Monday, September 28, 2009

Dr. not buying Bloomberg's anti-soda campaign


Good afternoon,

I hope you’re doing well. I recently read a post on your blog titled, “Do What I Say, Not What I Do” where you address Mayor Bloomberg’s hypocrisy towards the New York City Health Department’s “Don’t Drink Yourself Fat” advertisement. I thought you might be interested in a podcast with a response to the ad campaign, from the scientific perspective. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health, thinks it is irresponsible to pinpoint a single product for America’s obesity problem and thinks that these efforts may be misleading for consumers.

She addresses her views on the podcast below:

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Liz Seymour for Dr. Elizabeth Whelan and the American Council on Science and Health

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, pod-cast or not, every can of soda has a good 140 calories or more and two of them could almost total a meal for someone on a low calorie diet who needs to drop a few pounds.

Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to thinning bones and poor-quality teeth.

I am a soda addict, have weened myself off a few times and had immediate weight-loss.

Just because Bloomberg is a bit of a Fascist doesn't mean that sodas are just peachy-keen either.

Anonymous said...

You should look into ACSH's funding before getting too excited.

Christina Wilkinson said...

Regardless of where the group's funding comes from, the Dr. and dietitian in the video are advocating a sound counseling practice. You never tell a person that a particular product is "bad" or that they should eliminate it from their diet completely unless it can cause them immediate harm (such as interfere with their medication). You teach the patient that they can enjoy their "vice" in moderation and work with them to incorporate more healthy foods in their diet. If you tell a patient that a certain food is bad and they should totally eliminate it from their diets, you're setting them up for failure.

As for "excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to thinning bones and poor-quality teeth" it's the phosphoric acid present in colas that has a greater effect. Therefore, even non-caloric diet cola will damage bones and teeth if consumed over an extended period of time. Caffeine causes a mild calcium excretion which can be prevented with adequate calcium intake, but is not as effective with phosphoric acid.

Anonymous said...

Like anything else we eat or drink, moderation is key.

The difficulty is actually with achieving moderation with eating and drinking. It's that simple.

italian girl said...

"You teach the patient that they can enjoy their "vice" in moderation and work with them to incorporate more healthy foods in their diet."

But Christina, isn't that just the problem? People who end up very overweight have an issue with "moderation". I know I have an addiction to chocolate. I will literally eat a whole bag of chocolates and I won't stop until it's finished. My solution is to not buy bags of chocolates.
How do you change an addiction (and stuffing your face until you feel sick) to moderation?

Anonymous said...

You can have chocolates in the house and tell another family member to hide them and only allow you to have one at a time.

Christina Wilkinson said...

The key is behavior and lifestyle modification, not concentrating on specific foods. What Bloomberg is aiming at with his campaign is weight control or weight loss. You won't have that unless an overall lifestyle change is undertaken. So labeling certain foods as "evil" is not going to make someone lose weight. They have to learn (or re-learn) how to eat healthy in general.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is the phosphoric acid that does the damage, but I think "Diet" sodas are even more poisonous due to dubious additives such as Aspartame.

In my case, Aspartame has played hell with my pseudotumor certebri, and I have had friends who also had neurological effects from it.

If you are trying to lose weight, stick to water.

Anonymous said...

No wonder he's anti soda!

Mike's hoping we're all thirsty enough to gulp down his lethal "Kool Aid"...another term in office!

Anonymous said...

It's just another one of Der Mayor's smokescreen distractions so that Mike can continue getting his hands into our pockets without us noticing it!

Vote that shrimp/bastard out!

italian girl said...

"Well, it is the phosphoric acid that does the damage, but I think "Diet" sodas are even more poisonous due to dubious additives such as Aspartame."

I have to agree. I think those sweeteners are more dangerous than any regular soda's calories. I drink seltzer and/or water instead. And yogurts sweetened with aspartame taste disgusting.

Christina Wilkinson said...

Aspartame does taste disgusting. But there are other artificial sweeteners out there other than aspartame. I can't speak for the safety of any of them because none of them have been studied enough to the point to declare them safe. Of course, for a diabetic, they're probably safer than eating sugar.

Anonymous said...

Cutting back on sugary sodas or completely eliminating them is a step in the right direction, but definitely not the only step. If you stop drinking soda but don't stop eating junk food, that's a job halfway done. Of course there's nothing wrong in enjoying a soda every once in a while, just like liquor. What's troubling is there are people who use sodas as a substitute for water.

This campaign is probably a prelude to introducing a "fat tax" on sodas. It's sad that so many people in this city are too stupid to know what's good for them that they need a tax to tell them. (No sane person would ever go to McDonals if they new how much salt and fat there is in a Big Mac. McDonalds thrives on the ignorance of the public.) Taxes do not cure stupidity.

FYI, Bloomberg: the fattest areas of the city are also the poorest; they have only McDonalds and crappy bodegas with junk food there, no real supermarkets. How about addressing this issue?

Queens Crapper said...

Yeah, Bloomberg, especially since you can do that pretty much immediately. Check this out...

Fast Food Tax Breaks

Anonymous said...

Next he will ban mashed potatoes and rice from your menu. Too many carbs for the common man. Send this dictator packing on election day. If you don't, God knows what he will tax next.

Anonymous said...

quick source check on ACSH:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Council_on_Science_and_Health

they also say smoking doesn't cause cancer...

Ms. Tsouris said...

Personally,I'm sick of this NANNY STATE that's being imposed on us. What's next? Barcoding on our foreheads so they know how many times a day we use a bathroom? If you're having a weight issue it's up to you to take care of it, not Czar Bloomberg. Maybe his interest in Snapple is leading him to this dietary tantrum.

Anonymous said...

I wish I was making this up, but they get their money from Burger King, Coca Cola, General Mills, and M&M Mars (among other food firms): Sourcewatch-ACSH Funding

Anonymous said...

So what? You idiots believe Bloomnberg when he says he is not bought and sold by special interests. So let's put a group who is up against him and see who wins.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the doctor that the message of this campaign is flawed. People need to find the real reasons why they are overeating and then address them.

Anonymous said...

Many times, the reason is psychological. For example, a person may crave potato chips, but it's not necessarily the chips they are craving, but the desire to have something crunchy. They can substitute the fatty chips with something healthier, like apple chips and still feel satisfied.

Anonymous said...

Likewise with soda. Craving something sweet? Grab a piece of fruit instead. But you need to be ready to make a lifestyle change in order to push yourself to do this and stick with it.

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone lied about this group being pro-smoking.

"According to ACSH, some of its funding from the food industry dried up after those companies were acquired by Philip Morris, which does not like the position that ACSH has taken against tobacco. "ACSH's warnings about cigarette smoking resulted in the loss of substantial contributions from food manufacturers that had been acquired by tobacco companies."

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Mike Bloomberg. I would never have known that Sugary Soda is bad for you. I have a message for him -- Too Many Taxes on everything but the air we breath is bad for your re-election campaign. Vote him out on election day. We are all so tired of being taxed to the max. NO THIRD TERM!!!!

Anonymous said...

throw mike and biggie smalls out in the street

Anonymous said...

Geez...this mega control freak...nanny state dictator makes Ross Perot look normal!

I'm glad he's gone and I'm looking forward to seeing Mayor Mike gone too!

If you've got money you're called eccentric.

Strip Bloomberg of his wealth and he'd be just plain crazy!

Anonymous said...

"Looks like someone lied about this group being pro-smoking."

When Elizabeth Whelan started the ACSH, she solicited corporations for donations, with the 'helpful' suggestion that she would come to their defense if they were attacked. The tobacco industry refused and she has been attacking them ever since.

There are plenty enough credible people out there who can convincingly expose Bloomberg as the misguided control freak that he is. Once you bring an industry shill who poses as a scientist like Whelan in, you automatically and unnecessarily call your case into question.