At Least It Was British Money–Not American Money

On Wednesday, CBN News posted an article entitled, “Study Finds Poor Health Leads to Early Death.” Somehow I don’t think this is rocket science.

The article reports:

The finding comes from a British study that looked at more than million people over a 50-year period. Researchers warn the problems get worse the earlier those unhealthy lifestyles begin.

A 40-year-old man who has dealt with diabetes, heart attack, and/or stroke could lose 23 years from his life. Someone in their 60s who has dealt with two of those problems could lose 12 years.

The worst problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, are preventable largely by eating right and staying active.

I would call this an example of spending money to study the obvious. I can’t believe they spent 50 years and a lot of money to figure this out. In most cases, this is something your mother told you when you were little.

A New Level In Government Overreach posted an article today about a government panel of nutrition experts seeking ways to encourage Americans to make better nutritional choices.

The article reports:

The panel’s recommendations will help determine what gets into the new version of dietary guidelines being prepared by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments. The advice includes eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains and limiting added sugars and fat.

However, the panel goes beyond previous versions of the dietary guidelines by suggesting a broad list of possible policy changes – a tax is just one – that could make it easier for people to follow that diet advice.

“Taxation on higher sugar- and sodium-containing foods may encourage consumers to reduce consumption and revenues generated could support health promotion efforts,” the committee wrote as part of the recommendations released this week.

Let’s look at some of the past mistakes of the government on the subject of nutrition. The food pyramid many of us were raised on was later revealed as less than ideal.

A Harvard public health website reports:

With an overstuffed breadbasket as its base, the Food Guide Pyramid failed to show that whole wheat, brown rice, and other whole grains are healthier than refined grains. With fat relegated to the “use sparingly” tip, it ignored the health benefits of plant oils—and instead pointed Americans to the type of low-fat diet that can worsen blood cholesterol profiles and make it harder to keep weight in check. It grouped healthy proteins (fish, poultry, beans, and nuts) into the same category as unhealthy proteins (red meat and processed meat), and overemphasized the importance of dairy products.

Recently, CBN News reported that new research shows that cholesterol is not the problem that scientists one declared it was:

Sinatra (Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, author of the book, The Great Cholesterol Myth) used to believe high cholesterol was responsible for heart disease until he saw with his own eyes, in his own patients, that was’t true. He noticed many of his heart patients had low cholesterol and saw that many people with high cholesterol did not have heart problems.

“I was doing angiograms on people with 150, who had far advanced heart disease,” he recalled. “And the converse, I was doing angiograms on somebody with cholesterol of 280 and they had no heart disease.”

Sinatra is among a growing number of physicians who actually tout the benefits of high cholesterol in most cases.

“Cholesterol many times can be a gift in disguise, higher cholesterol,” he said.

He said high HDL cholesterol is good for you and says even LDL cholesterol is good for you as long as it’s the large, fluffy particles.

He admits the small, dense LDL particles are harmful. Therefore, he recommends, instead of getting your overall LDL cholesterol checked, you get it further broken down into particle size.

I have no doubt that sugary drinks and foods are not good for us. I also have no trust in the government actually being an expert on nutrition. Even the experts are not experts on nutrition. I also resent the fact that the government is trying to collect money from me because I occasionally drink a soda or eat a brownie. This suggested tax would impact people who eat sweet or salty things all the time and those who occasionally eat sweet or salty things. I truly resent Big Brother telling me what to eat. Big Brother does not have a great scientific track record.

Banning Something That May Not Be The Problem

Today’s New York Post posted an article about a disagreement between two scientists over the dangers of salt.

The article reports:

“We cannot extrapolate that lowering sodium consumption would reduce cardiovascular risk or premature death,” declared Dr. Sean C. Lucan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in this month’s American Journal of Public Health.

Meanwhile, New York City declared war on salt in 2010.

The article reports:

The city launched its salt plan in 2010, with the goal of a 25 percent reduction of salt in packaged foods and restaurants by 2014.

Dr. Lucan has called the war on salt misguided and potentially dangerous. Dr. Lucan points out that as salt is removed from foods, it will be replaced by other things which may be less healthy.

The article reports:

Lowering salt, Lucan notes in his article, “may also decrease insulin sensitivity, alter lipids, and stimulate a variety of neurohormonal pathways detrimental to the cardiovascular system.”

Sodium is simply a marker of unhealthy food, Lucan said, adding that the real target should be refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods — and the city’s war on that front also falls short.

“Refined carbohydrates are a greater enemy,” he warned in the journal. “If sugar-sweetened beverages are a public-health problem, then why aren’t sugar-laden cookies?”

Good grief! Why can’t we all just be free to eat what we want and suffer the consequences?

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