Sources of Saturated Fat in Common Foods

From Dr. Fuhrman's book Onlyourhealth Your Child.

Ever wonder how much saturated fat there is in your favorite foods?

Saturated Fat Content of Common Foods
FoodGrams of Saturated Fat
Cheddar Cheese (4 oz)24
American Processed Cheese (4 oz)24
Ricotta Cheese (4 cup)20
Swiss Cheese (4 oz)20
Chocolate Candy (4 oz)20
Cheeseburger, Large, Double Patty18
T-bone Steak (6 oz)18
Braised Lamb (6 oz)16
Pork--Shoulder (6 oz)16
Butter (2 tbsp)14.5
Mozzarella, Park Skim (4 oz)12
Ricotta Cheese, Part Skim (4 oz)12
Beef--Ground, Lean (6 oz)11
Ice Cream, Vanilla (1 cup)10
Chicken Fillet Sandwich 9
Chicken--Thigh, No Skin (6 oz)5
Whole Milk, 3.3% Fat (1 Cup)5
Plain Yogurt5
Two Eggs (4 oz)4
Chicken Breast (6 oz)3 oz
Salmon (6 oz)3
Walnuts (2 oz or 24 halves)3
2% Milk (1 cup)3
Tuna (6 oz)2.6
Turkey, White, No Skin (6 oz)2
Almonds (2 oz or 48 nuts)2
Sunflower Seeds (2 oz)2
Flounder (6 oz)0.6
Sole (6 oz)0.6

Source: Composition of Foods-Raw-Processed-Prepared, Agriculture Handbook8. Series and Supplements. United States Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Information Service, Minnesota Nutrition Data System (NDS) software, developed by the Nutrition Coordinating Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Food Database version 5A, Nutrient Database version 20, USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 14 at

Gina Kolata's Video Assault on Your Good Sense

New York Times reporter Gina Kolata's work has come up again and again on Followhealthlife.

We just happened across a feature on The New York Times website that has video of Kolata discussing some of her recent work.

Her "Health Minute" video piece about the relationship between diet and cancer is shocking. Here are some quotes:

  • "You might have assumed that what you eat makes a big difference in whether you get cancer... "
  • "Many scientists say that there is still a reason to eat a healthy diet, but cancer prevention is probably not one of them. If there are effects, they are likely to be small, and swamped by other factors."
She also urges those with cancer not to feel guilty about what they ate--which is surely generous and kind, but not supported by research that I have seen.

The basis of her story is the Women's Health Initiative study that was wholly flawed. "Look closely and you will see that the researchers compared a typical, disease-causing American diet, with one that was just marginally better, but still terribly unhealthy," says Dr. Fuhrman.

He likens it to studying those who smoke 50 cigarettes a day, and comparing them to those who some 60 cigarettes a day. If you find little difference in their cancer rates, does that mean cigarettes don't affect cancer?

What's more, the study merely assessed the efficacy of "low-fat foods" which is not the most important designation in determining cancer-fighting potential. Some high-fat foods like nuts, seeds and avocados contain heart disease and cancer fighting compounds, points out Dr. Furhman, who adds that "eating more low-fat foods such as egg whites, chicken, and pasta does not expose us to the disease-fighting compounds in berries, seeds, nuts, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes and carrots."

If you haven't read it yet, please do check out the still relevant longer response to Gina Kolata's original article--complete with references to medical studies etc.

Less Risk in Your Diet?

According to the results of a national telephone survey Americans are consuming less undercooked ground beef, raw fish, oysters, and runny eggs. The study examined consumption of foods linked to E. coli, vibrio, salmonella and other food-borne illnesses. The LA Times reports:

The report, made public Tuesday at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, found that the percentage of people eating risky foods dropped from 31% in 1998 to 21% four years later. It was based on results of telephone surveys of 15,000 to 20,000 people conducted by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, known as FoodNet.

It seems "risky food" only refers to short term risk in terms of this study. Dr. Fuhrman says animal products like hamburger, milk, and certain seafood can have long-term risks that are equally dangerous. Consider this excerpt from Eat to Live:

The link between animal products and many different diseases is as strongly supported in scientific literature as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. For example, subjects who ate meat, including poultry and fish, were found to be twice as likely to develop dementia (loss of intellectual function with aging) than their vegetarian counterparts in a carefully designed study.1 The discrepancy was further widened when past meat consumption was taken into account. The same diet, loaded with animal products, that causes heart disease and cancer also causes most every other disease prevalent in America including kidney stones, renal insufficiency and renal failure, osteoporosis, uterine fibroids, hypertension, appendicitis, diverticulosis, and thrombosis.2

Continue Reading...


Ever wonder how many calories are in a sausage McGriddle or the amount of protein in a Subway turkey wrap? offers a comprehensive breakdown of the nutrients and calories in the food served by many popular restaurants. So next time you need to know how much fat is in Jack in Box's Southwest Pita, you'll know where to go.


Gina Kolota of The New York Times reports that cloned pigs may be the nutritional holy grail. Recently researchers from three major universities genetically modified a group of swine to make pork that's rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Harvard professor of clinical medicine Alexander Leaf says:

"People can continue to eat their junk food," Dr. Leaf said. "You won't have to change your diet, but you will be getting what you need."

The article glosses over the important point: even with beneficial omega 3 fatty acids pork meat still contains saturated fats and cholesterol. This is from Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live, in which he discusses the risk of heart disease as it relates to the consumption of animal products:

Poring through nation-by-nation mortality data collected by the World Health Organization, I found that most of the poorer countries, which invariably consume little animal products, have less than 5 percent of the adult population dying of heart attacks.1 The China Project confirmed that there were virtually no heart attacks in populations that consume a lifelong vegetarian diet and almost no heart attacks in populations consuming a diet that is rich in natural plant foods and receives less than 10 percent of its calories from animals.

For more of Dr. Fuhrman's thoughts about meat, read his post from Friday.

Continue Reading...

Our Fat Land

Granted it's a few years old, but Michael Pollan's review of Greg Critser's book Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World is worthy of mention. Pollan an author and contributing writing for The New York Times details the book's investigation of America's super-sized obesity epidemic; which Critser believes was and is driven by capitalism.

Revitalizing The Road Warrior

Business travelers are prone to bad eating habits and physical inactivity. This coupled with rising healthcare costs is inspiring company-run wellness programs designed to target the needs of the road warrior. Christopher Elliott of The New York Times reports on the actions of the Parksite Group:

The new programs do more than educate frequent travelers about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle punctuated by deep-fried meals. They use online journals, Web-based support groups and other technologies to keep employees healthy while they are on the road.

It is too early to gauge the effectiveness of these programs, but there are some notable early successes. In 2004, for example, Parksite's health care premiums soared by 23 percent. But last year, after its wellness program began to take hold, its costs did not change even as other employee expenses were rising. The wellness program is run by the ComPsyche Corporation of Chicago.

Programs like this are encouraging, but experts insist changing behaviors requires more:

"In order to change your behavior, you need more than just one workshop," said Mindy Paulet, director of the work-life programs at Purdue University, who administers a wellness course developed by Human Kinetics, which is based in Champaign, Ill. "A workshop can't change your behavior. It can't change a sedentary or inactive employee. That takes time."

The Obesity Epidemic, Who's to Blame?

The media is saturated with reports trying to explain why Americans are so overweight. A new one examines the food industry's role in the obesity epidemic. J.M. Hirsch of the Associated Press reports:

"We don't think the food industry has done anything particularly wrong in this regard," says Robert Earl of the Food Products Association, a lobbying group that prefers to indict sedentary lifestyles and poor choices.

Companies have tried to help people make better choices, he says, offering healthier products and more nutrition data. But people can't be forced to make the right choice and consumer disinterest doomed many of those products.

True, people can't be forced to make healthy decisions, but has the food industry contributed to consumers' poor judgment? Yale obesity expert Dr. David Katz explains:

Despite his criticism of the industry's practices, Yale's Katz acknowledges companies are in a difficult position. Ultimately, they sell food, and staying in business means selling the foods people want. Public health is secondary.

But what if those companies engineered their foods to make you eat more of them? Though he acknowledges that evidence is scarce, Katz believes companies do just that, much the way tobacco companies were accused of tinkering with nicotine.

Research shows that people eat more when faced with a variety of foods, or even a variety of flavors within a single food. For example, you are less likely to overeat plain baked potatoes than those drenched in butter, salt, sour cream and chives.

It's tempting to point fingers and the play the blame game, but remember your weight and overall health is your responsibility. Ellen Van Gelder, an obese woman from Concord, N.H., sums it up best:

"I would love to blame somebody else. The reality is it's each person's responsibility," says Van Gelder, who has battled her weight her entire life. "You put the food on your plate. You choose whether to eat it."

Atkins Diet: Not What this Doctor Ordered

According to Dr. Fuhrman's books, Americans consume about 40 percent of their calories from animal products, which has contributed to the increase of cancer and heart disease in the past fifty years. So how does this information impact high-protein weight-loss plans like the Atkins diet? Consider this passage from Eat to Live:

The Atkins diet (and other diets rich in animal products and low in fruits and unrefined carbohydrates) is likely to significantly increase a person's risk of colon cancer. Scientific studies show a clear and strong relationship between cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, and prostate with low fruit consumption. What good is a diet that lowers your weight but also dramatically increases your chances of developing cancer?

A meat-based, low-fiber diet, like the one Atkins advocates, includes little or no fruit, no starchy vegetables, and no whole grains. Following Atkin's recommendations could more than double your risk of certain cancers, especially meat-sensitive cancers, such as epithelial cancers of the respiratory tract.1 For example, a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute looked at lung cancer in nonsmoking women so that smoking would not be a major variable. Researchers found that the relative risk of lung cancer was six times greater in women in the highest fifth of saturated-fat consumption than those in the lowest fifth.

The March 18 issue of Lancet includes research suggesting that the Atkins diet can also cause some other major health complications. Steven Reinberg of Healthday News reports on a case from the study:

The patient had followed the Atkins diet, including Atkins supplements. She went to the hospital with difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with a condition called ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis results when dangerously high levels of acids called ketones build up in the blood. Ketones are produced in the liver during starvation. A low-carbohydrate diet such as Atkins can lead to ketone production, Lessnau's team notes.

"She had to be admitted to the intensive care unit," Lessnau said. "The diet actually caused her acidosis."

Lessnau is surprised that this problem with the Atkins diet has not been reported before. "This is something that is not well-diagnosed or may be underreported," he said.

"The Atkins diet is not a safe diet in everybody," Lessnau said. "It can cause potentially life-threatening problems."

Dr. Fuhrman says most weight loss plans are a waste of your money.

For more about how Dr. Fuhrman does recommend losing weight, read this outline, and these thoughts on diets.

Continue Reading...

European Research: Restricting Animal Products Reduces Weight Gain, Cancer

In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman warns against eating regular quantities of animal products, refined grains, and oils, urging you instead to get most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and raw nuts:

Vegetable and fruits protect all types of cancers if consumed in large enough quantities. Hundreds of scientific studies document this. The most prevalent cancers in our country are mostly plant-food-deficiency disease. Raw vegetables have the most powerful anti-cancer properties of all foods.

Research shows that those who avoid meat and diary have lower rates heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.1

Studies have confirmed that individuals consuming a vegetarian diet (one based on plant matter and not dairy or refined grains) live longer than non-vegetarians and almost never get heart attacks.

With this in mind, consider this recent weight loss study from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The eating habits of 22,000 people, meat eaters and vegetarians, were tracked over five years. In the end results found that all participants gained a few pounds, but individuals who adopted a vegetarian or vegan diet gained the least. Reuters reports:

"The weight gain was less in the vegans than in the meat-eaters and somewhere in between in the other groups," said Tim Key, of Britain's Cancer Research UK charity and the University of Oxford, who conducted the study.

"The lowest weight gain was in people who changed their diet to eat fewer animal products," he told Reuters.

In addition to stressing the importance of physical activity for sustained health, the study also comments on the link between diet and cancer:

[The study] also showed that diet is second only to tobacco, as a leading cause of cancer, and, along with alcohol, is responsible for nearly a third of cancer cases in developed countries.
Continue Reading...

Knock Out Obesity and High Cholesterol with Veggies

In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman calls obesity "the number one health problem in the United States."

If the current trend continues by the year 2030 all adults in the United States will be obese. The National Institutes of Health estimate that obesity is associated with a twofold increase in mortality, costing society more than $100 billion per year.1
Of course, regular readers of this blog know pretty well what he recommends as a solution: a healthy diet rich with vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and raw nuts.

Dr. Fuhrman's approach was shown in a study to reduce LDL cholesterol 33%, making it the only nutritional approach shown to be more effective than statins.

Now there's news of a milder nutritional intervention that has been getting some milder--but promising results. A study published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating nutrient rich foods like tofu and oatmeal help lower cholesterol. Beth Duff-Brown of the Associated Press reports:

Jenkins, Canadian research chair in metabolism and nutrition at Toronto, and Dr. Cyril Kendall, also of the University of Toronto, studied 55 middle-aged men and women who had high cholesterol and were at risk for heart disease.

The participants were already on a heart-healthy diet. They were then prescribed a diet that included more specific foods, such as raw almonds, tofu and other soy foods, viscous fibers such as oatmeal, barley, okra and eggplant, and plant sterol-enriched margarine.

After a year, the group who stuck faithfully to the new eating plan lowered their cholesterol by an average of 29 percent. Jenkins said the rate was comparable to results from participants who had taken a statin drug for one month before starting the diet, as well as general studies of patients on such drugs.

Continue Reading...

Caffeine Freaks: Get Tested

Following up on last week's news linking coffee consumption with risk of heart attacks Dr. Fuhrman provides some additional thoughts on the study printed in The Journal of the American Medical Association:

This article notes that some people are homozygous for a gene that controls caffeine elimination in the liver and others are heterozygous. So, similar to the genes for eye color, in this case a person who inherits only one dominant gene will detoxify caffeine slower--and therefore be more at risk for its heart attack promoting properties.

Of interest was the strong association with the non-fatal heart attacks occurring in younger people. Noting that some individuals who metabolize caffeine slower, and thus eliminate it slower, have double the heart attack risk compared to non-caffeine drinkers or those who metabolize caffeine quickly.

Bottom line, if you drink coffee, and are unwilling to cut back to one cup a day or less, at least get this test to see if you are a slow caffeine metabolizer.

Of course, I would prefer people not engage in addictive habits in general, because that inevitably leads to eating more food to treat their addictive withdrawal symptoms, and continues their addictive relationship with food and drink contributing to their ill health in general.

Soda Bubble Popping?

Melanie Warner of The New York Times reports that for the first time in twenty years the number of cases of soda sold in the United States declined. This is great news for those who believe that soft drinks cause obesity. According to research, people's demand for variety and healthier choices is attributed to the drop off:

In a research report yesterday, William Pecoriello, a beverage analyst at Morgan Stanley, said he expected the soda category to continue to decline at a 1 percent clip over the next few years. His research shows that 64 percent of the growth in bottled water is a result of people switching from soda to what nutritionists say is the healthiest beverage anyone can drink.

Even diet sodas, once a booming category, have slacked off. Diet Pepsi's case volume was down by 1.9 percent in 2005 and Diet Coke's was virtually unchanged, up only 0.1 percent, according to Beverage Digest.

Mr. Pecoriello attributed this to changing attitudes about diet soda. "According to our research, consumers say they don't like the taste, are worried about artificial sweeteners and," he wrote, do not view diet soft drinks "as 'healthy.'"

Mercury, Pesticides, PCBs and Then Some

As we have blogged about before, Dr. Fuhrman has some strong ideas about toxins.

One of the big toxins to worry about is, of course, mercury. But there are others, like chlordane, the DDT Family (DDT, DDD, and DDE), dieldrin/aldrin, mirex, toxaphene. The Oceans Alive website has information about all of these pesticides. There are also whole pages on dioxins, PCBs, and mercury.

All of Dr. Fuhrman's books have ideas about how to avoid toxins, much of which is available on Followhealthlife. For instance, there are some practical strategies in this post about mercury and another about organic food.

Coffee is Not for Everyone

Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press reports a new study is claiming that some coffee drinkers may be at greater risk for nonfatal heart attacks. Research found a genetic trait that splits coffee drinkers into two groups, those with a reduced risk of heart attack or those at an increased risk:

Research on more than 4,000 people in Costa Rica found that about half had the trait and were considered "slow caffeine metabolizers." The other half had the opposite trait, which caused their bodies to rapidly break down or metabolize caffeine, and coffee-drinking in this group appeared to reduce heart attack risks.

Among slow-metabolizers, those who drank two or more cups of coffee daily were at least 36 percent more likely to have a nonfatal heart attack than those who drank little or no coffee. Even higher risks were found for younger slow metabolizers -- those under 50. They were up to four times more likely to have a heart attack than slow metabolizers in their age group who drank little or no coffee.

University of Toronto researcher and co-author of the study, Ahmed El-Sohemy remarks:

The new study "clearly illustrates that one size does not fit all," El-Sohemy said. "Perhaps in the future we'll be making different (dietary) recommendations based on people's genetic makeup."

Here are Dr. Fuhrman's thoughts on consumption of caffeinated beverages from his book Eat to Live:

Clearly, excessive consumption on caffeinated beverages is dangerous. Caffeine addicts are at higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias that could precipitate sudden death.1 Coffee raises blood pressure and raises cholesterol and homocysteine, two risk factors for heart disease.2

Besides increased risk of heart disease, there are two other problems. First caffeine is a stimulant that allows you to get by with less sleep and reduces the depth of sleep. Such sleep deprivation results in higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and interferes with glucose metabolism, leading to insulin resistance.3 This insulin resistance, and subsequent higher baseline glucose level, further promotes heart disease and other problems. In other words, caffeine consumptions promotes inadequate sleep, and less sleep promotes disease and premature aging. Adequate sleep is also necessary to prevent overeating. There is no subsidence for adequate sleep.

The second issue is that eating more frequently and eating more food suppresses caffeine-withdrawals headaches and other withdrawal symptoms. When you are finally finished digesting the meal, the body more effectively cleans house; at this time people experience a drive to eat more to suppress caffeine-withdrawal symptoms. You are prodded to eat again, eating more food than you would if you were not a caffeine addict.

Continue Reading...

Delving Into the Archives

Even though it's only a few months old, Followhealthlife has already accumulated a pretty big library posts and podcasts on various health topics. If you ever feel like searching through those archives (either by clicking on a topic at the left and then scrolling through relevant results, or better yet typing a keyword in the search box at the upper left) you'll see there's all kinds of interesting stuff.

Here's a rundown of some of the more popular posts from our first few months:

More Pop in the Obesity Debate

Yesterday, Dr. Fuhrman discussed recent research about soft drinks and obesity. Today in The New York Times, Eric Nagourney has more on recent research into the soda/obesity connection:

Writing in Pediatrics, researchers reported on what happened when they asked a group of teenagers to stop drinking sweetened beverages for 25 weeks � and had nonsweetened drinks delivered to the teenagers' homes to encourage them to stick to their commitment.

The researchers, led by Cara B. Ebbeling of Children's Hospital Boston, found that the teenagers' consumption of the high-calorie drinks went down by about 80 percent during the study and that the teenagers who had been the most overweight had significant reductions in their body mass indexes at the end of the 25 weeks.

The researchers acknowledge that there is little proof that drinks sweetened with sugar or corn syrup play a major role in obesity compared with other foods. But the study says that as the obesity rate among young people has gone up, so has their consumption of the drinks, which are heavily advertised.

Forecasting 2010: Will Half of American Kids be Overweight?

According to the Associated Press recent studies predict that by 2010 nearly half of the children in North and South America will be overweight. If present trends continue about 38 percent of all children will be fat. Many experts are alarmed:

"We have truly a global epidemic which appears to be affecting most countries in the world," said Dr. Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force and author of an editorial in the journal warning of the trend.

The percentages of overweight children also are expected to increase significantly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Egypt have rates comparable to fully industrialized nations, James said.

He estimated that, for example, one in five children in China will be overweight by 2010.

"They're being bombarded like they are in the West to eat all the wrong foods. The Western world's food industries without even realizing it have precipitated an epidemic with enormous health consequences," he said.

For more information on the childhood obesity epidemic read the following posts: Warning Labels from the Surgeon General on Soda?, Childhood Obesity: Growing In The Wrong Direction, Stopping Childhood Obesity--Thinking Outside the Box, and New York Nixes Full-Fat Milk in Schools.

Warning Labels from the Surgeon General on Soda?

Marilynn Marchione of the Associated Press reports that new studies by two groups of researchers claim that consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks actually causes obesity. While it is widely agreed that soda contributes to weight gain, labeling soda as a standalone cause is a new idea that's ruffling some feathers. Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Thun says:

"Caloric imbalance causes obesity, so in the sense that any one part of the diet is contributing excess calories, it's contributing causally to the obesity," Thun said. "It doesn't mean that something is the only cause. It means that in the absence of that factor there would be less of that condition."

Does it merit a warning on soda cans?

"I think it would be a good candidate for a warning," Thun said. "It's something that should be seriously considered."

In Dr. Fuhrman's book Onlyourhealth Your Child he discusses soft drinks and rising obesity rates:

Obesity rates have risen in tandem with soda consumption in the United States, and in the last twenty years the consumption of soft drinks by teenagers had doubled.1 Twelve to nineteen-year-old boys consume thirty-four teaspoons of sugar a day in their diet, and about half of that comes from soft drinks. Children start drinking soft drinks at a very young age, and advertisements and promotions by the soft drink manufacturers are aggressively marketed to the young.

Annual Soft Drink Production US.gif

Source: Data from the National Soft Drink Association, Beverage World, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (

Soft drinks and processed foods are full of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is not only fattening, but this inexpensive and ultra-concentrated sugar has no resemblance to real food made by nature. It is another experiment thrust upon our unsuspecting children with unknown dangerous consequences. Besides sugar, corn syrup, and chemicals, these drinks often contain caffeine, an addictive stimulant. Children crave more and more as they get older. By adolescence most children have become soft-drink addicts. It is no surprise that six out of the seven most popular soft drinks contain caffeine. Contrast this high level of sugary "liquid candy" with the meager intake of fresh produce by children and teenagers, and it is no surprise that we have an obesity epidemic beyond all expectations.

Continue Reading...

Informed Eating

Followhealthlife isn't the only online information source for healthy eating and living. Recently Dr. Fuhrman came across an organization that advocates a diet based on whole, unprocessed, organically grown plant foods; very similar to Dr. Fuhrman's position. Their current newsletter has lots of articles worth reading:

  • Kraft and Philip Morris Scientists Caught Comparing Notes
  • Economics of Fast Food: It's the Burgers Stupid
  • Industrialized Food Linked to Mental Illness
  • Kellogg and Nick Sued Over Food Marketing
  • Update on Connecticut's School Food Battle
  • Florida Students Protest Candy Sale
  • Suing the Pants Off SpongeBob

Childhood Obesity: Growing In The Wrong Direction

Obesity is rapidly becoming one the nation's worst epidemics. A dangerous trend considering the variety of diseases linked to obesity, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The growing number of overweight children is especially concerning. This article on discusses the issue and provides tips to help kids beat the bulge:

Overweight children are at risk for serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol - all once considered exclusively adult diseases. But overweight children may also be prone to low self-esteem that stems from being teased, bullied, or rejected by peers. Overweight children are often the last to be chosen as playmates, even as early as preschool. Children who are unhappy with their weight may be more likely than average-weight children to develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and they may be more prone to depression, as well as substance abuse.

Dr. Fuhrman's book Onlyourhealth Your Child is devoted to helping parents keep their children free of disease through proper nutrition. In the book he offers this stern warning about childhood obesity:

Obesity is the most common nutritional problem among children in the United States. On in three kids in America are overweight, and the problem is growing. The number of children who are overweight has more than doubled during the past decade. Social forces, from the demise of cooking to the rise of fast food, as well as dramatic increases in snack food and soda consumption, have led to the most overweight population of children in human history. Added to this dietary disaster is television, computer, and video technology that entertains our youngsters while they are physically inactive. Unless parents take a proactive role in promoting and assuring adequate nutrition and an active lifestyle, you can be sure the children of American will continue this downward spiral into obesity and ill health. Obese children suffer physically and emotionally throughout childhood and then invariably suffer with adult heart disease, and a higher cancer incidence down the road.

State Food Regulations in Jeopardy

Food contamination has become a reoccurring topic on Followhealthlife. Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding or limiting intake of dangerous foods. This can prove difficult because a lot of foods have been discovered to contain toxic compounds, such as milk, fish, and even bottled water. Unfortunately it may get harder to avoid these foods because as Marian Burros of The New York Times reports a new federal bill may threaten many state regulations:

Erik D. Olson, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said: "What the bill would do is assure the lowest common denominator of protection. Cheaper food that has poisonous chemicals in it is no bargain. They [state regulations] are being responsible and protecting citizens when the federal government hasn't done its job."

In a letter opposing the bill, the Association of Food and Drug Officials, an organization of state regulators, said that proponents of the bill had misinterpreted it and that it extended well beyond uniform labeling. "Under this bill," it said, "a state cannot have any law, not just a food law, which is not identical to the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act."

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture also opposes the bill. In a letter to members of the House, the president of the association, J. Carlton Courter III, said the bill "threatens existing food safety programs," including milk, retail food protection and shellfish sanitation. About 80 percent of food safety inspections in the United States are conducted at state and local levels.

For more information on food contamination read these posts: The Keystone State Acts to Reduce Mercury Emissions, Is Organic Food Safer?, Early Exposure to Pesticide: Revisited, and Fishing for the Truth.