March 26, 2012
As significant percentages of parents wisely abandon HFCS and sugar-filled sodas as a viable beverage option for their children, corporations are capitalizing on the health-conscious trend by pushing fruit juices as a healthy alternative. Most parents who buy juices think they are making a wise choice, often because of the outlandish health claims juice makers put on the labels. In reality, however, parents should be not only be paying close attention to the murky ingredient list that lurks behind that bright, colorful, attractive front label, but should also reconsider feeding their children processed fruit juice altogether.
Some ingredients to watch out for
Sodium Benzoate- has been shown to destroy the mitochondrial DNA of yeast cells and, according to Professor Peter Piper of Sheffield University, could do the same to human cells in the long-term. Additionally, two recent British government funded studies have found that sodium benzoate adversely affects child behavior. If that weren’t enough, benzene, a known carcinogen, occurs when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and the preservative potassium benzoate.
Natural Flavors- or basically any combination of molecules a chemist can derive from ‘natural’ sources to make their food taste or look a certain way. Often the sources of these flavors have nothing to do with the type of juice advertised on the label.
Carmine(also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red #4, C.I. 75470, E120) – or powdered scaleinsectbodies boiled in ammonia and processed as a food additive, is certainly an example of something that comes from a ‘natural’ source that has nothing to do with what is on the label. Crushed beetles anyone?
Food Dyes- such as Red #40, have been linked to hyperactivity and other behavioral problems. Many companies use petroleum-derived food coloring over real juice to save money.
Maltodextrin- is the starch-like substance some manufacturers add to fruit juices so they can make a ‘high-fiber’ claim on the label. Why keep the natural fiber in juice when you can apparently save money by adding a cheap chemically refined sugar, made from GM corn, that has been shown to promote weight gain?
Sugar/Fructose- The adverse health consequences of sugar are well known. What many parents don’t realize, however, is that children can consume as much or more sugar in fruit drinks than in sodas and junk food.
Ingredients that aren’t supposed to be ingredients- such as lead (85 percent of child-marketed beverages contain significant lead levels) and the toxic fungicide carbendazim, recently found in 15 percent of orange juice samples tested by the FDA. Carbendazim is illegal in the US, but not in several countries that export fruit here. Additionally, non-organic fruit is laced with a cornucopia of toxic pesticides and chemicals that is not only bad for bugs, but humans as well.
Parents do their children no favors by substituting one junk beverage for another. Sweet drinks, whether sodas or fruit juices, have been solidly linked to childhood obesity. In 2005,Pediatricsreported that already-heavy preschoolers who consume a sweet beverage just once or twice a day doubled their risk of becoming seriously obese just one year later. The study found no difference between fruit juices and sugar-filled Kool-aid.
The corporations that peddle this propaganda are happy to reformat, repackage, relabel, rename, and remarket their poison, just so long as unsuspecting parents keep buying it and feeding it to their children. Things will not change significantly until the majority of consumers start reading the ingredients list on the back of the label instead of the propaganda on the front.
learn more at Natural News
March 13, 2012
By Jonathan Benson
“Processed white sugar is bad news. You really should do everything to avoid it. It’s just as bad as high fructose corn syrup. You want to see Organic Cane Sugar or Raw Honey on the label.” –KTRN
A coalition of consumer advocacy groups, health organizations, and food and nutrition groups has officially called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enact new labeling requirements for foods that contain added sugars. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), the American Heart Association, and 12 other organizations all undersigned a recent letter petitioning the FDA to require that food labels differentiate between natural sugars and added, processed sugars like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
The petition appears to be specifically aimed at food products like fruit juices, children’s cereals, and snacks that may contain natural, fruit-based sugars in addition to added sugars. Since current labeling requirements list all sugars in one generic category, shoppers are not privy to the actual amount of added sugars contained in the food products they buy, which makes it difficult for many to monitor their processed sugar intake.
“While current regulations stipulate what foods can be labeled ‘No Sugar Added’ or use a similar phrase, there is currently no requirement that added sugars be shown separately on the ‘Ingredients List,’” wrote the group to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in a recent letter. “We recommend that FDA require that added sugars be listed on the ingredients section of food labels so that consumers can make healthier choices when they shop.”
The letter, which is addressed specifically to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, notes that the American Heart Association (AHA), which is one of its under-signers, recommends that adult males consume less than 150 calories a day from processed sugars, and females less than 100 calories a day from processed sugars. In order to abide by these recommendations, consumers must have full disclosure of added sugar content in the foods they buy.
December 30th, 2010
By: David Gutierrez
Nearly half of the calories consumed by the average US child are empty junk food calories, according to a study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Researchers evaluated the diets of children aged two to 18 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that the average child consumes 2,200 calories per day, more than that recommended for an adult woman. An astonishing 40 percent of these calories come from added sugars (365 calories) or solid fats (433 calories).
The top sources of overall calories were grain deserts, providing 138 calories per day; pizza, providing 136; and soda, providing 118 calories per day. Fruit juices supplied another 56 calories from sugar each day.
Beyond contributing to obesity and all its related health problems, high consumption of empty calories can also produce another serious health problem: malnutrition in the form of nutrient deficiency.
“Some people ask, ‘How can we be malnourished if we’re eating so much that we’re all overweight?’ ” writes Mike Adams in his book The Seven Laws of Nutrition.
“The answer is simple. We’re eating empty calories,” Adams writes. “We’re eating plenty of food if you just count the calories, but not nearly enough of the right kinds of foods that provide nutrition in the form of phytonutrients, minerals, enzymes, healthy oils, vitamins, and other important nutrients. ”
Mary Story of the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the study, said the results were “alarming” but not surprising.
“If you go to convenience stores or corner stores that are close to schools, [these foods] are really cheap and plentiful,” she said. “We should not be surprised by this — we should be outraged.”
August 23rd, 2010
By: Rebecca Smith
Research carried out on almost 60,000 pregnant women in Denmark found that those who drank artificially sweetened soft drinks, whether fizzy or still, were more likely to give birth early.
It was found that those who drank one serving per day of artificially sweetened fizzy drink were 38 per cent more likely to give birth before 37 weeks gestation and those who consumed four servings a day were 78 per cent more likely to have their baby prematurely.
The effect was weaker for still artificially soft drinks and there was no link between premature birth and sugar-sweetened drinks, they said.
It is thought the artificial sweeteners are broken down in the body into chemicals which may change the womb, the researchers said.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dr Shelley McGuire, spokesman for the American Society of Nutrition, said: “These findings may be really important in terms of preventing premature births, especially those that are medically induced by a woman’s health care provider.
“Certainly, until more experimental work is done, this study suggests that pregnant women should steer clear of artificially sweetened drinks. Quite frankly, pregnant women should be focusing more on nutrient-rich drinks anyway, like milk and fruit juices. And don’t forget the water.”
The study conducted by Thorahallur Halldorsson, of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, did not examine which artificial sweeteners were contained in the drinks.
The effect was limited to women whose birth was deliberately induced early suggesting the drinks do not trigger premature labour but rather cause changes in the body that mean an early birth is necessary.
It was suggested that this could due to a rise in blood pressure or development of diabetes but the researchers ruled this out.
Dr Halldorsson wrote in the research paper: “In conclusion, our findings suggest that the daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may be associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery.
“The relative consistency of our findings for carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks and the absence of an association for sugar-sweetened soft drinks suggest that the content of artificial sweeteners might be the causal factor.
“However, the replication of our findings in another experimental setting is warranted.”
A spokesman for the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “We should be cautious in our reaction to this study. Its findings should not be over-dramatised.
“Any woman who is concerned about her diet in pregnancy should consult her doctor.”