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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
May 28, 2014
Dear Valued Subscriber,


DID YOU KNOW that having a bedroom television is associated with weight gain beyond the effect of television viewing time? This association could be the result of disrupted sleep patterns. The effect attributable to this risk factor among American adolescents alone is excess weight of 8.7 million kilograms/year, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics

Have a happy, healthy week. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Congress Wants to Roll Back Healthier School Meal Standards.

Steve: An agriculture spending bill approved by a House subcommittee last week would allow schools to waive the healthier school meal standards if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six-month period. If some in Congress have their way, a total rollback will be implemented.


The standards, championed by first lady Michelle Obama, have been phased in over the past two school years, with more changes coming in 2014. The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.


While many schools have had success putting the rules in place, others have said they are too restrictive and costly. The Agriculture Department, which administers the rules, has tweaked them along the way to try to help schools that have concerns. This has not satiated the outrage of some who do not wish to have dictated to them what they should eat. 


Here's the bottom line: when taxpayers are paying for school lunches, there is no argument. Healthy school lunches are not only the right thing to do, but will bring down taxpayers' costs long-term.


When obesity is going to eclipse smoking as the greatest health threat to Americans later this year, who do you think will be on the hook for the monstrous healthcare costs associated with the disease? We will.


The congressmen behind the rollback attempt should be ashamed of themselves. Parents who complain that their children have nothing to eat at school because it is "too healthy" should be ashamed of themselves. Big Food conglomerates who knowingly spent years devising chemical concoctions to create our addictions to sweet, processed, and fatty foods should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of crying foul over their dwindling profits, Big Food should be paying us back for their contribution to the obesity epidemic.


For millions of children, school meals are the healthiest meals of the day, and in many cases, the only meals. One of the finest public health achievements of this century is the implementation of the healthier school meals. How can we allow schools to drop out?


You know what the problem is? The plan has been working. Kids are eating better. Parents are under increasing pressure from their kids to make healthy changes in the home. Congressmen are worried that they will lose political funding from Big Food. Instead of putting all of their resources into making healthier fare 20 years ago, Big Food is left explaining to shareholders why profits are lagging.


Roll back these standards and everyone loses in the long-run. We are talking about the well-being of future generations. Have we not neglected our wellness long enough? This development is so outrageously maddening that writing about it seems ludicrous to me.


Diet Soda Beats Water for Body Mass Reduction.

Bonnie: You may have heard that sales of diet soda in the U.S. are down big. To stem the tide, a recently published study in journalObesity, backed by the soda industry, claims that diet soda was more effective at reducing body mass than water.


Dr. Jim Hill of University of Colorado's Anschutz Health and Wellness Center was the proud recipient of funding from the American Beverage Association, backed by the likes of Pepsi and Coca Cola. Conflict of interest?


The structure of the study is laughable, as are the media quotes from the Dr. Hill and his team.


I guess Big Food thinks we're still that dumb. 


Implementing good nutrition has always been one step forward and three steps back. In this case, I guarantee we will not be taking one step back!