Thursday, September 27, 2012

Where are the Warriors?

Dave Draper eschewed 44 oz. soda drinks for something better!
Of course in the 60's none of us even imagined that such a thing as a 44 oz. soda would ever be available.

Retired military leaders say this generation is "too fat to fight". Wow. This is a shocking, but unfortunately, not too surprising statement. In my 30+ years in public education here in the United States I have certainly seen a dramatic increase in obesity along with a decrease in fitness levels. Of course it would seem to be much more desirable to have people self-regulate their eating habits rather than mandating what can be sold or served. However, the food industry has no scruples and continues to inundate us with high sugar and fat foods that have long shelf lives and develop addictions in those who make them a steady part of their diets.
It seems that many see goverment regulation as the only solution to the problem. While, I personally, am not against some guidelines and regulations applied to the food industry, I would rather that this wasn't necessary. With freedom comes responsibility. The responsibility to provide healthy products rather than fat and sugar laden garbage that only appeals to the taste buds, and also the responsibilty to make good choices and keep ourselves fit enough for our own defense if necessary.
No one has to buy or eat the garbage that the food industry pushes. But it wasn't that long ago that I can remember that there was no one serving 44 oz. soda drinks and supersized fries.  Of course if no one was buying them, they wouldn't sell them. On the other hand fewer homes have "homemakers" who take the responsibility to insure that children are eating well. Many families have either a single parent or two parents who have to work long hours to make ends meet and children are left to fend for themselves or are served a steady diet of fast and convenient prepared foods. Others have low incomes and choose foods that are cheap and calorie dense, but nutritionaly deficient. Yet others are just ignorant.
This a call to be a warrior.
Make good choices and encourage others to do the same. Be "fit to fight".

Retired military leaders say this generation is "too fat to fight".
(CBS News) Is obesity America's greatest threat to national security?
A group of retired military leaders seem to think so, given 27 percent of 17 to 24-year-olds in the United States are too fat to serve in the military. That's 9 million potential recruits.
In their new report dubbed "Too Fat to Fight," the nonpartisan group of 100 retired generals and admirals known as Mission: Readiness calls on the U.S. government to reduce the amount of junk foods available at schools in favor of healthier options.
"Being overweight or obese turns out to be the leading medical reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service," the group says in the report. "Today, otherwise excellent recruit prospects, some of them with generations of sterling military service in their family history, are being turned away because they are just too overweight."
More than one-third of U.S. adults -- 35.7 percent -- are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Citing Department of Defense data that 75 percent of young Americans can't join the military because they did not graduate from high school, have criminal records or are physically unfit, the group of retired military leaders has set their sights on combating obesity.
Between 1995 and 2008, the military had 140,000 individuals who showed up at recruiting centers but failed their entrance physicals because of their weight, the report said.
Teaching healthy habits starts in childhood, the leaders note, so a properly managed school environment could help foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
They want Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation that bars junk food from schools, increases funding to improve the nutrition and quality of school meals and provides children better access to programs that promote health.
The authors said school stores or canteens, vending machines and a la carte foods sold on lunch lines are areas of focus to make healthier. They are asking Congress to give the Secretary of the USDA power to implement healthier standards.
"The folks that are going to enter the military in 2025 are in school right now," Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Norman Seip told Reuters. "So it's up to us to ensure that when those children reach the age of between 17 and 24 that they are ready or eligible to join the military."

And a related article.....

New research validates the word of doctors and health advocates who warn that sugar-sweetened beverages play a significant role in the obesity epidemic.

"Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages do matter," Yale University endocrinologist Sonia Caprio wrote in an editorial that accompanied the studies. "The time has come to take action."

The study looked at 224 overweight and obese ninth- and tenth-graders who drank either a 12-ounce sugary drink or 100 percent fruit juice on a daily basis.

Researchers split the students into two groups, one which received a delivery of noncaloric beverages such as flavored-water, diet drinks or water every two weeks for one full year.

The other group received no noncaloric drinks, but were given a $50 gift card to a supermarket at intervals during the study, with no instructions on what to buy with the card.

The researchers were testing to determine whether or not changing a teen's household environment to carry fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, with no behavioral intervention, would have an effect on weight.

It turns out that simply swapping the drinks in the home for healthy beverages helped, CBS News reported. "After statistically ruling out other demographics so the only difference between groups would be sugary drink intake, teens who had the noncaloric deliveries gained an average of four fewer pounds over the course of a year than soda drinkers in the control group."

The study was published online Friday by the New England Journal of Medicine,

The new study comes at the crest of an ongoing debate, the Wall Street Journal reported. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to impose a ban on the sale of sugary beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces in movie theaters, restaurants and other venues in the city.

The findings "provide a strong impetus to develop recommendations and policy decisions to limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages," Sonia Caprio, a professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

The new studies unleashed a storm of objection from Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., described by the Los Angeles Times as the "icons of a $110-billion-a-year industry whose products have penetrated the remotest corners of the earth."

"Sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving obesity," the American Beverage Assn., which represents the soda makers, said in a statement released Friday. "By every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet."

The beverage ban goes into effect March 12. The ban only applies to drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces, USA Today noted. It does not include beverages with more than 50 percent milk or 100 percent juice drinks.

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