Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News/Commentary, Blog posts and publications(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968Food Bans in Maryland<p> The <a href="http://www.wjla.com/articles/2015/03/sugar-free-kids-maryland-pushes-to-eliminate-soda-from-children-s-menus-111987.html">Maryland legislature is considering a bill</a> that would make putting soda and other drinks on children&rsquo;s menus illegal and would require restaurants to only list milk and other &ldquo;healthy&rdquo; options.</p> <p> One local station covering the bill captured the lawmakers&rsquo; opinion of parents perfectly, <a href="http://www.wjla.com/articles/2015/03/sugar-free-kids-maryland-pushes-to-eliminate-soda-from-children-s-menus-111987.html">saying</a> &ldquo;Navigating a restaurant menu can be tough for some parents.&rdquo;</p> <p> Really? Navigating a menu is tough? Saying no to a kid&rsquo;s request for an unhealthy item on a menu is not tough. It&rsquo;s routine. And anyone who believes otherwise should probably leave parenting to those with a stronger constitution.</p> <p> Yet, many government officials believe it&rsquo;s their job to help you because according to them, everything is hard and difficult and everyone yearns for the government to swoop in and make it all better. &nbsp;</p> <p> Of course banning these items on kids&rsquo; menus will do nothing to improve childhood obesity (the excuse given for this legislation) but it will, yet again, chip away at our freedoms and send a message to parents that they&rsquo;re just too stupid to make good decisions for their own kids.</p> <p> Once upon a time, not so long ago, the government gave people more freedom and let parents do things like choose what their children could and could not eat. The government concentrated on big, scary things, like marauding gangs of wacky killers, keeping the border secure, and making sure the country&#39;s financial house was in order. But then, government became silly and began focusing on things like banning sprinkles, large drinking vessels and things listed on children&#39;s menus.</p> <p> And that&#39;s where we are today. I sometimes hang my head in dispaire that I write about such silliness, but unfortunately, it seems the government&#39;s insistence on controlling every part of our lives continues. &nbsp;</p> <p> What isn&#39;t silly is a government so willing to actually tell a restaurant what it can and cannot put on its menus. These food fascists make it all sound okay because they say &ldquo;it&rsquo;s for the children&rdquo; and &ldquo;we&rsquo;re doing it to make kids healthy&rdquo; but no matter the reason, this is an intrusion into how a privately owned business is run. Where does that end? What other &ldquo;unhealthy&rdquo; foods will the government ban for children and adults alike? What other &ldquo;unhealthy&rdquo; behaviors will the government ban?</p> <p> These are the sorts of stories that often make those ubiquitous &ldquo;nanny-state item of the week&rdquo; lists and we all chuckle at the stupidity of these measures. Yet, they also represent a very sad intrusion into our personal freedoms and a perfect example of the arrogance of big government.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796437/Julie GunlockWed, 4 Mar 2015 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGovernment to Reverse Cholesterol Recommendations • The Michael Koolidge Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2796304/Julie GunlockThu, 19 Feb 2015 11:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFLOTUS Makes Mothering Difficult • Cam & Companyhttp://iwf.org/media/2796303/Julie GunlockTue, 17 Feb 2015 11:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe First Food Snob and Her Mommy Blogger Allies Make Mothering Difficult<p> You know what&rsquo;s awesome? Being told you&rsquo;re a bad mom. That makes for a fabulous start to the day. And that&rsquo;s what many moms took from the First Lady&rsquo;s scolding of parents who feeding their kids Kraft macaroni and cheese, which the First Lady said isn&rsquo;t &ldquo;real food.&rdquo;</p> <p> Of course, she&rsquo;s just echoing what other mommy bloggers do every single day on websites that make moms feel bad about their decisions. Take the website&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mamavation.com/2015/02/10-processed-foods-never-feed-kids.html">Mamavation, which this week told me</a>&nbsp;and their millions of followers that I&rsquo;m a bad mom because I let my kids have Goldfish crackers.</p> <p> Uh huh. Chew on that for a few minutes.</p> <p> In the judgmental little piece titled: &ldquo;<a href="http://www.mamavation.com/2015/02/10-processed-foods-never-feed-kids.htmlhttp:/www.mamavation.com/2015/02/10-processed-foods-never-feed-kids.html">10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids</a>,&rdquo; writer Elizabeth Bruno (a self-described working mom and a&nbsp;<strike>food scientistnutritionist</strike>&nbsp;<strike>doctor</strike>&nbsp;<strike>nurse</strike>&nbsp;<strike>biologisttoxicologist</strike>&nbsp;pirate enthusiast) promises to (emphasis and bracket mine) &ldquo;take a closer look at what effect these foods are having on your child&rsquo;s health, along with alternative choices [read: expensive organic food choices] you can make to&nbsp;<strong>safeguard their future</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p> That&rsquo;s right, people: it&rsquo;s Yale or jail based on your decision about crackers!</p> <p> <strong><span style="font-size:18px;"><span style="color:#ea425b;">Food Alarmists Love Extremity</span></span></strong></p> <p> First, let&rsquo;s examine a favorite word used by alarmists: Never. Alarmist mommy bloggers love that word. And make no mistake, they mean it. When they say never, they mean you can NEVAHHHHH, NEVAHHHH feed your kids these evil, deadly foods.</p> <p> Did I mention, never?</p> <p> Never means never, people. That means, if your kid ever takes a teeny, weeny nibble of this stuff, you&rsquo;re a bad mom. If he gets this food for a snack at a play-date or at daycare or at camp, you&rsquo;re a bad mom. If she takes a taste of the normal snack food her friend&rsquo;s munching on, you&rsquo;re a bad mom&hellip; and should be shamed. Oh, and your kid&rsquo;s probably going to die early. Cheers!</p> <p> This is the strategy employed by most of the writers for Mamavation&mdash;a website filled with mom bloggers who generally fall back on the standard catchall &ldquo;it causes cancer&rdquo; line when writing about the &ldquo;dangers&rdquo; of processed foods while failing to ever mention that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/newsfromnci/2013/ReportNation">cancer rates continue to fall</a>. These ladies claim the food you feed your kids is filled with dangerous chemicals and preservatives (notably, these women never seem to make the connection between preservatives and food safety). According to these perfectionists, if you want to be a good mom, you&rsquo;ll spend hours tending your backyard garden, grinding your own wheat, and making things entirely from scratch. And if you can manage to have a goat or a few chickens in your backyard, you&rsquo;re an even better mom. Gold star!</p> <p> <strong><span style="font-size:18px;"><span style="color:#ea425b;">Mommy Bloggers Beware: Organic Is No Scientific Imperative</span></span></strong></p> <p> Bruno employs this strategy beautifully in her piece. Her listicle starts with a warning about Goldfish crackers, saying the nutrients added to the crackers, such as iron and folic acid, are dangerous. Her evidence? A hyperlink to another random listicle of&nbsp;<a href="http://saveourbones.com/12-dangerous-ingredients/">twelve foods one should avoid</a>&nbsp;for no other reason than the writer told you to. Note to Bruno, Buzzfeed-like listicles are not scientific evidence.</p> <p> But her real concern with Goldfish crackers stems from the cheese the manufacturer uses on the crackers. She says ominously: &ldquo;Moving on to the cheddar cheese&ndash;it&rsquo;s not organic. That means the cows ate a diet of genetically modified grains and then produced milk for the cheese.&rdquo;</p> <p> A few thoughts for the scientifically-challenged Bruno (and any poor souls who think she&rsquo;s an authority on these matters): First, there is ZERO nutritional difference between organic and conventional food.&nbsp;<a href="http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html">Here&rsquo;s a slightly more a legitimate source on this issue</a><a href="http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html">.</a>&nbsp;Second, GMO DNA, or the proteins encoded in them, have never been detected in the milk, meat, or eggs derived from animals fed genetically engineered feed. But more importantly, Bruno needs to take a deep breath and consider the millions of foreign DNA her body ingests everyday. Does she eat a banana? Well, then, she&rsquo;s eaten banana DNA&hellip;and SHE&rsquo;S NOT A BANANA! Oh no! Did she drink some orange juice (organic, natch!) this morning? Well then, Bruno has just consumed some orange-y DNA. PANIC!</p> <p> Bruno should relax. DNA consumed by eating things doesn&rsquo;t do anything. Our bodies are meant to receive and digest lots and lots of stuff and it does no harm. Here&rsquo;s an&nbsp;<a href="http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-5/5-1-ingested-food-and-dna/">excellent and very readable piece</a>&nbsp;on how that works. And bonus, it&rsquo;s written by a scientist, not a pirate enthusiast.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:18px;"><span style="color:#ea425b;"><strong>Not All Of Us Get Paid to Tout Organic Food</strong></span></span></p> <p> Finally, organic food is way more expensive than conventional food. Now, I get it, Bruno&rsquo;s a blogger who gets&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pirateprerogative.com/p/sponsors.html">paid to advertise</a>&nbsp;organic food on her website (which I think is perfectly fine), so she&rsquo;s going to push organic products and she probably receives awesome (and free) gifts from these companies for doing so. But please, Ms. Bruno, try to remember that not all moms are as rich as you. Some of us prefer to save money on our groceries so we can afford other things&hellip;like heat and shoes for our kids.</p> <p> Bruno goes on to warn against pop tarts and soda and Lunchables and GoGurt and Happy Meals and chocolate milk for a variety of reasons. And you know what? I do agree with her in part, because I too hope kids eat more nutritiously and moms should recognize that these should be occasional treats and shortcuts, not diet staples.</p> <p> But Bruno and her colleagues at Mamavation would be wise to watch their tone and consider being a bit kinder to moms who struggle with time and money issues. They can start by changing their hysterical rhetoric, not using the word &ldquo;never,&rdquo; or just maybe they could at least stop implying kids are on death row because they ate a cracker. Perhaps a few of these Mamavation writers could take a moment to remember that we&rsquo;re all human and sometimes moms need to take a break. Some moms need to buy less-expensive food. It&rsquo;s absolutely monstrous to tell mothers who struggle with their food budgets that they&rsquo;re harming their children by buying conventional food, which is a perfectly safe and nutritious option.</p> <p> Instead, Bruno and the Mamavation alarmists feed women half-baked science, consisting of a conflation of correlation and causation and a total disregard for the concept of dose (most food additives come in such small amounts that they do nothing to the human body and pass through quickly).</p> <p> By muddling the message with their made-up stories of danger, Bruno and her pals turn women off to the message that women really ought to hear: You should take a bigger role in their child&rsquo;s nutritional development and do your best to make sure they have a diverse, nutrient-filled diet.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Julie Gunlock is a senior fellow at the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum and directs the organization&rsquo;s Culture of Alarmism Project. She is the author of &quot;From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.&quot;</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2796283/Julie GunlockTue, 17 Feb 2015 08:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWar on butter • WINC Schilling Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2796277/Julie GunlockMon, 16 Feb 2015 17:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGovernment Dieticians Tell Us, Never Mind Our Decades of Bad Advice <div> <p> Americans, prepare to feel angry: After years of watching our cholesterol, sacrificing shellfish and egg yolks and gloriously fatty pork and beef, and enduring day-glow yellow and too-soft tubs of butter substitute, Americans are about to be told by our government diet experts, &ldquo;Oops . . . we had it all wrong.&rdquo;</p> <p> The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which is charged with reviewing the government-issued dietary guidelines every five years, is preparing to release its &ldquo;new and improved&rdquo; guidelines any day now, and leaks from the deliberations hint at a reversal in the Committee&rsquo;s decades-long guidance that Americans should eat a diet low in cholesterol.</p> <p> What are Americans to think of this new guidance that says cholesterol doesn&rsquo;t really matter after all; that it is no longer a &ldquo;nutrient of concern;&rdquo; that eating food high in cholesterol may not be connected to heart disease?</p> <div> <p> Devotees of protein-rich, low-carb diets may see this as validation and reason to celebrate. Others will no doubt feel deflated, confused, and just plain bitter that for years they&rsquo;ve been fed a lie that cost them, quite literally, the joy of eating delicious food and possibly better health. Still others will misunderstand this new guidance, and think butter and other high-cholesterol foods are now in the healthy column. In reality, those foods still ought to be consumed in moderation &mdash; particularly by people with preexisting conditions, such as diabetes.</p> </div> <p> Yet, there&rsquo;s a bigger story here. Government really ought not be in the business of providing nutrition advice in the first place. Nutrition is a personal issue and what&rsquo;s best for one person may not be best for another. Moreover, Americans have ample access to information on health and nutrition information in the private sector. In other words, Uncle Sam, we don&rsquo;t need you anymore.</p> <p> Also worth asking: Can the federal government&rsquo;s No. 1 consideration really be your health when there are so many political considerations at play? After all, the federal government props up several agriculture sectors with government subsidies as well as tariffs and quotas designed to protect certain producers from competition. Why wouldn&rsquo;t these interests influence the government&rsquo;s nutrition recommendations? If the government is going to be in the business of providing the public nutrition advice, at least it should be doing so based on the best scientific evidence. Which leads to another question: What in the heck took so long to roll back the bad science on cholesterol?</p> <p> The original study that created this false alarm about fat, dairy, eggs, and other high-cholesterol food was conducted in the 1950s by Dr. Ancel Keys, a physiologist who studied cardiovascular disease. His seminal study &mdash; the &ldquo;Seven Countries Study&rdquo;&nbsp; &mdash; is now widely dismissed as faulty for a variety of reasons. Michael Brendan Dougherty at&nbsp;<em>The Week</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://theweek.com/articles/538871/glorious-return-egg-uncle-sam-horriblenutritionist">provides</a>&nbsp;a tidy summery of this study and its faults:</p> <blockquote> <p> The scares about cholesterol and fat date back to the middle of the last century. An enterprising physiologist, Ancel Keys, took a large government grant and conducted his famous study on diet and health. The whole thing was botched. He purposely excluded countries like France, Germany, and Switzerland that had a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet but better health outcomes than the U.S. He surveyed the diet of Greeks during Lent, when they were abstaining from meat and dairy. The study did not even look at the effect of different levels of dietary sugar, even though the data was available.</p> <p> But Keys got the result that he had preached for years. Not long after, the AHA embraced the findings, and so, too, did the Food and Drug Administration.</p> </blockquote> <p> Fast-forward to the late 1970s when Senator George McGovern&rsquo;s Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, which relied heavily on Keys&rsquo;s research, produced the very first dietary guidelines for Americans. Yet, even at the time of those McGovern-led hearings, Keys&rsquo;s research was being criticized as flawed. The Committee chose his body of research over others, however, and it then became a part of the zeitgeist. Partly because of the power and cach&eacute; of McGovern&rsquo;s Senate committee and the government guidelines it created, the Keys research remained the conventional thinking on cardiovascular health for decades and led millions of Americans to limit foods high in cholesterol.</p> <p> Some shrug at these government-issued dietary guidelines and dismiss them as a tired and largely ignored bureaucratic practice, but these guidelines have a big impact. They influence the culture and medical community, as well as dictate how government feeding programs will operate for children, the military, and the poor.</p> <p> According to the mission statement of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, it exists to &ldquo;encourage Americans to eat a healthful diet &mdash; one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease.&rdquo; If this is indeed the goal, they would do better to go away and leave Americans to their own and quite abundant resources for losing weight and getting health information. We could hardly do worse than listening to Uncle Sam.</p> <p> <em>&mdash; Julie Gunlock writes about food for the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</em></p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2796263/Julie GunlockFri, 13 Feb 2015 13:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGovernment to Reverse Cholesterol Recommendations<p> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll have an egg white omelet, please.&rdquo;</p> <p> That&rsquo;s been my order for the past 20 years. And when I cook at home, my egg yolks go directly down the drain. I&rsquo;ve been saying no to bacon, forgoing butter, and eating a diet low in fat and higher in carbs for most of my adult life, because for most of my life, I&rsquo;ve been told that fat is to be avoided for heart health.</p> <p> And now, it appears all that sacrifice was for nothing.</p> <p> According to various news reports, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is going to reverse its recommendations on eating food high in cholesterol. According to the Washington Post, Harvard School of Public Health chair Walter Willett called it a&nbsp; &ldquo;reasonable move&rdquo; and said &ldquo;There&rsquo;s been a shift of thinking.&rdquo;</p> <p> Well that&rsquo;s wonderful and I&rsquo;m glad all the leading nutritionists in the room agree that this is a good and appropriate move but perhaps it&rsquo;s time we all started to reassess the value of having the government involved in nutrition recommendations in the first place. After all, shouldn&rsquo;t we be at least a little concerned that these WRONG recommendations stood for over 40 years; essentially providing Americans the incorrect, one-size-fits-all information about their diets?</p> <p> And let&rsquo;s not forget that these guidelines do have an impact&mdash;not only on people&rsquo;s food choices, but on government programs and on specific industries. For instance, <a href="http://theweek.com/articles/538871/glorious-return-egg-uncle-sam-horriblenutritionist">as Micheal Brendan Dougherty at The Week explains</a>, these government-issued dietary guidelines have had a profound affect on the agriculture sector.</p> <blockquote> <p> The fear of fat meant a dramatic turn away from pork. As pork consumption plummeted and poultry consumption skyrocketed, agribusiness bred skinnier pigs that it tried to market as &quot;the other white meat.&quot; In other words, not the dangerous heart-attack red meat! But fewer people liked the taste of fatless pork chops, and pork production fell further.</p> <p> The government&#39;s war on saturated fats also led the food industry to rely on trans fats. Decades into this experiment on human diet, the science on trans-fats started to look bad, and the FDA scrambled to adopt a policy mandating warning labels for foods containing trans-fats.</p> </blockquote> <p> Did you get that? The government&rsquo;s incorrect dietary guidelines (butter is bad) created a demand for a butter replacement (margarines made with transfats). Now the government says transfats are bad (oopsie!) and is now working to ban transfats in the marketplace (despite the fact that industry is already voluntarily removing them). So, what&rsquo;s the common denominator here? The government! Government&rsquo;s the problem. Not butter, and fat and transfats and carbs and eggs and red meat and the many other things that have been demonized over the years. It&rsquo;s the government that makes these broad statements only to pull them back decades later.</p> <p> In England, where these recommendations have been used since 1983, these now false health recommendations had a similar deleterious impact on the UK&rsquo;s dairy industry. <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2950151/Cream-crumble-roasties-beef-dripping-bliss-hot-buttered-crumpets-Janet-Street-Porter-says-gave-glorious-food-earth-LIE.html">Janet Street Porter explains in the Daily Mail</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> The dairy industry never recovered from the dietary warnings of 1983 &mdash; milk sales plummeted, along with those of butter, and supermarkets drastically increased the amount of shelf-space devoted to low-fat spreads, zero-fat yogurt and skimmed milk.</p> <p> Unsurprisingly, the dairy industry is now in crisis, and in The Archers, poor Ed Grundy has had to flog off four of his cows because he can&rsquo;t make a living from the herd, while Mike Tucker can&rsquo;t find a buyer for his milk round.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s not surprising when on any given day you&rsquo;ll hear yet another celebrity proudly announce that they&rsquo;ve given up dairy as part of their healthy eating regime.</p> <p> Dairy has become horribly, unfairly demonised &mdash; and all because of bogus medical advice.</p> </blockquote> http://iwf.org/blog/2796250/Julie GunlockThu, 12 Feb 2015 10:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDangerous Health Nuts Call Measles a Hoax<p> I&rsquo;m not a fan of The Food Babe (you can read my pieces on her <a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2793130/Useful-Idiot-Alert:-The-Food-Babe">here</a> and <a href="http://www.iwf.org/news/2793555/A-Strategy-Built-on-Nervous-Moms">here</a>). She&rsquo;s a health hobbyist with a computer science degree who profits from spreading fear and bad information about affordable and easily accessible food, chemicals used to make products and food safer, GMOs, farming, and general progress. As for how she makes a living, well, <a href="http://adage.com/article/news/activist-capitalist-food-babe-makes-money/294032/">as Advertising Age reports</a>, its called promoting certain products (the ones she approves of) on her webpage and selling her own &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not a nutritionist, but I play one on my Facebook page&rdquo; diet plan:</p> <p> &ldquo;&hellip; the Babe is positioned to capitalize on her growing fame with a burgeoning business model that includes making money by referring her loyal readers to several organic and GMO-free food brands via her website.</p> <p> Under the program, known as affiliate marketing, she often posts editorial content praising these small brands, including links to their sites where readers can purchase the goods. She gets a cut of some of the transactions, according to the rules explained on some of her partners&#39; websites. Ms. Hari also sells &quot;eating guides&quot; for $17.99 a month and charges for speaking appearances.&rdquo;</p> <p> And I get called a shill&hellip;</p> <p> Moving on.</p> <p> There&rsquo;s no denying The Food Babe&rsquo;s popularity. As much as that drives me bonkers, she has a loyal fan base and works extremely hard at controlling her image by, for instance, doing things like erasing all critical comments on her Facebook Page (to the point that there&rsquo;s a group called Banned By The Food Babe) and never taking questions at her public speeches. Smart tactic since she&rsquo;s absolutely clueless on most of the topics she discusses.</p> <p> So, for those who follow the Food Babe, I think it&rsquo;s important one realizes the company she keeps.</p> <p> Take a look at this recent post at Mercola.com&mdash;a well-known conspiracy site (similar to infowars.com) that promotes junk science and spreads false information about health and wellness issues. The site, and its writers, also promote &ldquo;alternative,&rdquo; unproven, and sometimes dangerous medical practices. In this latest piece, Mercola.com <a href="http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/10/measles-disneyland.aspx?x_cid=20150210_lead_measles-disneyland_facebookdoc">writer Barbara Loe Fisher says that the recent Measles outbreak is a hoax</a> and she provides a handy how-to guide on avoiding the Measles vaccine for your kids. Isn&rsquo;t that nice.&nbsp;</p> <p> Well, guess who likes to hang with the Mercola gang? That&rsquo;s right, The Food Babe herself. On the Food Babe&rsquo;s own website (I refuse to provide links to her site but you can find it there quite easily), The Food Babe has a cozy interview with King Alarmist himself, Joseph Mercola, who also profits quite well by freaking out moms about harmless and affordable products. It&rsquo;s a love match, for sure. The Food Babe even writes of the meeting: &ldquo;I pretty much squealed in excitement like a little girl.&rdquo;</p> <p> Gross.</p> <p> Not surprisingly, the Food Babe&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/scam-stud/">already anti-vax</a> but her endorsement and promotion of Joseph Mercola and his dangerous website is truly irresponsible and puts her firmly in the anti-vax camp.</p> <p> So, as I&rsquo;ve said many times before on this site, it&rsquo;s important to know your sources. Who do you rely on for information on food and health? Do you rely on The Food Babe&mdash;a women who supports an anti-vaccine, alarmist website? Or do you choose to rely on the many website and sources that offer serious scientific studies and legitimate medical experts.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796234/Julie GunlockWed, 11 Feb 2015 08:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumChallenging Conventional Government Wisdom and Dietary Guidelines • KMED Bill Meyer Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2796259/Julie GunlockWed, 11 Feb 2015 07:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumButter Is Bad...and Other Government-Endorsed Food Myths<p> The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) is set to release new government dietary recommendations any day now. Reports after a December 2014 meeting of the committee confirmed they are likely to recommend Americans eat less meat.</p> <p> Sorry, Paleo devotees! Time to load up on those carbs or fall into the rather unhealthy trap of becoming a <a href="http://calorielab.com/news/2008/07/24/healthy-vegetarian-diet-includes-vegetables/">cheese and bread vegetarian!</a></p> <p> But get this; it really has nothing to do with healthier food decisions or recommending a healthier diet for Americans. Instead, it&rsquo;s all about melting ice caps, stranded polar bears, climate panic, and Al &ldquo;I take fossil fuel-burning fancy jets to earth summits&rdquo; Gore&rsquo;s goals of making us all pay for his and his Hollywood buddies&rsquo; extravagant lifestyles.</p> <p> This was all quite evident at a DGAC hearing last summer when Kate Clancy--billed as a &ldquo;food systems consultant&rdquo; (whatever that is)--advised the DGAC that they must integrate environmental concerns into the food guidelines. And it appears; they&rsquo;ve taken her advice. I wrote about her appearance for NRO last year:</p> <blockquote> <p> As her speech went on, I heard phrases like &ldquo;environmentally friendly food choices&rdquo; and making &ldquo;low impact food choices&rdquo; and looking at things with an &ldquo;ecological perspective.&rdquo; Her point was clear: Americans must not only make nutritious food decisions, they must make <em>environmentally responsible</em> food decisions even if that means Americans&rsquo; food costs&nbsp;increase. And food prices most definitely will go up if her recommendations are included in the final guidelines.</p> <p> According to Clancy, environmentally responsible food decisions include switching to a &ldquo;plant-based diet&rdquo; &ndash;&nbsp;which is food-systems-consultant&nbsp;talk for &ldquo;vegetarian,&rdquo; but she fails to mention that when it comes to total calories, it takes much more plant-based food to equal what lean meats can offer. Are Clancy and the DGAC suggesting people with scarce financial resources spend all of their money on a high-priced plant-based diet? After all, kids need things besides food. School supplies, clothing, and a place to live seem vital elements of a child&rsquo;s life.</p> </blockquote> <p> Now, consider these latest &ldquo;no meat&rdquo; recommendations as you read about a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2946617/Butter-ISN-T-bad-Major-study-says-80s-advice-dairy-fats-flawed.html">new study out of&nbsp;the UK</a>, which says dietary fat isn&rsquo;t as bad for you as previously thought. <a href="http://time.com/3702058/dietary-guidelines-fat-wrong/">Time reports:</a></p> <blockquote> <p> &ldquo;&hellip;in the latest review of studies that investigated the link between dietary fat and causes of death, researchers say the guidelines got it all wrong. In fact, recommendations to reduce the amount of fat we eat every day should never have been made.</p> <p> &hellip;</p> <p> When the recommendations were made, in the 1970s, heart disease claimed more U.S. lives than any other cause of death (and has retained that distinction for most of the ensuing years), so public-health and government officials were eager to get on the low-fat bandwagon. National guidelines, endorsed by health experts and expected to be followed by physicians in doctors&rsquo; offices around the country, sent word to the American public &mdash; trim fat to about 30% of your total daily calories, and cut saturated fat, from red meat and dairy products like milk, egg and cheese, in particular down to no more than 10% of total calories.</p> </blockquote> <p> Zoe Harcombe, the lead researcher of the study <a href="http://openheart.bmj.com/lookup/doi/10.1136/openhrt-2014-000229">said</a> that those first U.S. guidelines advising Americans to cut the fat did not provide any support for the idea that eating less fat would translate to fewer cases of heart disease, or that it would save lives.</p> <p> So, will these newest government dietary recommendations be like the ones made in the 1970s&mdash;implemented only to be reversed decades later?</p> <p> Heck yes! Considering that this time around, the DGAC isn&#39;t even pretending to consider dietary or medical research, the recommendations are sure to be a total disaster and later reversed much to the confusion and frustration of the millions of Americans who changed their diets to be in line with these government guidlines.</p> <p> Of course, no one is suggesting environmental issues aren&#39;t important, but to mix it up with nutrition issues is simply insane.</p> <p> Many shrug at this issue, thinking &ldquo;meh, who cares if the government issues flawed recommendations&hellip;does anyone listen?&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a good point and given the wide variety of resources available to people (in the private sector) who want diet advice, these government recommendations probably are largely ignored. &nbsp;Yet, people should know the consequences of the federal government endorsing a certain way of eating. The government has great influence over the population and their seal of approval goes far to change eating trends. In addition, government food programs are run using the DGAC&rsquo;s recommendations as a food guide. So, if the DGAC recommends this low protein diet, school lunches will reflect these changes. Our military men and women will also get fewer calories from protein and potentially, those who rely on food stamps won&rsquo;t be able to purchase as much protein with their benefits.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s why these recommendations are so powerful and why they must se based on science and evidence, not environmental concerns and the influence of green lobbyists.</p> <p> But mostly, these recommendations should be done away with. Privatization of the school lunch program is one way to separate school feeding programs from these constantly changing and flawed (and now quite political) dietary guidelines.&nbsp; Ensuring that our military men and women have diets that are designed by food scientists and medical professionals instead of government bureaucrats with an environmental agenda to further. And we should allow people to buy, within reason, what they want with their benefits instead of holding them to DGAC recommendations, which may not allow them to make the best individual dietary decisions for them and their family.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796226/Julie GunlockTue, 10 Feb 2015 11:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Anti-Vaccination Movement + Moms Demand Action • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2796193/Julie GunlockWed, 4 Feb 2015 13:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumA Good Month for the Obamas<p> The President and First Lady deserve praise when warranted and these past few weeks have been a banner month for the first couple.</p> <p> First, the Mrs. Obama sent a not-so-subtle message to the Saudis by appearing unveiled at Saudi King Abdullah&rsquo;s funeral. As <a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2796125/Michelle-Obama-%22Unveiled%22-in-Saudi-Arabia">Hadley Heath pointed out</a>, King Abdullah&#39;s record on women&#39;s rights is abysmal which makes Mrs. Obama&#39;s uncovered head such a strong symbol of the many freedoms American women enjoy.</p> <p> Then, last week, Michelle Obama praised the movie American Sniper, <a href="http://www.people.com/article/michelle-obama-american-sniper-white-house">saying</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> More often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences I have heard first-hand from military families over these past few years&hellip;&rdquo;</p> <p> This movie reflects those wrenching stories I&#39;ve heard, the complex journeys that our men and women in uniform endure, the complicated world, the decisions they are tasked with every day, the stresses of balancing love of family with love of country, and the challenges of transitioning back home.</p> </blockquote> <p> Pointing out Hollywood&rsquo;s folly in painting tidy pictures of vets as either, as the First Lady brilliantly put it, &ldquo;the broken, downtrodden vet who is homeless or on drugs or has such PTSD he can&#39;t function &ndash; or the hero who lies with such courage and moral clarity all the rest of us can do is shower him with admiration&hellip;&quot; is an important message of support for the troops and to the military families who welcome back these soldiers.</p> <p> And, then, as if my love for the Obamas hadn&rsquo;t grown enough, the President spoke about the recent Measles outbreak (which I wrote about last week<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-gunlock/parents-choose-to-put-kids-in-harms-way_b_6549670.html"> here</a>) and the importance of parents choosing to vaccinate their kids. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/01/barack-obama-kids-vaccinated-measles_n_6591452.html">Speaking to Savannah Guthrie during a pre-Super Bowl interview</a>, the President said:</p> <blockquote> <p> I understand that there are families that, in some cases, are concerned about the effect of vaccinations...</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p> The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We&rsquo;ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren&rsquo;t reasons to not.</p> <p> You should get your kids vaccinated&hellip;</p> <p> It&#39;s good for them and the challenge you have is if you have a certain group of kids who don&#39;t get vaccinated, and if it grows large enough that a percentage of the population doesn&#39;t get vaccinated and they&#39;re the folks who can&#39;t get vaccinated, small infants, for example ... they suddenly become much more vulnerable.</p> </blockquote> <p> This is an enormous win for science against the insanity of the anti-vaccine movement and offers some measure of reassurance to parents who might be on the fence on this decision. I might not agree with 99 percent of what the President says, but he&rsquo;s a trustworthy guy. That&rsquo;s what makes objecting to him so hard. He comes off as a guy whom you want to like and trust. And that sort of messenger is important on the vaccination issue. Many parents feel like there&#39;s so little trust out there (except the anti-vaxers who wholeheartedly Hollywood &quot;experts&quot; like Jenny McCarthy and Alicia &quot;miso soup kills ebola&quot; Silverstone).</p> <p> His endorsement of vaccines will go a long way to convince parents that vaccinations are important not only for their own kids but for all Americans.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s been a good week for the Obamas. Now, about those other issues&hellip;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796161/Julie GunlockMon, 2 Feb 2015 09:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGov. Chris Christie Thinks Harming Your Kid Should Be Your Choice<p> Major infectious disease outbreaks are not political debates. There isn&#39;t a Republican side and a Democrat side. There isn&#39;t a timer giving both sides equal time.</p> <p> There&#39;s only life and death.</p> <p> New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would be wise to realize this fact before trying to appear bi-partisan on important issues like deadly diseases.</p> <p> Christie is known for taking strong positions so it&#39;s shocking to see him wobble on such an important issue like whether parents should vaccinate their kids? Specifically, Christie, while on a trip to England, was asked about the measles outbreak in America and responding to a question on whether parents should vaccinate, called for &quot;balance&quot; and said parents should have a &quot;choice&quot; in the matter:</p> <blockquote> <p> We vaccinate ours [kids], and so, you know that&#39;s the best expression I can give you of my opinion...You know it&#39;s much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. And that&#39;s what we do. But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that&#39;s the balance that the government has to decide.</p> </blockquote> <p> One can only assume he wasn&#39;t prepared for the question. But what&#39;s odd is that, as <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/chris-christie-calls-balance-vaccine-debate-n298386">NBC News reports</a>, Christie made the milquetoast comment while standing outside&nbsp;a British company that makes vaccines and biologic drugs.&nbsp;This company has ties to New Jersey...or at least did, until Christie made his ill-advised remarks. As someone who worked for a variety of politicians over the years, did no one on his staff think to advise the Governor about making comments that could be interpreted as anti-vaccine?</p> <p> Later that day, Christie&#39;s office issued a &ldquo;oops&rdquo; statement clarifying his remarks, stating: &quot;The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated. At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate.&quot;</p> <p> Uh huh. Fine. But strident anti-vaxer parents won&#39;t see his clarifying statement. Rather, they&rsquo;ll be empowered to make more bad choices.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796163/Julie GunlockMon, 2 Feb 2015 08:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSome Parents Choose To Put Kids in Harm's Way<p> Two Maryland parents are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/maryland-couple-want-free-range-kids-but-not-all-do/2015/01/14/d406c0be-9c0f-11e4-bcfb-059ec7a93ddc_story.html?tid=sm_fb">being investigated by state authorities</a>&nbsp;because they let their 10- and 6-year-old children do what many consider a healthy activity: walk home alone from a park less than a mile away. Plenty of nanny-staters were quick to pounce on such parents who believe in what&#39;s popularly called &quot;free-range&quot; parenting (<a href="http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/free-range-parenting-/54b93bbdfe34447ae5000478">a group of us discussed it on HuffPost Live)</a>, but they seem reluctant to address the far more dangerous trend of parents refusing to provide their children life-saving vaccinations.</p> <p> Consider the recent outbreak of measles in the United States.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newsweek.com/measles-outbreak-started-disneyland-spreads-four-states-299469">Traced to an unvaccinated and infected woman</a>&nbsp;who made a December 2014 visit to Disneyland in California, this woman didn&#39;t just infect the people she stood next to as she waited in line for the Space Mountain and the Matterhorn Bobsled rides, she traveled to and from the park via airplane, where she infected people headed to other states. As multiple media outlets have reported, 70 people have since been diagnosed with measles in California, Utah, Colorado and Washington State. And just this week it was revealed that<a href="http://www.ocregister.com/articles/disneyland-648693-workers-measles.html">&nbsp;five employees of Disneyland</a>&nbsp;are being treated for measles. It makes one wonder; with how many children did those employees came in contact?</p> <p> The&nbsp;<em>Los Angeles Times</em>&nbsp;reports that health officials are extremely concerned, saying this outbreak &quot;is the worst in California in 15 years, in part because it occurred not in a small, insular community but at a crossroads of the world.&quot; And they are right to worry. Measles is extremely contagious.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/">According to the World Health Organization</a>, the disease is spread by the quite common act of sneezing, coughing or coming into direct or close personal contact an infected person. Also, the virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to two hours. Now, take a moment to think of those cramped, kid-filled lines at Disneyland. Think of the handrails, the safety straps and bars on the rides, the shared seats.</p> <p> Perhaps the scariest part of contracting measles is that once you&#39;ve got it, there&#39;s not much doctors can do but provide palliative care, as there really is no medication that kills the virus. Rather, one simply has to let it run its course and hope for the best. That is why preventing the disease is so critical.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html">The CDC reports</a>&nbsp;that in areas where the measles vaccine isn&#39;t available, 20 million people still become infected resulting in 122,000 deaths per year. And yet, here in the United States, where the vaccine has been available for decades, parents are still declining this important preventative medicine. Why?</p> <p> Much of the unfounded fears of vaccinations can be tracked back to the late 1990s, when now-disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield released a fraudulent study declaring a causal relationship between certain vaccines and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The respected medical journal The Lancet, which originally published the study, later retracted the study (a rare move) and<a href="http://healthland.time.com/2010/05/24/doctor-behind-vaccine-autism-link-loses-license/">&nbsp;Dr. Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine</a>. The British General Medical Council, the body that revoked Wakefield&#39;s license, found&nbsp;<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8483865.stm">Wakefield had acted &quot;dishonestly and irresponsibly&quot;</a>&nbsp;in his research and in conducting his study, had displayed &quot;callous disregard for the distress and pain the children might suffer.&quot;</p> <p> Yet, Dr. Wakefield&#39;s discredited work lingers to this day and continues to mislead parents. Today, choosing to forgo vaccinations is no longer an odd decision by fringe, hippy parents. It has become mainstream. This makes us all -- both vaccinated and unvaccinated -- vulnerable to the disease for many reasons, among the most obvious that vaccinations are not 100 percent effective. In some, though rare, cases, a vaccination simply doesn&#39;t &quot;take&quot; leaving the person who received the vaccination still vulnerable. Newborns don&#39;t receive many of their vaccinations for months after birth. A small number of people are unable to receive vaccinations because of allergies to components of the medicine. For these reason, and others, all of us have a responsibility -- indeed, a civic duty and moral obligation -- to vaccinate.</p> <p> Our culture should speak openly about what&#39;s happening here and the consequences of those decisions. It&#39;s absurd that senseless fear of a vaccination or certain chemicals used in the vaccination should lead to the unnecessary death or serious illness of a child.</p> <p> We live in strange times. Many moms and dads will freak out about minuscule amounts of chemical preservatives in strawberry jam (added to keep the jam free of really dangerous pathogens, like listeria), or will read food labels until their eyes cross to avoid perfectly safe GMOs, artificial coloring, added sugars and a variety of other things they&#39;ve &quot;heard&quot; or &quot;read on the Internet&quot; are harmful. Some parents, supported by state agencies, disapprove of other parents&#39; decision to let kids walk home from a park. Yet many of these same parents will think nothing of skipping life-saving vaccinations.</p> <p> Some of these parents believe in &quot;natural&quot; remedies and medical treatments, but parents need to understand that death is also natural and common -- particularly when parents refuse to treat their children with man-made medicine.</p> <p> <em>Julie Gunlock writes for the</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://iwf.org/">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</a></em>&nbsp;<em>and is the author of</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Cupcakes-Chemicals-Ms-Julie-Gunlock/dp/0615906907">From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything, and How to Fight Back</a></em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2796119/Julie GunlockTue, 27 Jan 2015 16:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSchool dinner program, BPA replacements even more scary than BPA • Cam & Co http://iwf.org/media/2796142/Julie GunlockTue, 27 Jan 2015 14:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum