Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sports Drinks, Fruit Drinks and Accelerating Progress

I have finished reading the IOM Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention overall summary and chapter six.  I am very excited about this esp. because nearly every page in the chapter makes a reference to the DGAs.  In fact, the closing section states that the goal of making the healthy option the routine is to be achieved by making the the foods recommended by the DGA accessible and by limiting access to the ones that the DGAs say we should avoid.  This document is a perfect support for my research interests and the food and beverage environment piece could inform my entire post doc career - 30 years or so!  Anyways, some last thoughts and tomorrow I will move on to something new. 

A few points of interest:
  • Sports Drinks - who really needs them? As said here before - very few people need sports drinks, especially because the majority are sugar based.  I make my own sports drink from an electrolyte suspension.  On page 172 it is stated clearly, with regards to youth, only student athletes should be allowed access to sports drinks and only if they are engaged in vigorous intensity sports for 1+ hours.  Further, on page 182, doctors are encouraged to tell patients (children and adults) about "the linkage among consumption of sports drinks, excess caloric intake, and obesity and overweight...." and they suggest that water consumption be promoted in place of soda and other sugar sweetened beverages.
  • 100% Fruit Juice - is it the best substitute for soda?  No!  See above and further on p 171, "there may be concern that the calorie content will promote obesity," and "it lacks dietary fiber and can contribute excess calories .... thus, the majority of fruit servings should come from fruits."
  • Food environments - access and limits.  With regard to communities that are attempting to modify the local food environment to reduce obesity, p 202 , an approach should "both increase the availability of and access to healthy food options and limit the concentration of and access to unhealthy food options."
  • Movie Theatre Kudos - I am stunned that this somehow escaped me in 2011 when it occurred.  But a couple of movie cinema conglomerates have made efforts to provide healthier or lower calorie options for movie goers - and as I read this I thought, "for double the price of popcorn."  But no - AMC for instance, as highlighted on p 198 and in this news story, has a 7$  Smart Pack with water, baked chips and fruit snacks.  Other entertainment venues were highlighted and encouraged to follow suit.  Maybe the most amazing one was Dodger Stadium which had two offerings that meet my low calorie high nutrient preferences!
  • Agriculture Policy - I am not going to get into the details, but the last part of chapter six discusses commodities and subsidies and how we might improve conditions so that farmers are better able to take the risks involved with growing fruits and vegetables.
Special Note - those of you who read my blog in your email... I have noticed that yahoo email tends to put a dotted line under some terms - ones that might be popular - and will offer you information or ads pertaining to those words.  MY links however, are underlined with a solid line... you can click on the ones with a solid line (mom). Like the one today under the words news story above.

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