February 27, 2012
By Mark Hyman. M.D.
This week, in an act of desperation to turn back the tide of the obesity epidemic that now affects almost seven out of every 10 Americans and more than 80 percent of some populations (African-American women), the advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 20 to 2 to recommend approval of Qnexa, a “new” obesity drug that is simply the combination of two older medications, phentermine (the “phen” of phen-fen”) and topiramate (Topamax).
It is a misguided effort at best, and a dangerous one at worst. Mounting evidence proves that the solution to lifestyle and diet-driven obesity-related illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and even cancer won’t be found at the bottom of a prescription bottle.
By 2020, more than 50 percent of the U.S. adult population will have Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, with annual costs approaching $500 billion. By 2030, total annual economic costs of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. are predicted to exceed $1 trillion. By 2030, globally we will spend $47 trillion, yes trillion, to address the effects of chronic lifestyle-driven disease.
Prescription medication for lifestyle disease has failed to bend the obesity and disease curve. Statins have been recently found to increase the risk of diabetes in women by 48 percent. And large data reviews by independent international scientists from the Cochrane Collaborative found that statins only work to prevent second heart attacks, not first heart attacks, which means they are not helpful and most likely harmful for 75 percent of those who take them.
Avandia, the No. 1 blockbuster drug for Type 2 diabetes, has caused nearly 200,000 deaths from heart attacks since it was introduced in 1999. The drug was designed to prevent complications of diabetes, yet heart attacks are the very disease that kills most Type 2 diabetics. In 2011, the FDA issued stricter prescribing guidelines for Avandia, but the drug is still on the market.
The large ACCORD trial found in more than 10,000 diabetics that intensive blood-sugar lowering with medication and insulin actually led to more heart attacks and deaths.
Something is deeply wrong with our medical approach.
The problem of chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, is not a medication deficiency, but a problem with what we put at the end of our fork.
The emperor truly has no clothes. Why would good men and women of science vote to approve a medication for a condition that is a social disease and requires a social cure? The social, environmental, economic, and political conditions of America and increasingly the global community have created an obesogenic environment.
Clearly we need to do something. But it is not better medication or surgery or more angioplasties and stents, which have no proven benefit in more than 90 percent of those who receive them. The data show they work for acute coronary events, but not stable angina or blockages.
We continue to pay for expensive treatments for chronic disease, despite the fact that they don’t work, while insurance does not pay for nutrition counseling unless the patient has kidney failure or diabetes.
Chronic disease is a food-borne illness. We ate our way into this mess and we must eat our way out.
February 10, 2012
By Paula Rothstein
The National School Lunch Program announced its decision to raise nutrition standards for school children across the United States. This is the first implemented change to the program in 15 years. Led by First Lady Michelle Obama, the claimed goal of her “Let’s Move” campaign is to curb the rise in obesity in school-aged children. However, nothing contained in these changes would have any significant effect on obesity. In fact, some of the changes – such as the change from whole milk to skim milk and from butter to margarine – are arguably counter-productive.
When considered in total, the recommended changes are quite small for a problem that threatens the health of children and the complex trap of obesity. Unfortunately, the food industry has its fingerprints all over each of these new “nutrition” standards. For example, tomato paste on pizza is considered to be a vegetable while french fries remain a staple. Sure, there are more vegetables being introduced and that is all well and good, even a long-time coming, so kudos to Michelle Obama for her efforts.
It is clear, however, that the government still operates under the illusion that consuming fat makes you fat. Consider the recommendations dealing with dairy. The government’s premise is this: Dairy is good for children; however, the fat content is a problem. This is simply not true. Yet removing fat from a child’s diet is at the core of nearly every change in the new standards.
Setting aside the generally accepted idea in the natural health community that milk is an excellent source of nutrition for a baby calf, if humans are going to consume it, whole milk is the optimal choice. The reason is simple: Our bodies are less able to digest the protein or absorb calcium and vitamins A and D from milk without the fat contained therein.
As for the panel’s focus on saturated fats, science has now revealed these fats actually raise good cholesterol levels. And, seriously, are we actually going to transition children to margarine – which is one molecule away from being plastic – and call it a dietary improvement?
We live in a culture that depends on “fast food” style dining, sugar-laden soft drinks and fruit juices (instead of pure water), chemically processed foods, and dairy and meat that are full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Most often these meals are being consumed in front of a television set. At issue is the “more is always better than less” mentality that permeates our modern lives.
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.
February 8th, 2012
By: Lindsey Tanner
Junk food remains plentiful at the nation’s elementary schools despite widespread efforts to curb childhood obesity, a new study suggests. Between 2006 and 2010, nearly half of public and private schools surveyed sold sweet or salty snack foods in vending machines or other places, the study found. There was little change over the four years, a surprising finding given vocal advocacy campaigns to improve kids’ diets, said researcher Lindsey Turner, a health psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the study’s lead author. The study focused on snacks not sold during mealtimes, which until recently weren’t subject to government nutrition standards.
Schools most likely to sell chips, cookies or similar foods were in the South, where obesity rates are the highest; these foods were scarcest at schools in the West. The results are concerning, Turner said, because they show that many schools have not heeded messages from health advocates including the Institute of Medicine, which in a 2007 report urged limiting availability of food in schools outside of mealtimes, and said these items should not be sugary, salty or fatty snack foods. Many schools in the study also offered more healthy foods outside of mealtimes, including fruit and vegetables. But selling them along with junk food may tempt kids to skip the healthy options, and sends “mixed messages about healthful nutrition,” Dr. Thomas Robinson, a Stanford University pediatrician and obesity prevention researcher.
Robinson called the study results “sobering” and said a key strategy for reversing childhood obesity includes improving nutrition in schools. Recent data suggest that almost 20 percent of elementary school children nationwide are obese. Policies that limit junk food sold in schools have been linked with less obesity among students, said C. Tracy Orleans, a senior scientist at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which paid for the study.
The study appears in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, released Monday. Robinson wrote an accompanying editorial. Anti-obesity advocates also have pushed to remove sugary sodas from schools, and some states and schools have enacted bans. Also, a 2010 report found a big decline in sales of these drinks to schools during some of the years studied. The new study, which focused only on foods, is based on surveys mailed to principals at public and private elementary schools. Nearly 4,000 responded, or more than half of those contacted. The participating schools were nationally representative and there were no geographic or economic differences in schools that didn’t respond that would affect the results, Turner said.
Overall, about 45 percent of schools sold sugary and salty snacks. Some schools sold low-fat salty snacks and baked goods, including pretzels and low-fat ice cream, but their high sugar or salt content makes them a poor choice, Turner said. Candy, salty snacks and regular-fat baked goods were more common at private schools than public schools; and low-fat ice cream was more common at both types of schools than full-fat ice cream snacks. The study authors say their results should encourage the U.S. Department of Agriculture to crack down on junk food in schools. A law enacted in December 2010, after the study ended, gives the agency authority to do so, and it is developing changes.
Before that measure, USDA policy restricted schools from selling foods “of minimal nutritional value” during mealtimes. Under the new law, the agency can set nutrition standards for all foods sold in U.S. schools.
Another USDA change announced last month focuses on making school lunches healthier, with changes including less sodium and more whole grains. The changes affecting snack foods “need to be comprehensive, they need to be strong, they need to be specific,” and they could be “a game-changer,” said Orleans. A website for the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service says restricting these foods can pose challenges for schools, because many rely on sales of snack foods to boost revenue. But it also explains why changes are needed.
“The constant availability of foods and beverages may increase the likelihood of impulse buying and contribute to overeating by some students,” the USDA website says. It lists states and school districts that have imposed some restrictions on these foods.
February 6, 2012
By Rob Lyons
On Thursday, high-profile science journal Nature published a commentary by three academics, which argued that sugar is a toxin and that it should be subject to similar kinds of public-health interventions as alcohol. In other words, sugar should be taxed and restricted just like booze.
One of the authors, Robert Lustig, runs an obesity clinic at a children’s hospital, part of the University of California, San Francisco. His colleagues and fellow authors, Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis, are researchers in healthy policy. Lustig has gained an online following since 2009 for a lecture entitled ‘Sugar: the Bitter Truth’. While Lustig’s tone is rather melodramatic, there does appear to be a growing body of evidence linking refined carbohydrates and a group of related symptoms – obesity, fatty liver disease, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease – that come together under the broad umbrella of ‘metabolic syndrome’.
It’s certainly the case that these chronic diseases have increased in importance in recent decades (in part because of the decline of infectious disease). Consumption of refined carbohydrates – particularly sugar – has increased, too. America has a particularly sweet tooth; the average American consumes 131 pounds (about 59 kg) of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) per year, up from 113 pounds per person in 1966. A teaspoon of sugar weighs about 4g, so this amounts to 40 teaspoons per person per day. (And remember, that’s an average – some people are consuming considerably more.)
The UK has a pretty sweet tooth, too. A survey for the Food Standards Agency in Scotland in 2008 found that 17 per cent of children’s calorie intake was coming from ‘non-milk extrinsic sugars’ – that is, table sugar and sugar added to food. That adds up to about 20 teaspoons per child per day.
So, we have rising rates of diseases related to metabolic syndrome alongside increased sugar consumption. Sucrose (the kind used as table sugar) and HFCS are regarded as particularly problematic by many researchers because they are both mad up of two simpler sugars, glucose and fructose. Glucose induces the production of insulin and would seem, therefore, to be a reasonable suspect in problems of insulin resistance and diabetes, with knock-on effects to do with obesity. Fructose, though it sounds healthy because it is also found in fruit, is practically Public Enemy No.1 for some health researchers due to its effects on the liver and in relation to heart disease. Thus, some see the consumption of sucrose and HFCS as a dietary double-whammy that significantly increases the risk of a number of chronic diseases.
January 24, 2012
By Mike Adams
“This reminds us of when the Koman Breast Cancer group teamed up with KFC and sold pink buckets of fried chicken for breast cancer awareness month. Ridiculous.” –KTRN
“Will vaccinate my baby for food!” That seems to be the goal of a program launched last year by the UnitedHealthcare health insurance company of Michigan. It has resorted to enticing parents with junk food to convince them to inject their infants with potentially deadly vaccines containing brain-damaging chemicals. This has been revealed in a letter acquired by NaturalNews and signed by Stephanie Esters, a vaccine-pushing RN who works for UnitedHealthcare.
The letter declares “Get a FREE $20 McDonalds, Rite Aid, Target or Meijer Gift Card when your child gets recommended shots before their second birthday.” It even goes on to offer a “FREE ride to the doctor” for those who are so poor that they don’t own cars.
Childhood vaccines, of course, are loaded with extremely toxic chemical adjuvants — chemicals designed to cause neurological inflammation in order to invoke an immunological reaction. Vaccines also contain both mercury and aluminum, both of which are highly toxic brain poisons. This is why many children who are injected with such vaccines become autistic virtually overnight (their brains are poisoned beyond their biological threshold).
While the fundamental science of inoculation is debatable, the adding of neuro-toxic chemicals to today’s vaccines — which are then injected into children in huge numbers (over 100 vaccines given to a typical child) — turns them into chemical weapons being used to medically assault innocent children. Marrying this chemical weapons program with a junk food incentive program is the height of medical stupidity. It makes about as much sense as eating fried chicken to cure breast cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/028631_Komen_for_the_cure_pinkwashing.html).
Such a program obviously targets lower-income families which tend to be predominantly black or Latino, according to national statistics. The RN behind this nauseating vaccinate-for-food campaign is Stephanie Esters, an African American woman, demonstrating the black-on-black medical violence being committed against African American children in America every day.
Rewarding vaccines with toxic junk food?
Perhaps the most outrageous part of this entire eugenics scheme which may have already killed an unknown number of little black babies is that the reward for being injected with neurologically-damaging chemical vaccines is a gift certificate for disease-promoting “dead” junk food.
It’s clearly an encouragement for parents to feed their babies obesity-inducing junk food that will also promote diabetes (rampant among blacks), prostate cancer (super deadly among black men) and breast cancer (a huge money-maker for the criminal cancer industry which preys upon black women). Wash it down with a cocktail of phosphoric acid and aspartame — also known as a “diet soda” — and then give yourself even more cancer and heart disease with some fries!
This is what United Healthcare encourages its customers to do? Are they so stupid that they do not realize such eating habits will increase the health-related claims against their own company?
Obviously, if UnitedHealthcare actually wanted to improve the health of low-income children in Michigan, they would reward them with a bottle of nutritional supplements or superfoods. Give the kid some organic CocoChia bars from Living Fuel! Or buy some Boku Superfood for the family!
But no, the reward for being injected with chemical vaccines is more chemicals courtesy of the hormone-injected, antibiotics-laced, GMO-fed toxic processed beef garbage sold by McDonald’s. Did you know their Chicken McNuggets are made with a silicone chemical that’s also used in Silly Putty? (http://www.naturalnews.com/032820_Chicken_McNuggets_ingredients.html)
Find more details about that — and a couple hundred more astonishing facts about food — at our Amazing Food Fact Machine: http://www.naturalnews.com/AmazingFoodFactMachine.asp
January 20, 2012
By James Gallagher
“If you’re going to eat beef – it must be grass fed and organic. Otherwise, become a vegetarian.” –KTRN
A link between eating processed meat, such as bacon or sausages, and pancreatic cancer has been suggested by researchers in Sweden.
They said eating an extra 50g of processed meat, approximately one sausage, every day would increase a person’s risk by 19%.
But the chance of developing the rare cancer remains low.
The World Cancer Research Fund suggested the link may be down to obesity.
Eating red and processed meat has already been linked to bowel cancer. As a result the UK government recommended in 2011 that people eat no more than 70g a day.
Prof Susanna Larsson, who conducted the study at the Karolinska Institute, told the BBC that links to other cancers were “quite controversial”.
She added: “It is known that eating meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer, it’s not so much known about other cancers.”
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, analysed data from 11 trials and 6,643 patients with pancreatic cancer.
January 18, 2012
New York Post
By Mary Kay Linge
Big Brother is joining the battle of the bulge.
A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock.
The athletics chair for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits in a bid to combat obesity.
The information is displayed on a color-coded screen and gets transmitted to a password-protected Web site that students and educators can access.
The devices are already in use in school districts in St. Louis and South Orange, NJ — and have raised privacy concerns among some parents and observers.
But Ted Nagengast, the Bay Shore athletics chair, said, “It’s a great reinforcement in fighting the obesity epidemic. It tells kids, in real time, ‘Am I active? Am I not active?’ We want to give kids the opportunity to become active.”
The monitors are distributed by Polar Electro, of Lake Success, LI, the US division of a Finland firm.
In the South Orange-Maplewood School District, where earlier versions of the devices have been used for two years, upper-grade students’ marks in phys ed are based in part on heart-rate monitors and activity sensors.
Teachers use hand-held computers to collect data from each student’s wrist monitor during class, then upload the information to the school computer system for storage and long-term tracking.
But privacy advocates and parents worry that schools are using electronic monitors in phys ed without families’ knowledge or consent.
January 18, 2012
The New York Times
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
“Exercise is the only pill you need.” –KTRN
A newly discovered hormone produced in response to exercise may be turning people’s white fat brown, a groundbreaking new study suggests, and in the process lessening their susceptibility to obesity, diabetes and other health problems. The study, published on Wednesday in Nature and led by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, provides remarkable new insights into how exercise affects the body at a cellular level.
For the study, the researchers studied mouse and human muscle cells. Scientists have believed for some time that muscle cells influence biological processes elsewhere in the body, beyond the muscles themselves. In particular, they have suspected that muscle cells communicate biochemically with body fat.
But how muscle cells “talk” to fat, what they tell the fat and what role exercise has in sparking or sustaining that conversation have been mysteries — until, in the new study, scientists closely examined the operations of a substance called PGC1-alpha, which is produced in abundance in muscles during and after exercise.
“It seems clear that PGC1a stimulates many of the recognized health benefits of exercise,” said Bruce Spiegelman, the Stanley J. Korsmeyer professor of cell biology and medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, who led the study. Mice bred to produce preternaturally large amounts of PGC1a in their muscles are typically resistant to age-related obesity and diabetes, much as people who regularly exercise are.
January 11, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
“More evidence that drug companies are not telling you the truth about their products that are supposed to be safe and effective.” –KTRN
It has been revealed that scientists conducting clinical trials for pharmaceuticals and many other medical interventions oftentimes withhold vital data that may be threatening public health.
In a review published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), it was found that scientists frequently engage in fraudulent data withholding — the act of keeping inconvenient and unwanted evidence out of the end result.
The findings bring into question the validity of nearly all clinical drug trials, as previous reports have highlighted the hidden dangers of many common pharmaceutical medications. Tylenol, one of the most popular over-the-counter drugs for a number of common ailments has been the subject of one such study.
It was found that low doses of Tylenol can actually be even more deadly than massive overdose, leading to a number of preventable deaths and hospitalizations each year from consumers taking Tylenol to help overcome mild symptoms.
A History of Hidden Pharmaceutical Dangers
Another pharmaceutical drug recently under the spotlight is Aspirin. Shockingly, aspirin may be to blame for intestinal injuries and internal bleeding, according to recent peer-reviewed research. Perhaps the most shocking relationship of all, however, is the link between antibiotics and a host of diseases. Found to cause obesity, metabolic syndrome, mental illness, and gut imbalance, antibiotics actually deplete the beneficial bacteria in your gut known as probiotics and wreak havoc on your immune system.