Food is food, it’s neither healthy nor unhealthy

Food is food, it’s neither healthy nor unhealthy

Meals are not healthy or unhealthy. They are simply part of one’s total diet. To claim that a restaurant menu is unhealthy is to extrapolate a meal into much more than it is. Most people would consider an apple to be “healthy” but if all you ate were apples, your diet would be very unhealthy. The same applies to restaurant meals. Here, lame-o food nannies are simply trying to pressure restaurants into designing politically correct kids’ menus — tasteless food that most kids won’t enjoy or eat.

The media release is below. Original Article

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Nutritional quality of kids’ menus at chain restaurants not improving
HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Boston, MA – U.S. chain restaurants participating in a National Restaurant Association initiative to improve the nutritional quality of their children’s menus have made no significant changes compared with restaurants not participating in the program, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Among both groups, the researchers found no meaningful improvements in the amount of calories, saturated fat, or sodium in kids’ menu offerings during the first three years following the launch of the Kids LiveWell initiative in 2011.

They also found that sugary drinks still made up 80% of children’s beverage options, despite individual restaurant pledges to reduce their prevalence.

The study will be published online January 11, 2017, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Although some healthier options were available in select restaurants, there is no evidence that these voluntary pledges have had an industry-wide impact,” said lead author Alyssa Moran, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School. “As public health practitioners, we need to do a better job of engaging restaurants in offering and promoting healthy meals to kids.”

In 2011 and 2012, more than one in three children and adolescents consumed fast food every day, according to the study. For kids, eating more restaurant food is associated with higher daily calorie intake from added sugar and saturated fats.

This is the first study to look at trends in the nutrient content of kids’ meals among national restaurant chains at a time when many were making voluntary pledges to improve quality. By 2015, more than 150 chains with 42,000 locations in the U.S. were participating in Kids LiveWell–which requires that at least one meal and one other item on kids’ menus meet nutritional guidelines.

Using data obtained from the nutrition census MenuStat, the researchers examined trends in the nutrient content of 4,016 beverages, entrees, side dishes, and desserts offered on children’s menus in 45 of the nation’s top 100 fast food, fast casual, and full-service restaurant chains between 2012 and 2015. Out of the sample, 15 restaurants were Kids LiveWell participants.

The researchers found that while some restaurants were offering healthier kids’ menu options, the average kids’ entrée still far exceeded recommendations for sodium and saturated fat. Kids’ desserts contained nearly as many calories and almost twice the amount of saturated fat as an entrée. And even when soda had been removed from children’s menus, it was replaced with other sugary beverages such as flavored milks and sweetened teas.

The authors would like to see the restaurant industry adhere to voluntary pledges and consider working with government agencies, researchers, and public health practitioners to apply evidence-based nutrition guidelines across a broader range of kids’ menu items. They also suggest tracking restaurant commitments to determine whether restaurants currently participating in Kids LiveWell improve the nutritional quality of their offerings over time.

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Again confirmed, observational studies worthless

Again confirmed, observational studies worthless

Why stop at nutrition? How about the root of psychology/psychiatry? Aren’t those fields’ even worse in being a collection of self-reported/observed ‘afflictions’ compounded by bias and circular logic? From the early days the foundation for psychology has been laid by not truly compos mentis amateurs such as Freud or Jung. They lacked the scientific means & disciplines to properly examine that what they imagined they found. Shouldn’t the whole field of psy ‘sciences’ be reexamined from bottom up, starting with discarding those ancient assumptions as being no more than amusing tales told by the ancients?

The report by Archer and co-workers goes further, saying that continued funding for nutrition studies based on self-reported dietary data “constitutes an unscientific and major misuse of research resources” because people often misremember or deliberately misrepresent their diets. They cite a 2013 PLoS ONE study3 by Archer and two other colleagues, which looked at the prestigious US National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) and suggested that 67.3% of women and 58.7% of men reported calorie intakes that were so high or low that they were physiologically implausible. The NHANES data were used by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in its scientific report to the US government. Archer said in an interview: “Anecdotal dietary data have no place in the scientific literature.”

Nature magazine

Too little salt as bad as too much


American consumers ingest, on average, about 3400 milligrams of sodium every day (similar to the diets of most recorded civilizations), well above the dietary sodium targets set by US government agencies and the American Heart Association of 1500 to 2300 milligrams or lower. However, there has been much debate about whether or not these recommendations are too strict, a position that we at ACSH have long been endorsing. Last year, the Institute of Medicine published a report stating that there are insufficient data supporting a benefit of sodium consumption below 2300 milligrams per day, and now a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has come to the same conclusion.

Read More

Healty nutrition, vegetarian leaves a lot to be desired


Population-based studies have consistently shown that our diet has an influence on health. Therefore, the aim of our study was to analyze differences between different dietary habit groups in terms of health-related variables. The sample used for this cross-sectional study was taken from the Austrian Health Interview Survey AT-HIS 2006/07. In a first step, subjects were matched according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). After matching, the total number of subjects included in the analysis was 1320 (N = 330 for each form of diet – vegetarian, carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, carnivorous diet less rich in meat, and carnivorous diet rich in meat). Analyses of variance were conducted controlling for lifestyle factors in the following domains: health (self-assessed health, impairment, number of chronic conditions, vascular risk), health care (medical treatment, vaccinations, preventive check-ups), and quality of life. In addition, differences concerning the presence of 18 chronic conditions were analyzed by means of Chi-square tests. Overall, 76.4% of all subjects were female. 40.0% of the individuals were younger than 30 years, 35.4% between 30 and 49 years, and 24.0% older than 50 years. 30.3% of the subjects had a low SES, 48.8% a middle one, and 20.9% had a high SES. Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption. Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life. Therefore, public health programs are needed in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.

The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study.