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Archive for the ‘Our Government In Action’ Category

I recently picked up a book titled ” The China Study”, which was published in 2006.  After having read it from cover to cover, I was flabbergasted – to say the least – and hope anyone who reads this post will read it as well. It’s an eye opener.

During the past two to three decades, we have acquired substantial evidence that most chronic diseases in America can be partially attributed to bad nutrition. Expert government panels have said it, the surgeon general has said it and academic scientists have said it. More people die because of the way they eat than by tobacco use, accidents or any other lifestyle or environmental factor. We know that the incidence of obesity and diabetes is skyrocketing and that the Americas’ health is slipping away, and we know what is to blame: diet. So shouldn’t the government be leading us to better nutrition? There is nothing better the government could do that would prevent more pain and suffering in the country than telling Americans unequivocally to east least animal products, less highly-refined plant products and more whole, plant-based foods. It is a message soundly based on the breadth and depth of scientific evidence, and the government could make this clear, as it did wit cigarettes. Cigarettes kill, and so do these bad foods. But instead of doing this, the government is saying that animal products, dairy and meat, refined sugar and fat in your diet are good for you.

The government is turning a blind eye to the evidence as well as to the millions of Americans who suffer from nutrition-related illness. The covenant of trust between the U.S. government and the American citizen has been broken. The Untied States government is not only failing to put out our fires, it is actively fanning the flames.

Dietary Ranges: The Latest Assault

The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), as part of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, has the responsibility every five years or so to review and update the recommended consumption of individual nutrients. The FNB has been making nutrient recommendations since 1943 when it was established a plan for the U.S. Armed Forces wherein it recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for each individual nutrient.

In the most recent FNB report, published in 2002, nutrient recommendations are presented as rangers instead of single numbers, as was the practice until 2002. For good health, we are now advised to consume 45% to 65% of our calories as carbohydrates. There are ranges for fat and protein as well.

A few quotes from the news release announcing this massive 900+ page report say it all. Here is the first sentence in the news release.

To meet the body’s daily energy and nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get should get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat and 10% to 35% from protein …

Further on, we find:

… added sugars should comprise no more that the 25% of total calories consumed … added sugars are those incorporated into foods and beverages during production and major sources include candy, soft drinks, fruit drinks, pastries and other sweets.

Let’s take a closer look. What are these recommendations really saying? Remember, the news release starts off by stating the report’s objective of  “minimizing the risk for chronic disease.” This report says that we can consume a diet contaning up to 35% of calories as fat; this is up from the 30% limit of previous reports. It also recommends that we can consume up to 35% of calories as protein; this number is far higher that the suggestion of any other responsible authority.

The last recommendations puts the frosting on the cake, so to speak. We can consume up to 25% of calories as added sugars. Remember, sugars are the most refined type of carbohydrates. In effect, although the report advises that we need a minimum of 45% calories as carbohydrates, more than half of this amount (i.e., 25%) can be the sugars present in candies, soft drinks and pastries. The critical assumption of this report is this:  the American diet is not only the best there is, , but you should now feel free to eat an even richer diet and still be confident that you are “minimizing risk for chronic disease.” Forget any words of caution you may find in this report – with such a range of possibilites, virtually any diet can be advocated as minimizing disease risk.

You may have trouble getting your mind around what these figures mean in everyday terms, so I have prepared the following menu plan that supplies nutrients in accordance with these guidelines.

Chart 16.1 – Sample Menu That Fits Into The Acceptable Nutrient Ranges

Meal                                                                                                    Foods

Breakfast                                                                                            1 cup Froot Loops

                                                                                                               1 cup skim milk

                                                                                                               1 package M&M milk chocolate candies

                                                                                                               Fiber and vitamin supplements

Lunch                                                                                                  Grilled cheddar cheeseburger

Dinner                                                                                                 3 slices pepperoni pizza, 1-160z. soda

                                                                                                                1 serving Archway sugar cookies

Chart 16.2 – Nutrient Profile Of Sample Menu And Report Recommedations

Nutrient                                                                          Sample Menu Content                                              Recommended

Total Calories                                                                          1800                                                                    Varies by height/weight

Protein (% of total calories)                                               18%                                                                               10-35%

Fat (% of total calories)                                                        31%                                                                               20-35%

Carbohydrates (% of total calories)                                 51%                                                                              45-65%

Sugars in Sweets, or Added Sugars                                  23%                                                                               Up to 25%                                     (% of total calories)

I’m not kidding – This disastrous menu plan fits the recommendations of the report and is supposedly consistent with “minimizing chronic disease.”

What’s amazing is that I could put together a variety of menus, all drenched in animal foods and added sugars, that conform to the recommended daily allowances. At this point in the book, I don’t need to you that when we eat a diet like this day in and day out, we will be not just marching , but sprinting into the arms of chronic disease. In sad fact, this is what a large portion o f our population already does.

Protein

Perhaps the most shocking figure is the upper limit on protein intake. Relative to total calorie intake, only 5-6% dietary protein is required to replace the protein regularly excreted by the the body (as amino acids). About 9-10% protein, however, is the amount that has been recommended for the past 50 years to be assured that most people at least get their 5-6% “requirement.”  This 9-10% recommendation is equivalent to the well-known recommended daily allowance, or RDA.

Almost all Americans exceed this 9-105 recommendation; we consume protein within the range of about 11-21%, within an average of about 15-16%. The relatively few people consuming more than 21% protein mostly are those who “pump iron,” recently joined by those on high-protein diets.

It is extremely puzzling that these new government-sponsored 2002 FNB recommendation now say that we should be able to consume protein up to the extraordinary level of 35% as means of minimizing chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. This is an unbelievable travesty, considering the scientific evidence. The evidence presented in this book shows that increasing dietary protein within the range of about 10-20% is associated with a broad array of health problems, especially when most of the protein is from animal sources.

Furthermore, the FNB panel had the audacity to say that this 10-35% recommendation range is the same as previous reports. Their press release clearly states, “protein intake recommendations are the same as previous reports.” I know of no report that has even remotely suggested a level as high as this.

When I initially saw this protein recommendation, I honestly though that it was a printing error. I know several of the people on the panel who wrote this report and decided to give them a ring. The first panel member, a long-time acquaintance, said this was the first time he had even heard about the 35% protein limit! He suggested that this protein recommendation might have been drafted in the last days of preparing the report. He also told me that there was little discussion of the evidence on protein, for or against a high consumption level, although he recollected there being some pro-Atkins sympathy on the committee. He had not worked in the protein area, so he did not know the literature. In any event, this important recommendation slipped through the panel without much notice and made the first sentence of the FNB release!

The second panel member, a long-time friend and colleague, was a subcommittee chair during the latter part of the panel’s existence. He is not a nutritional scientist and also was surprised to hear my concerns about the upper limit for protein. He did not recall much discussion on the topic either. When I reminded him of some of the evidence linking high-animal protein diets to chronic disease, he initially was a little defensive. But with a little mor persistence on my part about the evidence, he finally said, “Colin, you know that I really don’t know anything about nutrition.” How, the, was he a member – let alone the char – of this important subcommittee? And it gets worse. The chair of the standing committee on the evaluation of these recommendations left the panel shortly before its completion for a senior executive position in a very large food company – a company that will salivate over these new recommendations.

All of the above comes The China Study – except for my brief introduction.

Thank the author – T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II – for all of their work – and I hope that you get this book and read it word by word.

Wishing all of you the best of health.

 

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For some time now, when I wake up in the morning and listen/read the news, I wonder what form of stupidity, thoughtlessness, laissez-faire attitude has again invaded the White House and the Congress.

Every time I think the people, whom we’ve elected to serve our country, can’t act worse today than they did before – I’m amazed that they’ve, again, have gone and acted without any sense, forethought, concern for our country.

Janet Napolitano has decided that we shouldn’t close our borders. She said “”We’re already doing passive surveillance at the border,” Napolitano said. “You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States.”

Well, yes, there are some people that have the flu in America – very few.  And those very few are receiving treatment. There might be a few more, and we can treat them as well.  But it’s Janet’s thoughts that since we have cases of the flu here that we should let those who may or may not have the flu cross our borders. What is she thinking – well, she’s not thinking.

She also said “We are simply in preparation mode,” Napolitano said. “We do not yet know how widespread this flu will be within the United States.”  Don’t you think that the cases of flu would rise by allowing anyone and everybody to enter the USA?

Napolitano also said she had reached out to the governors of the states in which cases of swine flu have surfaced, and said these states and the border states would have priority in accessing the Tamiflu stockpile. “Full deployment” of the stockpile, she said, was expected by May 3.

Oh, yes, let’s use Tamiflu. Here’s the link for the side effects.

And here’s the kicker – Swine flu warnings had been posted at airport gates and fliers on the disease were being distributed at land ports, she said, and 19 airports have quarantine available that would cover about 85 percent of air travelers. “We haven’t needed to activate that,” she said.

We haven’t need to activate that?  Is she nuts?

Carrying on, WHO says, it is not recommending travel restrictions and border closures to fight swine flu, a spokesman said on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

“Border controls don’t work. Screening doesn’t work,” Gregory Hartl told a news conference, describing the economically-damaging travel bans as basically pointless in public health terms.

Then in another press release, issued today,  “The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert for the new flu strain to phase 4, indicating a significantly increased risk of a global outbreak of a serious disease.”

They went on to report, “A new virus has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and world health experts moved closer on Monday to declaring it the first flu pandemic in 40 years as more people were infected in the United States and Europe.”

What?????

*****

And what was Obama thinking by allowing  a lookalike Air Force One fly over New York City, buzzing the Statue of Liberty, and scaring the bejesus out of the citizens of New York City, just for a photo op?  Again, another elected official acting like an idiot.  Wouldn’t you think the ‘leader’ of our country know what’s going on in his own country?

The NYPD and the city were notified of the planned flight, but did not share that information with Mayor Bloomberg and other New Yorkers, many of whom said they were terrified. WTF?

Mayor Bloomberg was pissed!

Hours after the incident, a furious Bloomberg called the photo-op “insensitive.”

“First thing is I’m annoyed – furious is a better word – that I wasn’t told,” he said. “Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice way to phrase.”

“Had I known about it I would have called them right away and asked them not to,” he said. “The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op – with the taxpayers’ money.”

“With the taxpayer’s money!” – That’s his stimulus package at work for you.

*****

Here we go again.

Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup, Inc., which have each received $45 billion in government bailout funds, have been told by regulators that “stress test” results show they may need to raise additional capital, as reported by the Wall Street Journal today. The WSJ story continued on –

As executives of the nation’s largest banks review their stress-test results, even the top performers are lobbying regulators to raise their scores before the numbers are finalized Friday.

Fed officials told reporters Friday, April 24th, that all 19 banks that took its “stress tests” will be required to keep an extra buffer of capital reserves beyond what is required now in case losses continue to mount. That would mean some banks will likely have to raise additional cash. But the Fed stressed in a statement that a bank’s need for more capital reserves to meet the requirements should not be considered a measure of the “current solvency or viability of the firm.”

Federal Reserve officials held top-secret meetings with bank executives last week to give them preliminary findings of how each bank would fare if the recession got much worse. The government plans to announce the results of the tests May 4, and banks will have the opportunity to appeal the findings.

By law, the banks cannot publicize the results without the government’s permission.

Additional capital?  Stress Tests? Top-Secret Meetings? Appeals? Results released only by the governments say so?

I smell a rat. In fact, a whole bunch of them.

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