There may have finally been a breakthrough. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have all announced that they plan to work to reduce the number of calories Americans get from beverages by 20 percent in the next decade.
The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Soda makers are facing increasing amounts of pressure to do something as sugary drinks continue to contribute to rising obesity rates.
Though obesity rates are still going up, there’s no denying that the idea of being healthier is appealing to more and more people. The last several years have seen customers moving away from consuming soda.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that marijuana has been legalized in two states, Colorado and Washington. People have been jumping out of the woodwork to either praise or condemn the decision.
A common argument against the legalization of marijuana is the perceived danger of the plant. Many suggest its use is more dangerous than alcohol consumption. President Obama turned heads this week we he announced he disagreed with that view.
“As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” he told New Yorker magazine. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
With the new year, New York City bid farewell to Mayor Mike Bloomberg after a twelve-year term. Love him or hate him, his achievements in public health were stunning. While others only talked, he managed to act on smoking, obesity, and hypertension—and he placed the burden of fixing them on the industries that profited at the cost of the public’s health.
The Mayor showed that public health is a priority for local government, not just for the federal government to create health policies from on high. Bloomberg used New York City as a laboratory for public health innovation, spotlighting issues and testing solutions on a relatively small scale.
Here’s a reminder of Mayor Bloomberg’s most significant public health campaigns:
By Team Best Life
Why are so many Americans—69.2 percent to be exact—overweight or obese? The answer seems obvious: We’re taking in more calories than we expend. But why is that? Check out these seven common weight gain triggers.
We slurp down sugary drinks.
This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea and other beverages that cost about 140 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. They are a major source of added sugar in our diet. Guzzle just one can daily on top of your actual calorie needs and you could gain 15 pounds a year. A Canadian study that tracked toddlers found that those who drank more sugary beverages were 2.5 times more likely to be overweight compared to those who didn’t.
We consume too little fiber.
This comes from not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aside from making you feel fuller on fewer calories (and thus, satisfying appetite), fiber may also promote a slimming gut flora, the population of trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut that are thought to influence everything from immunity to anxiety to obesity risk. (more…)
Coca-Cola has been named the “wellness” sponsor for BlogHer 2021, an annual conference that celebrates the best in health, family, entertainment, sex, DIY, and political blogging by and for women. Coca-Cola will be hosting their Steps to Wellness challenge and campaign at this weekend’s conference, but not without a bit of backlash first. Even though Coke will be handing out pedometers to all BlogHer attendees (speaking of pedometers, it takes 40 minutes of walking to burn off the calories in a can of Coke), their presence under auspices of being a health brand is rubbing the wellness community the wrong way.
Leah Segedie, a health blogger and founder of Mamavation, is calling out BlogHer, which did not return our request for comment, for choosing the soft drink brand as the wellness sponsor. Tonight, she is hosting a Twitter party to spread the word.
“I don’t know why they chose to accept Coke as a sponsor, but this marketing ploy is consistent with what they’ve been doing all year with other conferences, commercials, and outlets,” said Leah. She cited Coke’s falling market share and lawsuits (this week it’s VitaminWater for deceptive labeling) as the main motivation to “make people feel better about drinking their product again.”
A 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola is a 140 calorie and 39.9 gram blast of high fructose corn syrup. Coca-Cola is not a healthy beverage, and meanwhile more than one-third of Americans are obese because they drink too much of the stuff. Additionally, the soda contains artificial dyes, GMOs, and has traces of BPA from the aluminum can, a known obesogen. High fructose corn syrup can lead to diabetes and diet soda has been proven to increase your waist size, not to mention a bevy of other health-related side effects from drinking the caramel colored syrup. (more…)
By Team Best Life
Think about it: Your choice of beverages 100 years ago was pretty much limited to milk, water, coffee and tea. The same goes for the span of human history prior to that. Sugary drinks are a 20th-century phenomenon, and the very modern toll they take on our bodies encompasses more than just obesity.
Here are a few facts to help keep the sugar you drink in check.
Sugar’s effects are multifaceted. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and disorders that affect our metabolism can all be attributed to over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB).
It starts early. The SSBs and fruit juice children consume are responsible for up to 15 percent of their daily caloric intake. (more…)
Abortion, being the divisive and highly emotional issue that it is, unfortunately makes people jump quickly to conclusions, and in some cases snap decisions. A perfect example of how emotions make us leap before we look occurred when in early 2021, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey hastily proposed a bill that would ban food “which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients.”
Shortey decided to take action after he reportedly heard news through the pro life group Children of God for Life that Pepsi and others were partnering with a company called Synomyx that was using stem cells in researching taste substitutes for sugar. The Internet, and it appears the senator from Oklahoma, got caught up in this to the point where people started believing that fetal tissue was actually ending up in the foods we eat.
While Shortey played damage control by saying he didn’t think human fetuses were in our foods, it’s hard to dispute what he hurriedly tried to pass into law.
Stem Cells for Taste Testing?
Senomyx has isolated receptors on cells that detect taste, then added them to HEK293 cells, the stem cell line in question. The company can then test countless additives to see which get the desired taste response much more quickly and efficiently than using people in studies. (more…)
In this infographic, developed by Term Life Insurance, you’ll see a few of the many health issues that soda plays a large role in. Heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, reproductive issues…the list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve heard these warnings before, but have you really thought about what that can of Coke is doing to your insides? By consuming soda on a regular basis you’re basically asking to be miserable and sick. (more…)
There’s a new Diet Pepsi in several cities around the U.S., which now lists a new ingredient on the cans and bottles. It’s called acesulfame potassium, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K.
This quiet change is apparently not going to change the taste of the soda, but is meant to add shelf life by allowing the “fresh” taste and flavor to last longer. The project’s goal is to give the old/current base sweetener (aspartame) a jump kick because of its sensitivity to heat and susceptibility to breaking down. Ace K has proven to be less sensitive to heat.
So what exactly is Ace K? Acesulfame potassium is another form of an artificial sweetener that is calorie free and about 200 times as sweet as everyday table sugar. Due to its slightly bitter aftertaste, it is often mixed with other artificial sweeteners (in this case it was mixed with Diet Pepsi’s aspartame). It’s often found in many baked goods, processed foods and other soft drinks similar to Diet Pepsi.
“Aspartame breaks down during storage especially when the temperature is high (that’s why you can’t bake with it) and so this is a good move on Pepsi’s part,” said our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD. “The move has nothing to do with the safety of aspartame, which has been found to be safe in scientific studies time and again.”
That might be one positive factor, but is it enough to make it OK to be consuming the other harmful ingredients listed on the back? (more…)
UPDATE 1/29/13: After more than 200,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, PepsiCo has announced it will remove the flame retardant it currently uses in Gatorade. However, the company doesn’t not plan to issue a recall on products in market that still contain the BVO, or Brominated Vegetable Oil.
About a month ago, a 15-year-old teenager named Sarah Kavanagh was looking forward to the Gatorade she had stored in her fridge for after her long afternoon of playing outdoors in the humid heat in Hattiesburg, Miss.
With Sarah being the dedicated vegetarian that she is, out of habit she checked the ingredient list on the drink before popping open the top. While making sure none of the ingredients were made from any type of animal, she noticed it contained brominated vegetable oil. Though it had the word vegetable in it, Sarah still felt like investigating further.
“I knew it probably wasn’t from an animal because it had the word vegetable in the name, but I still wanted to know what it was so I Googled it,” said Sarah. “A page popped up with a long list of possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. I didn’t expect that.”
Needless to say, Sarah threw the drink away without a sip or hesitation. She then began an online petition on Change.org where she now has nearly 200,000 signatures. Sarah’s hoping that she can get enough supporters that will persuade Gatorade’s maker, PepsiCo, to make some changes to the recipe. (more…)