Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Public Comment Open at USDA

Last week, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, an article revealed some
shocking school breakfast and lunch options: "Pop-Tarts and doughnuts
for breakfast for 2-year-olds. Rolls, chicken nuggets and French fries for
school lunches. Brownies given the same nutritional value as a slice of
whole-wheat bread."

This struck a chord with me since I recently posted on my blog about
the dismal lunches served in the Columbia Public Schools in Missouri.
One particularly disturbing lunch option - Smucker’s PBJ Uncrustable,
Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Pretzels, Rice Krispie Treat, 1% cholocate
milk, baby carrots and a fruit - is offered daily to students throughout the

With 789-calories, the school's website highlights that the lunch contains
23g of protein (92-calories) and just 24% fat (189-calories; 21g); no
mention that this means the lunch also contains 508-calories from
carbohydrate (127g), or the equivalent of 32-teaspoons of sugar in a child's metabolism...not to mention if a parent packed such a lunch for their
child each day, they'd be branded as irresponsible and lending a hand
to the epidemic of childhood obesity!

With school back in session across many states, it seems we have a
pattern that shows school lunches are not as healthful as we're led to

Senatobia, Mississippi: Chicken Nuggets or BBQ Rib Sandwich, Mashed
Potatoes w/Gravy, Cheesy Broccoli, Hot Cinnamon Apples, Fruit Juice,
Yeast Roll, Gelatin. (assorted milk)

Randolph, Massachusetts: Nachos with cheese, beef, onion, tomato and
sour cream and fruit. (assorted milk)

Roff, Oklahoma: Corndog, tator tots, black-eyed peas, chocolate pudding
and milk.

Whittier, Massachusetts: Choice of Domino's of french bread pizza, small
salad, pretzel, assorted fruit. (assorted milk)

Folsom, New Jersey: Nachos with cheese or Smucker's PB&J, vegetable,
fruit and milk.

Ada, Oklahoma: Frito chili pie with cheese, green beans, garden salad,
rosy applesauce, salad bar and milk.

Benton, Arkansas: Pizza, corn, salad, half an orange, milk

Nachos, pizza, chicken nuggets, corndogs, frito chili pie....what is frito
chili pie anyway? And why are we not disturbed by these school lunches
offered to our kids each day?

Amazingly, each and every one of these lunches meet the minimum
standards for school lunches established by the USDA.

Which begs the question - how do we go about improving the minimum
standards for school lunches?

It turns out the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 is
up for review and revision in 2009, and you can provide comments about
ways to improve the school lunch program by either testifying at an
upcoming USDA Listening Session, or submit written comments online
or via mail.

If you'd like to submit comments online, you may at the Public Comment and Submission page.

If for some reason the above link fails to take you to the page for public
comment, the Docket ID is FNS-2008-0011 and the Docket Title is
Request for Public Comments for Use in Preparing for 2009
Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs and WIC.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Investigate the Alternate Hypothesis

Ever since the publication of Gary’s Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, folks within the low-carb community have suggested and discussed various study designs to investigate the alternate hypothesis, the “Carbohydrate Hypothesis”, explored in the book. The biggest issue isn’t so much designing a study, but funding a study large enough and controlled enough to reach valid conclusions.

With obesity considered one of the most pressing health issues of our time, wouldn’t it be great if we could find the resources necessary to investigate, in a really well done trial, that alternate hypothesis?

Enter Project 10100 - a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.

Project 10100 is accepting submissions of ideas for projects until October 20, 2008. One hundred ideas will be selected for public review and voting to narrow the field to twenty semi-finalists. An advisory board will then select five projects to fund from a commitment by Google of $10-million dollars.

One category is “Health” and the critera provided to help those submitting ideas includes:


Reach: How many people would this idea affect?
Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?
Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?
Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?
Longevity: How long will the idea’s impact last?
Project 10100 may be a way to fund a study to investigate the Carbohydrate Hypothesis!

If you’d like to submit your ideas, you can go to the Project 10100 website, or directly to the submission page.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gary Taubes - Columbia, MO - November 2008

Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and three time winner of the National Association of Science Writers’ Science in Society award, is scheduled to present his lecture, The Quality of Calories: Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Diet, Exercise and Obesity, on November 13, 2008 in Columbia, Missouri.

The event is sponsored by the Boone County Medical Society and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri. It is free and open to the public. Registration is strongly recommended as seating is limited.

The presenation will take place at the Monsanto Auditorium (University of Missouri) at 2:30pm and will be followed by a reception in the McQuinn Atrium. More details are on the flyer below. To register online, click here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Feeding Infants Fructose

Discussion: Consuming fructose during suckling may result in lifelong changes in body weight, insulin secretion, and fatty acid transport involving CD36 in muscle and ultimately promote insulin resistance.

That was the conclusion reached by researchers who published Dietary Fructose During the Suckling Period Increases Body Weight and Fatty Acid Uptake Into Skeletal Muscle in Adult Rats, in the journal Obesity.

While the study was on rats, it’s interesting to look at the ingredients in baby formula sold in the United States (all of the below are the first few ingredients listed from and do not include the brand name):

INGREDIENTS: Nonfat Milk, Whey Protein Concentrate, Corn Syrup Solids…

INGREDIENTS: Corn Syrup Solids, Partially Hydrolyzed Nonfat Milk and Whey Protein Concentrate Solids, Vegetable Oil…

INGREDIENTS: Corn Syrup Solids, Vegetable Oil (Palm Olein, Soy, Coconut, and High Oleic Sunflower Oils), Casein Hydrolysate …

INGREDIENTS: Corn Syrup Solids (43.2%), Soy Protein Isolate (11.5%), High-Oleic Safflower Oil (10.3%), Sugar (Sucrose) (8.4%), Soy Oil (7.7%), Coconut Oil (7.7%)….
Is there a connection with rising prevalence of childhood obesity and feeding infants corn syrup solids? Things that make you go ‘hmmmm’

Friday, August 01, 2008

My New Blog Home

Well, I decided to migrate my blog, Weight of the Evidence, to WordPress. This was due to Blogger locking my blog under the mistaken belief it was a “spam blog”. I have some minor work to do on the posts that migrated to get them properly tagged – but should have that complete by the end of next week.

For anyone who has my old blog address in their links ( – please change the link to – Thank you!