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Posts for: August, 2012

The Problem: Sugary Drinks Are a Major Contributor to the Obesity Epidemic

Taken from an August 24th article from “The Harvard School of Public Health”

Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese, and the nation spends an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions. Rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.  A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories. People who drink this “liquid candy” do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food and do not compensate by eating less.

Beverage companies in the US spent roughly $3.2 billion marketing carbonated beverages in 2006, with nearly a half billion dollars of that marketing aimed directly at youth ages 2–17.  And each year, youth see hundreds of television ads for sugar-containing drinks. In 2010, for example, preschoolers viewed an average of 213 ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks, while children and teens watched an average of 277 and 406 ads, respectively. Yet the beverage industry aggressively rebuffs suggestions that its products and marketing tactics play any role in the obesity epidemic. Adding to the confusion, beverage industry-funded studies are four to eight times more likely to show a finding favorable to industry than independently-funded studies. This fact sheet assembles key scientific evidence on the link between sugary drink consumption and obesity.

Download a PDF of this fact sheet and References

The Evidence:  Soft Drink Consumption Is Rising and Harms Health

Sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past 40 years, and children and adults are drinking more soft drinks than ever.

  • Before the 1950s, standard soft-drink bottles were 6.5 ounces. In the 1950s, soft-drink makers introduced larger sizes, including the 12-ounce can, which became widely available in 1960.  By the early 1990s, 20-ounce plastic bottles became the norm.  Today, contour-shaped plastic bottles are available in even larger sizes, such as the 1.25-liter (42-ounce) bottle introduced in 2011.
  • In the 1970s, sugary drinks made up about 4% of US daily calorie intake; by 2001, that had risen to about 9%.
  • Children and youth in the US averaged 224 calories per day from sugary beverages in 1999 to 2004—nearly 11% of their daily calorie intake.  From 1989 to 2008, calories from sugary beverages increased by 60% in children ages 6 to 11, from 130 to 209 calories per day, and the percentage of children consuming them rose from 79% to 91%.
  • On any given day, half the people in the U.S. consume sugary drinks; 1 in 4 get at least 200 calories from such drinks; and 5% get at least 567 calories—equivalent to four cans of soda.  Sugary drinks (soda, energy, sports drinks) are the top calorie source in teens’ diets (226 calories per day), beating out pizza (213 calories per day).

Sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout.

  • A 20-year study on 120,000 men and women found that people who increased their sugary drink consumption by one 12-ounce serving per day gained more weight over time—on average, an extra pound every 4 years—than people who did not change their intake.  Other studies have found a significant link between sugary drink consumption and weight gain in children.  One study found that for each additional 12-ounce soda children consumed each day, the odds of becoming obese increased by 60% during 1½ years of follow-up.
  • People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.  Risks are even greater in young adults and Asians.
  • A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks.  A related study in women found a similar sugary beverage–heart disease link.
  • A 22-year study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks.  Researchers found a similarly-elevated risk in men.

Cutting back on sugary drinks can help people control their weight.

  • Studies in children and adults have found that reducing sugary drink consumption can lead to better weight control among those who are initially overweight.

 


WhatIsTheDifferenceBetweenSnoringandSleepApnea

Nearly everyone is familiar with snoring, having either been awakened by a snoring, sleeping partner or by snoring so loudly that you wake yourself up. As if the sounds emanating from snoring weren't bad enough, snoring is no laughing matter and should never be ignored. And why? It can be a sign of other health issues.

Snoring occurs when the soft tissue structures of the upper airway (the back of your throat) collapse onto themselves, the tongue drops back and air is blocked in its movement through the mouth and nose into the lungs. These obstacles cause a vibration that produces the snoring sound. Snoring can also be caused by large tonsils, a long soft palate, a large tongue, the uvula (the tissue in the back of the throat that dangles like a punching bag), and/or fat deposits.

If snoring is more severe, it may denote a medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA; or just “sleep apnea”). It occurs when the upper airway collapses causing significant airflow disruption or even no airflow whatsoever for 10 seconds or more and can leave you feeling tired, depressed, irritable, as well as cause memory loss and poor concentration. But have no fear; you are not alone, as millions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with this condition. There are also numerous treatment options that we can discuss with you — should you be diagnosed with this problem.

You can learn more about sleep apnea by reading the Dear Doctor article, “Snoring & Sleep Apnea.” Or if you are ready for a thorough examination and to discuss your snoring, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


This morning in church our youth pastor related a story about him, his daughter, and a chicken nugget.  The question came up, “How long does a chicken nugget last?”  Since chicken nuggets do have very little real nutritional value and a lot of bad ingredients thrown in, they seem to last for days, weeks, or maybe even years. 

That got me thinking about a little story my wife showed me the other day.  This is with tongue-in-cheek, but maybe it is time we do start eating the way God intended us to.

In the beginning…God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, with green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God’s bountiful gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry’s and Krispy Kreme.  And Satan said: “You want hot fudge with that?” and Man said: “Yes!” And Woman said: “I’ll have one too…with sprinkles.”  And lo they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair.  And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane, and combined them.  And Woman went from size 2 to size 14.

So God said: “Try my fresh green garden salad.”  And Satan presented crumbled Bleu Cheese dressing and garlic toast on the side.  And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said: “I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.”  And Satan brought forth deep-fried coconut shrimp, butter-dipped lobster chunks, and chicken-fried steak – so big it needed its onwn platter.  And Man’s cholesterol went through the roof.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition.  Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them in animal fats adding copious quantities of salt.  And Man put on more pounds.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds.  And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels.  And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.  And Satan created McDonalds and the 99 cent double cheeseburger.  Then Satan said: “You want fries with that?”  And Man replied: “Yes!  And super size em!”  And Satan said: “It is good.”  And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed…and created quadruple by-pass surgery.

And then…Satan chuckled and created HMOs.


ToothFairyBradyReiterWorksHerMagicforChildrensOralHealthCharity

Did you know that severe tooth decay is America's #1 chronic childhood disease? Actress Brady Reiter didn't know either — until she became the star of the movie Tooth Fairy 2, and then joined forces with the National Children's Oral Health Foundation: America's ToothFairy®.

“Before, I didn't even realize what can happen to kids if they don't take care of their teeth,” 11-year-old Brady recently told Dear Doctor magazine, after viewing photos of children suffering from severe tooth decay. “There are kids in America who don't know that it's important, or they just don't have the resources to be able to take care of their teeth or to go to the dentist.”

This young Tooth Fairy knows just how magical — and vital to a child's self-esteem — a beautiful smile can be.

“When you feel bad about opening up your mouth and smiling, a kid's confidence just goes down the drain,” she said.

NCOHF recently tapped 11-year-old Brady to head the America's ToothFairy Kids Club, which offers kids personalized letters from the Tooth Fairy along with lots of encouraging oral health tips and fun activities — free!

“I'm really excited to be part of it,” Brady told Dear Doctor. “Kids learn how to take care of their of smile by joining this club. By supporting America's ToothFairy, we can help kids in need get dental care and have a healthy smile too. It's really amazing!”

While lots of kids get an occasional cavity, millions of children have tooth decay so severe that it interferes with their ability to eat, sleep, and concentrate in school. The good news is that tooth decay, a bacteria-induced infection, is preventable.

“When kids join the club, they learn how to prevent tooth decay. When families support this great cause, we can help kids in need. And that's what feels great — that we really can make kids' futures better.”

If you would like to enroll your child in the club — it's free! — please visit www.AmericasToothFairyKids.org. And to make sure your child's teeth and your own are decay-free and as healthy as possible, please contact us today to schedule your next appointment.




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