[FoRK] Warning Labels on Fat Kids..

Justin Mason jm
Thu Jul 14 15:43:29 PDT 2005

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I agree HFCS is nasty stuff -- when I moved to the US, I spent about 3
months feeling ill every time I drank a bottle of soda.  I can only think
it'd be the HFCS.   (There were one or two brands that didn't contain it,
and they went down fine.)    I've gone native since then, though ;)

(BTW the sans-HFCS sodas were *some* of the Pompelmo sodas Trader Joe's
carries -- some did contain it, but some do not.)

However, in my opinion the lack of exercise is a factor, too -- a recent
study of LA residents found that no less than 40% said they got no more
than 10 minutes of continuous physical activity per week. [1]  Many people
elsewhere still walk or cycle daily, and that's a big improvement on
driving in terms of burning off some of the lard.

[1]: http://www.news-medical.net/?id=3257

I can't talk, though -- since moving here, I've been working from home.
Having no commute at all to burn fat with is no good for my waistline :(

- --j.

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) writes:
> Some folks wanna put warning labels on Soft Drinks.
> I think that, just to be sure, the US should install warning labels  
> on all fingers indicating that putting them in proximity to one's  
> mouth while holding food could result in dire obesity.  But does  
> anyone really think that Warning Labels are meaningful anymore, after  
> decades of useless labels on CDs, Cigarettes, and Ladders?
> In the longer term I think that history will illustrate that the real  
> problem isn't simply, "sugar" (which is a generic term referencing  
> dozens of different additives) but instead High Fructose Corn Syrup,  
> or what I call "engineered sugar".  HFCS was born in the 1970s, in  
> part to address two things:  the high cost of sugar, due to America's  
> ongoing embargo of Cuba (which has traditionally ranked highly within  
> the top five exporters of sugar); and the dramatic overproduction of  
> corn, due to America's moronic ongoing subsidy of its growth by  
> farmers (which has also resulted in the wholly unnecessary emergence  
> of Ethanol, BioDiesel, and lots of other stupid Corn-Into-Gold  
> technologies).
> High Fructose Corn Syrup is not natural.  Its existence is the result  
> of a mad chemist's array of processes, fermentations, chain  
> reactions, and engineering.  As such it's natural to assume that we  
> organisms might have a really hard time ingesting, processing, and  
> excreting it safely.  Consumed in high enough quantities (which most  
> of us do today) it has been revealed to effectively turn our bodies  
> into mush.
> What's circumstantially different between the relatively svelte  
> peoples of Europe and the statistically obese heifers of North  
> America is the quality of the sugars we intake.  Europeans consume  
> lots of sucrose (from beet and cane) and us Americans eat mostly  
> biochemically-engineered sugars.  We're fat.  They ain't.   
> Confectioners can't even use the term "chocolate" in the EU unless  
> their product uses real sugars, which is one reason why Mars bars in  
> the UK kick ass on North American ones.
> So go ahead and label Soda cans all you want, but it's pure,  
> unmitigated folly and will have no appreciable effect on the number  
> of forklift cases faced by paramedics in the future.
> You really wanna cope with the obesity problem?
>      -    Educate children (and adults) in schools on how to eat  
> better in SIMPLE terms
>      -    Stop subsidizing the growth of corn and other crops we  
> don't need
>      -    Stop fucking with our food supply unless you're going to  
> test thoroughly the effects
>      -    Disincentivize the sale and distribution of junk food with  
> extra taxes, etc.
>      -    Close forever the revolving door between the FDA and Monsanto
> .. of course we won't do that, because the Fat Kids can't afford  
> expensive Washington/Ottawa lobbyists as can Monsanto, Yum! Foods,  
> and McDonald's.  Instead, the problem will just continue to amplify  
> until -- like the hormonally-unbalanced, permanently ill beef cattle  
> of the North American livestock industry -- many of the people of our  
> countries will be managed in a continuous state of illness and sloth,  
> taxing our social services to the maximum while displacing the truly  
> sick.  All of this at no expense and to the massive profitability of  
> a dwindling (through consolidation) number of megacorporations  
> (including, of course, health providers who triage and manage the  
> lingering deaths of the populace) in the BioTechnology, Food, and  
> Health Care industries.
> High Fructose Corn Syrup is a poison by many names (dextrose, glucose- 
> fructose, etc.), and is so pervasive in North American foods that  
> it's almost impossible to avoid consuming it.  My Snapple that  
> contains the "Best Stuff On Earth!" lists glucose-fructose second in  
> quantity only to water on the label.  Just about the only package on  
> my desk today that doesn't contain any HFCS is my bottle of Evian.
> Some info:
>      http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/highfructose.html
>      http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8003-2003Mar10? 
> language=printer
>      http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/jun99/927695713.Ch.r.html
> A short term answer:  go organic.
> But what happens to society when only rich people can afford to eat a  
> healthy diet, free from chemicals and engineered foods?
> -Ian.
> ----
> http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/14/earlyshow/health/ 
> main709023.shtml
> Warning Labels On Soda?
> NEW YORK, July 14, 2005
> Soft drinks that are packed with sugar could get warning labels just  
> like cigarettes and alcohol if an advocacy group gets its way.
> This is no joke, Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science  
> in the Public Interest (CSPI), tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry  
> Smith.
> "Absolutely serious," he says. "Americans are drowning in soda pop -  
> teenagers, in particular. The average teenage boy is consuming two  
> cans of soda pop a day. The industry spends over $500 million each  
> year promoting the sale of these worthless products. The U.S.  
> government's dietary guidelines for Americans have urged people to  
> consume less sweetened beverages. But the government doesn't do  
> anything."
> So Jacobson has filed a petition with the Food and Drug  
> Administration, requesting that warning labels be put on soft drinks  
> with more than 13 grams of refined sugar for each 12 ounces.
> Although the calorie count is already on the can, Jacobson says much  
> more needs to be done to warn consumers.
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