Nutrition & Health
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Nutrition & Health
Curating articles on #food, #nutrition, #health including related topics such as #malnutrition #obesity #diabetes #foodlabeling #stunting #supplements. #biofortified, #omega-3s. Senior editor/curator - Margaret Carroll Boardman Ph.D.
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Consumers Still Misled, Confused About Realities of Sugar Consumption

31 July 2013, PRNewswire, The Sugar Association -- "New Survey Shows Parents Continue to Prefer Natural Over Artificial Sweeteners/

Americans' consumption of sugar (sucrose) has decreased by 35 percent in the past 42 years according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), but the results of a recent poll show that most parents believe just the opposite.

 

The poll—conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Sugar Association—asked 478 parents of children under the age of 18, how they thought sugar consumption in the United States has changed over the past 40 years.

 

Despite the fact that is has decreased by 35 percent, 75 percent of those parents said they believe sugar consumption has increased in some way.

And that wasn't the only result inconsistent with reality.

 

"The confusion about food—what to eat and what not to eat—is constantly fueled by extremists who sensationalize each and every new piece of research and distort the facts about sugar for the sake of a story or to hype a new book," said Andrew Briscoe, CEO of the Sugar Association.

 

An overwhelming number of parents with children under the age of 18 also overestimated the number of calories in a teaspoon of sugar. 71 percent believe that there are 20 or more calories in one teaspoon, and almost 30 percent believe the caloric value is upwards of 100.

 

Only 7 percent answered correctly: There are only 15 calories in one teaspoon of sugar.

 

Approximately 85 percent of parents of children under the age of 18 believe that all-natural foods are better for you than those that contain artificial ingredients, and 86 percent stated that the type of sweetener used is at least somewhat important to them when deciding what foods and beverages to serve their kids.

Unfortunately, these same parents often find identifying these foods challenging, making them difficult to avoid. When asked which labels they used to help guide food purchases, only 45 percent said they looked at the ingredient statement, which is where they would be able to determine whether a food was made with natural vs. artificial ingredients and which type of sweetener was used.

 

These results are similar to those found in a previous survey, also conducted by Harris Interactive in 2010 on behalf of The Sugar Association, which showed that most parents of children under 18 in the United States try to avoid artificial sweeteners (52 percent), but were unable to identify common chemical sweeteners used by food manufacturers.

 

When shown the ingredient label from a common drink given to dehydrated infants in the 2010 poll, only four percent of those surveyed could identify the sweeteners used in the product, which included fructose, dextrose, sucralose and acesulfame potassium. 13 percent of those parents of children under 18 couldn't identify a single one.

 

"Food labels are there to help consumers make informed choices," Briscoe said.  "If the ingredient section looks like a laundry list of unknown elements, consumers aren't going to bother reading it."

 

The Sugar Association has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to follow Canada's lead and set food label guidance that clearly identifies which ingredients are artificial sweeteners and how much of each are found in a product.

 

"Parents have a right to know what they are feeding their families," Briscoe said. "And the current labeling standards aren't working."

The petition has been pending with the FDA for eight years.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, August 2, 2013 8:39 PM

Most of the consumers are not misled - the ones who could gain the most by reading the ingredient statement do not:

 

A) read it

 

B) can't comprehend it even if they read it

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National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell Initiative More than Doubles in Size

National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell Initiative More than Doubles in Size | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

23 July 2013, PRNewswire, Washington D.C. -- "Program Expands to Over 41,000 Restaurant Locations Nationwide.

 

Celebrating its two-year anniversary this week, the National Restaurant Association's groundbreaking Kids LiveWell initiative has grown to more than 41,000 restaurant locations nationwide, the Association announced today. The voluntary program, which provides parents with a growing selection of healthful children's menu choices in every state, now counts more than 140 restaurant brands as participants, including new national companies Wendy's, Red Robin, Dairy Queen, Moe's Southwest Grill and Big Boy, among other regional chains and independent restaurants.   

 

"The Kids LiveWell initiative has achieved remarkable success in its first two years with the program expanding to over 140 participating restaurant brands and into museums, theme parks, and resorts," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. "The tremendous response and excitement for Kids LiveWell is evidence of the industry's commitment to providing healthful meal options for children. We look forward to the continued growth of the program over the next year."

 

The National Restaurant Association launched the first-of-its-kind initiative in July 2011 in collaboration with partner Healthy Dining and 19 inaugural brand leaders representing 15,000 locations.

 

"It has been an outstanding two years for Kids LiveWell. We applaud the participating restaurants' commitment and their chefs' dedication to developing innovative and healthful menu options for children," said Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, President and Founder of Healthy Dining. "It is exciting to see the number of Kids LiveWell restaurants featured on HealthyDiningFinder.comcontinuing to grow, and coupled with genuine enthusiasm from restaurants, parents and kids." ..."

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UNICEF Nigeria - Community-based treatment for malnutrition earns praise in northern Nigeria

UNICEF Nigeria - Community-based treatment for malnutrition earns praise in northern Nigeria | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

23 July 2013, UNICEF, Niyawe, Nigeria, Roar Bakke Sorenson -- "More than a half million children in northern Nigeria have been treated for malnutrition with peanut paste provided by UNICEF. Now villagers refer to the old Hausa kings of West Africa when speaking of the well-being of children, calling them the ‘Children of the King’.

 

Nigeria’s rates of childhood stunting and wasting are among the highest in the world, particularly in the north, where the country reaches into the Sahel region. In many cases these conditions can be life threatening if not treated properly.

 

In 2009, in collaboration with the Nigerian Government, UNICEF started a pilotproject based on research recommending treatment of malnourished children in their home communities, rather than in far-off hospitals or health clinics, a treatment that often comes with an enormous cost for the family.

 

Fatima Yashia is one of the mothers who brought her child, 22-month-old Osman, to the Katanga primary health care centre for treatment. Osman is one of more than 500,000 children who have been through the programme in northern Nigeria in the last five years. Eating ready-to-use therapeutic food over a period of eight weeks, children are able to recover quickly from malnutrition. ..."

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Taco Bell will drop kid's meals

23 July 2013, CNNMoney.com -- "Taco Bell announced Tuesday it has become the first national fast food chain to drop its kid's meals, saying it will discontinue the toy and food combos at some locations this month and across the brand by next year.

 

"Kid's meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind," said Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell, in a statement early Tuesday. He added that the move will have an "insignificant impact on sales." 

 

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands (YUM, Fortune 500), which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut. KFC plans to continue to offers its Li'l Bucket Kids Meal, but that combo does not have a toy in it. Instead, it has a "Weird But True" fact card from National Geographic.

 

Kids meals have been criticized by some public health groups for contributing to childhood obesity by making young children more eager to eat high-calorie, fast food meals. The decision was cheered by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which called on competitors such as McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500), Burger King (BKW) and Wendy's 

(WEN) to follow suit."

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More TV time equals more sugary drinks for kids, says study

More TV time equals more sugary drinks for kids, says study | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

The more time children spend watching television, and are exposed to commercials, the higher their consumption of sweetened beverages, new research finds.

GR2Food's insight:

Study conducted in Sweden with 1,700 children ages 2 to 4.

 

Young children’s screen habits are associated with consumption of sweetened beverages independently of parental norms, International Journal of Public Health, April 2013. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00038-013-0473-2

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Soft drinks boost kids’ sugar intake – but may not increase BMI

Soft drinks boost kids’ sugar intake – but may not increase BMI | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

17 July 2013, Beverage Daily, Caroline Scott-Thomas -- "British schoolchildren get about 10% of their total energy from soft drinks – but new research suggests high consumption levels do not necessarily lead to higher BMIs."

GR2Food's insight:

This study highlights that many studies have been done on soda consumption and weight gain, especially in the U.S.  However, this study looked at British school children whose consumption of sugary drinks is more likely to be fruit juice and smoothies... these did not promote the same increase in BMI as the U.S. soda based studies.

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Police in Bihar state in India: Pesticide found in deadly school lunch

20 July 2013, UPI, Patna, India -- "The food served for a school lunch that killed 23 children contained an agricultural pesticide, police in India said Saturday.

 

Ravinder Kumar, assistant director general of the Patna police, told reporters at a news conference monocrotophos, an insecticide known to be toxic to humans, was discovered in samples of oil and in a mixture of rice and vegetables, CNN reported.

 

The poisoning occurred at a one-room school in a village in the state of Bihar in eastern India, one of the poorest areas in the country. Witnesses said the children began vomiting soon after they finished lunch.

 

The school was described as a ramshackle one-room building. Like other government schools in India, it is required to provide a free lunch for pupils age 12 and younger.

 

The children who died or became sick were between the ages of 5 and 12.

 

The cook, Manju Devi, told police the headmistress, Meena Kumari, ordered her to go on with lunch preparations even thought she said the mustard oil she was using smelled bad. Devi was hospitalized while police were searching for Kumari to question her.

 

Bihari officials announced Friday a commission has been established to review procedures to ensure school food is safe. ..."

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US children’s supplement use is ‘moderate and appropriate’, says new survey

US children’s supplement use is ‘moderate and appropriate’, says new survey | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

26 July 2013, Stephen Daniells, NutraIngredients USA -- "The use of dietary supplements by an estimate 2.9 million US children is ‘moderate and appropriate’, according to a new survey."

GR2Food's insight:

Cited study is "Complementary Therapies in Medicine" - http://www.journals.elsevier.com/complementary-therapies-in-medicine/

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Tackling Malnutrition in India: The Time is Now

Tackling Malnutrition in India: The Time is Now | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

8 July 2013, blog piece by IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition expert and President of the Ottawa-based Micronutrient Initiative (MI) -- "Tackling undernutrition requires governments to take a hard look at what must be done to change the austere conditions in which too many young children are growing up."

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