Once again our government has failed us

WHAT’S GOING ON: (Times) Rejecting the advice of its scientific advisers, the federal government has released new dietary recommendations that sound a familiar nutritional refrain, advising Americans to “make every bite count” but dismissing experts’ specific recommendations to set new low targets for consumption of sugar and alcoholic beverages. American adults consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day, more than 3 times the recommended amount for women. This adds up to around 60 pounds of added sugar annually – that’s six, 10-pound bowling balls.

The latest guidelines do not address the current pandemic nor, critics said, new scientific consensus about the need to adopt dietary patterns that reduce food insecurity and chronic diseases. Climate change does not figure in the advice, which does not address sustainability or greenhouse gas emissions, both intimately tied to modern food production.

In addition, a report issued by a scientific advisory committee last summer had recommended that the guidelines encourage Americans to make drastic cuts in their consumption of sugars added to drinks and foods to 6 percent of daily calories, from the currently recommended 10 percent.

Officials at the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services rejected explicit caps on sugar and alcohol consumption.

New York Times

Many Americans are living with the motto that “A little bit of sugar makes everything taste better”. Even though our lives are sweetened by this addictive ingredient, our society are seeing alarming cases of obesity and health problems that may have to do with our sugar-eating habits. As our annual national healthcare expense escalates in an alarming rate each year, maybe it is time to take a closer look at how consuming sugar can be detrimental to the human body.

Large amount of clinical studies have found consistent data that the bodyweight changes correlate directly with increasing or decreasing the intake of sugars. Just by decreasing 5% of sugar intake, individuals were witnessed to lose an average of 0.80kg of their body weight. And by increasing sugar intake by 5%, individuals were seen to gain an average of 0.75kg. (BMJ Research). This leads to obesity.

It is estimated that $190.2 billion of the United States annual healthcare expenditure is related to obesity-related illnesses. (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation”)

More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese; obesity, diabetes and other related conditions also increase the risk of developing severe Covid-19 illness.

Sugary drinks contributes greatly to the surge of daily sugar intake by Americans. In the 1970s, sugary drinks only occupied 4% of average daily calories intake. By 2001, the amount rose to 11%. In 2008, 91% of American children from ages 6 to 11 were consuming as much as 60% of their daily calories intake from sugar-sweetened beverages. (Harvard School of Public Health). To make matters worse although the average consumption soft drinks have decreased to a new low in years in 2015 (40.7 gallons per person annually), many people have increased their consumption of energy drinks which now make up more than 10% of the American soft drink industry. (Harvard School of Public Health).

There is some good news however, the good news is that the added-sugar message is breaking through, and many American adults crave a change. In fact, research suggests that 77 percent of Americans are striving for less sugar in their diets. And 7 in 10 consumers are willing to give up a favorite sugary product in favor of finding a healthier alternative. The willingness is there. For now, your best defense is education.

Americans love to bitch about healthcare costs, yet they are unwilling to make the necessary changes to their lifestyles to avoid obesity and chronic conditions. Unless we start to tackle sugar consumption and obesity quickly, our healthcare system will see increased costs as we have never experienced before.

Government misses “Warp-speed” vaccinations by 98 million

Trump said that by September-October, 100 million people would be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. They missed that target by 98 million people.

Here in Florida, people are lining up by the hundreds the night before to get vaccinated. One county tried to make it easier by allowing online appointments, but their website crashed several times.

It’s estimated that lines could be hours long when the vaccine is available in other states. Normal vaccination wait times are not expected to be seen until Spring. This is another huge failure of our government.