Dr Dani is a Medical Doctor & American Board Certified in Integrative Medicine (ABIHM). The British Food Standards Agency has just announced a new front-of-package voluntary labeling system to go onto food packages next year, maybe.
Recall that the FDA recruited the Institute of Medicine to recommend a new labeling scheme. It did just that a year ago, in a report advising the FDA to restrict front-of-package labels to information about calories, saturated and trans fat, sugar, and salt. Since then, the FDA has said not a word about its food labeling initiative (More research needed? All of the people doing rating and certification systems set up their own criteria, and all differ.
Amounts are to be expressed per 100 grams or 100 milliliters. Per-portion will be voluntary as will percentage of reference intakes, meaning that the confusing Guideline Daily Amounts can continue. Too bad. I was hoping for something better, more along the lines of what the Institute of Medicine(IOM) has proposed and less along the lines of what the Grocery Manufacturers and Food Marketers are doing. Food companies insist that they can make health claims for their products, whether backed by science or not, because commercial speech is protected by the First Amendment.
In a commentary in JAMA earlier this year about front-of-package labeling, David Ludwig and I argued that it was time to take another look at current interpretations of the First Amendment suggesting that free commercial speech is equivalent to free political or religious speech. Surely, we said, consumers would be better off without front-of-package labels and health claims on food products. Last month, the British journal Public Health Nutrition published an article by Timothy Lytton, the Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School.
In recent months, the FDA has begun a crackdown on misleading nutrition and health claims on the front of food packages by issuing warning letters to manufacturers and promising to develop stricter regulatory standards. Nestle and Ludwig argue that most of these claims are scientifically unsound and misleading to consumers and that eliminating them would ‘aid educational efforts to encourage the public to eat whole or minimally processed foods and to read the ingredients list on processed foods’. Nestle and Ludwig are right to raise concerns about consumer protection and public health when it comes to front-of-package food labels, but an outright ban on front-of-package nutrition and health claims would violate the First Amendment. In his thoughtful paper about front-of-package food labels, Timothy Lytton states that a ban on such labels would violate First Amendment provisions of the US Constitution. Indeed they have, and in 2003, the Bush Administration Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stopped defending against misleading health claims cases on First Amendment grounds. The founding fathers clearly intended the First Amendment to guarantee the right of individuals to speak freely about religious and political matters, not the right of food companies to market junk foods to children and adults.
That politics influences interpretation of the law at the highest level is evident from the US Supreme Court’s decisions in Bush v. We think the time has come for major legal challenges to the right of corporations to mislead the public on the grounds of free speech.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its first Front-of-Package (FOP) labeling report this morning.
A multitude of nutrition rating, or guidance, systems have been developed by food manufacturers, government agencies, nutrition groups, and others in recent years with the intent of helping consumers quickly compare products’ nutritional attributes and make healthier choices. The committee concurred that both added and naturally occurring sugars contribute to the caloric content of foods and beverages and overconsumption of high-calorie products can lead to obesity. Highlighting calories per serving in nutrition rating systems would address this concern. If the scheme is voluntary, why would food companies choose to use it since it mostly highlights the negatives—the nutrients to be avoided?
How will it affect shelf-labeling schemes such as the Nu-Val system used at Price Chopper supermarkets and the ANDI system used by Whole Foods? This scheme, like the many others developed by food companies singly or together, is designed to help the public decide whether one highly processed, packaged food product is nutritionally better than another. I hope the committee will ponder this and some of my other questions as it enters Phase II. As City University Professor Tim Lang explained (see yesterday’s post), which government is in power makes a big difference.
First the government promised the food industry no new regulations. Now it is eliminating the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which is more or less the equivalent of our FDA. How come? The British Medical Association, British Dietetic Association and British Heart Foundation are among health groups that supported the scheme…But traffic light labelling was buried by the European parliament last month, when MEPs backed a rival system favoured by multinationals such as Nestle, Kraft and Danone. The food industry spent an estimated ?830m on lobbying to stop the traffic lights scheme, which enjoyed a level of popularity with consumers because it was relatively easy to understand. Getting rid of traffic lights was not enough. The food industry is so angry with FSA over the traffic light proposal that it lobbied the new government to axe the agency.
As regards the proposed splitting up of the FSA – we only have to look to the number of food safety scares in the US to see the consequences of its fragmented food safety approach. So instead of putting the food watchdog to sleep, shouldn’t the UK government instead give it more teeth? Mr Lansley’s thoughts imply that a combination of corporate and individual responsibility will do the trick.
While the arguments go on, and the FDA and the Institute of Medicine conduct their own studies of front-of-package labeling, and the FTC establishes its own standards for advertising, I have a suggestion: How about removing ALL health and nutrition claims from junk foods. I rather like this one, a variation of #1 (colorful, easy to understand, not too cluttered, and makes calories clear). Willett is the principal investigator of the second Nurses’ Health Study, a compilation of studies regarding the health of older women and their risk factors for major chronic diseases. Frequently in the public eye, Willett is perhaps best known for his 2001 book Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, which presents nutritional information and recommendations based on the currently available body of nutrition science. Willett is the principal investigator of the second Nurses' Health Study, a compilation of studies regarding the health of older women and their risk factors for major chronic diseases. JONATHAN:It’s kind of like you’ve got to wait a few decades for some of the people to just not — Do you see younger physicians treating this differently? JONNY:I’d like to think that that’s not 100 percent true because I’ve seen some big turnarounds among some really mainstream doctors but there is some truth to that. So it’s constantly battling with these guys and that’s what gets my blood boiling because they’re doctors who have never taken a nutrition course, by the way. JONATHAN:Jonny, that works on so many levels because I think what people tend to forget is that eating is a zero-sum game. JONATHAN:If I’m one of the old-school practitioners or nutritionists and I say, “A quarter of your plate should be grains.” That means a quarter of your plate isn’t kale, by definition, right?
So it’s not entirely surprising that when you take, for example, wheat out of your diet for a couple of weeks, a lot of people have symptom improvement. That was my first inclination that some of these foods that actually put weight on also do some other things and many people, like we now know with gluten sensitivity. JONATHAN:Jonny, you mentioned that with this program, New You in 22, you’ve seen individuals who have gone on four, five, six diet programs and been unsuccessful. JONATHAN:So what is it about this new approach you’re advocating that you think allows them on their sixth, seventh, eighth attempt to now have success? The second difference is that I believe that there is really more to fat loss than simply diet and exercise.
What about the toxins in our environment that can do the same thing, that can mimic hormones, that are estrogen mimics, that actually act much like a kind of an environmental estrogen? For me, I really started studying low-carb — just living with more awareness of processed foods. JONATHAN:Also when we talk about regulating food stuffs such as limiting the ability to provide sugary addictive things in schools, there can be talks about that limiting people’s freedom and yada yada yada.
So they bring them in or they sit them around this table, they show them how to prepare these really healthy meals, and they show them the budget for it, and when they show them that it’s not going to change their budget, it’s really powerful. JONATHAN:Well, I really admire that, Clayton, not only because you’re getting the information out there, you’re walking the talk, but also since you are a public figure. Clayton Morris joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2008 and is the co-host of FOX & Friends Weekend. With her ever popular It’s Your Health radio and television shows, founder Lisa Davis, MPH, offers the general public access to the latest and greatest in everything health and wellness.
Interviewing everyone from New York Times Best Selling Authors, doctors and holistic healers to dieticians and celebrity trainers, Davis provides everyone with the tools and information they need to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. In addition ot the multi-media programming, Lisa currently teaches yoga at Stepping Stones Therapy Center in Bradford, Massachusetts. Prior to the It’s Your Health radio program, Lisa created, hosted, and produced Health Power, a successful weekly health television program seen throughout Central California on KRUZ-TV.
Prior to the It's Your Health radio program, Lisa created, hosted, and produced Health Power, a successful weekly health television program seen throughout Central California on KRUZ-TV. She currently is seen regularly on ABC’s, Windy City Live, the number one rated talk show in Chicago and is a recurring guest on The Dr.
She contributes articles and has been interviewed for many magazines and newspapers including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, More, Glamour, and Women’s Health, (to name a few) and is a medical correspondent for ABC News.
The second edition of her book, The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy, was released in February of 2013 and remains the definitive gynecologic guide for women. Castle Connolly and Chicago Magazine have consistently recognized her as one of the “Top Doctors” in Chicago and was featured in an article in Chicago Magazine’s Top Doc issue.
Lauren Streicher, MD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s medical school, The Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago and is the founder of Gynecologic Specialists of Northwestern, SC. She currently is seen regularly on ABC’s, Windy City Live, the number one rated talk show in Chicago and is a recurring guest on The Dr. The second edition of her book, The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy, was released in February of 2013 and remains the definitive gynecologic guide for women.
Castle Connolly and Chicago Magazine have consistently recognized her as one of the “Top Doctors” in Chicago and was featured in an article in Chicago Magazine’s Top Doc issue.
Jonathan:We are here, Carrie, on the newly-titled Calorie Myth and Smarter Science of Slim show because we couldn’t decide how to rename the show so we just said, let’s call it everything.
It was pretty amazing and actually debuted in the number one slot on iTunes for video podcasts in the alternative health category.
High glycemic index diets are typically composed of foods that produce a large rise in blood sugar after a meal and cause large amounts of insulin to get released.
Leading nutrition policy experts Marion Nestle and David Ludwig have called for an even tougher approach: a ban on all nutrition and health claims on the front of food packages.
As nutrition policy experts develop efforts to regulate front-of-package nutrition and health claims, they should be mindful of First Amendment constraints on government regulation of commercial speech.
Lytton cites case law to argue that lower courts have consistently interpreted the First Amendment as providing guarantees of free commercial speech. Laws are subject to reinterpretation and change, as the history of civil rights legislation makes clear. Phase I is a tough, detailed examination of about 20 of the existing FOP schemes along with some recommendations about what such schemes ought to do. He has published more than 1,000 scientific articles regarding various aspects of diet and disease and is the second most cited author in clinical medicine. His book also is critical of many popular misconceptions about diet and nutrition, including ideas presented by guidelines from American organizations such as the USDA Dr. Bowden has a Master’s Degree in psychology and counseling and a PhD in nutrition, and has earned six national certifications in personal training and exercise. He is a board-certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in psychology and the author of fourteen books on health, healing, food and longevity including two best-sellers, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” and “Living Low Carb”. Jonny has contributed to articles for dozens of national publications (print and online) including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair Online, Time, Oxygen, Marie Claire, Diabetes Focus, GQ, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Self, Fitness, Family Circle, Allure, Men’s Heath, Prevention, In Style, Natural Health, and many other publications. Richard [??Robert??] Lustig in his research about sugar as a poison — if you think about it as a poison, that the research is showing that it has the same effects on the body as rat poison, the way that it interacts with the body. He attended the University of Pittsburgh where he received degrees in US History and Broadcast Journalism. Her easygoing, warm, and entertaining style has inspired her audiences, students, and clients alike to take better care of their health.
An expert in her own right, Davis provides her listeners and viewers with expert advice, strategies for physical, emotional and mental well-being, as well as insight into the newest research and medical breakthroughs, through fun and exciting one-on-one interviews with the nation’s leading experts and authors. She has worked as a health educator, lifestyle coach, nutritional consultant, teacher, weight management instructor, exercise physiologist and personal trainer for 20 years. She also hosted and produced Commonwealth Avenue, a public affairs show broadcast throughout Massachusetts on WMFP-TV. She is a Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a member of the Association for Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgeons, and The Sexual Medicine Society of North America. Streicher has appeared in numerous national and local media outlets discussing all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This causes stress in the body (INFLAMMATION) and causes the body to make new fat cells to store the extra sugar released from the high GI food you just ate. She splits her time between her medical practice in Vancouver, Canada & her Wellness Centre in Bali. However, it seems obvious to us that this interpretation of the First Amendment neither follows its original intent, nor promotes the public interest.
We hope that legal scholars will examine current food marketing practices in the light of the First Amendment and establish a firm legal basis for bringing this issue back to court.
From the convenience of our smartphones to the technology in our hospitals, scientific advancement allows us to live better. Currently, Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. He is board certified by the American College of Nutrition, a member of the prestigious American Society for Nutrition, and a much in-demand speaker at conferences and events across the country.
A frequent guest on television and radio, he has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS as an expert on nutrition, weight loss, and longevity. He is a past member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Men’s Health magazine, is the Nutrition Editor for Pilates Style, and is a regular contributor to AOL, Vanity Fair Online, Clean Eating Magazine, Better Nutrition, and Total Health Magazine Online. Streicher has a particular interest and expertise in menopause, sexual health, laparoscopic hysterectomy and alternatives to hysterectomy. She hosted “Advances in Women’s Health”, on Reach MD XM 24, the station for medical professionals. She hosted “Advances in Women’s Health”, on Reach MD XM 24, the station for medical professionals. Jonny Bowden and he has been changing lives and correcting misinformation and busting myths for many years and I respect him immensely for that.
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