Tag Archives: bmj

BMJ study: Dietary Guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets

29 Jul

Michael Bastasch wrote in the Daily Caller article, The Green New Deal Isn’t Just About Energy, It’s Also About Controlling What Americans Eat:

  • The Green New Deal seems to embrace the anti-beef and dairy industry sentiment of the environmental left.

  • Green New Dealers want to remake American society, including how to produce and eat food. 

  • “I think it’s pretty clear they want to change people’s consumption habits,” said one economist.

The Green New Deal isn’t just a climate change manifesto targeting U.S. energy, it also looks to drastically change how food is produced and, ultimately, what Americans eat.

“I think it’s pretty clear they want to change people’s consumption habits,” Nic Loris, an energy economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey introduced highly anticipated Green New Deal bills in early February, calling for “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years through a radical transformation of America. The bills also call for a slew of new social justice and welfare programs totally unrelated to global warming.

The accompanying FAQ’s reference to eliminating “farty cows” sent ranchers into a panic, fearing Democrats were taking aim at their livelihoods. Environmentalists have targeted the beef industry for years, and concern over methane only gave activists more ammunition.

“Livestock will be banned,” Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, who represents lots of cattle ranchers, warned on the Senate floor after the Green New Deal was introduced. “Say goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.”

“Farty” was eventually deleted — in fact, most of the methane cows emit is from burping, not farting. The entire gaffe-riddled FAQ was eventually taken offline by Ocasio-Cortez’s staff amid the ridicule…

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

Even so, the legislation itself is no less radical than Ocasio-Cortez’s Kinsley gaffes. The bill calls for “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers … to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible….”                                                                        https://dailycaller.com/2019/02/16/green-new-deal-energy-diet/

Resources:

Under the ‘Green New Deal,’ we’d all have to eat like Cory Booker                                            https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/under-the-green-new-deal-wed-all-have-to-eat-like-cory-booker

The Green New Deal Progressives Really Are Coming for Your Beef                                         https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-13/the-green-new-deal-progressives-really-are-coming-for-your-beef

Why the Green New Deal Is So Vague About Food and Farming                                           https://www.motherjones.com/food/2019/02/why-the-green-new-deal-is-so-vague-about-food-and-farming/

Science Daily reported the BMJ study: Dietary Guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets:

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets, finds an analysis published by The BMJ today.

The results show that reforming national dietary guidelines to become both healthier and more sustainable could prevent deaths from chronic diseases and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

National food based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) are government endorsed documents that provide recommendations and advice on healthy diets and lifestyles, but most do not address the social and environmental implications of dietary choices.

So an international research team set out to compare the health and environmental impacts of adopting global and national food based dietary guidelines with global targets, such as the Action Agenda on Non-Communicable Diseases and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

They collated and scored measurable recommendations, such as “eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day” from 85 national guidelines along with global guidelines from the World Health Organization and the EAT-Lancet Commission.

They then used modelling to estimate how these recommendations could reduce early death from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and meet environmental targets related to greenhouse gas emissions, and use of land and fresh water resources.

They found that adoption of national guidelines was associated with an average 15% reduction in early death from chronic diseases and an average 13% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the food system, equivalent to 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, most of the national guidelines analysed (83, 98%) were not compatible with at least one of the global health and environmental targets.

For example, about a third of the guidelines (29, 34%) were incompatible with the agenda on non-communicable diseases, and most (57 to 74, 67% to 87%) were incompatible with the Paris Climate Agreement and other environmental targets.

In comparison, adoption of the WHO recommendations was associated with similar health and environmental changes, whereas adoption of the EAT-Lancet recommendations was associated with 34% greater reductions in early death and more than three times greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, if the UK, US, and China adopted national guidelines in line with the EAT-Lancet recommendation, this could increase the number of avoided deaths from 78,000 to 104,000 in the UK, from 480,000 to 585,000 in the USA, and from 1,149,000 to 1,802,000 in China, explain the researchers.

This study has several strengths, such as the large number of countries and rigorous assessment of guidelines. But the researchers point to several limitations that may have affected the accuracy of their results, such as the often qualitative nature of many national guidelines, and say there are many potential implications for improvement in future studies…..                                                                                                                                   https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200715190754.htm

Resources:

Most national dietary guidelines are not compatible with global environmental and health targets, and are in need of reform                                                                                     https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/news/most-national-dietary-guidelines-not-compatible-with-global-environmental-and-health-targets/

Dietary guidelines have a blind spot: Future generations                                                           https://grist.org/food/dietary-guidelines-have-a-blind-spot-future-generations/

Citation:

Dietary Guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets

Reforming dietary guidelines could prevent deaths and cut greenhouse emissions

Date:         July 15, 2020

Source:     BMJ

Summary:

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets, finds a new analysis.

Journal Reference:

Marco Springmann, Luke Spajic, Michael A Clark, Joseph Poore, Anna Herforth, Patrick Webb, Mike Rayner, Peter Scarborough. The healthiness and sustainability of national and global food based dietary guidelines: modelling studyBMJ, 2020; m2322 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m2322

Here is the press release from BMJ:

NEWS RELEASE 15-JUL-2020

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets

Reforming dietary guidelines could prevent deaths and cut greenhouse emissions

BMJ

Most dietary guidelines are not compatible with global health and environmental targets, finds an analysis published by The BMJ today.

The results show that reforming national dietary guidelines to become both healthier and more sustainable could prevent deaths from chronic diseases and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

National food based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) are government endorsed documents that provide recommendations and advice on healthy diets and lifestyles, but most do not address the social and environmental implications of dietary choices.

So an international research team set out to compare the health and environmental impacts of adopting global and national food based dietary guidelines with global targets, such as the Action Agenda on Non-Communicable Diseases and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

They collated and scored measurable recommendations, such as “eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day” from 85 national guidelines along with global guidelines from the World Health Organization and the EAT-Lancet Commission.

They then used modelling to estimate how these recommendations could reduce early death from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and meet environmental targets related to greenhouse gas emissions, and use of land and fresh water resources.

They found that adoption of national guidelines was associated with an average 15% reduction in early death from chronic diseases and an average 13% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the food system, equivalent to 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, most of the national guidelines analysed (83, 98%) were not compatible with at least one of the global health and environmental targets.

For example, about a third of the guidelines (29, 34%) were incompatible with the agenda on non-communicable diseases, and most (57 to 74, 67% to 87%) were incompatible with the Paris Climate Agreement and other environmental targets.

In comparison, adoption of the WHO recommendations was associated with similar health and environmental changes, whereas adoption of the EAT-Lancet recommendations was associated with 34% greater reductions in early death and more than three times greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, if the UK, US, and China adopted national guidelines in line with the EAT-Lancet recommendation, this could increase the number of avoided deaths from 78,000 to 104,000 in the UK, from 480,000 to 585,000 in the USA, and from 1,149,000 to 1,802,000 in China, explain the researchers.

This study has several strengths, such as the large number of countries and rigorous assessment of guidelines. But the researchers point to several limitations that may have affected the accuracy of their results, such as the often qualitative nature of many national guidelines, and say there are many potential implications for improvement in future studies.

Nevertheless, they conclude that reforming national food based dietary guidelines, as well as WHO guidelines, “could be not only beneficial from a health perspective but also necessary for meeting global sustainability goals and staying within the environmental limits of the food system.”

In a linked editorial, researchers in Germany agree that these findings should be interpreted with caution, saying perhaps the most important finding from this study is the uncertainty that it highlights, not least about plant based foods.

In overall terms the EAT-Lancet Commission proposals seem superior in terms of reducing mortality from non-communicable diseases, they write.

However, they point out that adopting the EAT-Lancet recommendations globally “would not be affordable for many in low income countries without concomitant economic growth, improved local food production and supply, and expansion of the range of lower cost animal products, fruits, and vegetables.”

“We still have some way to go before diets can become healthier and more sustainable worldwide” they conclude.

###

Peer reviewed? Yes (research), No (linked editorial)

Evidence type: Modelling study, Opinion

Subject: Dietary guidelines

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

 

Media Contact

BMJ Media Relations
mediarelations@bmj.com
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David Harsanyi  wrote in The 10 Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal:

While some of the specifics need to be ironed out, the plan’s authors assure us that this “massive transformation of our society” needs some “clear goals and a timeline.” The timeline is ten years. Here are some of the goals:

  • Ban affordable energy.GND calls for the elimination of all fossil fuel energy production, the lifeblood of American industry and life, which includes not only all oil but also natural gas — one of the cheapest sources of American energy, and one of the reasons the United States has been able to lead the world in carbon-emissions reduction.
  • Eliminate nuclear energy.The GND also calls for eliminating all nuclear power, one of the only productive and somewhat affordable “clean” energy sources available to us, in 11 years. This move would purge around 20 percent of American energy generation so you can rely on intermittent wind for your energy needs.
  • Eliminate 99 percent of cars.To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
  • Gut and rebuild every building in America.Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
  • Eliminate air travel.GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains that run on fossil fuels will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?
  • A government-guaranteed job.The bill promises the United States government will provide every single American with a job that includes a “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.” You can imagine that those left in the private sector would be funding these through some unspecified “massive” taxation. On the bright side, when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.
  • Free education for life.GND promises free college or trade schools for every American.
  • A salubrious diet.The GND promises the government will provide “healthy food” to every American (because there are no beans or lettuce in your local supermarket, I guess).
  • A house. The GND promises that the government will provide, “safe, affordable, adequate housing” for every American citizen. I call dibs on an affordable Adams Morgan townhouse. Thank you, Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Free money.The GND aims to provide, and I am not making this up, “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work. Just to reiterate: if you’re unwilling to work, the rest of us will have your back.
  • Bonus insanity: Ban meat.Ocasio-Cortez admits that we can’t get zero emissions in 10 years “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” The only way to get rid of farting cows is to get rid of beef.

The GND uses the word “massive” to explain the size “investments” (formerly known as “taxes”) 13 times. How will we pay for this plan? “The same way we did the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailouts and extend quantitative easing,” say Markey and Cortez, who earned her degree in economics at an institution of higher learning that should be immediately decertified. The plan itself seems to insinuate that billionaires can pay for the whole thing. Of course, best case scenario, it is estimated that instituting a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent would raise a little more than $700 billion over that decade. She does not explain how we’re going to raise the other 20 bazillion dollars it will cost to tear down modernity….                                                                                                               https://thefederalist.com/2019/02/07/ten-most-insane-requirements-green-new-deal/

There’s a sucker born every minute.

 

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BMJ Study: Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

23 Sep

Cutting sugar in a child’s diet is important to improving the child’s health. Science Daily reported in ‘Healthy’ foods differ by individual:

Ever wonder why that diet didn’t work? An Israeli study tracking the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week suggests that even if we all ate the same meal, how it’s metabolized would differ from one person to another. The findings, published November 19 in Cell, demonstrate the power of personalized nutrition in helping people identify which foods can help or hinder their health goals.
Blood sugar has a close association with health problems such as diabetes and obesity, and it’s easy to measure using a continuous glucose monitor. A standard developed decades ago, called the glycemic index (GI), is used to rank foods based on how they affect blood sugar level and is a factor used by doctors and nutritionists to develop healthy diets. However, this system was based on studies that average how small groups of people responded to various foods.
The new study, led by Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, found that the GI of any given food is not a set value, but depends on the individual. For all participants, they collected data through health questionnaires, body measurements, blood tests, glucose monitoring, stool samples, and a mobile-app used to report lifestyle and food intake (a total of 46,898 meals were measured). In addition, the volunteers received a few standardized/identical meals for their breakfasts.
As expected, age and body mass index (BMI) were found to be associated with blood glucose levels after meals. However, the data also revealed that different people show vastly different responses to the same food, even though their individual responses did not change from one day to another.
“Most dietary recommendations that one can think of are based on one of these grading systems; however, what people didn’t highlight, or maybe they didn’t fully appreciate, is that there are profound differences between individuals–in some cases, individuals have opposite response to one another, and this is really a big hole in the literature,” says Segal, of Weizmann’s Department of Computer Science and Applied Math…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151119133230.htm

Sugar can be problematic in an individual’s diet.

Jillian Kubala, MS, RD wrote in the Heathline article, 11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You:

Here are 11 reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your health.
1. Can Cause Weight Gain
2. May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
3. Has Been Linked to Acne
4. Increases Your Risk of Diabetes
5. May Increase Your Risk of Cancer
6. May Increase Your Risk of Depression
7. May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process
8. Can Increase Cellular Aging
9. Drains Your Energy
10. Can Lead to Fatty Liver
11. Other Health Risks
Aside from the risks listed above, sugar can harm your body in countless other ways….
Summary Consuming too much sugar may worsen cognitive decline, increase gout risk, harm your kidneys and cause cavities

Many who are attempting a healthy diet include yogurt as a food choice. A BMJ study examines whether all yogurt choices are healthy.

Science Daily reported a BMJ, formerly British Medical Journal, study, Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold:

Yogurt may be an “unrecognised” source of dietary sugar, particularly for young children, who eat a lot of it, highlight the researchers.
The evidence suggests that yogurt and other fermented dairy products aid digestive and overall health. A good source of ‘friendly’ bacteria, they also contain protein, calcium, iodine and vitamin B.
UK and US dietary guidelines recommend low fat and low sugar dairy products, and the researchers wanted to assess how far yogurt products, particularly those marketed to children, meet these guidelines. Children up to the age of 3 in the UK eat more yogurt than any other age group.
They therefore assessed the nutrient content of almost 900 yogurts and yogurt products, which were available from five major UK online supermarket chains in October/November 2016. Between them, these chains account for 75 per cent of the market share.
All the products were grouped into eight categories: children’s, which included fromage frais; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic.
Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, currently used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the UK: 3 g of fat/100g or less or 1.5 g or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 g of total sugars/100 g.
The sugar content varied enormously both within and across the categories, the analysis showed. But, with the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was well above the low sugar threshold.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) qualified as low sugar, almost none of which were in the children’s category. This is “concerning,” given the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children, say the researchers.
Unsurprisingly, desserts contained the most total sugar, at an average 16.4 g/100 g, an amount that represents more than 45 per cent of energy intake. These were followed by products in the children’s, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories.
In these categories, total average sugars ranged from 10.8 g/100 g in children’s products to 13.1 g/100 g in organic products. This compares with an average of 5g /100 g for natural/Greek yogurts.
By and large, average fat content was either below or just above the low fat threshold. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2 g/100 g.
This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause, added to which it covered only products sold in five supermarket chains…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180918195345.htm

Citation:

Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold
Organic products, perceived as healthier options, among some of the worst offenders
Date: September 18, 2018
Source: BMJ
Summary:
The sugar content of most types of yogurt is well above the recommended threshold, reveals an analysis of the nutrient content of available UK supermarket products. And organic varieties, often viewed as healthier options, contain some of the highest average sugar content, at 13.1 g/100 g, the findings indicate.
Journal Reference:
J Bernadette Moore, Annabelle Horti, Barbara A Fielding. Evaluation of the nutrient content of yogurts: a comprehensive survey of yogurt products in the major UK supermarkets. BMJ Open, 2018; 8 (8): e021387 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021387

Here is the press release from BMJ (British Medical Journal):

PUBLIC RELEASE: 18-SEP-2018
Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold
Organic products, perceived as healthier options, among some of the worst offenders
BMJ
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Yogurt may be an “unrecognised” source of dietary sugar, particularly for young children, who eat a lot of it, highlight the researchers.
The evidence suggests that yogurt and other fermented dairy products aid digestive and overall health. A good source of ‘friendly’ bacteria, they also contain protein, calcium, iodine and vitamin B.
UK and US dietary guidelines recommend low fat and low sugar dairy products, and the researchers wanted to assess how far yogurt products, particularly those marketed to children, meet these guidelines. Children up to the age of 3 in the UK eat more yogurt than any other age group.
They therefore assessed the nutrient content of almost 900 yogurts and yogurt products, which were available from five major UK online supermarket chains in October/November 2016. Between them, these chains account for 75 per cent of the market share.
All the products were grouped into eight categories: children’s, which included fromage frais; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic.
Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, currently used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the UK: 3 g of fat/100g or less or 1.5 g or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 g of total sugars/100 g.
The sugar content varied enormously both within and across the categories, the analysis showed. But, with the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was well above the low sugar threshold.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) qualified as low sugar, almost none of which were in the children’s category. This is “concerning,” given the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children, say the researchers.
Unsurprisingly, desserts contained the most total sugar, at an average 16.4 g/100 g, an amount that represents more than 45 per cent of energy intake. These were followed by products in the children’s, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories.
In these categories, total average sugars ranged from 10.8 g/100 g in children’s products to 13.1 g/100 g in organic products. This compares with an average of 5g /100 g for natural/Greek yogurts.
By and large, average fat content was either below or just above the low fat threshold. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2 g/100 g.
This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause, added to which it covered only products sold in five supermarket chains.
But write the researchers: “While yogurt may be less of a concern than soft drinks and fruit juices, the chief sources of free sugars in both children and adults’ diets, what is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived ‘healthy food,’ may be an unrecognised source of free/added sugars in the diet.”
This is particularly true of the organic yogurts analysed, they say. “While the organic label refers to production, the well documented ‘health-halo effect’ means that consumers most often underestimate the caloric content and perceive the nutritional contents of organic products, including yogurts, more favourably.”
They conclude: “Not all yogurts are as healthy as perhaps consumers perceive them, and reformulation for the reduction of free sugars is warranted.”
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/b-sco091418.php

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Related:

Dr. Wilda Reviews Book: ‘Super Baby Food’ http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/dr-wilda-reviews-book-super-baby-food/

The Truth About Sugar                                                                            https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-effects-of-sugar#1

Good & Bad Sugars                                                                     https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/good-bad-sugars-7608.html

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

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