Archive for the ‘Obesity’ Category

The Bazaar Truth

October 29, 2011

Harpers Bazaar Magazine published by Hearst Magazines is a leading women’s fashion magazine. Since being thin is fashionable and compatible with the clothing that they advertise they often feature articles under the heading Bazaar Diet. The article in the November 2011 issue titled “Eat your Way Thin” included many foods to avoid. Foods to eat included: “Organic free range chicken, turkey, and eggs and grass fed beef, bison and lamb. For quality protein avoid mass produced meats. Factory farmed animals are kept in close quarters and fed things they aren’t supposed to eat like corn, soy and hormones. This fattens them up quickly but also makes them sick so they are given antibiotics. When you eat the meat you ingest what they eat” Wendy Schmid the author of the article got most of it right except that the “free range label does not preclude confinement production. A better term is pasture raised for chicken as well as beef and other red meat. She apparently is not aware of recently published long term epidemiology studies by Harvard University and the World Cancer Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research which concludes that many cancers, heart disease, obesity and diabetes are caused by over-consumption of factory farmed beef, pork and processed meat. She is apparently unaware of record oxygen dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay in 2011 caused by nutrient contamination of all Rivers East of the Rockies mostly from corn production and Factory-Farm manure. It is encouraging to see a major publication begin to understand the truth about our failed Industrial Food Production System.

Dead Zones, Obesity,Cancer, Heart Disease, ONE SOLUTION

July 28, 2011

Near record oxygen dead zones are expected before the summer concludes in both the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Dead zones are primarily caused by over use of fertilizer to grow field corn, which is used to feed animals in CAFOs, to produce sugar used for among other things sugary drinks. Almost 3 times (uptake efficiency of corn is .37) more fertilizer is applied to corn in a normal rainfall year than the crop can use, much more in a drought year. Fertilizer is also used extensively to produce refined grains. Last week it was announced that every State in the U.S. had reached an obesity rate exceeding 25% of the population. Dead Zones and obesity are directly connected since the products that use most of the Nations fertilizer in the production process are the same as those causing obesity (see video of Harvard U. report). In addition the CAFOs which produce red meat use most of the corn. Beef, pork, and lamb overconsumption plus processed meat is causing our epidemics of cancer and heart disease. It is past time to enact recommendations made in 2000 by the Gulf Hypoxia Task Force (see Texas A&M update) and reduce fertilizer application rates Nationwide. This will not only go a long way toward restoring our water resources but will help restore the Nation’s health.

OBESITY-Poor Choices or Poor Food System

July 23, 2011

Last week’s announcement that obesity in the U.S. has increased and that now every State and The District of Columbia is officially classified as obese with an obesity rate over 25% begs the question WHY? Harvard University (see video) in announcing their long-term study of obesity referred to poor food choices. The foods cited were; corn oil impregnated chips and fries, hi-fructose corn syrup based sugary drinks, refined grains, corn fed meat and corn fed processed meat*. In addition World Cancer research studies and Harvard studies of heart disease and diabetes also implicate corn fed red meat in these diseases. Corn and other grains have been heavily subsidized by U.S. agricultural policy since the 1960’s. Corn based products and refined grains dominate supermarket shelves and fast food outlets. A scientist involved in monitoring our Choptank watershed recently said that water pollution was analogous to human nutrition and waste disposal. He is right. Short cuts in soil management and over fertilization of corn have destroyed half our Corn Belt topsoil and caused the nutrient contamination of almost every river and Estuary East of the Rockies including the Gulf and Chesapeake Bay. Are poor individual choices responsible for us being among the unhealthiest most natural resource impaired Country in the world or is it Government Farm policy and the resultant dominance of bad food on supermarket shelves, at the ballpark, and at the fast food outlets?

*Also refer to The Harvard and Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health websites accessible from our reference page for further information.

More On Harvard’s Obesity Study

July 9, 2011

The most surprising finding to the writer was that sugary drinks, refined grains, and meat were all equal negative factors to long- term weight gain. While it was expected that sugary drinks were problematic, I did not expect that hamburger rolls, white bread, pasta, pizza, and the hamburger patty itself were equal causes of obesity. The study did not differentiate between red meat and chicken. I contacted Walter Willett the head of the department of nutrition and epidemiology who said that definitely all meats and all vegetables were not equal and that they would publish a clarification paper shortly.

A local dentist has been involved in the study since 1986. He reports that the attention to detail is incredible. The School often calls him after he fills out his questionnaire every 4 years to clarify detail. This is impressive to him considering there are 121,000 participants.

Poor Choices Primary Obesity Cause

June 27, 2011

A study based on 20 years of monitoring eating habits, other lifestyle habits and the health change (all started healthy) of 121,000 professional men and women who  participated thru the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Supplementary Study, was published last week by Harvard University Department of Public Health. The conclusions cite poor food choices, not calories, not aging, not other popular myths as the primary cause of overweight and obesity. For example, the foods associated with the greatest weight gain included potato chips (for each one increased daily serving, (+1.69 lb) more weight gain every 4 years), other potatoes (1.28 lb), sugar-sweetened beverages (1.00 lb), unprocessed meats (0.95 lb), and processed meats (0.93 lb). Of note, several foods associated with less weight gain when their consumption was actually increased, including vegetables (−0.22 lb), whole grains (−0.37 lb), fruits (−0.49 lb), nuts (−0.57 lb) and yogurt (−0.82 lb). Other factors such as sedentary activities including watching TV and two little or too much sleep were also factors. While each factor was a small contributor to weight gain or loss the combinations added up to an average weight gain of one pound per year, which is about the National average. An excellent video presented by the co-author and professor of epidemiology and medicine is currently available. The full report is summarized on the School of Nutrition website.

Once again as with colon cancer and heart disease we see red meat and processed meat consumption, as significant factors. CAFO red meat production including corn feed production is the primary cause of massive soil loss and nutrient pollution in the Mississippi, and Pamlico Sound watersheds and is about half of Chesapeake Bay Watershed nutrient pollution.