• American Foods: Whom Can You Trust?

    Posted May 8, 2011: by Bill Sardi

    Ever wonder how Americans went from being lean without going to the gym to a prevailing obese society in just three or four decades?

    Few Americans recognize the population is being re-programmed metabolically to be fat.  It’s like Americans are a bunch of lab rats being programmed to overeat.

    Actually, biologists have an experiment where they use bisphenol A, an endocrine gland disruptor, to breed rodents who eat all day and end up looking like bowling balls.  Biologists now call chemical like bisphenol A obesogens.  Exposure to bisphenol A can affect future generations of Americans who never consumed this molecule.  Bisphenol A can re-program humans to overeat.

    Bisphenol A is a chemical that is found in plastic baby bottles and lines tin cans to keep the tin taste away.  Americans consume about 7 pounds of bisphenol A annually and who knows why the FDA continues to allow it to be used even if it is only suspect in the diabesity epidemic now underway in America.

    Bisphenol A is altering the behavior of animals at low doses, typical of what human infants are exposed to.

    Bisphenol A is just one of many synthetically-made chemicals in our modern environment that can disrupt normal metabolism.  While one study dismisses the effect of bisphenol A in obesity, no one has fully studied the total effect of all of these molecules upon human obesity.

    A number of environmental pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, bisphenol A, pesticides, alkylphenols and heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury), have been shown to disrupt endocrine function. These compounds can cause reproductive problems by decreasing sperm count and quality, cause male breast cancer, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, miscarriages, endometriosis, impaired fertility, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, and infertility.

    The point here is that something the FDA allows to be used in foods has not been fully tested.  The tide is changing against bisphenol A.

    But let’s fast forward to the gist of this report – about a beverage called Sunny Delight, or Sunny-D as it is sometimes called in advertising jingles.  The Sunny-D story is reported on outside the U.S. better than it is inside.

    As the British-based online paper The Guardian says, Sunny-D is about “corporate power,” about a “manufacturing giant having to come to terms with a new world in which the consumer is increasingly smart.” Maybe so, but Sunny-D wreaked it metabolic havoc for years before it product lifespan began to dwindle.

    Sunny-D hit Britain in April of 1998 and became the country’s third-best selling soft drink.  It debuted in the U.S. in 1964.  With sales of 160-million British pounds it began to rival Pepsi in sales.  Three years later Sunny-D was in deep trouble.  Even with price reductions by Proctor & Gamble, Sunny-D’s manufacturer, sales slumped by over 30%.

    Sunny-D had seduced the taste buds of young children the world over.  It was paraded as if it were a health drink, a healthier version of orange juice.  Its ingredients – citric acid, sugar, water, vegetable oil, thickeners and a smattering of vitamins and colorings to make it look like fresh orange juice.  There was nothing natural about Sunny-D, it was made in a frankenfoods laboratory somewhere.

    British health authorities saw through the millions of advertising dollars and declared it “the unreal thing.” Placing Sunny-D in coolers as if it were orange juice is what misled many mothers who buy drinks for their children.  The extra vitamins were a ploy – better than orange juice was the message.

    Then the tide turned against Proctor & Gamble when a young girl with liver problems suddenly turned yellow after drinking a lot of Sunny-D.  It was the beta carotene in the drink, which was a harmless side effect, but enough to coin it “Sunny-D Syndrome.”

    So Sunny-D’s manufacturer decided to describe it as “an orange-flavored citrus punch” instead of “real fruit beverage.”

    On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the Center for Science in the Public Interest condemned Sunny Delight as “junk juice.” It was, in fact, expensive sugar water masquerading as a vitaminized version of citrus juice.  Surveys showed consumers though it was in fact fruit juice.

    There is no question that P&G was out after Florida’s orange juice market and created a man-made beverage, sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, to take market share away from prepared orange juice. One variety of Sunny Delight even advertised itself as a “Florida Style” Tangy Citrus drink.

    Sunny Delight Fact Sheet

    Ingredients: Water, High Fructose, Corn Syrup and 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Concentrated Juices (Orange, Tangerine, Apple, Lime, Grapefruit). Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Beta-Carotene, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Natural Flavors, Food Starch-Modified, Canola Oil, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate To Protect Flavor, Yellow #5, Yellow #6

    All this is old news.  Sunny-D was eventually sold off to another company.  P&G, after hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, moved on to develop other illustrious products like Olestra – fake fat.  Sunny-D today contains a number of artificial sweeteners in addition to high fructose corn syrup.

    The point here is to see how a major food maker has such clout to deceive.  Did the FDA take on Sunny-D’s maker?  No.  Did any major grocery store chain, working on behalf of the public, refuse to sell this Franken-beverage?  It must be OK, after all, the TV stations accepted the advertising and the grocery stores saw nothing wrong with it.

    The processed food diet of Americans is what is breeding obesity and diabetes.  Current estimates predict that a tax that raises the cost of sugar-sweetened beverages by 20 percent could lead to an average reduction of 3.8 pounds of sugar per year for adults, causing the prevalence of obesity to decline from 33 to 30 percent. Sweetened beverages amount to about 10% of the calories in the American diet.

    Proposed taxation to inhibit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is beside the point.  The manufacturers should be shamed and sanctioned.  Labeling laws should be enforced at the very least.  The public is being seduced while public health authorities and retailers “delight” in the problem.  They give a false sense of approval by their inaction.

    Pogo said it well:  “We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.” Consumers beware of processed foods.  Their labels are designed to deceive even the most adept consumer.  For example, can you really tell which products have MSG in them when MSG goes by so many different names?  Consumers can’t even determine whether soy products are derived from genetically-modified soybeans.  The powerful food makers lobby to confuse consumers.  Bottom line, you can’t trust trusted names in the food business, nor can you trust your grocer to screen for products that are deceptively labeled.  – © 2011 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.  Not for posting on other websites.

    See Bill Sardi’s book DOWNSIZING YOUR BODY here.

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