We all suspected that Big Pharma pays large fees to physicians to speak about their drugs but the latest news out of Minnesota is downright disgusting. Turns out that groups of practitioners in many states “advise” which drugs to select for Medicare use. One such “advisor” was paid over $350,000 in a year, but claims it had nothing to do with their judgement. Yeah, right and I have some prime swamp land in the desert to sell you. To read more about this issue, click here.
This is plain outrageous. This is tatamount to bribery which, if I am not mistaken, is illegal. The recorded votes on which drug is approved and who voted for what is absurd. This is unethical and needs legislation which probably won’t happen due to the deep lobbying pockets of Big Pharma and their stranglehold on Congress.
How much longer can we as a people, citizens of the United States, take this kind of chicanery? They are stealing our tax dollars to enrich their pockets. Congress needs to stop subsidizing the pharmaceutical industry. They flat out don’t need it. It is high time we all demand better.
The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food Supply–And What We Can Do About It“>The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying our Food Supply – and What You Can Do About It by Thomas F. Pawlick is an eye-opener. This investigative science journalist uncovers the ugly truths about what we eat. His two part book goes into the problems with our food supply and the solutions on how to eat better and healthier. There are a couple of instances where I disagree with him, like the part where he puts down the need for nutritional supplements (his argument is truly weak sauce), but for the most part, it is a spot on indictment of greed over health.
Click on the book below to get your copy of this excellent piece of work.
According to the weekly (signup by clicking the link) NewsMax News Health Letter, these are the five foods you want to avoid if preventing cancer is part of your health agenda (can’t see why it shouldn’t).
This information comes from natural health researcher Mike Adams:
- Hot dogs — Because they are high in nitrates, the Cancer Prevention Coalition advises that children eat no more than 12 hot dogs a month. If you can’t live without hot dogs, buy those made without sodium nitrate. Other information I found in the book The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food Supply–And What We Can Do About It” by Thomas F. Pawlick shows that all-beef hot dogs are even worse than others.
- Processed meats and bacon — Also high in the same sodium nitrates found in hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats raise the risk of heart disease. The saturated fat in bacon also contributes to cancer.
- Doughnuts — Doughnuts are cancer-causing double trouble. First, they are made with white flour, sugar, and hydrogenated oils, then fried at high temperatures. Doughnuts, says Adams, may be the worst food you can possibly eat to raise your risk of cancer.
- French fries — Like doughnuts, French fries are made with hydrogenated oils and then fried at high temperatures. They also contain cancer-causing acrylamides which occur during the frying process. “They should be called ‘cancer fries,’ not French fries,” said Adams.
- Chips, crackers, and cookies — All are usually made with white flour and sugar. Even the ones whose labels claim to be free of trans-fats generally contain small amounts of trans-fats.
In an article published in the March 31-April 1 issue of New Scientist, writer James Kingsland talks about how overeating and the obesity epidemic are causing more and more people to be diagnosed with liver disease. If I asked you what the leading cause of cirrhosis of the liver was you would likely say alcohol. Guess again. Some may say hepatitis but that would be wrong also. Obesity is the leading cause of a diseased liver in most affluent nations.
Other interesting tidbits include:
- 5-10 percent of Americans have liver disease.
- 2/3rds of them have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
- Four cups of coffee a day seems to reduce the risk of NAFLD!
- Children are now being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.
One interesting finding is that liver disease, in early stages can be reversed by changing dietary habits. The key is to eat healthy (less fat and simple carbohydrates) and exercise. I would add that taking the herb milk thistle and the amino acid glycine (1-3 grams daily) would greatly improve liver health.
The one thing that annoyed me about the article was the talk of developing drugs to fight off liver disease. I can see it being critical in late-stage disease where liver transplantation is the only option but you know that pharmaceutical industry will market the hell out of the drug instead of making people change their lifestyle. What I did like was the last quote of the article from Dr. David Jones is “I put the fear of God into them, then I send them off to buy a heart rate monitor and to exercise. I tell them it’s the best £50 they’ll ever spend. And patient after patient comes back with normalised liver function tests. They feel a lot better, the tiredness goes away. It’s quite extraordinary.” Advice well given.
I usually am pretty hard on journalists when it comes to health and nutrition due to conflicts of interest or just plain lack of knowledge in the field but I was heartily impressed by an article on weight loss written by Karen Collins, R.D. on the MSNBC website. Most R.D.’s and I do not see eye-to-eye but here, I whole heartedly agree with her.
Portion size is a true American problem. We think more is always better, especially when it comes to our eating habits. What Ms. Collins rightly points out is how we can easily cut hundreds of calories a day simply and without stress just by cutting down our portions. One tip I especially liked was the one about french fries and how you should leave 1/2 on the plate (when eating at a restaurant) and not eat it to cut out 100-170 calories. If you are able to cut 500 calories a week, you will lose 1 pound. Do that for one year and you’ve trimmed 52 pounds off. Not bad for a one year trial.
Of course, it will require a pickup in physical activity but that shouldn’t be too hard either. How about trying to park farther away from the store front when you go shopping? Don’t find the closest spot, find one way out there and walk a little more. Do that everyday and you can burn off a 100 calories or so every week.
Sensible eating patterns can be had with just a little work and effort and you can still enjoy all of those great foods you love. Next week, I’ll be reviewing a book that smashes all those low calorie myths and how everything you know about eating isn’t the truth.
Interested in what 200 calories looks like? The differences between a Snickers bar and a plate of broccoli? Well look no further than the WiseGeek website.
How about the cost of 200 calories? Try MyMoneyBlog which uses the same photos as WiseGeek but translates the data into dollars and cents. What is interesting with this data is that cheap calories are just that, cheap. They have little fiber or nutrient content, mostly empty calories which may explain why the poor in our country have such an obesity problem.