Plant-Based Foods Could Save A Country Billions

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Plant-based eating is cost-effective, reduces economic costs, such as hospital admissions and doctors’ bills, as well as increasing the number of healthy years people live.

Billions of euro could be saved from a country’s annual health bill if more people can be persuaded to follow a plant-based diet, according to new research published in the Journal of Nutrition. Also society overall will benefit due to less absenteeism from work.

The study looked at the health and economic consequences of two plant-based eating patterns, a diet with a daily portion of soya foods and a Mediterranean-style diet.

The study suggests the British government could reduce its healthcare and societal costs over the next 20 years by £5.21 billion if just 10% of the UK population would emphasize plant-based foods in their diet. Cost savings could be as high as £7.54 billion if 10% of the UK population could be encouraged to incorporate soya products in their daily diet.

“Our research demonstrates that increasing plant-based eating is cost-effective, reduces economic costs, such as hospital admissions and doctors’ bills, as well as increasing the number of healthy years people live, and enabling them to continue having an active life,” said Lieven Annemans, professor of health economics at Ghent University, and the lead author of the paper. “Our study has the potential to contribute to the way healthy eating is promoted,” he added.

There are different approaches to plant-based eating, from Mediterranean-type diets through to vegetarian and veganism. Plant-based eating is in line with the latest government dietary guidelines, the Eatwell Guide. In other words, plant-based eating does not have to exclude all animal products, but places plant-based foods such as soya, fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils at the core of the diet.

The researchers carried out an extensive review of the scientific literature and concluded that both plant-based and soya eating patterns reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and certain cancers. Diets containing soya demonstrated the most favorable health effects from the two evaluated plant-based food patterns.

The researchers calculated the impact of these plant-based food patterns on ‘quality adjusted life years’ (QALYs), which estimate the number of expected years of good health. To calculate disease costs, a societal perspective was taken, including direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are those directly associated with the disease or related conditions including costs related to diagnosis and treatment. Indirect costs include employment related elements such as absenteeism, and productivity loss due to sickness.

For the UK, a diet containing soya is estimated to yield 159 QALYs and 100 QALYs per 1,000 women and men, respectively. Similarly, adherence to a plant-based Mediterranean-type diet also results in living longer in good health and cost-savings to society.

Professor Ian Rowland, professor in nutrition from Reading University, supported the findings of the new study and commented: “Emphasizing plant-based foods in your diet can help to improve nutrition and meet current dietary recommendations. More plant-based eating helps against a variety of diseases which many people are currently confronted with. In addition to the personal health benefits, it can also help reduce society’s healthcare costs.”

This study provides yet more reasons to eat more plant-based foods and is in line with the UK ‘Eatwell guide’ which champions plant-based foods for good health and sustainability. It follows a report published by the Sustainable Food Trust in November – The Hidden Cost Of UK Food – which found that poor diets add 37p of healthcare costs to every £1 spent on food.

Full bibliographic information

Nutrition, Volume 48, April 2018, Pages 24-32. Applied Nutritional Investigation
The potential health and economic effects of plant-based food patterns in Belgium and the United Kingdom
Janne Schepers M.Sc
Lieven Annemans Ph.DDepartment of Public Health, Interuniversity Centre for Health Economics Research (I-CHER), Ghent University, Ghent, BelgiumDepartment of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacologic Sciences, KU Leuven, Flanders, BelgiumReceived 8 August 2017, Revised 6 November 2017, Accepted 11 November 2017, Available online 15 December 2017.

 

Database Reveals 16,000 Foods That May Be Packaged with BPA

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Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
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Environmental Working Group Database Reveals 16,000 Foods That May Be Packaged with BPA

WASHINGTON––For consumers who want to avoid bisphenol A, EWG unveiled an easily searchable database of more than 16,000 food and beverage items that may come in cans, bottles or jars containing the hormone-disrupting chemical, better known as BPA. The list was compiled from a little-known food industry inventory and is now available at EWG’s Food Scores database.

BPA acts like estrogen in the body and is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children in critical stages of development. Independent scientific studies link it to cancer, infertility, diabetes, obesity and brain, nerve and heart disorders, and it’s just been listed by California as a chemical known to cause reproductive problems.

“No other industry in the world is more adept at marketing products to its customers than food and beverage companies––except apparently when it comes to informing them about the possible presence of a toxic chemical linked to hormone disruption and cancer,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “So we decided to give them a little help in making their own data accessible. Our new database shines a light on just how pervasive BPA is in our food system, and will help Americans navigate the supermarket armed with more information.”

Most concern about BPA has focused on its use in plastic bottles and canned food linings. But the voluminous list of products brought to light by EWG shows that Americans are exposed to BPA in food packaging far more widely than previously known. The array of products from 926 brands includes:

  • The lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments;
  • Aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays;
  • Bottles and tins of cooking oil;
  • Aluminum beverage cans, coffee cans and even beer kegs.

Food packaging is the largest source of exposure to BPA. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found it in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans sampled. In 2009, tests commissioned by EWG were the first to find BPA in the umbilical cords of nine of 10 infants sampled.

California officials added the hormone disrupting chemical to the Proposition 65 list, which requires warnings on products with listed chemicals. The state allowed instead for generic warning signs at checkout registers that don’t name specific products.

Food companies set up a website with a list of products, but made little effort to publicize it. The website is a chaotic jumble––incomplete, inconsistent, poorly organized and not searchable.

EWG downloaded files from the industry website, which were in a variety of non-compatible formats, then extracted the brand names, product descriptions and barcodes. The data was then matched against information in Food Scores, and the matches were hand-reviewed to ensure accuracy.

Despite the mounting evidence of BPA’s health risks at very low doses, federal regulation is lagging. EWG urges regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal levels to regulators, federal and state lawmakers to look at the evidence and reassess BPA’s use in the U.S. food supply.

→  Read more on BPA

European Approved Health and Nutritional Claims

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Two Regulations Just To Explain Food Claims Used On Product Labels

How much of a bigger share from the Universe Of Food could we get if we talked more about the benefits of what it is we’re trying to regulate.

The most direct path to an intended outcome is to regulate for what you want. Seems like we have too many competing interests to agree on a simple, true story.

Food has been pretty cool for a long time now. We’re starting to realize just how important it really is. If they’re going through this much trouble in Europe, no wonder, clean, simple food is catching on and the packaged goods market is scrambling to keep up.

Thanks to  Richard A.H.G. De Klerk International Senior Account Manager, Nutrition/Pharma, Asia & Europe for this report.

European Commission published two regulations just to explain and determine approved claims to be used in food products labels, and one regulation regarding the consumer protection and detailed information about the label content. The regulations are better described below:

This isn’t meant to put anyone to sleep.It’s a sign that food and nutrition are becoming so important that multiple interests are keenly aware of how much power consumers are beginning to exert when it comes to food choices. An educated consumer is a healthy consumer. We don’t need a tracker to know where that  leads.

Didn’t Amazon just buy Whole Foods?

1. Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods:

Nutritional Claim Conditions Applying

LOW ENERGY A claim that a food is low in energy, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the product does not contain more than 40 kcal (170 kJ)/100 g for solids or more than 20 kcal (80 kJ)/100 ml for liquids. For table-top sweeteners the limit of 4 kcal (17 kJ)/portion, with equivalent sweetening properties to 6 g of sucrose (approximately one teaspoon of sucrose), applies.

ENERGY-REDUCED A claim that a food is energy-reduced, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the energy value is reduced by at least 30 %, with an indication of the characteristic(s) which make(s) the food reduced in its total energy value.

ENERGY-FREE A claim that a food is energy-free, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the product does not contain more than 4 kcal (17 kJ)/100 ml. For table-top sweeteners the limit of 0,4 kcal (1,7 kJ)/portion, with equivalent sweetening properties to 6 g of sucrose (approximately one teaspoon of sucrose), applies.

SOURCE OF (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) AND/OR (NAME OF MINERAL/S) A claim that a food is a source of vitamins and/or minerals, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the product contains at least a significant amount as defined in the Annex to Directive 90/496/EEC or an amount provided for by derogations granted according to Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods (1).

HIGH (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) AND/OR (NAME OF MINERAL/S) A claim that a food is high in vitamins and/or minerals, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the product contains at least twice the value of ‘source of (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)’.

CONTAINS (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT OR OTHER SUBSTANCE) A claim that a food contains a nutrient or another substance, for which specific conditions are not laid down in this Regulation, or any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the product complies with all the applicable provisions of this Regulation, and in particular Article 5. For vitamins and minerals the conditions of the claim ‘source of’ shall apply.

INCREASED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT) A claim stating that the content in one or more nutrients, other than vitamins and minerals, has been increased, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the product meets the conditions for the claim ‘source of’ and the increase in content is at least 30 % compared to a similar product.

REDUCED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT) A claim stating that the content in one or more nutrients has been reduced, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the reduction in content is at least 30 % compared to a similar product, except for micronutrients where a 10 % difference in the reference values as set in Council Directive 90/496/EEC shall be acceptable and for sodium, or the equivalent value for salt, where a 25 % difference shall be acceptable.

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The Story Behind The Why We Buy

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Judges rule that excerpts from scientific/medical journal articles

can be used in advertising and promotional materials,

protected by the First Amendment and New York state law.

This sets a significant precedent.

A federal appeals court found that opinions about scientific studies,

at least when two private parties are involved in cases involving the Lanham Act,

is protected free speech.

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If you say that a food is healthy and may help protect against heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis,

your words have magically changed that food into a drug.

And, guess what, that’s illegal.

Now you’ve created an illegal drug and that’s a crime

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Free Speech Win For Scientific Conclusions in Federal Court

So why after all these years have we not shared all that great research about how food and nutrition can impact public health, access to food and opportunity as well as workforce development?  Where are we today? Take a look at the disruption in our food sector. Amazon buying Whole Foods and thousands of small scale rural and urban growers building local food systems.

From Alliance for Natural Health July 9, 2013

 A three-judge panel of the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has ruled unanimously that researchers cannot be sued for stating the scientific conclusions made in journal articles about matters of scientific debate.

In this case, the manufacturer of a lung surfactant—a detergent-like agent that reduces the surface tension of the liquid film covering the inner lining of the lung’s small air sacs (alveoli) to help keep lungs from collapsing and help patients breathe better—brought a false advertising suit against a competitor.

The lawsuit alleged that the competitor paid for research designed to show that the competitor’s product was superior; that the findings were false and deceptive; and that the competitor disseminated those findings through an article published in a scientific journal and through promotional material citing the article’s conclusions.

The plaintiff didn’t claim that the competitor distorted the article’s findings, but that the findings themselves were inaccurate, and by publishing them, the plaintiffs suffered damage.

The main question was whether the defendant’s statements about the study were false and misleading under the Lanham Act, which is the primary federal trademark law in the US (the court also looked at this under NY state law).

They didn’t consider the question of whether the study findings themselves were false—only whether their statements about the study were false or misleading. The panel ruled against the plaintiff and found that the defendant did not misrepresent the research findings, and ruled the defendant’s statements to be scientific “opinion,” not fact, and therefore protected speech under the First Amendment.

This sets a significant precedent. A federal appeals court found that opinions about scientific studies, at least when two private parties are involved in cases involving the Lanham Act, is protected free speech.

Whether this ruling can be applied against the Federal Trade Commission’s recent actions toward supplement makers for making alleged “false and misleading claims” by citing scientific studies remains to be seen, as the laws involved are different. You may recall the FTC’s lawsuits against companies such as POM Wonderful for false advertising, even though POM cited scientific articles and studies.

Increasingly, the FTC appears to be applying the FDA’s pharmaceutical approach toward all health claims, including those for food or supplements, via consent decrees, as we discussed last year. These consent decrees are requiring manufacturers to obtain the FDA’s approval of any health claims prior to making them in advertising, and are insisting on a standard of double random controlled studies. In effect, the FTC seems to be doing what the FDA itself would like to do but is barred from doing. It seems to be an end-run around FDA law.

Given this background of increasing government censorship of science, this latest court ruling is very welcome. Companies cannot afford the millions of dollars needed to take a natural, non-patentable product through the FDA drug approval process in order to establish health claims. However, there is a lot of valid scientific literature explaining benefits of natural products, and companies should be able to use it for advertising purposes to inform the public without threat of fines or even jail.

This was the logic behind our push for Free Speech About Science (FSAS). A bill to reintroduce the Free Speech About Science Act is currently being redrafted. We will keep you posted as things. A resurrection is long overdue.

→  Read full article

Is The FDA Losing It’s Mind?

Here’s an example from recent history that speaks to how far certain interests will go to separate us from our food. Before any science came along to validate the idea that food is the key driver to human health and development.

Why is it that after the scientific validation for nutrition, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, as the building blocks for all life, and that they comprise our  food, why wouldn’t that story be worth shouting from the rooftops?

What if the foods we all eat got to tell it’s nutritional bona fides as medicine? Or, at the very least, beneficial and highly recommended for health and wellness. Thanks to CathyBurt at TimberJay.com for the alert on the FDA losing it’s mind.

The FDA Wants To Make Cherries, Walnuts Into Illegal Drugs

The FDA has sent a warning letter to the president and CEO of Diamond Foods stating that the firm’s packages of shelled walnuts are “in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act”. Why? Because Diamond Foods dared to list some of the health benefits of walnuts on its website. Health benefits which have been scientifically researched and proven. The FDA says that the walnuts are being “promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of disease”.

In other words, if you say that a food is healthy and may help protect against heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis, your words have magically changed that food into a drug. And, guess what, that’s illegal. Now you’ve created an illegal drug and that’s a crime

Common sense alone should tell you that walnuts, cherries, pomegranates and green tea are foods, not drugs.

Even though potato chips are mostly a deep fried snack food, with no scientifically proven health benefits, the FDA has no problem with FritoLay listing on its website some of what they claim are the health benefits of potato chips. We all know that carbohydrates fried in fat and covered with salt are just not healthy to eat. Plus they definitely won’t give you the GMO Free certification to go along with all their other nutritional needs products. Can anyone say “Gluten Free” ?

This certainly seems like a FDA double standard and it is just not acceptable for a government agency to disregard its own mission of educating the public and promoting health.

The Free Speech about Science Act (HR 4913)  was a bipartisan bill introduced into the House of Representatives on March 23, 2010. This legislation protects basic free speech rights, ends censorship of science and enables the natural foods and health products community to share peer-reviewed scientific findings with the public. The bill had the potential to educate the public about the real science behind natural health. This would have enabled the public to have access to credible information that they can use to make wise dietary choices. It died. It was reintroduced and it died again.

→  Read full article

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The Science Based Arms Race For The Consumer’s Trust

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Ask Your Doctor If Good Nutrition Is Right For You

Consumer Confusion Over Supplements Calls For Clarity

When the natural products industry began to mature and started using science based claims for their ingredients, formulations and products, they gave up a very big advantage they had.

That advantage was in the obvious connection between good food and good health. Food was cool back in 431 BC when Hippocrates allegedly admonished us to make food our medicine and medicine our food. This food as medicine connection has been deeply rooted throughout human history. Food and nutrition were the at the root so to speak, of ‘natural’ products. This was somewhat of a backlash against large scale processed foods that started taking on forms that were unrecognizable, yet immensely compelling from the standpoint of convenience and taste.

As the market grew, it became necessary to address convenience, efficacy and safety factors. Distinguishing natural remedies as ‘just as good as’ or ‘better’ than pharmaceuticals, the need for scientific validation for the claims to good health became more important than the common sense experiences traditionally associated or attributed to their use.

The results have been mixed. We have a treasure trove of existing and ongoing science supporting food as medicine. Yet we can’t say so for fear of running afoul of some Federal regulation or monopolistic protection.

Drug companies buy up nearly every inch of ad space in scientific journals, so the argument persists that there’s little scientific basis for natural product claims. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it . . .

We have good manufacturing practices and we have dozens of third party certification organizations. The message to the consumer is that there must be a problem with food standards somewhere.

In the meantime, we’ve seen a proliferation of new ingredients, formulations and products clamoring for shelf space. Consumers have never had so many choices, yet confusion has never been greater.

They don’t understand the reason behind pricing for the same item from different manufacturers. The whole shopping experience can be overwhelming and intimidating.

Most of this confusion could have been avoided. If the industry had led with nature as the gold standard, we could have more easily validated our claims to efficacy and safety. Instead of copying big pharma’s model, we could have copied nature’s.

Many pharmaceuticals were derived from plants from nature. We could have framed big phama as copying  nature and following those of us with a food and nutrition based approach to health instead of playing the never-catch-up with their marketing and budgets game. .

Now we have an arms race to invent and patent more and more products designed for a specific effects. We pile on tons of scientific evidence and expect consumers to feel secure in their purchases.

We can’t say ‘ask your doctor’ if product ‘X’ is right for you because there are too few doctors who know what to answer. Based on the amount of nutrition education they were exposed to in medical school, most doctors look like a deer in the headlights when a patient asks a nutritional question.

It’s no wonder we’re in such a sorry state of health. Don’t despair. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Self education is the first step to understanding how food and nutrition are essential to optimal health. After all, they don’t call them “vitamins” for nothing.

Fortunately, consumer awareness about the medicinal benefits of knowing about food and how to best use it for our optimal health, is a secret that’s no longer so secret. Despite attempts to separate us from food’s full story, consumers are causing a major upheaval in the food and consumer packaged goods sector. This is good news for food and nutritional supplement manufacturers. There’s a pretty compelling story to tell about their products. The more the good food story is told and circulated, the faster new shelf space will appear. In the stores, on the web and ultimately on consumers pantry shelves.

 

Get The Latest Nutrition News Online All Year Long

Get The Latest Nutrition News Online All Year Long

Our readers are self aware and focused on full, vital and abundant lives.

They realize the importance their health has for a rich and rewarding life.

They pay attention to what works.

They make connections between actions and results.

 

For 41 years our readers, people just like you, have turned to  Nutrition News for advertising free, easy to understand information about healthy foods and nutritional supplements.

We review, edit and  publish compelling content about nutritional research and trends in optimal health.

We showcase, share and support health outreach initiatives of all kinds.

The inquiry into optimal health is naturally engaging.

We make healthy behaviors easy and fun.

 

 

 

Your Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Here's How:

We promise to capture your attention.

If you're not paying attention, we've failed you.

 

 

After reading your first report,

If you don’t love it . . .

Or feel you don’t have

Information and tools

To achieve optimal health,

Just let us know within 30 days.

We’ll refund your money,

No questions asked.

You keep the Report.

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