There may have finally been a breakthrough. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have all announced that they plan to work to reduce the number of calories Americans get from beverages by 20 percent in the next decade.
The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Soda makers are facing increasing amounts of pressure to do something as sugary drinks continue to contribute to rising obesity rates.
Though obesity rates are still going up, there’s no denying that the idea of being healthier is appealing to more and more people. The last several years have seen customers moving away from consuming soda.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that marijuana has been legalized in two states, Colorado and Washington. People have been jumping out of the woodwork to either praise or condemn the decision.
A common argument against the legalization of marijuana is the perceived danger of the plant. Many suggest its use is more dangerous than alcohol consumption. President Obama turned heads this week we he announced he disagreed with that view.
“As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” he told New Yorker magazine. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
With the new year, New York City bid farewell to Mayor Mike Bloomberg after a twelve-year term. Love him or hate him, his achievements in public health were stunning. While others only talked, he managed to act on smoking, obesity, and hypertension—and he placed the burden of fixing them on the industries that profited at the cost of the public’s health.
The Mayor showed that public health is a priority for local government, not just for the federal government to create health policies from on high. Bloomberg used New York City as a laboratory for public health innovation, spotlighting issues and testing solutions on a relatively small scale.
Here’s a reminder of Mayor Bloomberg’s most significant public health campaigns:
Why are so many Americans—69.2 percent to be exact—overweight or obese? The answer seems obvious: We’re taking in more calories than we expend. But why is that? Check out these seven common weight gain triggers.
We slurp down sugary drinks.
This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea and other beverages that cost about 140 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. They are a major source of added sugar in our diet. Guzzle just one can daily on top of your actual calorie needs and you could gain 15 pounds a year. A Canadian study that tracked toddlers found that those who drank more sugary beverages were 2.5 times more likely to be overweight compared to those who didn’t.
We consume too little fiber.
This comes from not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aside from making you feel fuller on fewer calories (and thus, satisfying appetite), fiber may also promote a slimming gut flora, the population of trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut that are thought to influence everything from immunity to anxiety to obesity risk. (more…)
Coca-Cola has been named the “wellness” sponsor for BlogHer 2013, an annual conference that celebrates the best in health, family, entertainment, sex, DIY, and political blogging by and for women. Coca-Cola will be hosting their Steps to Wellness challenge and campaign at this weekend’s conference, but not without a bit of backlash first. Even though Coke will be handing out pedometers to all BlogHer attendees (speaking of pedometers, it takes 40 minutes of walking to burn off the calories in a can of Coke), their presence under auspices of being a health brand is rubbing the wellness community the wrong way.
Leah Segedie, a health blogger and founder of Mamavation, is calling out BlogHer, which did not return our request for comment, for choosing the soft drink brand as the wellness sponsor. Tonight, she is hosting a Twitter party to spread the word.
“I don’t know why they chose to accept Coke as a sponsor, but this marketing ploy is consistent with what they’ve been doing all year with other conferences, commercials, and outlets,” said Leah. She cited Coke’s falling market share and lawsuits (this week it’s VitaminWater for deceptive labeling) as the main motivation to “make people feel better about drinking their product again.”
A 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola is a 140 calorie and 39.9 gram blast of high fructose corn syrup. Coca-Cola is not a healthy beverage, and meanwhile more than one-third of Americans are obese because they drink too much of the stuff. Additionally, the soda contains artificial dyes, GMOs, and has traces of BPA from the aluminum can, a known obesogen. High fructose corn syrup can lead to diabetes and diet soda has been proven to increase your waist size, not to mention a bevy of other health-related side effects from drinking the caramel colored syrup. (more…)