy white hamburger buns

The Meat Monster is an unholy attack on the waistlines of the proud (yet increasingly corpulent) Japanese people.

We’re talking about a burger loaded with:

  • 1922 calories
  • 126 grams of Fat
  • 82 grams of Carbs
  • 117 grams of Protein
  • and 4400 mg of Sodium – 2x the recommended daily maximum

As a resonse, Japanes Prime Minister Ken Naoto has done the unthinkable and summoned Godzilla n a last gasp attempt to save the country from devolving into a nation of bloated wanna-be sumo wrestlers.

Save us Godzilla…save us.

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Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in America

Seeing as most of us don’t watch a lot of Al Jazeera, you might have missed this documentary.

Take a look.

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popchips Don't Taste Healthy

Is the phrase Healthy Snack Food an oxymoron?

  • Is it possible for snack food to be healthy?
  • Is it possible for healthy food to be snackalicious?

These are the questions I attempted to answer last week.

When I was introduced to popchips…and decided to conduct a little experiment.

First up – can snack foods be healthy?

Nutritional Info for 1 oz (28 gms) of plain popchips

Energy 120 kcal
Protein 1 g
Total lipid (fat) ~ g
Carbohydrate, by difference 20 g
Fiber, total dietary 1 g
Sodium, Na 280 mg



 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutritional Info for 1 oz (28 gms) of Plain Ruffles Potato Chips

Energy 160 kcal
Protein 2 g
Total lipid (fat) 10 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 14 g
Fiber, total dietary 1 g
Sodium, Na 160 mg



 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutritional Info for 1 Small Potato (138 gms) – Baked with Salt

Water 103.35 g
Energy 128 kcal
Protein 3.45 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.18 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 29.19 g
Fiber, total dietary 3 g
Sodium, Na 337 mg



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based strictly on the nutritional information, I see three big differences between the popchips & the Ruffles.

  1. the sodium content
  2. calories
  3. the macronutrient profile

Sodium

I was surprised to see that the Ruffles were lower in salt than the popchips.

However, neither small bag of chips is really that big a deal when it comes to salt.

  • The 160 mg found in the small bag of Ruffles = 7% of the daily RDA level.
  • The 280 mg found in the popchips = 12% RDA
  • The 337 mg found on the little baked potato is irrelevant as that sodium is self-applied and can be adjusted up or down as the diner prefers.

So, in regards to sodium, the Ruffles are better but as long as you’re not eating a great big bag of either potato chip, the sodium levels aren’t much of a health threat.

Calories

The popchips have 25% less calories than the Ruffles. However, just like the sodium numbers, as long as you’re sticking to the small bag, 40 calories isn’t going to make or break anyone’s diet. Another non-issue.

Macronutrient Profile

Here’s where I see a healthy difference between the two brands of potato chips.

Without getting into a huge debate about saturated fats, damaged fats, glycemic index & glycemic load, I believe that the high percentages of carbs & fat found in the Ruffles makes them more likely than the popchips to be stored as body-fat.

The popchips have a macronutrient profile closer to the plain baked potato.

But then again, who ever eats a plain baked potato?

Conclusion

When it comes to the healthiness – popchips is the better choice.

But, what about taste?

Can healthy foods taste great?

As I am not a big fan of potato chips, I enlisted the help of some friends who could be considered potato chip connoisseurs.

And they freakin’ loved the popchips.

And not because they were “healthy”. In fact, when I called them healthy chips, it was harder to get them to try them. But when they started, everyone loved them.

But then again, they also loved the beer & Paleo Margaritas.

.

So, there you go….popchips may be healthier than regular potato chips…but they don’t taste healthy.

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Clear On Calories is proof that Coca-Cola is afraid of YOU

About a year ago, I wrote the article – Coca-Cola & McDonalds Are Afraid of You.

In that article, I made the argument that America’s fast food producers were concerned that America’s parents were becoming a little too health conscious & were starting to abandon their McFood.

So, like any 21st century mega corp, they rallied the troops and prepared to fight back with lower calorie products and an advertising blitz designed to silence their critics.

Since writing that article, America has gotten fatter & more diabetic….but at the same time, America’s fast food companies have been under constant attack from citizens groups and politicians eager to make points with America’s Moms.

One result of those attacks is the decision of soft drink manufacturers to print calorie count labels on the front of all containers.

And just in case America’s Moms are unaware of the new labels, the American Beverage Association (aka America’s soda lobby) is running this commercial on every network numerous times per day.

.

Because they are scared to death of your purchasing power.

.

Remember that the next time you go shopping.

If you don’t want your kids to grow up obese & diabetic, don’t buy food that will make them obese & diabetic.

  • Junk food producers only produce junk food because we eat junk food.
  • If you buy real food, they will produce real food.

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<end of rant>

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FAT BRITANNIA

British Government Sells Out to the Fast Food Industry

As part of it’s continuing effort to destroy it’s healthcare system, the British government has invited fast food companies including McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken to help write government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease.

In addition to Ronald and the Colonel, representatives from PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo are also among the businesses that have been asked to contribute to the five ‘responsibility deal’ networks set up by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

And while the details aren’t expected to be released until the government presents it’s public health white paper in the next few weeks, it’s believed that:

  • the Food Responsibility Deal Network will be chaired by one of the above mentioned companies, while the
  • the Food sub-group on calories is to be chaired by PepsiCo
  • the Behavior Change Responsibility Deal Network is to be chaired by the National Heart Forum
  • the Physical Activity Responsibility Deal Network is to be chaired by the Fitness Industry Association, and
  • the Alcohol Responsibility Deal Network is chaired by the head of the lobby group Wine and Spirit Trade Association

WTF!!!

In America, they’re banning the sale of Happy Meals.

In the U.K., they’re asking Ronald McDonald to design national policy on food consumption and obesity.

.

Is it any wonder why nobody trusts politicians any more?

.

Note – If any of my U.K. readers would like to express their displeasure over this decision to the british Secretary of Health, Andrew Lansley, here is his contact info.

Constituency Office
153 St Neots Road
Hardwick
Cambridge
CB23 7QJ
Tel: 01954 212 707
Fax: 01954 211 625

Email: lansleya@parliament.uk

All Hail the Heart Attack Grill Diet

You’ve got to respect the folks at the Heart Attack Grill.

At least they can admit that their food comes complete with a side order of “sudden weight gain, repeated increase of wardrobe size, back pain, male breast growth, loss of sexual partners, lung cancer, tooth decay, liver sclerosis, stroke, and an inability to see your penis.”

And while Ronald McDonald prepares to defend the health benefits of his Happy Meals in a court of law, the geniuses behind the Double Bypass burger step up and corner the moral high ground in the junk food industry.

And if you’re lucky enough to weigh over 350 lbs, you Eat for FREE!!!

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Wendy's – You Can't Fake Real

In their new advertising campaign, Wendy’s says You Can’t Fake Real.

Well, alrighty then.

A fast food company that has turned over a new leaf and is going to start making “real” food.

Like this:

Wendy’s 10-Piece Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (salt, spice, spice extractive), Sodium Phosphates. Battered and Breaded with: Wheat Flour, Water, Bleached Wheat Flour, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Spice, Wheat Gluten, Egg White Solids, Gum Arabic, Paprika, Extractives of Paprika, Yellow Corn Flour, Leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), Spice Extractives, Yeast. Cooked in Soy, Corn, Cottonseed & Hydrogenated Soy Oil. Note: May be cooked in the same oil as Fish Fillets (where available). CONTAINS: EGG, WHEAT.

  • Spice Extractives in products like this are often created by combining Oleoresins with solubizing agents (Polysorbate 80, mono and diglycerided and water soluble gums) to create a liquid seasoning.
  • Oleoresins are derived by a solvent-extraction of whole spices.
  • Sodium Phosphates are used to help the leaving process in breaded foods like nuggets

And lets not forget where fast food poultry comes from.

image: National Geographic

Now…moving on to the Frosty

Wendy’s Medium Original Chocolate Frosty™

Milk, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cream, Whey, Nonfat Dry Milk, Cocoa (processed with alkali), Guar Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Disodium Phosphate, Artificial and Natural Flavoring, Vitamin A Palmitate. CONTAINS: MILK.

.

Hmmmmmm…that doesn’t seem fake at all.

Until you compare it to my Mom’s recipe for a basic Chocolate Milk Shake

Chocolate Ice Cream + just enough milk to make it drinkable.

.

So, whaddaya think…Can Wendy’s Fake Real?

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American Heart Association Loves Red Meat

For years and years, health “experts” have been telling us that red meat is bad for our hearts.

  • Wives have been replacing their husbands’ T-Bones with steamed tofu cubes.
  • Girlfriends have been replacing the boyfriends’ burgers with chicken breast & pesto wrap sandwiches.

Well….no more.

the american heart association loves red meat

Today, the men of the world (and some of the women) are going to rise up and say no to steamed tofu cubes and dried out chicken breasts.

Today, we say yes to big juicy steaks and burgers dripping with saturated fat.

Because….according to the latest research, it is the consumption of processed meats, not red meats, that is associated with higher incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetes.

The Science

According to their analysis:

  • Red meat has no statistical association with CHD, while
  • Each serving per day of processed meat is associated with a 42% higher risk of CHD
  • Red meat also has no statistical association with diabetes, while
  • Each serving per day of processed meat results in a 19% higher risk of diabetes

Conclusion

Steak & Veggies: GOOD

steak and vegetables are good for you

Cold Cut Sandwiches: BAD

processed meat cause coronary heart disease and diabetes
image: Wikipedia

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A BAN on Fast Food TV Advertising Would Reverse Childhood Obesity Trends

fat_kid_tv

In the past few years, childhood obesity has grown from being a personal health issue to a public health issue.

And today, it is fast becoming a political issue.

the-goonies-chunkWay back in the 1980s, this is what a fat kid looked like.

(Bonus points to anyone who recognizes Chunk from “The Goonies”)

Today, Chunk would almost be slim by comparison.

Not only are today’s fat kids fatter than ever, their numbers are swelling as well.

In 2006, the CDC said that “the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 6.5% in 1980 to 17.0% in 2006.

The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.6%“.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, research also shows that there is an 80 percent chance an overweight adolescent will become an obese adult.

But maybe, you’re not a numbers person.

If that’s the case, and this data isn’t enough to grab your attention, take a look at this train-wreck:

Clearly, we have a problem.

What to do, what to do…

Well, according to researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research, a ban on fast food advertisements in the United States could reduce the number of overweight children by as much as 18%.

brain_socialistShould the U.S. pursue that path, they would follow Sweden, Norway and Finland as the only countries to have banned commercial sponsorship of children’s programs.

This new research builds onto the findings of the 2006 report issued by the Institute of Medicine.

That report:

  • Indicated that there is compelling evidence linking food advertising on television and increased childhood obesity
  • Recommended congressional regulation of television food advertisements aimed at children
  • But also said that the link that would definitively prove that children had become fatter by watching fast food commercials could not be made.”

Michael Grossman, co-author of the NBER study, say that “our study provides evidence of that link.”

The Link between Fast Food TV Advertising and Childhood Obesity

Alright, problem solved.

TV fast food advertising is the villain.

So, what now?

Now we just need a champion to step in and kick a little corporate butt.

Let’s see, who can we get….hmmmmm, who would be a good choice?

Wait, I know!!!

Tipper Gore

fat-kid-loves-cakeThat’s perfect!

Let’s unleash Tipper on those evil fast food and television executives and our childhood obesity problem will disappear faster than the cake at a fat kid’s birthday party.

Okay, I just happen to have her private number right here….dialing……it’s ringing…….someone’s answering…..and…but….but….I see….well..but….ok…thanks anyway…

Sorry people, Tipper’s too busy helping her husband eliminate global warming to help us eliminate childhood obesity.

We’re on our own.

So what do we want to do?

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