Who Is Fanning the Fires of Obesity and Diabetes?
Majid Ali, M.D.
Who can be held responsible for fanning the fires of obesity and diabetes in the United States? Those who produce fattening and diabetizing foods, as well as those who keep Americans ignorant about the real scientific issues.
Insulin Toxicity Fans the Fires of Obesity and Diabetes?
Insulin is the fattening hormone. Insulin toxicity is the primary cause of diabetes except in rare cases of developmental disorders. The validity of this statement can be tested by simple blood insulin tests. My free Courses on Insulin Toxicity and Diabetes Reversal are presented at www.AliDiabetes.org.
The U.S. topped the list of countries with high incidence of diabetes until September 3013 when China toppled the country from that distinction.
The New York Times does not recognize the epidemic spread of insulin toxicity in the United States. It continues to skirt te real scientific issues and publish superficial, often meaningless, materials. Consider the following three letters to editors published on April 3, 2015 and see whether the Times is serving or disserving its readers:
In “See No Junk Food, Buy No Junk Food” (Op-Ed, March 21), Thomas A. Farley and Russell Sykes raise an important question — how can we ensure that every American has access to healthy food? — but don’t mention the Agriculture Department’s contributions to this challenge.
In the last six years alone, the Agriculture Department has invested billions to expand access to healthy food, including building new grocery stores in underserved areas, increasing access for food stamp users at farmers’ markets, pushing for improvements to school meals, and testing innovative strategies to eliminate hunger, particularly among children.
Soon, we will invest another $31.5 million to build on our work to test strategies that encourage food stamp recipients to buy healthier foods. We’ve also started the work of strengthening healthy food stocking requirements for convenience stores that accept food stamps, where just 4 percent of all benefits are redeemed. Collectively, these efforts work to empower Americans to eat healthier, reduce the nation’s health care costs and strengthen rural economies.
Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
The suggestion to mandate a minimum amount of shelf space for healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables in urban neighborhood stores is laudable, but in the long run reinforces a misconception that only fresh fruits and vegetables count, whereas frozen don’t.
Increasing fruit and vegetable intake is an important step toward improving diet quality, both in terms of the nutrients they provide and the less nutritious and calorie-dense foods they replace. However, fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, highly perishable and particularly for vegetables can be labor-intensive to prepare.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are more affordable, as nutritious, less perishable and quicker to use during food preparation than their fresh counterparts. Instead of focusing on “fresh” fruits and vegetables, mandating a minimum amount of shelf space for frozen options would serve the same purpose. Given the availability of freezer space for frozen desserts, this would be an easy change.
Alice H. Lichtenstein
The writer is a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University and the director of its Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.
A primary justification behind a ban on using federal food stamps for junk food is that it is against the public interest for tax dollars to add fuel to a health crisis caused by poor diets. That logic dictates that we make such a policy more universal and not confined only to low-income people.
Every year, public dollars are used when federal employees buy junk food while on official travel and, presumably, when federal agencies host conferences and other events.
Extending a junk-food ban more broadly to federal employees might be difficult to enforce, but it would send an important message that if the federal government is going to ban using public funds for junk food, then it will be blind to income and employment status. Even partial compliance would be a step in the right direction.
The writer is senior vice president of the California Endowment, a private health foundation.