Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crescent City update

Wow.  Something on the AP wire about Crescent City!

I wonder why now?  Were they thinking about the soon to begin crab season?   And if so, why didn't they mention it?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grist for the Food Police

When I first saw this story about soda and violence
in Harvard Magazine, I thought I had stumbled about the Lampoon version.
What fun the food police will have with this accidental finding that drinking lots of soda predisposes young people to violence!

Five or more cans of sugary (presumably all forms of sugar including HFCS) soda is linked with the tendency of teens to carry a gun, behave violently toward peers, siblings or dates, and be depressed, even suicidal.   These findings held when corrected for socio-economic and parental influences, and tested in more than one part of the U.S.

Will soda go the way of cigarettes?  Or might we consider making it a little harder for teenagers to get a gun before we require proof of age to get a Coke?

Meanwhile, the Danes have found their "fat tax" didn't work.   The levy on foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat was repealed last weekend.   There had been an effect on small businesses, particularly retailers, as Danish shoppers made cheese and ice cream runs to Germany and Sweden.  (They must have done the ice cream bit in winter - the countries are close together, but still, getting ice cream home in good shape?)  Butter use was reported to go down during the first three months of the tax (pre-tax purchasing and hoarding?) but then increased.   Apparently a popular cooking show was featuring the goodness of butter during the time the tax was in effect.   Media influences trump financial sense?

One question to ask as other countries consider taxing foods that are less desirable from a public health perspective:   will forcing people to spend more on such things leave fewer of their food dollars for more desirable foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains?

Meanwhile, the obesity rate is still 13% in Denmark - but that's less than half ours in the U.S.