Posts tagged with "obesity"

Fact:

Obesity is a complex condition, that can’t be boiled down to one specific product or ingredient. Many health organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, have found multiple risk factors, including genetics, age, stress, and even lack of sleep.

Source:The Mayo Clinic

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Myth

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is high in fructose

Fact

HFCS is composed of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, as compared to table sugar which is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Two types of HFCS are used in beverages: HFCS 55 (55% fructose) and HFCS 42 (42% fructose), with glucose making up the rest of the sweetener, just as in table sugar (sucrose).

Fructose coexists in a mixture with glucose in all common sweeteners that have calories, including honey, agave nectar and table sugar. Fructose is a simple fruit sugar widely found naturally in foods such as fruits and vegetables.

When compared to other carbohydrates contributing the same amount of calories, fructose has no significant effects on weight gain, blood pressure or uric acid. Many experimental studies which claim fructose pose metabolic risks examine fructose consumption in a “pure” form (i.e. without any accompanying glucose) and at levels which far exceed sugar consumption based on what we know of from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). These studies do not mirror reality as it is unlikely that any diet provides pure fructose and even the heaviest consumers of fructose and sugar consume less than is tested.

Existing evidence has shown that weight gain occurs from the consumption of calories from any source – if not burned off through physical activity and normal metabolic processes.

Source:American Journal of Clinical Nutrition The Journal of Nutrition Food and Chemical Toxicology Experimental Biology 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Myth

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) causes obesity and diabetes.

Fact

Actually, the American Medical Association has concluded that HFCS, a common liquid sweetener made from corn, is not a unique contributor to either obesity or type 2 diabetes. In fact, HFCS is so similar to sucrose (table sugar) that your body can’t tell the difference between the two, and processes both in the same way.

Despite its name, HFCS it is not high in fructose and, just like sucrose, it is a combination of two simple sugars – glucose and fructose.

Source:American Medical Association

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Myth

Increased sugar consumption is largely to blame for America’s obesity epidemic.

Fact

According to USDA data, sugar actually plays a minor role in additional calories in the American diet, most of which come from fats, oils and starches.

During the past four decades as obesity rates climbed, the American food supply added an additional 445 calories per day. While fats, oils and starches comprised 376 (84%) of these additional calories, sugar – from all sources – played a relatively minor role, contributing only 34 calories (9%).

Calories from soft drinks played an even smaller role in this increase. In fact, CDC data shows that foods, not beverages, are the top source of sugars in the American Diet.

Source:U.S. Department of Agriculture Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

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Myth

The obesity epidemic can be reversed if people stop drinking soda.

Fact

Sugar-sweetened beverages account for only 6% of calories in the average American’s diet, according to government data. With 94% of our calories coming from other foods and beverages, meaningful steps to reduce obesity need to look at the bigger picture.

Obesity is a complex problem that cannot be solved by focusing on a small piece of the total diet. Science shows that being overweight or obese is caused by an imbalance between “calories in,” the calories we consume through all foods and beverages, and “calories out,” those we burn through basic body functions, daily activities and regular exercise. We also know that variables such as lifestyle, genetics, age, culture, income and more play a role. Focusing on one product — soda — ignores the bigger problem and doesn’t offer real solutions.

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Q & A

Q: Does drinking diet soda cause weight gain?

A: No. In fact, diet sodas, which are 99 percent water, have been proven to be an effective tool for weight loss and weight maintenance.

When it comes to obesity, all calories count, regardless of their source. Science has shown that the key to maintaining a healthy weight is energy balance, that is balancing calories consumed with calories burned. Many people trying to lose weight often switch to diet beverages that contain low-calorie sweeteners as a way to reduce their caloric intake.

According to the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), low-calorie sweeteners can help reduce calories and sugar intake and aid in maintaining a healthy weight.

Source:De La Hunty, A., Gibson, S. and Ashwell, M. (2006), A review of the effectiveness of aspartame in helping with weight control. Nutrition Bulletin, 31: 115–128;

American Diabetes Association

Phelan S, Lang W, Jordan D, Wing RR. Use of artificial sweeteners and fat-modified foods in weight loss maintainers and always-normal weight individuals. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Oct;33(10):1183-90.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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Myth

Taxing soda would reduce obesity.

Fact

There is no evidence that soda taxes will have any effect whatsoever on obesity, and one study showed just the opposite. The study, conducted by an economist at the Yale School of Public Health found that “…any obesity-related benefit of decreased soda consumption that comes from a soda tax is, on average, more than offset by increased caloric consumption from other beverages.” The author reported that “[A] 6-calorie reduction in soda consumption is accompanied by an 8-calorie increase in milk consumption and a 2-calorie increase in juice and juice drink consumption.”

In addition, states that have had an excise tax on soft drinks – such as West Virginia and Arkansas – have continued to rank in the top 10 most obese states in the country while states with no soda tax, such as Colorado and Vermont, continue to rank among the least obese states.

Source:“Slim Odds: Empirical studies provide little evidence soda taxes would shrink Americans’ waistlines;” Jonathan Klick, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Eric Helland, professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College; Regulation; Spring 2011

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