Berkeley Residents Buying Fewer Sugary Drinks and More Water Thanks to Soda Tax

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Largest-To-Date Evaluation Shows 9.6% Drop In Sugar Sweetened Beverage Purchases And Increase In Healthier Beverage Purchases. Overall Bererage Sales Rose; Grocery Bill Did Not.

April 18, 2017

Oakland, CA — A new study published today in PLOS Medicine by the Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina showed that Berkeley’s sugar sweetened beverage tax is working as intended.

Top findings included:

  • Purchases of sugary drinks declined: Sales (in ounces per transaction) of taxed SSBs fell by 9.6% in Berkeley, while they rose by 6% in other Bay Area stores without a tax (compared to predicted sales based on pre-tax trends). Sales of diet soft drinks and diet energy drinks also fell significantly, by 9.2%.
  • Purchases of healthy beverages increased: Sales of untaxed healthier beverages, already far greater at baseline, rose significantly, by 3.5%, and overall beverage sales went up in Berkeley. Sales of water rose by 15.6% (more in ounces than the decline in SSBs); untaxed fruit, vegetable or tea drink sales increased by 4.37%; and sales of plain milk rose by 0.63% (all statistically significant).
  • No negative impact on store revenue or consumer grocery bills: Although overall store revenues per transaction in the studied chains dropped slightly across the Bay Area during the study period, store revenues in Berkeley fell by 18¢ less (-$0.36) compared to non-Berkeley stores (-$0.54). This same indicator—store revenue per transaction—is also what consumers spent on average for each checkout or “grocery bill” at the participating stores, indicating that their average grocery checkout bill did not increase at these stores—counter to claims by the soda industry that the policy would be a “grocery tax.”
  • Investments in health increased: In spite of low consumption of SSBs, the City’s revenue from the first year of the SSB tax was $1,416,973—or $12 per capita. Funds raised went to nutrition and obesity prevention activities in schools, childcare and other community settings.
  • The tax costs were passed through to taxed products in many, but not all, stores: In the 15.5 million transaction study, about two-thirds of the penny-per-ounce levy (0.67¢/oz) was passed through to consumers by pricing increases on the taxed drinks. For soda and energy drinks it was fully passed through (1.09¢/oz). In the 26 store study, it was fully passed on in large (1.07¢/oz) and small chain supermarkets and chain gas stations (1.31¢/oz), partially in pharmacies (0.45¢/oz), but not in smaller independent corner stores and independent gas stations. Prices on non-taxed beverages did not increase more in Berkeley than in comparison stores.

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The Role Of Fatty Acids In Insulin Resistance

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The Role Of Fatty Acids In Insulin Resistance

New research into insulin resistance reveals that not all organs and receptor sites react in the same ways. This further complicates the problem. How do we ensure optimal levels are achieved and maintained?

This new research by Barry Sears Email author  and Mary Perry peels away another secret of the body’s endless complexity.

The human body has developed an extraordinary number of systems to maintain stable blood glucose and to avoid broad swings in its level. These systems include hormones that are directly or indirectly generated by the diet.

These hormones sense dietary nutrients and send appropriate neural signals to the brain (specifically the hypothalamus) to orchestrate fuel usage for either oxidation into energy or long-term storage. The central hormone involved in this metabolic communication system is insulin.

Insulin resistance is a multi-faceted disruption of the communication between insulin and the interior of a target cell. The underlying cause of insulin resistance appears to be inflammation that can either be increased or decreased by the fatty acid composition of the diet. However, the molecular basis for insulin resistance can be quite different in various organs.
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2 Out Of Every 5 Americans Expected To Develop Type 2 Diabetes During Their Lifetime

 

Bad Blood

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology:

Close to half (40%) of the adult population of the USA is expected to develop type 2 diabetes at some point during their lifetime, suggests a major study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. The future looks even worse for some ethnic minority groups, with one in two (> 50%) Hispanic men and women and non-Hispanic black women predicted to develop the disease.

A team of US researchers combined data from nationally representative US population interviews and death certificates for about 600 000 adults to estimate trends in the lifetime risk of diabetes and years of life lost to diabetes in the USA between 1985 and 2011.

Over the 26 years of study, the lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes for the average American 20-year-old rose from 20% for men and 27% for women in 1985–1989, to 40% for men and 39% for women in 2000–2011. The largest increases were in Hispanic men and women, and non-Hispanic black women, for whom lifetime risk now exceeds 50%.

Dr Edward Gregg, study leader and Chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch, Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “Soaring rates of diabetes since the late 1980s and longer overall life expectancy in the general population have been the main drivers of the striking increase in the lifetime risk of diabetes over the last 26 years. At the same time, a large reduction in death rates in the US population with diabetes has reduced the average number of years lost to the disease. However, the overwhelming increase in diabetes prevalence has resulted in an almost 50% increase in the cumulative number of years of life lost to diabetes for the population as a whole: years spent living with diabetes have increased by 156% in men and 70% in women.”*

thumb_blood_sugar_blues_coverjpg1He concludes, “As the number of diabetes cases continue to increase and patients live longer there will be a growing demand for health services and extensive costs. More effective lifestyle interventions are urgently needed to reduce the number of new cases in the USA and other developed nations.”*

Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Lorraine Lipscombe from Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada says, “The trends reported by Gregg and colleagues are probably similar across the developed world, where large increases in diabetes prevalence in the past two decades have been reported…Primary  prevention  strategies  are urgently  needed. Excellent evidence has shown that diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes. However, provision of these interventions on an individual basis might not be sustainable. Only a population-based approach to prevention can address a problem of this magnitude. Prevention strategies should include optimisation of urban planning, food-marketing policies, and work and school environments that enable individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices. With an increased  focus on interventions aimed at children and their families, there might still be time to change the fate of our future generations by lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes.”

*Quotes direct from author and cannot be found in text of Article.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(14)70161-5/abstract

Tree Nuts Improve Glycemic Control For Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes

Mixed NutsIn a study published July 30, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103376 indicates the wisdom of eating more nuts. In fact, eating more nuts is just the ticket. You don’t even have to take me out the ballpark. The jury is in so go nuts.

The ability of tree nuts to improve glycemic control may relate to a carbohydrate displacement mechanism by which tree nuts reduce the glycemic load of the diet by displacing high glycemic-index carbohydrates. And they taste better than hi fructose carb snacks. read more:  Effect of Tree Nuts on Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Dietary Trials

Tree nuts are the perfect workplace snack. Not only do they taste good, they also help reduce work-related stress, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Workplace stress can have a range of adverse effects on health with an increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases in the first line.

Risk of diabetes about 45 percent higher.

Individuals who are under a high level of pressure at work and at the same time perceive little control over the activities they perform face an about 45 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who are subjected to less stress at their workplace.

Greater Coffee Intake Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes

Individuals who increased their daily consumption of coffee by more than a cup over time had an 11% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people whose consumption stayed the same, according to a study in the journal Diabetologia. Individuals who reduced their coffee intake by more than a cup a day had a 17% higher risk of diabetes.

 

Smiley Face LatteNeed an excuse to drink yet another cup of coffee today?  A new study suggests that increasing coffee consumption may decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes.

The apparent relationship between coffee and type 2 diabetes is not new.  Previous studies have found that drinking a few cups or more each day may lower your risk – with each subsequent cup nudging up the benefit.

This most recent study, published in the journal Diabetologia, was more concerned with how changing coffee consumption – either increasing it or decreasing it over time – might affect your risk.

The conclusion: People who upped their consumption by more than a cup per day had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with people whose consumption held steady.  Decreasing coffee consumption by the same amount – more than a cup a day – was associated with a 17% increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The data is based on an analysis of more than 120,000 health professionals already being followed observationally long term.  Researchers looked at the study participants’ coffee drinking habits across four years to reach their conclusions.

Just how much coffee each day provides a benefit?

“For type 2 diabetes, up to six cups per day is associated with lower risk,” said Shilpa Bhupathiraju, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead study author, citing previous research. “As long as coffee doesn’t give you tremors, doesn’t make you jittery, it is associated with a lot of health benefits.”

In the case of diabetes, the reasons behind the supposed protection conferred by coffee are not clear, but there are theories based on animal research.

One involves chemicals present in coffee – phenolic compounds and lignans – that may improve glucose metabolism, according to Bhupathiraju.  She added that coffee is rich in magnesium, which is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Coffee drinking linked to longer life

Wait, though.  Before you scramble out to purchase your fourth latte of the day, it is important to note that the type of coffee matters.

Lattes and other types of specialty drinks – often laden with sugar – were not studied.  The type of coffee involved in this study tended to be a simple eight-ounce cup of black coffee containing about 100 milligrams of caffeine.

“People think of (increasing their intake) as going and drinking an extra blended drink,” said Bhupathiraju.  “We are not talking about ‘frappuchinos’ or lattes.  It’s black coffee with milk and sugar.”

Coffee good for you, but it’s OK to hold back

And while coffee may be associated with a reduction in some chronic diseases (not just diabetes, but cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and – according to a New England Journal of Medicine study – with a longer life, overall) scientists are still  reluctant to call coffee a panacea.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one more cup in the meantime.

 
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