Monday, January 14, 2008

Now fruit juice is under attack

Juice makes you FAT! I have long been pointing out that banning fizzy drinks while approving juices is quite crazy and possibly fattening but it seems that the basic facts of the matter have now percolated through to the food freaks too. You can see where this leads, though: BAN EVERYTHING!

THE nation's love affair with fruit juice could be making us fat, experts say. Juice junkies who quench their thirst with super-size drinks might be shocked to know their daily refreshment has more sugar and calories than a can of Coke. As post-Christmas diets and the summer heat send Australians flocking to juice bars, nutritionists have warned that their health-kick efforts could make them put on weight. "Juice is a good, nutritious way to gain weight," dietitian Melanie McGrice said. "Most of us already have a high-kilojoule diet, so for people who are weight conscious they really don't want the extra kilojoules contained in juice. A piece of fruit and water is always going to be a far better choice."

An examination of popular fruit juice brands conducted by Fairfax Media reveals some contain more sugar and kilojoules than soft drinks, and up to half the average daily energy requirement. And compared with fresh fruit and vegetables, they contain less fibre and fewer nutrients. Even red cordial has fewer kilojoules than some fruit juices.

Ms McGrice said that many consumers who believed juices were a healthy alternative to soft drinks were unaware of the number of calories they contained, particularly in large-size concoctions offered by juice bars. For example, a 650-millilitre Boost Juice Tropical Crush has 1391 kilojoules, while a Nudie blueberry and blackberry crushie has 237 kilojoules per 100 millilitres. Coles's Farmland apple juice contains 180 kilojoules per 100 millilitres - the same as Coke.

Dietitians Association of Australia spokesman Alan Barclay said that, although most juice contained nutritious vitamins and minerals, for most people the health benefits were outweighed by the kilojoule content. "Juice will only make you put on weight, so any health benefit will be counteracted by extra kilos," he said.

Catherine Saxelby, author of Nutrition For Life, said the problem with juice was that it contained all the fruit sugar, or fructose, and kilojoules of fruit without the fibre, meaning it was all too easy to overconsume. A 650-millilitre cup of apple juice, she said, contained the kilojoules of four apples but took only a fraction of the time to consume. She called on juice bars to stop offering big sizes at only slightly higher prices and to include a smaller-size alternative. "Those big size portions are a bargain people can't refuse," she said.

"Fibre is the thing that fills you up and stops you overeating, but the juicing process removes that. I would like to see drinks produced in 200-millilitre sizes, not 650 millilitres, which would fit into our diets a lot better. "The bottom line is that half a cup a day, or 125 millilitres, of juice is the maximum we should drink."

Boost Juice marketing manager Jessica Cleeve said the chain had recently sold 250-millilitre smoothies as part of a promotion and was considering making them a permanent option. "If customers haven't been active, it requires a more measured intake of all food and beverages, including juice. If they have been active, then go for it - if not, go for a smaller size. It's all about balance." Nudie marketing manager Sally Draycott said its drinks were meant to be drunk in 250-millilitre serves. "Our drinks are very filling so you can't really overindulge in them - you have to be pretty gluttonous," she said.

A Deakin University survey last year found that juice and other fruit drinks, including cordial, were a bigger problem than soft drinks in childhood obesity.


IVF mothers conceiving after childbirth

It's almost certainly a relaxation effect. The same thing happens after adoption

IT'S a mystifying phenomenon - IVF mothers conceiving spontaneously months after childbirth - and experts say it may be on the rise. Women who have resorted to IVF after years of failure are regularly falling pregnant naturally soon after baby No. 1. According to some doctors, the number of IVF parents conceiving naturally second time around may be growing. "Twenty-five per cent of women who've been through IVF will conceive within the next two years," said IVF Australia director Prof Michael Chapman. "It's probably increasing, and that's because IVF is being used more and more to treat unexplained infertility."

The IVF couples conceiving naturally second time around are not completely infertile, but rather have reduced fertility. So they may have fallen pregnant naturally the first time if they had kept trying. Other experts say the rise in the phenomenon may simply be because more people are using IVF as it becomes more affordable.

Some experts believe the secret to falling pregnant naturally after IVF lies in a relaxed state of mind. "I have a personal belief that part of it is related to relaxation," Prof Chapman said. "You've got your baby, and you're not trying any more. That's one factor, and maybe the body does know how to get pregnant."

Spotswood bookkeeper Penny Stevens tried for 18 months to conceive naturally before having IVF baby Jack 14 months ago. So she was stunned to discover only months after Jack's birth she was pregnant naturally. Ms Stevens, 39, is convinced the stress of desperately wanting a baby, combined with work stress, was the reason she failed first time, and the absence of that stress was why she succeeded for baby No. 2. "You think you're doing the right thing - you go to uni, work really hard, you get a beautiful house. It wasn't until I got to 34 or 35 I thought, 'OK, I'll have babies now'," said Ms Stevens, who is due in weeks. "And suddenly I couldn't. It frightened the living daylights out of me. It was my worst fear to not have a baby. "This time there was no stress, no pressure, because I had Jack. " I was amazed that we were pregnant naturally because I just had it in my head that we wouldn't."

Prof Chapman recently advised the mother of two IVF babies to use contraception if she didn't want another baby. Eleven weeks later she was pregnant. Monash IVF national medical director Gab Kovacs treated one woman who tried for seven years to conceive naturally before having an IVF baby. Prof Kovacs said the woman tried naturally for two more years before having a second IVF baby, then about six months later conceived a third naturally. Prof Kovacs believes the phenomenon of IVF mums conceiving naturally for subsequent pregnancies comes down to pure chance. "The longer you try, the greater the chance," he said.



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].

9). And how odd it is that we never hear of the huge American study which showed that women who eat lots of veggies have an INCREASED risk of stomach cancer? So the official recommendation to eat five lots of veggies every day might just be creating lots of cancer for the future! It's as plausible (i.e. not very) as all the other dietary "wisdom" we read about fat etc.

10). And will "this generation of Western children be the first in history to lead shorter lives than their parents did"? This is another anti-fat scare that emanates from a much-cited editorial in a prominent medical journal that said so. Yet this editorial offered no statistical basis for its opinion -- an opinion that flies directly in the face of the available evidence.

Even statistical correlations far stronger than anything found in medical research may disappear if more data is used. A remarkable example from Sociology:
"The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre's yield of cotton. He calculated the correlation coefficient between the two series at -0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic conditions and lynchings in Raper's data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his analysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic conditions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added."
So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. But in medical research, data selectivity and the "overlooking" of discordant research findings is epidemic.

"What we should be doing is monitoring children from birth so we can detect any deviations from the norm at an early stage and action can be taken". Who said that? Joe Stalin? Adolf Hitler? Orwell's "Big Brother"? The Spanish Inquisition? Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde? None of those. It was Dr Colin Waine, chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum. What a fine fellow!


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