16 May Who Told you to Eat That? The Media and Nutrition
The media. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who said, “It must be true, I read it in the newspaper or it must be true, I heard it on the radio.” Maybe that someone was even you. Who could blame you? We trust that the information we read in sources like The New York Times or even your local papers, is factual. The journalists who write or report on the news, use reliable resources to back up their stories. Who are we to question what these authorities say on the air or write in the news? If you Google it and find it on the internet, then it must be accurate, right? Not so fast.
They paid you to say that
Here’s a great example. In 2011, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention made a recommendation that children and teenagers drink less soda/pop to reduce the risk of obesity. That seems to make sense as soda has a lot of sugar. You can find out how much sugar a Coke and other brands of pop has at Sugarstcks.com. A 12 oz Coke has 38 grams of sugar in it, a 20oz bottle has 65grams of sugar and a 32oz Big Gulp at 7-11 has 91gams of sugar. However, David Allison, a PhD a scientist himself, said ‘There was no real solid evidence to link obesity and soda.’ As the head of Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama and the president of The Obesity Society (which is comprised of 2,000 researchers, clinicians and educators) his view seemed to have more weight. But who pays his salary? Would it surprise you to find that he received research money from Pepsi, Coca-Cola and the National Soda-lobbying group and the American Beverage Association? Now whose recommendation do you believe? The problem is, no one knew this until it was already in print. His opinion, which seemed to be more plausible than the CDCP, was more than likely swayed by his benefactors. Don’t cha think? This seems to be the norm with many of the so called “health organizations” across the U.S. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) takes money from companies like Kraft Food, Cadbury-Schwepps (maker of Dr Pepper, A&W,7Up and other brands) who continue to sell sugar filled beverages to the public while the head of the ADA makes the claim that “There is not a shred of evidence that sugar…has anything to do with getting diabetes.” Is the picture becoming clearer for you? One more example: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the largest association of trade group nutrition professionals) lets Kraft, The National Cattleman’s Association, ConAgra, General Mills, and Coke sponsor continuing education academy classes for its registered dietitians. If you were on a diet or trying to eat well would you put Coke, Mac and Cheese, Cupcakes, Warm Delights Hot Fudge Brownie and Cheez Whiz on your shopping list? No? We didn’t think so.
Who Influences Whom?
The Federal Dietary Guidelines are one of the most influential sources of nutritional information in the U.S. Remember the food pyramid fro grade school? These guidelines have a tremendous influence on our attitudes about health and nutrition. The committee appointed by the government is supposed to give the public unbiased guidelines and an objective assessment of the latest research about health and nutrition. In 2000, the nonprofit Physicians Committee successfully sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture( DOA) because the DOA failed to disclose the fact that 6 of the 11 members of the guidelines committee had financial ties to meat, dairy and egg producers and that Nestle’, had in fact, paid the chairperson of the guidelines committee $10,000 in consulting fees. The hand that lines the pocket….
What to believe?
Do your own research. Talk to others in your community. See what is working for people you meet in the gym, at school or at work? Look to the results that others are getting and see what works for them. Ask questions and pay attention. We didn’t have these kinds of challenges 30 years ago. Listen to your gut and see what makes sense to you. The trainers and owners of TwinFitness all have personal training certifications and the owners have nutrition degrees and several team members have advanced nutrition certifications that comes from state-of-the-art research. Their clients get results because the plans they design work for their clients. The plans are based on solid exercise and nutrition research and executed in a supportive, encouraging, positive environment. When you are ready to get into the shape of your life, contact TwinFitness. They will design a plan and partner you with a trainer who will get you the results you are looking for.