Friday, March 23, 2007

Amazing authoritarianism from a food Fascist: Kids should only drink water!

PARENTS who give their children fruit juice as a healthy option could actually be making them fat, new research shows. Deakin University researchers found that children who drink more than two glasses of fruit juice - or cordial - a day are more likely to be overweight or obese.

Parents were asked by telephone about their children's intake of certain foods, including fruit juice. The study found intake of fruit juice and cordials was a bigger issue than soft drink for the almost-2200 Victorian four-to-12-year-olds whose parents were questioned. Children who drank more than 500ml of fruit juice a day were more likely to be overweight or obese than those who had none. And those who drank three or more glasses of soft drink or four glasses of fruit juice on a given day were more than twice as likely to be overweight or obese compared with children who did not regularly consume sweetened drinks. "Many more children were drinking the fruit juice and cordial than soft drinks," said nutritionist Andrea Sanigorski.

She said parents might be unaware that regular and large amounts of fruit drinks, including fruit juice, could be bad for their children's long-term health. "I think they think it's a healthier option than soft drink," Dr Sanigorski said. "The main message is that, day in and day out, what kids should be drinking is water; what they should be taking to school is water. "That should be their main drink. "Younger children, in particular, should also be having milk. "Sweetened beverages, whether it's soft drink or fruit juice or fruit drink, is a concentrated form of sugar that they shouldn't be having often or a lot of. "This work raises the awareness for parents that there is, in some cases, just as much sugar in fruit juice and fruit drinks . . . as in the soft drinks."

Dr Sanigorski said the study, published in the international journal Public Health Nutrition, also found few of the children were eating vegetables. "A large proportion of kids, about one in five, had no vegetables on the day that we asked about," she said. "Only 12 per cent had more than three - but the recommendation is for five serves a day." Dr Sanigorski said the study's findings were consistent with those for children in the US and the United Kingdom.


Another field-test of fluoridation

THE teeth of Australia's "fluoride generation" - children born after 1970, when fluoride was added to drinking water - are twice as healthy as their parents' teeth, a landmark dental report has found. But Queensland children are missing out because successive state governments and most councils have always refused to add fluoride to water. Three-quarters of the rest of mainland Australia have fluoridated water supplies, and Brisbane is the only state capital without it. Queensland Health provides subsidies to councils to add fluoride, but will not make it mandatory. Only 5 per cent of Queenslanders - those living in Townsville, Dalby, Mareeba, Moranbah and Bamaga - have fluoride added.

Studies show Queenslanders have 30 per cent more tooth decay than average in Australia. Researcher Professor Gary Slade said the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, which was released yesterday, proved fluoridation improved teeth for life. "These results provide the first evidence within the Australian population that drinking fluoridated water during childhood translates into significantly better dental health in adulthood."

The survey of more than 14,500 Australians found people born between 1970 and 1990 had an average of 4.5 teeth affected by decay. They had only half the decay levels of the previous generation. However people born before 1930 had an average of 24 teeth affected by decay.

The World Health Organisation has urged governments to legislate to ensure access to fluoride in all countries. But a spokesman for Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson said there were no plans to fluoridate the water supplies. "We just offer the subsidies to councils," he said. "It's a decision that we want the councils to make with support from their local communities."



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

Trans fats:

For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.