All posts by blackstontj

Backing a healthy lifestyle

Due to the inconsistencies of the food industry with their products, our individual health is on the downward spiral unless we start educating the younger generation on the effects of bad nutrition. We have to educate everyone on what bad ingredients to look for in products even if the food industry advertises these foods as healthy and safe. We have to teach everyone about the artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame and Acesulfame potassium, Splenda etc that are dangerous to their health. We have to make it a priority to really start backing a healthy lifestyle in our community because if we don’t, our obesity rates will continue to skyrocket. We have to make it a priority to not expose the younger generation to bad eating habits such as McDonald’s or Burger King. I remember when I was a kid, my mom used to take me to McDonald’s all the time because it was truly convenient. Eventually I found myself wanting that McDonald’s happy meal all the time because it was indeed my favorite thing to eat. Now looking back upon that I wish my mom would have said no nine out of ten times because eating fast food all the time put me on the wrong path diet wise. I never knew how bad any of these junk foods were for me until it was too late and this is why we as a community need to start early by exposing everyone to healthy eating habits, the rewards of eating right and consuming an adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients. And I know what I am about to say will probably anger the food industry but we should limit junk food ads and absolutely ban ads advertising healthy foods that are not necessarily healthy. These advertisements are incredibly fraudulent, but the food industry makes money so it’s acceptable. I say no. Other countries around the world, such as Australia and the UK, are already starting to discuss the banning or limiting of junk food ads due to the belief that these ads negatively effect the eating habits of younger children and some adults. In the UK, Ofcom is trying to create a new ban to “reduce youth exposure to junk food advertisements, in hopes of decreasing junk food consumption” which will promote a healthier lifestyle for their citizens (Anonymous pg. 4). In the UK, they understand the taxing problem at hand and hopefully the US will step up and realize how critical this situation is becoming. Banning or limiting junk food ads of course will not be a popular opinion among corporate executives but I feel it is necessary to protect the lives our younger generation because they are our future. Being healthy helps fuel their minds. It is a known fact that having a healthy lifestyle indeed sharpens the mindset of an individual. Our younger generation having a sharper mindset will ultimately push this country forward.

http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/resources-library/should-junk-food-ads-be-banned

Anonymous. “Junk Food Ads Trimmed.” Multinational Monitor 27.6 (2006): 4. Web.

Nutrition: Ethics of Food Industry

The health of our bodies is in serious danger because of the lack of ethics by the food industry. It’s all about money to these guys. It has gotten to the point where previously healthy food products such as V8 are no longer what the consumer expects in terms of nutritional value. But my question now is how could the food industry be so deceitful and so inconsiderate of the well being of individuals who buy their products. I know money runs he world and all but gaining money is not possible if no consumers are around to demand that product. The food industry advertises products as healthy but in fact, they are endangering people all around the world to the point where a lot of unhealthy foods are banned in other countries, but not in the United States of America. They aren’t banned here because we unfortunately live in corporate America where money is infinitely more important the individuals who inhabit the country. This is a sad reality because due to this questionable and ludicrous stance, our government fails to efficiently regulate the actions of the food industry. This leads to the food industry passing unhealthy products off to the community and putting everyone’s health in risk especially individuals who are already obese. These obese individuals can be killing themselves without even knowing because they unfortunately trust the food industry to give them accurate information. But the food industry does not care about being ethically correct. Their morals are lacking when it comes to individuals and this is especially concerning. All they see is green. As long as their pockets are full, people dying does not matter.

Money-Making-Ideas-in-the-Food-Industry

Lakhyajyoti. Digital image. Earning Diary. N.p., 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-patricia-fitzgerald/greed-in-the-seed-the-inc_b_214176.html

Nutrition: What to look out for

Now a day, we as individuals have to specifically analyze the ingredients list of every food we eat to ensure that what we are eating or drinking is indeed what we wanted to eat or drink. So you may find yourself thinking how do I know if a food or drink is healthy or if it is just marketed healthy and not really healthy? How do I know what is nutritious or not? The answer is you have, and I mean you really have to, dive into the ingredients. Once you spot some key ingredients on the label, it is an automatic signal that you should not be eating or drinking whatever it is. Number one, look for potential preservatives because preservatives hinder your body’s ability to efficiently break down the foods you eat. After all they are called preservatives for a reason; they indeed preserve the food you eat. Preservatives are in a bunch of foods that come from restaurants even in the options they constantly advertise as “healthy” such as some salads. Number two; look for probably the most common sweetener there is, High Fructose Corn Syrup. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a genetically modified-laden sweetener, which is incredibly high in Mercury. This dangerous sweetener can also make you more obese than if you were to eat the same amount of table sugars. HFCS is much more sweeter than sugar so it makes your body crave more and more sugar the more you eat it. This causes many individuals to become obese and unfortunately and many “healthy” drinks are laced with this dangerous sweetener.

For example, we have all heard of V8 Splash. V8 splash is supposed to be a healthy vegetable juice drink but when you look at the ingredients, it’s mostly water. That’s the main ingredient. And the second most used ingredient is this “healthy” drink you may ask? High Fructose Corn Syrup, so not only are you not getting your dose of vegetables, you may also be adding more fat because your body automatically turns High Fructose Corn Syrup into fat because it’s foreign to your body. It’s a shame that we are constantly fooled by the food industry into thinking we are actually eating or drinking healthy or healthier but in actuality, that is incredibly far from the truth.

Decoding Labels: V8 Splash, Strawberry Kiwi

 

 

 

Language of Food Industry

The language of the food industry and how they advertise is concerning to many nutritional experts in the field. The food industry leads individuals astray with their clever lingo and multiple loopholes they find in order to advertise their products as a healthy choice. For example many labels on food products may say they are rich in multigrain and 7 grains, so one may think oh this a healthy option. Diets that are rich in fiber and nutrients, which multigrain are full of, are said to be preferable for individuals who want the most out of their eating habits. But in fact, those foods have been processed to an extreme intent, which stripped away most of the nutrients and fiber that the grains had because they were refined in flour. But due to the fact that originally whole grains were in the food, the food labels can in fact still advertise that it is rich in grains. The food industry is deceptive in their strategy to market not so healthy foods off as healthy and desirable. Another example would be some flavored water products such as Clear Splash. Clear Splash has a favorable taste and is fizzy like soda. Clear Splash advertises their product as a healthy option if one does not enjoy just plain water. It has zero calories, they say. There is no sugar displayed on the label. This is true. It does in fact have zero calories but when you take a closer look at the ingredients, you can see two ingredients that will stand out. One is Aspartame and the other is Acesulfame Potassium. Both of these ingredients are additives that one should avoid altogether because they are essentially foreign. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that almost 100 times sweeter than sugar. Clear Splash also has a preservative in it, which is also bad, but they advertise this water as a healthy alternative for soda but is it really a healthier option? This is debatable. The deviousness of the food industry is especially concerning because the common person would have no idea what these ingredients were and he/she would drink this water with no regrets.

http://www.prevention.com/food/make-better-healthy-eating-choices

Watch Your Water: Just Because It’s Clear Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy!

Education of Nutrition

The quality of education concerning nutritional information needs to be revamped in a big way. I remember when I was growing up, I took one class in health and it did not necessarily touch on nutrition, but rather it was more of a sex education class. We talked about sexually transmitted diseases and being physically active but never the foods involved in our everyday life that we eat continuously. Throughout high school, I was never taught what the nutritional value and ingredients meant on the labels of everyday foods such as milk or bread. The average young adult doesn’t know anything truly valuable about the nutritional value of the food we eat. Yes, of course everyone knows that one is not supposed to surpass a certain threshold of calories in order to stay at a healthy weight. Everyone knows this common fact, but much more goes into staying physically and mentally fit. Some foods may be in low in calories but are extremely nutrient deficient, meaning they have very little essential vitamins that a person needs to perform at peak potential. Some foods or drinks may also be in low in calories but have ingredients that one’s body was never meant to ingest so it immediately transforms these ingredients into fat, which may cause problems down the line.

It’s a shame that kids of my generation lack the certain nutritional knowledge that could potentially save their lives down the line. Until about a year ago, I would look at a food label and wonder what was I reading? What were unsaturated fats, trans fats? What were some of these ingredients that were incredibly difficult to say? I doubt that I was the only child that felt this way growing now and even currently. It’s important that we alter the culture and educate these younger kids on the effects of good nutrition and the degrading effects of bad nutrition.

kids_games_nutrition_fun

http://www.prevention.com/food/make-better-healthy-eating-choices

http://www.fns.usda.gov/get-involved/provide-nutrition-education

Truth about Nutrition and losing weight

Is exercise really important to individuals who want to lose weight and better their nutrition? Well yes and no is the broad answer. Contrary to popular belief, exercise is not as important as most people think when it comes to getting to a healthy, desirable weight. We all have grown up hearing “if you want to lose weight, you need to exercise daily or you need to burn a lot of calories.” Because of this common notion beat into our brains, an individual would set out on a goal to lose weight but spend endless hours in the gym doing breathtaking cardio and resistance training, sometimes not seeing any results or just minimum results on the weight scale. The truth is exercise is not really all that important to losing weight. One can never exercise and they will lose weight if they eat the right foods. Losing weight is mostly based on how effective one’s diet is. A person can lose weight by lessening the calories their body consumes a day and exercise is just a supplement. The best way to burn calories is to not eat the calories at all. It takes a 3500-calorie deficit to lose a pound over an allotted amount of time. The average person may burn up to 500 calories at the gym per session but can reduce the calories they intake by approximately 800-900 calories just by not eating a fast food meal from say McDonald’s or Chick-fil-a, but instead eating a chicken breast with vegetables. Weight loss is about control and if one controls their eating, they wouldn’t have to ever step foot in the gym. But even though exercise is not as important to losing weight, it is very important to our overall quality of nutrition. Exercise is good for the heart and the lungs, and it keeps the body at peak potential.

 

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Fat Guy on Exercise Ball. Digital image. N.p., 1 Dec. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.

http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/weight-loss-tips-reset-your-body-clock-belly-melt-diet

Nutrition in US

The USA is unfortunately regarded as the fattest country in the world, and it’s not just because other countries hate us. It’s not because people just want to talk bad about us as a country. It’s a proven fact that the USA is indeed the fattest country. The United States has the highest obesity rate in the world thanks to most of the public being uninformed about nutrition. The United has the highest daily calorie intake in the world, averaging 3,770 calories per day. This average is well above the healthy intake of calories a man or women should be consuming a day. The USA has fast food restaurants popping up everyday, on every street corner. And this fast food is significantly cheaper than the healthier option and also more convenient. This leads the American people to not really care about what is good or bad for them. The only thing that matters is if it is easier or not. If you want a healthy option, more than likely you will have to spend time cooking that meal at home because at restaurants, portion sizes are significantly larger. Portions at restaurants can be sometimes three times the size of a normal portioned meal and this extremely troubling for the US because the average American family eats out 2-3 times a week. And because of USA’s poor diet, about “117 million people, which is about half of the population, in the US have preventable chronic disease related to poor diet and physical inactivity”(Washington Post). We as Americans need to realize the severity of having poor nutrition before it becomes too late.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2722815/Daily-calorie-intake-countries-world-revealed-surprise-U-S-tops-list-3-770.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/19/nations-top-nutrition-panel-the-american-diet-is-killing-us/

Anonymous. “Study Criticizes Lack of Nutrition Education in U.S. Medical Schools.” American Family Physician 82.10 (2010): 1175. Web.

Nutrition in disease prevention

Aside from popular belief, being healthy does not just mean one doesn’t have a disease or lingering issues. In order to be considered truly healthy, an individual has to add nutritional aspects to their lifestyle to give their body a better opportunity to perform at peak potential. One has to add nutritional aspects such as clean eating and physical activity to enhance their social, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities. Optimal nutrition is vital to the decrease health issues and the increase of disease prevention. The foods we eat and the nutrients we are supposed to get from the foods we eat are important for our growth and development.

Many of our leading killer diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke are a lot of times correlated to our nutrition. The foods we eat and our exercising programs can significantly increase or decrease our chances to get these diseases. Cardiovascular diseases have been heavily linked to poor diets and inactivity for long periods of time. Eating foods that contain fats, such as Saturated fats and trans fats, significantly render the health of an average heart. Trans fats are especially bad for the heart because these fats contribute to the clogging of arteries due to their chemical structure. Other diseases that could potentially be prevented with good nutrition include Diabetes and Obesity, which is also becoming an epidemic in the US. The lack of physical activity and skyrocketing obesity are leading to the exponentially growing cases of Type 2 Diabetes in the USA today. Maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active daily, even if it is just walking 30 minutes a day, is essential to the well being of people. Really paying attention to nutrition could be the saving grace for preventing some of the leading killers in the United States and all over the world.

Trans_Fat_Fried_Chicken

 

Brownell, Kelly D., and Jennifer L. Pomeranz. “The Trans-Fat Ban — Food Regulation and Long-Term Health.” The New England Journal of Medicine370.19 (2014): 1773-775. Web.

http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/summary/en/

https://www.stvincent.org/Health-Library/Integrated-Heart-Solutions-Center/Preventing-Heart-Disease-/Diet-and-Nutrition/Nutrition-s-Role-in-Disease-Prevention.aspx

Nutrition in legislation

Over the course of the years, there have been many laws passed that puts restrictions on foods and certain chemicals in foods that are unsafe for us citizens to eat. These laws allowed us as a society to become safer in our nutritious habits. A direct effect of these laws was the Food Drug Administration or FDA being first established in the year 1906. The FDA is a government-regulated organization that is critical to the public’s health. They are responsible for making sure that our country’s food supply is safe. Also they ensure that different animal and human drugs, medical devices, and certain cosmetic products are truly safe for the public. When the FDA was created, the meat inspection act was passed the same day, which ensured that meat was safe to eat. The passing of these laws was a direct response to the government discovering the highly insanitary environments in meatpacking plants. They discovered that “poisonous preservatives and dyes” were being used in the meatpacking plants (fda.gov).

There has also been other laws made to ensure that the public has the chance to eat foods that are high in nutritional value and are not eating foods that contain damaging chemicals that could ultimately render the human body. Some laws include The White House Conference on Food and Nutrition, which banned the artificial sweetener cyclamate because of health concerns. Also Sanitation programs began to ensure the safety of shellfish, milk and food services. There are many other laws made to ensure the safety of the public through their nutrition, but these are just a few. We as a society understand how important nutrition is the average person so ensuring the safety of food and other things is a major priority.

 

http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/History/Milestones/ucm128305.htm

http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/

Price, William D, and Lynne Underhill. “Application of Laws, Policies, and Guidance from the United States and Canada to the Regulation of Food and Feed Derived from Genetically Modified Crops: Interpretation of Composition Data.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61.35 (2013): 8349-55. Print.

Yu, Shengbing, Binghui Zhu, Fen Lv, Shaoxiao Li, and Weixiong Huang. “Rapid Analysis of Cyclamate in Foods and Beverages by Gas Chromatography-electron Capture Detector (GC-ECD).” Food Chemistry 134.4 (2012): 2424-9. Web.

Nutrition in college students

College students definitely do not have many options for healthy eating, well depending on what campus an individual resides on. But just taking VCU for an example, there aren’t many healthy options on this campus for students to choose from besides Croutons, where they sell grilled chicken wraps, salads etc. Unlike elementary, middle, and high schools around the area, colleges and Universities are not held to a standard that they have to have so many nutritious options for students to indulge in. They are not a part of any program that says they have to do anything so healthy options come scarce to college students. Around college campuses, you will see multiple chains of fast food restaurants such as panda express, McDonald’s, Chipotle etc. The presence of all these franchises attract college students and leads to them not getting enough nutrients and vitamins that will allow them to perform at peak ability. The foods from these restaurants are incredibly high in total fat, saturated fats and calories. That just equals carb, carbs, and more carbs. These foods are also high in preservatives, which make it difficult for your body to break down the food in your stomach. This can definitely slow a student down physically and academically. Of course, I’m talking about the common student here though because athletes at colleges for sure get their share of healthy options because that is vital to them performing athletically to their best ability. Without their proper nutrients, they wouldn’t be able to excel in whichever sport they play, which means less money for their respective schools.

The Dining halls at colleges do try to provide some healthy alternatives though but clearly they fall short of standards. The dining systems at colleges need to be improved because nutrition in college students is vital to their success.

 

Most-ordered-college-dishes

Vincent, Adam. College Students. Digital image. N.p., 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julianne-tarullo/college-health_b_6704896.html

www.bestcolleges.com/resources/student-nutrition

Raines, K.A., Moore, C.K., and Kluess, H.A. “The Relationship between Body Image and Nutrition Knowledge in College Freshman Sorority Students.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 111.9 (2011): A69. Print.