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The Youth of America
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March 27, 2012
By J. D. Heyes
“Just stop drinking soda for two months. When you try it again, you will discover just how nasty it really is. Don’t be fooled though by drinking garbage like vitamin water. Drink regular water instead.” –KTRN
Better late than never, but more Americans finally seem to be getting the message they’ve been consuming far too much soda and as such, sales of pop have been falling.
In reality, soda sales have been falling for about seven years, but they really dropped off in 2011 as consumers made other choices about what sort of refreshments to put in their bodies.
The beverage market actually grew last year by about 0.9 percent, but according to sales data, consumers chose more coffee and teas, sports and energy drinks and bottled water over soda and fruit juices.
Beverage Marketing, a research, consulting and financial-services firm that tracks the beverage industry, said 2011 was the second year of growth for the beverage industry after two consecutive declines in 2008 and 2009.
Costs are up, sure, but choices are healthier
One of the reasons why sales were down, according to Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter, is cost: Prices for carbonated soft drinks climbed about 3 percent last year, making them harder to afford. Drink makers passed on higher prices for the cost of sweeteners, such as corn syrup and other raw materials, to consumers.
According to an analysis of sales data by Beverage Digest, all three big soda-makers — Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple — showed slower sales of popular brands like Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi-Cola, and Mountain Dew.
Coke and Pepsi market shares shrank while Dr. Pepper’s share was mostly flat. And though sales of some soda brands rose, sales of Dasani — a bottled water sold by Coca-Cola — was the fastest-growing beverage brand, rising 11 percent, according to Beverage Digest. It was followed by Arizona iced tea (9.3 percent) and Pepsi’s Gatorade (8 percent).
Carbonated drinks, by comparison, grew about 3 percent a year through the 1990s, but sales have been declining steadily since 2005, as more health-conscious consumers increasingly turn to better choices of drink.
Sales of Gatorade, meanwhile, are ballooning as well, topping the one billon-gallon mark last year for the first time. In fact, Beverage Marketing says Gatorade, coupled with G2 and other brand variations, is the fifth-largest beverage trademark.
March 21, 2012
By John Phillip
“Here is yet another report that shows sugary drinks like soda need to be avoided. If you’re still drinking them, why?!” –KTRN
Researchers publishing the results of a study in the prestigious American Heart Association journal Circulation have found that men who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who didn’t drink any sugar-sweetened drinks. This should come as no surprise as sweetened (and calorie-free) beverages have come under scrutiny for contributing to increased risk of potentially fatal conditions such as diabetes, dementia, stroke, liver necrosis (fatty liver) and obesity.
Excess glucose in the bloodstream is easily converted to triglycerides by the liver and promptly stored as fat, typically around the waistline for use during leaner times. This survival mechanism worked very well for our ancestors of several hundred generations past, but times of plenty now exist regularly, several times each day for most.
Humans were never metabolically wired to consume the large amount of nutrient-poor calories as we do today, and it is leading to an early grave for millions. The bottom line is simple: eliminate calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and lower your risk of heart disease by one-fifth.
Researchers reviewed the beverage consuming habits of 42,883 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and after controlling for risk factors including smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease, they determined that daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages resulted in a20 percent increase in cardiovascular disease. Scientists found that less frequent consumption, on the order of twice weekly to twice monthly did not increase risk.
March 19, 2012
By Alter Net
“No wonder the whole world is getting more unhealthy – they are eating like Americans.” –KTRN
It is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according to a press release from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, “The West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets.”
De Schutter, whose work usually focuses on ending hunger, just published a new report saying, “The right to food cannot be reduced to a right not to starve. It is an inclusive right to an adequate diet providing all the nutritional elements an individual requires to live a healthy and active life, and the means to access them.” In other words, the right to a healthful diet must be included in the human right to food. And, as the unhealthy diets already common in the United States spread to poorer nations, so do the health problems associated with those diets. However, unlike wealthy nations, poorer nations are not equipped to deal with the health consequences via medicine, making preventable diet-related health problems more deadly.
While the poor around the world face hunger, for those who have enough to eat in non-industrialized nations, traditional diets are quite healthy. In Kenya, for example, peasant farmers subsist on a stiff corn porridge called ugali eaten with a variety of green vegetables, beans, and perhaps some pumpkin. Peasants in Bolivia may dine on potatoes, quinoa and other grains, corn, sweet potato, and other Andean roots and tubers. Mexicans combine corn tortillas and beans to provide complete protein. A Filipino family may eat pinakbet, a stew of local vegetables flavored with bagoong, a Filipino fish sauce.
In each and every case, traditional diets are made up of whole foods, including grains, beans, vegetables, fresh fruit, and perhaps some animal products. Wild plants that an American might dispose of as “weeds” are used to provide essential micronutrients, feed families during hard times, or serve as medicines. Often fermentation is used to preserve foods and increase their nutrition, as in the case of Kenya’s fermented porridge uji. Livestock enjoy diverse and natural diets, and meat is reserved for special occasions — perhaps a chicken to celebrate the arrival of a guest, a goat for Christmas, or a cow for a wedding.
But times are changing. Visit even the most far-flung rural part of each of these nations today, and you’ll find Coca-Cola advertising — and Coca-Cola — everywhere. Restaurants and stores in Africa display Coca-Cola-themed store signs while their menus are posted on Coca-Cola chalkboards and waiters wear red Cola-Cola aprons. In South America, you can buy a bottle of Coke out of your car window from a vendor dressed in red Coca-Cola-themed gear while you wait in traffic. If there’s anywhere on earth you cannot easily buy an ice-cold Coke, it’s Antarctica — although it’s very possible there are already shops selling ice-cold Coke there, too. And while other junk foods sold in each of these places may not be such recognizable global brands, they are equally detrimental to human health no matter which company makes them or how they are branded.
Soda Industry Desperate To Avoid Cancer Classification Of Toxic Chemicals Used To Make Caramel Color
March 15, 2012
By Ethan A. Huff
“If you must drink soda, try Blue Sky or Zevia. Plus, don’t you feel better about giving your money to smaller companies that don’t already own the world?” –KTRN
The processed beverage industry is fighting tooth and nail to stop federal regulators from publicly identifying a toxic ingredient in many popular cola brands as being a cancer-causing chemical. 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a chemical used to make the “caramel color” agent added to Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Snapple Group Inc.’s Dr. Pepper, and Whole Foods’ 365 cola, among others, has been found to cause cancer in mammals, and yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refuses, thus far, to ban it from use in food.
Last year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a public advocacy group, filed a regulatory petition with the FDA to have caramel color that contains 4-MI banned from food. Not only does 4-MI-laden caramel color serve “a non-essential, cosmetic purpose” in food, but caramel color also does not have to be produced using 4-MI in the first place, which means banning the chemicalized form of caramel color is really a no-brainer when it comes to protecting public health (http://www.naturalnews.com/031383_caramel_coloring_cola.html).
But it has been more than a year since the original petition was filed, and the FDA has done nothing so far to protect the public from 4-MI in beverages, which in some tests was nearly five times higher in certain beverages than the California legal limit allows for the chemical. California’s Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires that cancer-causing agents be publicly identified when they exceed a certain level, which means that beverages containing 4-MI caramel color legally have to be labeled as causing cancer (http://www.oehha.org/prop65.html).
March 9, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
“It’s really amazing that people are still drinking Coke and Pepsi. These companies do not care about the people who consume their products. They want to make the cheapest drinks possible so they can make tons of money. Think about all the extra calories, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame people consume every day from drinking this garbage. Instead – drink water. If you absolutely need something with flavor, have an iced tea with stevia. And if you absolutely must drink a soda, try Blue Sky or Zevia instead. There ARE other options.” –KTRN
In a move to avoid being slapped with a cancer warning label, Coca-Cola is making an emergency recipe alteration that involves removing a known carcinogen from the mix. Showing that the company is more interested in preserving sales than actually ridding its products of known cancer-causing substances, the company chose to remove the toxic ingredient to avoid the warning label — not to actively protect the health of the consumer. The compound (used for the drinks’ caramel coloring), known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MI or 4-MEI), has been ousted by the Center for Sciences in the Public Interest as a powerful carcinogen.
In fact, the Coca-Cola company even denied the cancer link, stating that the findings by CSPI and others were simply untrue. Calling the warning label ‘scientifically unfounded’, Coca-Cola says that there is no public health risk that justifies any change.
“While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Coca-Cola representative Diana Garza-Ciarlante told the Associated Press news agency.
March 6, 2012
It has been one of the listed ingredients of Coke and Pepsi for as long as most people can remember but, if the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI, has its way, caramel color will no longer be used to make colas.
Citing studies that link several types of cancer to a chemical in caramel coloring, the head of the CSPI told 9 News that jeopardizing people’s health simply to give colas their familiar brown hue is just not acceptable.
March 6, 2012
By Khari Johnson
“Why is anyone still drinking cola? An organic Blue Sky can of pop isn’t going to kill you now and again, but Diet Coke? Really? You’re still drinking Diet Coke? That’s gross.” –KTRN
Remember when the “cola wars” were the biggest controversy in the world of soda? Things have changed. A recent study by The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reveals that popular sodas like Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, and Diet Pepsi contain potentially dangerous amounts of carcinogenic caramel coloring.
The CSPI tested levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) and 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) in cans of soda purchased at Washington, D.C., grocery stores and found all four soda brands to contain more than 100 micrograms of 4-MI. The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has determined that both chemicals cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.
Should you be worried? The CSPI thinks so. They’re redoubling their efforts to petition the FDA to “revoke regulations authorizing the use of caramel coloring in foods.” Meanwhile, caramel coloring does absolutely nothing to enhance soda’s flavor. “The coloring is completely cosmetic, adding nothing to the flavor of the product,” says CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “If companies can make brown food coloring that is carcinogen-free, the industry should use that.”
Diet Soda Again Linked To Heart Attacks And Strokes – But Diet Coke Remains A Top Supporter Of Heart For Truth
February 8th, 2012
By: Elizabeth Walling
Diet soft drinks are considered the “healthier” alternative to high fructose corn syrup and empty calories. But the truth is that diet drinks have an evil side: new research confirms that diet soda can seriously increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. But in spite of this – and many other studies that warn us of the harmful side effects of diet soda – Diet Coke remains a staunch supporter of the Heart for Truth Campaign.
In the latest study, researchers looked at 10 years of data from 2,564 individuals enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. The link between diet soda and serious health issues was undeniable:those who drank diet soda on a daily basis were 43 percent more likely to experience heart attacks, stroke or vascular death.
This may be the most recent study connecting diet soda to serious health problems, but it’s far from the first. Diet drinks have been linked in previous studies to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Other studies confirm the link between diet soda and heart problems. Suffice it to say there is no lack of research to support the idea that diet soda is a hazard to our long-term health.
But Diet Coke tries to preserve its positive image with marketing strategies that emphasize its support for Heart for Truth, a campaign that aims to increase heart disease awareness. Cute heart graphics are plastered on billions of cans of Diet Coke, while celebrities like Heidi Klum and Minka Kelly give public support of Diet Coke’s campaign.
While Diet Coke makes a show of supporting heart disease awareness, it certainly isn’t going out of its way to make customers aware of the possible dangers that may await them at the bottom of every can of diet soda. It seems like Diet Coke wants to sweep the evidence right under the rug.
If Diet Coke officials were truly concerned with heart health, they would simply pull their product from the shelves and apologize for endangering the public’s health for the last several decades. But since that would seriously squelch profit margins, they’d prefer to alleviate their guilt by painting red hearts all over their cans instead.
January 24, 2012
By Mike Barrett
“If you’re going to eat sugar – it really needs to be Organic Cane Sugar. Everyone should know this by now.” –KTRN
On average, Americans consume 475 calories worth of added sugars each day. That is about 30 teaspoons, or 5x more than even the American Heart Association recommends.
The disturbing aspect is that if nothing changes, the rampant sugar consumption continues, and cumulatively begins bearing down on your health in the form of diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Just how much sugar are you consuming on a daily basis?
Keep in mind that the recommended amount of sugar to consume on a daily basis is 25 grams.
Carcinogenic Sugar Hiding in 4 Common Food Products
It is common knowledge that soda, sweets, ice cream, and other similar foods are loaded with sugar. In fact, an average bottle of Coke contains over 60g of sugar, and an 8oz Snapple contains up to 23g of sugar. Similarly, a 16ox Starbucks Mocha Grande Frappuccino contains over 40g of sugar, and that is only one of the many popular products purchased very often by coffee lovers.
While it is fairly easy to avoid sugar by picking up on this common knowledge, there are still many foods that contain large amounts of sugar that the general population simply doesn’t know about. Some of these foods or products are: