If knowledge is power, then offering consumers information about what’s in their food supply is clearly a powerful way to improve the health of the nation — physically and economically. But several nutrition-related decisions lately have reduced your power to make informed decisions about the health of YOU and YOUR FAMILY, as well as the financial health of the country. We give the new Food and Drug Administration director a grade of “F” for what he’s doing for you and the quality of your food.
To counter the devastation current policy changes can trigger, it’s become even more of your responsibility to spot the hidden minefields in your food supply and to make informed decisions about keeping you and your family
Labeling the Labeling Rollback for What It Is Last year the FDA established a new food labeling regulation; the deadline for implementation was set for July 26, 2018. The new regulation called for a nutrition label that made it easier to see
calories-per-serving info and, for the first time, it would let you know how much added sugar you’re getting in every serving.
Unfortunately, it was recently announced that implementation of the regulation is suspended indefinitely.
That’s a bad mark on the newly appointed FDA director and a sad day for America.
Why This Is a Bad Move:
No. 1: One study found that for Americans to return to the pre-obesityepidemic weights of the 1970s, kids would have to cut 350 calories from their daily diet; adults 500. The label changes would help YOU be more conscious of portion size and calorie counts, so you can eliminate empty-fat-creating calories and aim for 7 to 9 daily servings of fresh fruit and veggies.
No. 2: Americans eat about 67 pounds of added sugar annually. Knowing how much added sugar you’re eating can help you say “no” to foods that come with sugar bombs. It also might encourage food companies to reduce the amount they pump into their products.
No. 3: The price tag for obesity and excess sugar consumption is staggering: In 2016, health care costs for obesity alone racked up $150 billion, while excess sugar consumption bodyslammed that number, jacking our annual health care system costs by $1 trillion.
Your Move: Now more than ever, you need to assume responsibility for understanding what’s in your food so you can avoid highly processed foods and opt for fresh, whole foods. New research shows that eating just two and a half servings of fruits and veggies is associated with a 4 percent reduction in risk of cancer and a 15 percent reduction in the risk of premature death. Eating 10 portions (1.76 pounds) daily of fruits and veggies is associated with a: —24 percent reduced risk of heart disease.
—33 percent reduced risk of stroke.
—28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
—13 percent reduced risk of cancer.
—31 percent reduction in premature death.
Discounting Calorie Counts on Menus Is Dishing up Trouble
This May 4, one day before chain restaurants would have been required to post calorie counts on their menus, the FDA suspended the implementation for another year. Another sad day for America and another black mark on the FDA.
Why this matters: Average Americans consume 33 percent of calories away from home, and usually underestimate how many they’re taking in. Putting the info clearly on the menu would shatter false assumptions.
Your Move: When eating out, stick with the simplest preparations of dishes; you’ll get fewer hidden ingredients loaded with calories, fats and sugars. Ask about ingredients before ordering. Get sauces and dressings on the side. Cook
more at home.
Other Short-Sighted Moves:
There also are rollbacks on school lunch quality: No more added veggies in school lunches, and there’s been a reduction in the required amount of wholegrain foods.
We Gotta Ask: If implementing and strengthening just a few regulations could save thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, why wouldn’t you want to do that? Ask the FDA director.
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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com. © 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
This column is sponsored by your local choice for healthy lifestyle products -Nutter's Bulk and Natural Foods
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