The FDA is Stupid, Take 2

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Ok, here we go again.

Why can't the FDA get it right?

Why does the FDA insist on doing things to support lobbyists and politicians rather than supporting the health of Americans?

According to the NY Times, the FDA has released information that they are researching the changing of serving sizes on food packaging in order to fall more "into line with how Americans really eat."

Did the FDA not receive the memo?

  • Of children aged 2-19, 23.4 MILLION are overweight and obese.
  • Rates of obesity in men and women has MORE THAN DOUBLED since 1962.
  • Of Americans age 20 and older, 145 MILLION are overweight and obese.

[all statistics courtesy of the American Heart Association, 2009]

To give you something to compare these totals against, according to the latest update by the US Census Bureau, there are about $304 Million Americans in total.  Unfortunately, I can't break that down any further because I don't have totals for the age groups.

What I can tell from this information, however, is that a $h!t-ton of people are overweight and obese in America.  Yes, I understand that the terms "overweight" and "obese" are subjective, and are based upon a flim-flammy "BMI" structure--which, by the way, screams that I myself am close to being overweight--but we see it with our own eyes on a daily basis.

Americans are suffering the effects of a low-quality diet.

Americans already eat too much junk.  No further encouragement necessary.

Would it absolutely kill the FDA to tell Americans about the benefit of eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day?

Would the FDA come to a screeching halt if they told Americans that a diet devoted to more than 10% meat products is TOO MUCH?

Would the FDA crumble under it's own foundation if they announced that whole grains are THE ONLY WAY to go?

Maybe that's the best thing for us though.  Maybe the first answer to what America needs in order for our health to return to where it was 50 years ago is The Death of the FDA in its' current capacity.

The FDA is touting this change as a way for Americans to better understand what they're eating.  For example, rather than offering nutritional information for, say 1/2 of a muffin (when the logical serving is a whole muffin), they will print the stats for the whole muffin.

I see your point, FDA, but I think that you are very misguided.  If someone wants to eat an entire muffin, they are going to eat the entire muffin (or 2 or 3).  The same goes for potato chips and ice cream and candy and popcorn and pretzels and donuts, and all of the other junk food that is on the market today.

Do you also plan to require that each product be sold along with a set of measuring cups and a food scale?  Because everyone most certainly does not measure their food or intuitively know what a cup of boxed cereal looks like.

The problem is not the serving size.  The problem is how much we're choosing to eat on our own.  Of our own free will.  Because our brains tell us to.

Do you think that telling an alcoholic to drink 4 ounces of alcohol per day will stop them from drinking 12 ounces just because they feel like it?  Yeah, I didn't think so.

Increasing the serving size on packaging is not the answer.  The answer is to work together with the USDA to change the guidelines in such a way that it portrays what Americans really need to do in order to live in optimal health: "eat food, not too much, mostly plants."  Research supports this foundation over and over and over, but the FDA (and USDA) choose to ignore it.

The answer is to revamp everything so that the information actually benefits the American people.  Remember us?

Unfortunately, there aren't enough people lobbying for broccoli and kale these days.

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