Carbonated drink companies are launching new drink products that also contain added flavors, sugar, even carbonation. Instead of using water as the base, they are using milk to make what are essentially milkshakes.
Coke makes “Swerve” in a chocolate flavor. Pepsico is launching Quaker Milk Chillers, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, in 14 ounce bottles. Their target: breakfast and snacks for 13 to 24 year olds. The candy industry is also getting into this act. Mars, Inc. has teamed up with Bravo Foods International Corp. to turn its best-selling chocolate bars into “liquid candy.”
Nesquick also makes flavored milk. When compared to popular non-diet sodas the numbers look like this: Nesquick’s 16 oz. reduced-fat drink: 320 calories, 60 gr. sugar. Popular Non-Diet Soda, 20 oz.: 250 calories, 67 gr. sugar. Both contain 15+ teaspoons of sugar! Both require a lot of activity to burn up the hundreds of calories. Neither will stem the rising tide of obesity or diabetes.
Spokesmen of the companies producing these, along with a few health professionals, say that the benefits offered by milk (calcium, Vitamin D, and protein) make it a better choice than sodas. However, there are far healthier ways to offer calcium, Vitamin D, and protein to kids. White cheese and low-sugar yogurts are two sources kids like.
Because lactose intolerance (milk allergy) is prevalent among kids, these “milkshakes” are poor choices for a sizable population of kids. Lactose-free organic milk is a Better Choice for them. So are low-sugar yogurts.
Check the ingredients and Nutrition Facts on flavored milks. Watch out for artificial additives such as flavorings and dyes.
There are Better Choices to replace sodas. Look for them in Chapter 13 of our book, Are Your Kids Running on Empty?
SOURCE: Caroline E. Mayer, “Sugar Milk Still Doea a Body Good”, The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com, July 30, 2005
Have you ever overcooked microwave popcorn, opened the oven, and even worse, opened the bag and find yourself involuntarily coughing in response to irritated lungs? There is a reason your lungs react.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which began studying the phenomenon in 2000 when workers at a microwave popcorn packaging plant began complaining of bronchiolitis obliterans, provide further evidence to support the contention that exposure to flavoring agents in popcorn production presents an occupational hazard.
“Results of the health hazard evaluations to date suggest that adverse effects may result from occupational inhalation exposures to high, airborne concentrations of some flavourings or their ingredients in the form of vapors, dusts, or sprays.” NIOSH statement.
The NIOSH team concluded that the factory workers exposed to flavoring agents were nearly four times more likely to develop airway inflammation, a sign people were breathing harmful agents.
No, you are not on the production line of the microwave popcorn plant. However, it only takes one experience of overcooking (burning!) flavored microwave popcorn to convince anyone that the vapors put your lungs at risk, at least temporarily.
Why not buy plain popcorn and add your own seasoning, including real butter, when the freshly popped popcorn is hot in a bowl?
Source: “Popcorn flavorings linked to lung infections”, FOOD USA navigator.com,
You may be surprised to learn you that there are packaged food products designed to give you the full impression that they contain some ingredients even though they do not. Two fruit flavored drinks by PepsiCo fall into this category.
“Despite being labeled as ‘made with real fruit juice’, Tropicana Peach Papaya actually contains no peach or papaya juice, and only a small amount of pear juice from concentrate. Similarly, Tropicana Strawberry Melon contains no strawberry juice or melon juice.”
The change of wording will be “flavored juice/drink from concentrate with other natural flavors”. Photos of fruits will still appear on the packaging. This label change will be completed sometime in January 2006.
ALERT: This is a good example of why it is necessary to read ingredient lists, your best source for learning what is actually contained in processed food and drink products.
Source: Pepsi changes fruit flavored drinks label, FOOD USA Navigator.com
State OBESITY* Ratings for Adults
10 Worst (more than one in four adults is obese)
Mississippi – 28.1%
Alabama – 27.7% – accelerating the fastest
West Virginia – 27.6%
Louisiana – 25.8%
Tennessee – 25.6%
Michigan, Texas, Kentucky – 25.3%
Indiana – 25.3%
South Carolina – 25.1%
6 with Lowest % (under 20%)
Colorado has the least – 16.4% (about 1 in 6)
(Hawaii was not rated)
Oregon’s percentage is not growing
For more statistics about your state, go to www.healthyamericans.org (Trust for America’s Health)
One survey says these numbers are higher:
The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey
• 30 % of adults are obese.
• 65% are overweight or obese (almost one in three)
All adults were children once. Heavy children usually turn into heavy adults. A lot of the sixties kids have. Only 7% were obese when young. Now at least three times that amount is obese as adults. Nine times as many are overweight.
Today, at least 15 percent of children are obese. About 31% of kids ages 6-19 are overweight. If these numbers continue to follow the trend of the sixties kids, by 2045, everyone should dangerously fat, obese.
* Obese = 30 percent over healthy weight
Over 75% of the food advertisements watched by children on television try to turn them on to nutritionally-deficient and high calorie ingredients. (We would add the fact that most contain artificial additives, high amount of sodium, and bad fats.)
Kristen Harrision, a speech communication professor at the University of Illinois, conducted research and concludes that nutrient-poor high-sugar products, mainly candy, sweets, and soft drinks, dominated television advertising aimed at six to eleven year olds. (Candy, sweets, and soft drinks make up 44 percent of total.)
Snacking is depicted more than breakfast, lunch and dinner combined.
Convenience and fast foods high in fat and sodium = 57.1 percent of food advertising.
Most heavily advertised foods: Burger King Kids Meal chicken tenders, Jell-O Pudding, McDonald’s Happy Meal french fries, Post Fruity Pebbles cereal and Wendy’s Kid’s Meal crispy nuggets
More than 1/2 of all eating takes place in cars or outdoors.
Food ads offer little representation of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, poultry and fish.
Child actors’ body sizes were unrelated to their televised eating behavior – “suggesting, erronously, that eating and body weight are not related.”
Most ads do not feature health-related messages.
34.2 percent of advertisiments promote convenience and fast foods.
Source: Staff Writer, “New study targets ‘junk’ food adverts”, FOOD USA navigator.com, August 2005