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An alternative to soda bans?


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  #21  
August 15th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Universities can pay for studies. My brother while getting his PHD and currently does not get paid much for the studies he does. And they should have several, not just one do them and see what results come. One individual study cannot determine whether or not a certain food is healthy because of confounding variables. I can't stand it when the media prints out the results of one study that used a very small sample of people, sometimes even a pilot study, with a huge sensational emotional title. And often at the end the results are reported as inconclusive. Then later studies that may have gotten different results are then dismissed because everyone only remembers the title of that one news article. And food companies should have absolutely no say or funding in any of these studies.

I don't see this as the government or anyone telling you what to eat. Many food labels are misleading. When a box says 0 grams of transfat, it does not necessarily mean that there is no trans fat in that food. Companies are allowed to claim 0 g of trans fat if the food contains less than .50 g of trans fat. Regardless if this level is harmless, it's still misleading to someone that truly wants no transfat in their food.

Some people also seem to be under the impression that cane sugar is healthier than high fructose corn syrup and they choose to buy brands that say "no high fructose corn syrup." Cane sugar is not exactly a health food.

Also several juices are not at all healthy for you.

I guess the big problem that I can see is that many foods (maybe even all) can be both good an bad for you. Moderation is really the key and eating the same "green" item every day isn't going to be healthy. And it can depend on an individual person. My uncle with diabetes can't eat a lot of fruit or else his blood sugar sky rockets. (Though he barely takes care of himself anyways) Someone suffering from anorexia to the point that they are suffocating themselves may need higher fattening foods if putting on weight is crutial to their survival. A high fiber diet is no good for me because it has be running back and forth to the bathroom all day and upsets my stomach. And some foods will be deadly if you are allergic to them.

I could see this system working for "general health" basically meaning, not high in sugar, salt, or fat, more nutrients ect...

I don't see this as policing us. Out right banning sodas is policing. And heck, during prohibition, crime rose dramatically. This just simply give people an easy way to determine which foods are healthy.

Last edited by Rinchan; August 15th, 2012 at 11:58 AM.
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  #22  
August 15th, 2012, 12:26 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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If food companies want to voluntarily adopt an extra food label, that's up to them.
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  #24  
August 15th, 2012, 01:44 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Good question on the colorblindness although I would guess it depends on the type. my father and my boys all have varying degrees of partial color blindness(difficulties distinguishing shades of reds and greens) and it hasn't presented a problem yet. We don't even think about it most of the time. I could see that it could possibly pose a problem for some people though.

What I noticed in this article and others is that the "traffic lights" for foods aren't just the color but either have a bar with info beside it or the colored circle is more like a graph. I suppose though, that if someone is illiterate, the info would be useless.

As far as letting people know what is actually healthier, thats up for debate. Here's an article from Australia on it and it(traffic lights for food) can be confusing.
Cookies must be enabled | Herald Sun
Quote:
For example, using traffic lights, a bottle of full-sugar cola soft drink scores
three green lights (saturated fat, fat and salt) and one red light for sugar,
while a bottle of milk gets three ambers (fat, saturated fat and sugar) and one
green light for salt. Using traffic lights, the soft drink appears to be a
healthier option, which of course is wrong.
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  #25  
August 15th, 2012, 04:16 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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This whole notion of it's OK to do cause it's for the betterment of (insert poor helpless souls here) just boggles my mind. If it's a volunteer thing, hey that's fine. But to make something like this mandatory isn't really any better than banning it. Instead of focusing on colors for label, how about we focus on teaching better nutrition habits to our children and those poor illiterate low income folk.
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  #26  
August 15th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K.A.T View Post
This whole notion of it's OK to do cause it's for the betterment of (insert poor helpless souls here) just boggles my mind. If it's a volunteer thing, hey that's fine. But to make something like this mandatory isn't really any better than banning it. Instead of focusing on colors for label, how about we focus on teaching better nutrition habits to our children and those poor illiterate low income folk.
Why when ever there is a debate about things like food, people have to always say things like that? There are low income people in the US that are illiterate and do need help. And by saying low income and illiterate does not translate to poor helpless souls. It boggles my mind that people try to pretend that everyone in the US can read and/or understand food labels when research says otherwise. It also boggles my mind why people can't accept something simple like a color on food to help those out there who would benefit from it.

People want to talk about "who will pay for these studies and food labels?", but don't you realise you need to PAY to educate these people too?
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  #27  
August 15th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHippy View Post
Why when ever there is a debate about things like food, people have to always say things like that? There are low income people in the US that are illiterate and do need help. And by saying low income and illiterate does not translate to poor helpless souls. It boggles my mind that people try to pretend that everyone in the US can read and/or understand food labels when research says otherwise. It also boggles my mind why people can't accept something simple like a color on food to help those out there who would benefit from it.

People want to talk about "who will pay for these studies and food labels?", but don't you realise you need to PAY to educate these people too?
I addressed part of this in my post above. Its not just a color. Its more than one color with words or a circular graph with words and percentages. How would that help those who are illiterate? If you read the article I posted, the traffic lighting on food can be very confusing and not as easy as seeing one color sticker on certain food items. Those who are illiterate or not so smart can come away with a cart full of less healthy items like soda due to the confusion.
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  #28  
August 15th, 2012, 07:31 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHippy View Post
Why when ever there is a debate about things like food, people have to always say things like that? There are low income people in the US that are illiterate and do need help. And by saying low income and illiterate does not translate to poor helpless souls. It boggles my mind that people try to pretend that everyone in the US can read and/or understand food labels when research says otherwise. It also boggles my mind why people can't accept something simple like a color on food to help those out there who would benefit from it.

People want to talk about "who will pay for these studies and food labels?", but don't you realise you need to PAY to educate these people too?
It's called sarcasm. I know that there are low income people who are illiterate. I was one of the low income people for my entire childhood and a good bulk of my adult life. However, I never sat around thinking that low income automatically meant illiterate to boot. When people sit back and spout nonsense like most low income people are illiterate it makes it sound like those poor helpless souls. When anyone automatically assumes a certain group of people all have some sort of handicap (for lack of a better word at the moment) it gives that appearance that the person making that assumption thinks those people are helpless, when in fact, they're not. As a matter of fact, I do realize that those things cost money, that's why I rather see it go towards education instead of dummy cards.
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  #29  
August 15th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Add me onto the education not silly colored dots bandwagon.

A nutrition label is not rocket science and the order that the information is giving in is standards in the US. Even those who cannot read have the ability to understand the first # given is calories next is data and so on. I'd find the efforts and funding to be better spent on teaching these people to read and offering them the opportunity to get themselves out of poverty while simotaniously giving them the ability to differential between what is healthy or not. I'm also not a believer that ignorance is propelling obesity in and economic class, convince and cost are a much larger catalyst.

I do think, However there should be more truth in labeling as well as a more standardized definition on what the catch phrase of the year is amongst different foods. All natural in the meat world is a whole lot different than in the non perishable world.

There are also no purely impartial methods of study to determine what is a healthy food. University research labels receive their funds either from the government or from private corporations. Take a look at who is running the USDA and tell me youd like them to decide where these impartial studies are being held. Either way there is an interested party financing what the end results are.
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  #30  
August 15th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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I think the biggest issue with this is how to decide what is healthy vs what is not. The things we are told are healthy for us changes all the time. There are some things that are definitely bad for us (something loaded up with sugar, fat and salt) but how do we determine what gets the yellow sticker?

I know I'm in a situation where it's hard to eat healthy because healthy is expensive. Healthy for me means low carb, high protein. It's much cheaper to eat pasta or rice everyday than it is to eat quality meat and fresh produce. I know many others are in the same position. I know when I eat carbs they aren't good for me, but it doesn't stop me from eating them at the end of the month when we run out of money. Putting a red or yellow sticker on it isn't going to change that.
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  #31  
August 16th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tammyjh View Post
I addressed part of this in my post above. Its not just a color. Its more than one color with words or a circular graph with words and percentages. How would that help those who are illiterate? If you read the article I posted, the traffic lighting on food can be very confusing and not as easy as seeing one color sticker on certain food items. Those who are illiterate or not so smart can come away with a cart full of less healthy items like soda due to the confusion.
Right, I don't think it should be that way though because that only makes things confusing. I think it should be simple. Maybe not a color, but I don't know what would help those who need it. It's not a perfect solution, but neither is the current labels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.A.T View Post
It's called sarcasm. I know that there are low income people who are illiterate. I was one of the low income people for my entire childhood and a good bulk of my adult life. However, I never sat around thinking that low income automatically meant illiterate to boot. When people sit back and spout nonsense like most low income people are illiterate it makes it sound like those poor helpless souls. When anyone automatically assumes a certain group of people all have some sort of handicap (for lack of a better word at the moment) it gives that appearance that the person making that assumption thinks those people are helpless, when in fact, they're not. As a matter of fact, I do realize that those things cost money, that's why I rather see it go towards education instead of dummy cards.
I don't think low income automatically means illiterate. I stated in my first post that this would help those who are low income *and* illiterate. Not that one meant you were the other and never thought that most low income were illiterate, I was talking about the ones who are both. Yes I would love to see better education too, which costs money, but I'm not sure how we're going to educate those who are already older and not going back to school. I think a simple label for the time being would benefit many, doesn't have to be a color, could be other things.
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  #32  
August 18th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHippy View Post
I really don't see it as treating society like they're dumb. There are a lot of articles out there that show that most Americans don't read the label correctly. It doesn't mean they're dumb, to me it sounds like the food companies are just making it harder to read then it should be. How would this not help illiterate people? If they know green is good/healthy, yellow is moderate healthy, and red is not healthy, then it would benefit them a lot more than trying to make sense of a food label, in which many can't even pronounce let alone know what they are.
If that's true, and it probably is, then a color system, a # system, or even pictures of each food with a frown face/smiley face can also be misread. This is a waste of money. Sorry.

I think that a lot of people who eat "bad foods" know they're bad and still want to eat them. Those who don't want to, don't eat them. Those who don't have a choice because the "healthy" options are ridiculously expensive? STILL won't have a choice! It won't change anything, so no need to waste more money on regulating yet something else.
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