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.org33968Alarmism About Food Creates New Mental Condition: Orthorexia<p> Eating healthy is good, right? Of course! We all want people to make good decisions when it comes to food and nutrition.&nbsp; And luckily, it&#39;s easier to do now more than ever because of the many resources on diet and nutrition.</p> <p> But people need to be warned about some of those sources and a new condition they seem to be contributing to: Orthorexia. <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/blog/bs-hs-expert-orthorexia-20150407-story.html">The Baltimore Sun, reporting that doctors are reporting more cases of the condition, explained orthorexia</a> as &ldquo;&hellip; specific disordered thoughts and behaviors associated with an obsessive focus on clean food consumption. The literal translation is a &quot;fixation on righteous eating.&quot; While traditional eating disorder diagnoses tend to focus on the amount of food a person eats, orthorexia is unique in that it focuses on the quality of food consumed. What may begin as a realistic effort to eat healthy or avoid illness can spiral into an unhealthy obsession; a search for food that is &quot;pure.&quot; Food choices can become all-encompassing, socially restrictive and inextricably tied to a sense of self-worth or morality.&rdquo;</p> <p> We all know someone suffering from Orthorexia: that mom who won&rsquo;t let her kid have a cupcake at school (because preservatives, sugar, food coloring and&hellip;.), the guy at the cookout who asks if the hamburger meat comes from grass-fed cows, the nervous lady sipping out of her glass water bottle timidly inquiring if the potatoes used in the salad are organic, the Crossfit addict who thinks GMOs cause cancer and tornados.</p> <p> Food columnists (Pollan/Bittman), environmental and food activists, certain formerly respected doctors (such as Dr. &ldquo;magic beans help you lose weight&rdquo; Mehamet Oz), shock jock food bloggers (like The Food Babe), and other so-called &ldquo;nutrition experts&rdquo; add to people&rsquo;s confusion about healthy eating and offer more fear than good ideas about good and easy steps that can be taken to improve wellness.</p> <p> Even seemingly innocuous human-interest stories about political candidates are infected with orthorexic messages.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/22/us-usa-election-bush-paleo-idUSKBN0ND0CL20150422">Consider this Reuters article</a> (posted on Drudge this morning, so likely to receive wide readership) about Jeb Bush&rsquo;s recent weight loss. Despite Bush&rsquo;s good results following a Paleo-style diet, Loren Cordain, one of the founders and promoters of the Paleo diet criticized Bush&rsquo;s food decisions.</p> <p> The Reuter&rsquo;s article reported that during a campaign stop, Bush was &ldquo;faced with a heaping pile of scrambled eggs, hash browns and pancakes &hellip; Bush snatched up the single slice of bacon on the plate and skipped the rest.&rdquo;</p> <p> Sounds reasonable to me, right? A good decision.</p> <p> But Paleo devotee Cordain sneered, saying Bush &ldquo;would be better off replacing the high-salt bacon with a grass-produced pork chop&hellip;&quot;</p> <p> Because it&rsquo;s totally reasonable on a campaign stop to ask the owner of the diner to whip him up a &ldquo;grass-fed pork chop.&rdquo;</p> <p> Seriously?</p> <p> But that&rsquo;s exactly what it means to be orthorexic&mdash;adhering perfectly to a certain set of rules of eating. The orthorexic must never veer or make a mistake or take the easy route (just eating the bacon). Manners don&rsquo;t exist to the orthorexic. The only thing that matters is adherence to the rules. And who cares if you have to put someone out to get what you want. Perfection is the goal, not health.</p> <p> Orthorexia seems to be a real condition and with more and more people following the oddball suggestions of questionable health gurus (here&#39;s <a href="http://www.mandatory.com/2015/04/15/the-craziest-online-health-and-fitness-gurus/">an excellent list</a> of the nuttiest of the nutty), it&rsquo;s no doubt that this is a problem doctors and real nutritionists are worried about.</p> <p> It seems to me that the best advice when it comes to health and diet is to eat with moderation, make good and reasonable food decisions, eat more vegetables and fruit (no matter how that produce is grown!), and get some exercise and fresh air as much as you can.</p> <p> But most importantly, one should avoid any sort of strict orthodoxy when it comes to food.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796919/Julie GunlockThu, 23 Apr 2015 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWellness program incentives? Better than ObamaCare<p> <strong>An author and critic of big government doesn&#39;t see a problem with financial incentives for workplace wellness programs.</strong></p> <p> Federal regulators said last week that employers can continue to use financial penalties and rewards to promote workplace wellness programs. <em>The Associated Press</em> <a href="http://www.onenewsnow.com/ap/politics/financial-incentives-okd-for-workplace-wellness-programs">reports</a> that employers are looking for ways to cut expenses associated with things like chronic illnesses, which can be influenced by lifestyle, not just family history.</p> <p> Julie Gunlock, a senior fellow at the <a href="http://www.iwf.org/">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</a>, says businesses can run their businesses the way they want.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;This is free enterprise. This is businesses setting the rules for their own employees,&quot; she summarizes. &quot;And if you don&#39;t like that, you are free to quit that job and find a job with a company that doesn&#39;t.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">She continues: &quot;Now I will tell you, I think things like this really work &ndash; and I think they work better than things like ObamaCare where people are told [that] the federal government will take care of all [their] medical needs.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Gunlock says she knows people whose employers offer decreases in healthcare costs if employees agree to health assessments and exercising.</p> <p> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;Some people will say, </span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Well, there is other reasons for being overweight &ndash; you could have a thyroid problems, you could have a disease, you could be on medication that makes you gain weight</span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">. All of these things can be resolved with your employer,&quot; she argues.</span></span></span></strong></p> <p> The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has proposed safeguards for employees. They include confidentiality of employee medical information and prohibitions against firing workers who decline to participate or denying them access to the company health plan.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Gunlock is author of </span><em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back</span></em><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">.</span></span></strong></span></p> http://iwf.org/media/2796885/Julie GunlockMon, 20 Apr 2015 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHollywood Stars Pretending to be Poor<p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Gwyneth Paltrow is starring in a new one-woman show. It&rsquo;s called &ldquo;How to Pretend I&rsquo;m Poor for a Week&rdquo; and it&rsquo;s already getting mixed reviews. Her props: the groceries she bought at a local grocery store with her pretend $29 SNAP (also known as Food Stamps) benefits.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="http://www.bizzyblog.com/wp-images/GwynethPaltrowFoodStampTweet040915.jpg" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416945/gwyneth-paltrows-poverty-voyeurism-michelle-malkin">Michelle Malkin wrote this scathing review for NRO today</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> Last week, the progressive princess celebrity joined the &ldquo;SNAP challenge.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s basically the ice-bucket challenge for bored Hollywood liberals and media-hungry Democratic politicians. For seven days (or at least for an hour or two after they publish their announcements to Twitter and Facebook), the bleeding hearts play &ldquo;poor&rdquo; by subsisting on a faux welfare budget. Paltrow was invited to join the poverty voyeurism racket by her good friend Chef Mario Batali &mdash; last seen eating his way through Spain with G-Pally for a 13-part PBS TV series. When these self-indulgent stars are not binging on European delicacies, they&rsquo;re purging themselves of liberal guilt with phony gimmicks like the SNAP sanctimony. The idea, Batali explains, is to &ldquo;walk in the shoes of&rdquo; millions who rely on government assistance to supplement their household budgets.</p> </blockquote> <p> Walk in the shoes of SNAP beneficiaries? Well, that&#39;s a little rich considering <a href="http://goop.com/spring-shoe-trends/">Paltrow suggests I walk around in a pair of $850 Marni Colorblock sandals</a>. But some have defended the star. Time Magazine entertainment writer Daniel D&#39;Addario <a href="http://time.com/author/daniel-daddario/">called Paltrow&#39;s committment to the Food Stamp Challenge &quot;valuable&quot; but added</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> Obviously, this was not the most efficient $29 grocery basket in history. That it was put forward as a reasonable purchase by a person whose brand glamorizes luxurious and hard-to-find ingredients makes her critics&rsquo; work fairly tidy. But it&rsquo;s not so wildly outside the realm of possibility that a person on food stamps might want flavorful, interesting food like salsa (made from that cilantro and those limes) as a meager addition to healthful staples. It&rsquo;s easy to criticize Paltrow for representing her $29 purchase, with its small indulgences, as prototypical. But those small indulgences, whether they&rsquo;re Paltrow&rsquo;s herbs and limes or the various staples that lawmakers have tried to eliminate from food assistance programs, can help make the circumstances marginally less bleak.</p> </blockquote> <p> I understand why some have defended her. They think Paltrow&rsquo;s doing the world a favor by highlighting the paltry amount of money given to those on SNAP. But in truth, Paltrow did the opposite by showing how a Hollywood actress with a daily calorie allotment of around 500 calories can do quite well on that budget. But real people live nothing like Paltrow. People probably understand Paltrow doesn&rsquo;t eat much, but these so-called healthy foods Paltrow chose to buy aren&rsquo;t going to sustain a person with a normal weight and a normal diet for long.</p> <p> Even Paltrow seems to admit she&rsquo;s play-acting with the SNAP challenge. As <a href="http://www.people.com/article/gwyneth-paltrow-brad-falchuk-date-los-angeles-food-challenge">People Magazine reports</a>, Paltrow was seen last night eating at the Los Angeles hot spot Animal which offers such unaffordable entrees as $36 rabbit legs and $41 lamb. Her meal there is curious considering she announced she&rsquo;d shopped for fresh ingredients to begin her SNAP benefits challenge. But let&rsquo;s give her a break. One quick glance at that basket could make even the most die hard Paltrow-hater understand why she&rsquo;s running out for a restaurant meal.</p> <p> If Paltrow really wanted to do us regular Americans any favors, she&rsquo;s stop with the stunts and use her considerable celebrity to shine a light on the real reasons people can&rsquo;t afford to feed their families&mdash;the rising cost of food. <a href="http://thefederalist.com/2014/07/08/food-prices-are-soaring-and-washington-doesnt-care/">As Ben Domenech explained in an article last year for the Federalist,</a> beef and veal prices have increased 35.2 percent, pork has increased 27 percent, fish and seafood have increased more than 20 percent, eggs more than 33 percent, dairy 16 percent, and fresh fruits 13.8 percent.&nbsp; All this while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains at record highs.</p> <p> There are solutions to these problems; solutions that seem lost on Paltrow and so many others who participate in the SNAP benefit challenge. Those solutions include strengthening America&rsquo;s economy, nurturing innovation in the food, biotechnology and agriculture sectors, and encouraging job creation so that people can get off SNAP benefits. These are solutions that will actually help people gain independence and bring food costs down for those who remain on SNAP. &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796851/Julie GunlockWed, 15 Apr 2015 17:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRFK Jr. wrongly compares vaccinations to Holocaust • FTR Radiohttp://iwf.org/media/2796935/Julie GunlockWed, 15 Apr 2015 09:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBanned in Europe Does Not Equal Safe<p> Buzzfeed often falls down the alarmism rabbit hole; featuring articles with terrifying titles that suggest everything one eats, drinks and uses is a toxic killer.</p> <p> Buzzfeed&#39;s latest video is no different. In &quot;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1454674414673436&amp;fref=nf">8 terrifying facts about cosmetics</a>&rdquo; Buzzfeed suggest that cosmetics manufactured in the United States are dangerous because American manufacturers use chemicals that are &quot;banned in Europe.&quot;</p> <p> Okay, before you run to your bathroom and throw out all your makeup, first understand a few reassuring facts. First, European regulators operate under the precautionary principle, which a regulatory scheme that relies not on science-based assessments of risk but on unfounded fears of particular products. In other words, European regulators will ban something even if there&rsquo;s zero evidence showing harm.</p> <p> So, European&rsquo;s tendency to ban things is hardly a good sources on what&rsquo;s really dangerous.</p> <p> For a more thorough explanation of the precautionary principle, check out <a href="http://www.wlf.org/upload/110405MONOKogan.pdf">this report</a> which explains the regulatory scheme and how, if the United States adopts the precautionary principle, it will destroy American industry and lead to higher prices on products (like cosmetics) and job losses.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s also worth noting that many U.S.-based environmental and anti-chemical organizations are pushing for adoption of the precautionary principle. These groups are thrilled to see these preposterous Buzzfeed videos because it creates a demand for greater regulation and generates considerable support for the harsh regulations on the chemical and other industries.</p> <p> Now, let&rsquo;s consider a few things banned in the United States, but not in Europe. There are several artisan cheeses like certain kinds of Roquefort, Morbier, and Tomme de Savoie that are banned in America. Does the fact that lucky Europeans are allowed to eat these delicious cheeses mean that the EU is made up of murderous sociopaths who ignore the dangers of cheese? Or worse, is the European cheese industry simply paying off EU regulators so that the population can slowly be poisoned by delicious unregulated cheese? SHILLS!</p> <p> Yeah, that&#39;s probably it.</p> <p> Or perhaps the more likely scenario is that European cheese regulators have decided that adults can make their own choices about cheese consumption and trust that these adults can do their own risk analysis when it comes to eating raw milk and other artisnal cheeses. &nbsp;</p> <p> But, alas, the Europeans are capricious when it comes to what they allow and don&#39;t allow. Irradiation -- a process that involves zapping food with high-energy ionizing radiation&nbsp;is <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biosafety/irradiation/index_en.htm">authorized in many European countries</a> but genetic modification -- which involves inserting or removing a gene or genes from foods -- is treated with skepticism and banned in much of Europe. America hasn&#39;t quite accepted irradiation, not because of regulations banning the process but because of nonsense peddled by alarmists who claim irradiation poisons food &nbsp;(<a href="http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/09/is-it-time-to-accept-food-irradiation/#.VS5wizr40d4">this article</a> is a good summary of the misinformation that persists on irradiation and how the process could help lower food costs).&nbsp;</p> <p> The bottom line: Don&#39;t trust everything you read on Buzzfeed and for heaven&#39;s sake, don&rsquo;t freak out when you hear Europe bans certain things. Buzzfeed&#39;s good for a laugh, but that website is a joke when it comes to fact-based information on health and wellness issues.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796846/Julie GunlockWed, 15 Apr 2015 08:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRobert Kennedy, Jr: Bad on Vocabulary and Vaccinations<p> The offspring of famous and successful people often fail to live up to the expectation set by their famous relatives and instead profit off of the success of those prior generations for years without doing much to add to the family&rsquo;s accomplishments. Often, these people harm the reputation of these famous families by doing or saying embarrassing things and some fail to ever accomplish anything in their own lives. The Hilton sisters are a good example of this phenomenon, as are the <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2790565/Does-Conor-Kennedy-Think-Jobs-Are-Just-Soooo-Tacky-">Kennedy kids</a>.</p> <p> Which brings me to Robert Kennedy&rsquo;s <a href="http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/04/08/robert-kennedy-jr-compares-vaccine-debate-holocaust-california-lawmakers-banning-exemptions/#.VSZjVOn686c.twitter">latest stunt</a>. Speaking at an event in Sacramento, CA, Kennedy resuscitated the long debunked theory that a link exists between vaccinations and autism. In particular, Kennedy claims an ingredient in some vaccinations&mdash;thimerosal--causes autism.</p> <p> His bizarre explanation of how that ingredient impacts the human brain should be enough to prove to you that he doesn&rsquo;t have a clue what he&rsquo;s talking about:</p> <blockquote> <p> &ldquo;They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone&hellip;&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p> Their brain is gone. Yup, that sounds super scientific.</p> <p> Then he added, for extra drama:</p> <blockquote> <p> &ldquo;This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p> First, let&rsquo;s discuss Kennedy&rsquo;s use of the word holocaust. Perhaps it would be useful for Mr. Kennedy to crack open a history book and check out what the word holocaust actually means. Or, maybe Kennedy could review the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html">number of deaths</a> from preventable diseases &ndash; like Measles -- that still occur in areas where vaccines aren&rsquo;t available. That might give him a better sense of when it&rsquo;s appropriate to use big words like holocaust.</p> <p> As for Kennedy&#39;s claims about thimerosal, Forbes contributor Steven Salzberg -- who just happens to be a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University -- <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/sciencebiz/2010/03/15/vaccine-court-ruling-thimerosal-does-not-cause-autism/">addressed this back in 2012</a> when Kennedy was making the same wacky claims in order to sell books.</p> <blockquote> <p> Was there every any scientific support for the link between thimerosal and autism? From the late 1990s to the present, scientists have looked closely at the evidence, and every well-done study has pointed to the same conclusion: thimerosal in vaccines has no link to autism. In one very large Danish study, autism rates rose after thimerosal was removed from vaccines. Another study looking at California, Sweden, and Denmark found the same thing. These results directly contradict the claim that thimerosal causes autism.</p> <p> &hellip;.</p> <p> Last Friday, a special vaccine court ruled on three cases in which parents were suing on behalf of their autistic children. In each case, the parents claimed that thimerosal had caused their child&rsquo;s autism. In each case, the Special Master (a judge) ruled definitively against the parents. The result was a slam-dunk win for science.</p> <p> The three rulings take up over 600 pages, far too much to summarize, so I&rsquo;ll just excerpt briefly from two of the conclusions. Special Master Denise Vowell, in the Dwyer case, issued a particularly devastating decision, ruling that claims about mercury were completely implausible and that the parents&rsquo; notion of &ldquo;regressive autism&rdquo; had no basis in science:</p> <p> Petitioners propose effects from mercury &hellip; that do not resemble mercury&rsquo;s known effects on the brain, either behaviorally or at the cellular level. To prevail, they must show that the exquisitely small amounts of mercury in TCVs [thimerosal-containing vaccines] that reach the brain can produce devastating effects that far larger amounts experienced prenatally or postnatally from other sources do not. &hellip; In an effort to render irrelevant the numerous epidemiological studies of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and TCVs that show no connection between the two, they contend that their children have a form of ASD involving regression that differs from all other forms biologically and behaviorally. World-class experts in the field testified that the distinctions they drew between forms of ASD were artificial, and that they had never heard of the &ldquo;clearly regressive&rdquo; form of autism about which petitioners&rsquo; epidemiologist testified. Finally, the causal mechanism petitioners proposed would produce, not ASD, but neuronal death, and eventually patient death as well. The witnesses setting forth this improbable sequence of cause and effect were outclassed in every respect by the impressive assembly of true experts in their respective fields who testified on behalf of respondent.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s interesting that Vowell found that even if the &ldquo;exquisitely small&rdquo; amounts of mercury in vaccines had an effect, they wouldn&rsquo;t cause autism.</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course, we can&rsquo;t expect Kennedy to read this evidence, to heed the findings of experts in the medical and scientific community who agree there&#39;s no link between protecting kids with vaccinations and autism. Why should Kennedy be interested in the l<a href="http://hub.jhu.edu/2015/03/25/autism-genetic-cause">atest research on autism which finds it&#39;s largely a genetic condition</a>, not a disease one becomes infected with after receiving a vaccination. Kennedy has used his name to claim he&rsquo;s an expert on everything from energy policy, to climate science to complex medical issues like autism and pharmacology. But really, he&rsquo;s rich kid and a hobbyist from a famous family.</p> <p> Robert Kennedy&rsquo;s antics reminds me of <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/03/03/jfks-great-niece-denied-nightclub-entry-im-a-kennedy-google-me/">an incident that occured last month involving his daughter</a>. When Kyra Kennedy &ndash; Robert&rsquo;s 19-year old daughter &ndash; tried and failed to get into a nightclub using a fake ID, she had a temper tantrum, yelling &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a Kennedy! Google me.&rdquo;</p> <p> This is how the Kennedy family operates.</p> <p> In Robert Kennedy&#39;s world, he doesn&rsquo;t need to know anything about the vaccinations in order to get up on stage and talk about them. He&rsquo;s a Kennedy; therefore he&rsquo;s an expert and deserves the nation&rsquo;s trust.</p> <p> Too bad some parents will choose to do just that, and endanger their own children in the process.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796796/Julie GunlockThu, 9 Apr 2015 14:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGovernment Salt Regulations Will Do More Harm Than Good<p> I&rsquo;ve written for years about the Government&rsquo;s misguided attempts to regulate the salt content in food (see <a href="http://www.iwf.org/news/2788442/Take-Government-Health-Advice-with-a-Pinch-of-Salt">here</a>, <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2795044/Salt's-Not-the-Bad-Guy">here</a>, and <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2794261/Brace-Yourself:-FDA-Ignores-Science-And-Goes-After-Salt-Anyways">here</a>). My line of reasoning has always been to say that the government has no business telling the food industry how to formulate their recipes. I&rsquo;ve pointed out that there are already plenty of low-salt options for consumers and that by requiring all foods to be low salt, the government is ignoring the fact that many people don&rsquo;t need a low salt diet.</p> <p> We all know that the government is really good at one-size-fits-all regulations, particularly when it comes to healthcare issues (anyone heard of Obamacare?), but the outcomes are rarely successful (anyone heard of Obamacare?). And now, there&rsquo;s an even more compelling reason that the government should stop their anti-salt crusade: It might just kill you!</p> <p> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/06/more-scientists-doubt-salt-is-as-bad-for-you-as-the-government-says/">The Washington Post reports</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> &hellip; according to studies published in recent years by pillars of the medical community, the low levels of salt recommended by the government might actually be dangerous.</p> <p> &ldquo;There is no longer any valid basis for the current salt guidelines,&rdquo; said Andrew Mente, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario and one of the researchers involved in a major study published last year by the New England Journal of Medicine. &ldquo;So why are we still scaring people about salt?&rdquo;</p> <p> &hellip;</p> <p> The result is that as the federal government prepares its influential Dietary Guidelines for 2015, bureaucrats confront a quandary: They must either retract one of their oldest dietary commandments - or overlook these prominent new doubts.</p> </blockquote> <p> The Post is correct in saying that the Dietary Guidelines Committee (DGAC) faces a tough quandary but in reality it shouldn&rsquo;t be a quandary at all. Congress mandated the DGAC to provide &ldquo;nutritional and dietary information and guidelines for the general public&hellip;based on the preponderance of scientific and medical knowledge <strong><em>currently available.&rdquo; &nbsp;</em></strong>Read the IWF Policy Focus on the politicalization of the Dietary Guidlines process <a href="http://iwf.org/publications/2794236/Policy-Focus:-Political-Agendas-Versus-Sound-Nutrition">here</a>.</p> <p> The mandate doesn&rsquo;t add any qualifying statements like &ldquo;&hellip;unless you all disagree with the preponderance of the evidence at which point you can just tell the American public your personal opinions and wait for them to drop like flies.&rdquo; Nope. The mandate is clear. The DGAC is to base the guidelines only on the most current scientific and medical information, period!</p> <p> Unfortunately for the American public, that latest research on salt contradicts the political agenda of the federal agencies involved in the drafting of the Dietary Guidelines. That agenda includes regulating the food industry (no matter the health impacts), as well as considering other non-nutrition issues like climate change, sustainable farming, animal rights, immigration, pest control methods (Because swatting flies and setting mouse traps has a lot to do with kale being healthier than ice cream. Makes sense!).&nbsp;</p> <p> Some will argue that politics will always cloud these deliberations. Perhaps that&rsquo;s true. And that&#39;s the &nbsp;best reason why the government should extricate itself from the development of these guidelines. The development of the dietary guidelines should be done outside of the government, by a private medical or scientific entity. &nbsp;That&rsquo;s the only way to avoid muddying the message or worse, giving Americans deadly advise.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796792/Julie GunlockThu, 9 Apr 2015 10:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Science Babe Takes On The Food Babe • Cam & Company http://iwf.org/media/2796786/Julie GunlockTue, 7 Apr 2015 15:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Food Babe vs The Science Babe<p> TEAM SCIENCE BABE!</p> <p> There&#39;s nothing better than waking up to seeing an article critical of The Food Babe go viral. <a href="http://gawker.com/the-food-babe-blogger-is-full-of-shit-1694902226">In this piece for Gawker</a>, the always hilarious and very brave Science Babe takes on the incoherent ramblings of a well-known alarmist Vani Hari, also known as The Food Babe.</p> <p> I&rsquo;ve written about Vani Hari (The Food Babe) for years (see my pieces <a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2793130/Useful-Idiot-Alert:-The-Food-Babe">here</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://iwf.org/blog/2796234/Dangerous-Health-Nuts-Call-Measles-a-Hoax">here</a>, <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2795363/Gestational-Diabetes-is-Dangerous,-Not-Glucola">here</a> and <a href="http://www.iwf.org/news/2793555/A-Strategy-Built-on-Nervous-Moms">here</a>) and have watched in awe and horror as her star has risen. She&rsquo;s been the subject of glowing exposes in major newspapers and magazines which cast her as a sort of Erin Brockovich-esque consumer advocate. She&rsquo;s been invited to speak at major universities. She&#39;s been a guest on most popular morning talk shows, and her just released book of woo, that can only be described as epic in it&rsquo;s misunderstanding of food science and chemistry, is a best seller.</p> <p> To those confounded by her success, she can sometimes seem unstoppable. In the few years she&rsquo;s been on the scene, she&rsquo;s managed to create a base of thousands of devotees. She calls them the Food Babe Army.</p> <p> Cute.</p> <p> Vani Hari rejects any sort of criticism--even the well-meaning question posed by her followers. Step out of line by asking a question and you&#39;re promptly banned from following her Facebook and Twitter pages (I received my ban this year and I drank a whole can of Diet Coke (not Food Babe approved!) to celebrate). Her knee jerk banning makes dialogue or debate among her followers impossible and prevents any dissent of &nbsp;her claims or qualifications. When she is criticized by a journalist or opinion writer, she trots out a standard reply: the attack was sexist, racist&hellip;choose your &ldquo;ist&rdquo; or &ldquo;ism.&rdquo;</p> <p> But, The Science Babe--an actual chemist--is a good match for The Food Babe and her alarmist nonsense. The Science Babe doesn&rsquo;t mess around, first explaining why Hari isn&rsquo;t qualified to discuss these issues:</p> <blockquote> <p> Hari&#39;s superhero origin story is that she came down with appendicitis and didn&#39;t accept the explanation that appendicitis just happens sometimes. So she quit her job as a consultant, attended Google University and transformed herself into an uncredentialed expert in everything she admittedly can&#39;t pronounce. Slap the catchy moniker &quot;Food Babe&quot; on top, throw in a couple of trend stories and some appearances on the Dr. Oz show, and we have the new organic media darling.</p> </blockquote> <p> The Science Babe then ticks down many of her most newsworthy alarmist claims--from Hari&#39;s attacks on Starbucks and her claims that GMOs are dangerous to her truly dangerous advice to parents to forgo vaccines. I encourage you to read the entire Gawker article <a href="http://gawker.com/the-food-babe-blogger-is-full-of-shit-1694902226">here</a>.</p> <p> I also think it&rsquo;s important, as a non-scientist who also writes on scientific issues, to point out that The Science Babe isn&rsquo;t suggesting Hari can&rsquo;t talk about these issues because she doesn&rsquo;t have a degree in science. Rather, The Science Babe is attacking Hari&rsquo;s shocking hubris on these topics. Hari presents herself as an expert, a scientist, a toxicologist, someone who is qualified to talk about these complex issues. She uses a mix of junk science and personal anecdotes to create her own theories on incredibly complex health and nutrition issues.</p> <p> When I write about these issues, I quote and refer readers to the experts on these topics. I don&rsquo;t just editorialize my own personal feeling about these matters. I realize that my opinion and my own experiences don&#39;t matter. In Hari&#39;s world, she&#39;s really all that matters and she expects her readers to fall in line with her way of living and thinking. The difference between Hari and many other writers who cover these issues is that Hari will never tell you to trust the medical community, the scientists&mdash;like The Science Babe--and other experts (farmers, nurses, nutritionists) who have spent their lives studying these issues so that they can advise people like me who decided on a Political Science major instead of biology, chemistry or pre-med. In Hari&#39;s world, there&#39;s no one better trained to talk about your own personal health issues than her.</p> <p> The Science Babe has done a great job exposing Vani Hari&#39;s dangerous hubris. I encourage you to <a href="http://scibabe.com">visit her site</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/sciencebabe">follow her on Facebook</a>.</p> <p> Let&#39;s hope we start to see a few deserters from the Food Babe Army.</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796768/Julie GunlockTue, 7 Apr 2015 10:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWorking for Women Podcast 4 • What is fracking? How is it done? How long have we been fracking? <p> IWF Culture of Alarmism Director Julie Gunlock is joined by Jillian Melchior, National Review reporter and energy fellow at IWF, to discuss fracking. What is fracking? How is it done? How long have we been fracking in the United States? How has fracking helped Americans? How will proposed regulations on fracking impact energy prices and American lives?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pBUltcRf5eY" width="560"></iframe></p> http://iwf.org/blog/2796762/Julie GunlockMon, 6 Apr 2015 19:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMamavation and killer Thin Mints/Fast food ban failure • Garrisonhttp://iwf.org/media/2796721/Julie GunlockThu, 2 Apr 2015 10:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumKiller thin mints/Hillary Scandals/Religious Freedom • Bill Cunningham Showhttp://iwf.org/media/2796709/Julie GunlockWed, 1 Apr 2015 12:04:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumAlarmists claiming Girl Scout cookies are "toxic" & LA fast food ban failed • NRA News Cam & Co. http://iwf.org/media/2796710/Julie GunlockMon, 30 Mar 2015 14:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGov't minding 'minutiae' of NY daycares<p> <strong>The Big Apple wants to take a bite out of the amount of juice daycares are serving youngsters, but one critic says it&#39;s too much government involvement.</strong></p> <p> Under new guidelines from the New York City Board of Health, daycares cannot serve any juice to children who are under the age of two years; those two and older can only get four ounces a day of 100-percent juice. The new rules are aimed at cutting childhood obesity. The old rules allowed six ounces of juice a day, and children as young as eight months old could be served juice.</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Julie Gunlock, a mother and senior fellow for the </span></span><a href="http://www.iwf.org/"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, thinks this is too much government involvement.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;They are so in the minutiae of how these facilities are run that they are going to shave off two ounces of juice,&quot; she exclaims. &quot;They already are requiring these daycare facilities to be licensed and the workers to be licensed, and I&#39;m sure there are also some ongoing training requirements &ndash; and yet that&#39;s not enough. We have to then manage that they&#39;re only giving children four ounces of juice a day!&quot;&#39;</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> MyFoxNY&nbsp;<a href="http://www.myfoxny.com/story/28598360/nyc-introduces-new-rules-for-licensed-day-cares" target="_blank">reports</a>&nbsp;the new rules also cut the amount of educational TV viewing for children from 60 minutes a day to 30. Children under two years of age aren&#39;t allowed any TV viewing.</p> <p> Gunlock has mentioned to OneNewsNow in past interviews on efforts to combat obesity is that Americans are a sedentary society. Does she feel the TV viewing regulation is a good move?</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;I actually personally limit my children&#39;s juice consumption. I limit my child&#39;s television [viewing]. I make sure they go outside. And we all know kids have good days and bad days. Sometimes, my kids might watch more than an hour of television,&quot; she responds. &quot;I know these are daycare facilities and we need to set some standards and that&#39;s fine &ndash; but again, these [rules] are really getting into the minutiae.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> The rules in question don&#39;t apply to home-based daycare facilities, which are regulated by the state.</p> http://iwf.org/media/2796683/Julie GunlockFri, 27 Mar 2015 12:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNYC's "Juice This, Not That" policy for day care • One News Nowhttp://iwf.org/media/2796663/Julie GunlockFri, 27 Mar 2015 09:03:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum