Saturday, October 18, 2008

Soda Brand Spanking

The soda goliaths, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, are bellweathers for our culture of health. Both are having to undergo massive adaptations to accommodate troubling times for their acidic, black diuretics that are bad for your teeth, your bones, and your weight (colas).

This article reports on the ways each has had to change to keep from losing money as consumers continue to reject sodas. Pepsi is moving out, investing heavily in food products. Coke is taking a page from the tobacco industry and pushing into foreign markets.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Product Over Process

This article came out this morning from the NYTimes, and it reflects the culture of health that has become so very skewed over time.

This article is emphatic. We need to give
our kids supplements to prevent Vitamin D disorders and many other dreaded ailments.

I wonder what we ever
did prior to before these pills were here to save us. But, not to be completely flippant, let me just quote from the article:

To meet the new recommendation of 400 units daily, millions of children will need to take vitamin D supplements each day, the American
Academy of Pediatrics

But according to this article, a person will produce about 20,000 units of vitamin D after just 20 minutes of summer sun exposure. This means that we have the capacity to make enormous amounts of vitamin D very quickly.

The NYTimes article cites, as the reason you really must give your children pills, the fact that if you only got your Vitamin D from Milk, you'd have to give them 4 cups per day.

The authors know that simple sunshine produces a lot of Vitamin D. And they don't even acknowledge this in the piece, citing a faux reason that we must be compelled to turn to the pharmaceutical industry to save us.

Because of this obvious omission, the article must be revised.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reading as Therapy for Kids

This report on a study presented at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting in Phoenix states that reading a novel that includes strong role models and messages about healthy living boosted weight loss in a group of adolescent girls.

These girls were already in a weight management program at Duke University. One of the interventions was looking at the effect of this type of influence -- of positive role models!!

In the study, researchers divided 64 obese 9- to 13-year-old girls, who were already taking part in a comprehensive weight loss program, into three groups: one group read no books, one read a "control" book, and one read the "intervention" book called Lake Rescue (Beacon Street Press).

"This book is not just a story about a girl who loses weight. It's about a heroine who comes to understand her battle with weight in a very real and tangible way that preteens can connect with," Armstrong noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health.

After 6 months, the researchers found that the girls who read Lake Rescue had a significant 0.71 percent drop in their body mass index, the ratio between height and weight. The group that read the control book had a drop of 0.33 percent in their BMI, while the non-readers increased their BMI scores by 0.05 percent.

"The strength of the study is not in the magnitude of the result, but in the simplicity of the intervention," Armstrong said. "It is very rare to find an intervention, especially in this preteen age group, who are too young to qualify for medication or surgery to help them lose weight, which is positive in its message and has a beneficial effect on body mass," she added.

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