March 4th, 2013 - Jill Ettinger
The prevalence of diabetes—now at epidemic levels in the U.S.—shows a strong correlation to sugar intake, more so than whether or not a person is obese, according to new research published in the journal PLoS One.
Read More:Sorry, Sweet Tooth: Sugar Intake, Not Body Weight, Biggest Diabetes Risk
September 8th, 2012 - Jill Ettinger
Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are among a group of U.S. food companies that have filed a lawsuit against a sugar industry trade group over what they claim are ‘unfair’ statements made about high fructose corn syrup.
Read More:Corn Syrup Manufacturers Sue Sugar Industry Over ‘Unfair’ Statements
February 9th, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Important nutrition facts may soon appear on the front of food labels, hopes the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, who this week announced a new labeling system called “Nutrition Keys” to make important health data that much more accessible.
Nutrition Keys, which is voluntary, asks food producers to display calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar content on the front of food packages; currently nutrition facts appear on the back of most food products.
Read More:Nutrition Facts Coming to the Front of Food Labels
November 1st, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
High-calorie beverages that have been disallowed by federal guidelines are still available in most U.S. elementary schools, according to a study that will appear in an upcoming issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a nationally representative survey to examine the availability of high-calorie and sugar-sweetened beverages for sale in elementary schools during lunchtime, in vending machines and snack bars, and in school stores. They also examined the types of milk available in school cafeterias: low-fat, whole-fat and flavored milks (right).
While 16.1% of students could purchase only those beverages recommended by Institute of Medicine guidelines during the 2008–2009 school year, 44.7% could purchase beverages that the guidelines frown upon. This pattern applied to both public and private school.
Read More:High-Calorie Beverages Still Widely Available in U.S. Elementary Schools
July 6th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
A new study reveals that children were exposed to fewer TV ads for sweets and beverages in 2007, but more fast food ads (as compared to 2003).
Past studies have demonstrated that TV advertising influences the short-term eating habits of children ages 2 to 11, and some research shows ads can also influence daily dietary intake. That’s why major U.S. food companies adopted the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in 2006, which held that 50% of child-targeted advertising would promote healthier products or good nutrition/healthful lifestyles.
But there was one significant problem: Each company had its own definition of “healthier,” according to Lisa M. Powell, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, whose research will appear in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Here’s what the researchers found:
- Between 2003 and 2007, daily average exposure to televised food ads decreased by 13.7% among children ages 2 to 5 and by 3.7% among children ages 6 to 11, but exposure increased by 3.7% among teens ages 12 to 17.
- Ads for sweets aired less often, with a 41% decrease for 2- to 5-year-olds, a 29.3% decrease for 6- to 11-year-olds and a 12.1% decrease for 12- to 17-year-olds.
- Beverage ads decreased by 27% to 30% across the three age groups, with substantial cuts in ads for sugar-sweetened beverages.
- But exposure to fast food ads increased by 4.7% for children 2 to 5, by 12.2% for children 6 to 11 and by 20.4% for teens 12 to 17.
Dr. Powell and her colleagues chalk up the last statistic to the power of branding. They also found a racial gap in advertising, with African-American children viewing 1.4 to 1.6 times as many food ads per day.
The researchers recommend continued monitoring of ads targeted toward children, as well as nutritional assessments for advertised products.
Read More:Kids See Fewer Sweets/Beverages Ads, But More Fast Food Ads
September 9th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Between 2003 and 2006, almost 40% of Mexican-American adolescents (12 to 19) were overweight or likely to become so, according to researchers at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.
They found that teens who reduced their daily sugar intake by 47 grams (equal to one can of soda), while increasing their daily fiber intake by 5 grams (equal to one-half cup of beans), lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Emily Ventura, MPH, and her colleagues in the Department of Preventive Medicine published their results in the April edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Teens who decreased their sugar intake secreted 33% less insulin, while those who increased their fiber intake lost 10% of fat around vital organs. Insulin resistance and obesity are two major risk factors for diabetes.
“Our results suggest that intensive interventions may not be necessary to achieve modifications in sugar and fiber intake,” the authors write. “Accordingly, nutritional guidance given in the primary-care or community setting may be sufficient to promote the suggested dietary changes in some individuals. In addition, policies that promote reduced intake of added sugar and increased intake of fiber could be effective public-health strategies for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in this high-risk population.”
For Your Organic Bookshelf: “I’m, Like, So Fat!”: Helping Your Teen Make Healthy Choices About Eating and Exercise in a Weight-Obsessed World
Read More:More Beans, Less Sugar