Friday, April 30, 2010

CA: County wants to stop kids getting toys

What nasty minds they have! This all hinges on the unproven claim that McDonald's food is unhealthy. And the major assumptions underlying that claim -- that vegetables and a low fat diet are good for you -- have in fact been shown by recent research to be false

County supervisors in California have proposed that toys included in fast-food restaurant meals for kids be banned, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials in Santa Clara are convinced that luring kids into eating foods with high sugar, sodium and fat by using toys will make them overweight and cause long term health problems.

This proposal is believed to the first of this type, and would ban the inclusion of a toy in any kids meal with more than 485 calories, 600 mg of salt, or high amounts of sugar or fat. These guidelines would cause all McDonald’s happy meals—even those with apple sticks instead of French fries—to be served without a toy.

Supporters of the ban argue that it will force restaurants to offer nutritious foods to kids. Others have said this is another case of the government getting too involved in parenting decisions.


Soft drink may make you old -- if you are a mouse

Drink champagne instead? Mouse studies often do not generalize to humans

A LIKING for fizzy drinks could make you old before your time, scientists have warned. Research shows that phosphate, which gives many soft drinks their tangy taste, can accelerate ageing.

The mineral, which is also added to processed meats, cakes and breads, was found to make the skin and muscles wither and could also damage the heart and kidneys.

Although the experiments were carried out on mice, the Harvard University researchers believe the results show the potential consequences of high doses of the mineral.

Gerald Weissmann, of research journal FASEB, which published the results, said: "Soda is the caffeine-delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger. "This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the ageing process, so don't tip it."

The study is not the first to raise concerns about carbonated colas, which have been linked to brittle bones, pancreatic cancer, muscle weakness and paralysis. Two cans a week are thought to raise the risk.

In the latest study, Dr M. Shawkat Razzaque, of Harvard's dentistry school, looked at the effects of phosphate on three sets of mice. The first group was genetically engineered to have a gene called klotho, leading to higher than normal phosphate levels. They lived eight to 15 weeks, suffering a range of problems linked to premature ageing.

The second group lacked klotho, leading to phosphate levels closer to normal. They lived for 20 weeks. The third group was bred to be like the second group, but fed a high-phosphate diet. All died by 15 weeks, like those in the first group. This, the scientists suggest, indicated the phosphate diet had toxic effects.

They warned the mineral could age skin and muscles and might trigger or exacerbate kidney and heart problems. "Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity. Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life," the researchers said.

A US study this year found two or more soft drinks a week could almost double the chances of pancreatic cancer.


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