January 31st, 2011
Eat your veggies! And, while you’re at it, quit drinking so much soda.
The government’s new dietary guidelines issued today are unequivocal. Americans need to get serious about eating healthier. They need to put more produce on their plates and push out the sugar, saturated fats and sodium that have crept into the American diet in so many ways, via soda, packaged meals and sweet snacks.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (yes, it’s 2011, in case you’re reading in real time) are more explicit than ever, federal officials said, because the nation’s got big obesity issues.
So instead of just urging us to eat 5 to 7 “servings” of fruits and vegetables every day, the mantra of the last adjustment in the food pyramid, these new guidelines tell us to drink water instead of “sugary drinks”, switch to 1 percent milk, and fill half of our plates with fruits and vegetables.
But wait! Don’t overfill that plate. Portion size and exercise also are part of the equation.
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January 13th, 2011
Last week the federal government announced a plan to reduce the safe upper limit for fluoride in drinking water, to help protect children from the disfiguring marks or mottling of teeth that occurs with overexposure to the mineral.
Fluoride has been added to public drinking supplies in the U.S. for decades, at the behest of dental experts who claim it helps reduce cavities.
But opponents of fluoridation — which now affects about 70 percent of the U.S. population — say its risks outweigh any possible benefits. In addition, recent science shows that topical fluoride treatments work best to strengthen tooth enamel, rendering fluoridation unnecessary.
Following last week’s announcement, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) issued a statement saying the new proposed fluoride levels were neither protective of teeth, nor safe for developing brains. FAN argued that more than 100 studies have shown that fluoride damages animal brains, and 24 studies show an association between moderate to high fluoride ingestion and lowered IQs in children.
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