Dr. Oz, March 26,2013, starts off the show talking with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a candid discussion about the government’s role in supporting our health by banning certain sugary drinks. Bloomberg believes that sugary drinks are bad for us and passed a law that limits the size of these drinks. He compared it to a ban on smoking and said it was for the good of the people in his city. Oz amazingly seemed to agree with him that this was OK.
We have all seen Oz talk about how soda is full of empty calories and loaded with sugar. Sugar is believed to be one of the biggest factors in our fight against obesity and other diseases. I was really shocked to see that Bloomberg used the smoking ban as a reference. Banning smoking in public places was done for the health of nonsmokers who sat beside someone puffing away. Second hand smoke is dangerous but I have never heard of anyone being harmed by a Big Gulp just by sitting beside someone drinking it.
Oz says there is plenty of evidence that shows banning large sugary drinks will have health benefits because the average person drinks 44 gallons of soda a year. Will be forced to drink it from smaller containers actually make a person drink less? Should the government be able to tell you what you can and cannot eat along with the quantity of these foods? Oz says our health crisis is so great in this country that what Bloomberg did is a step in the right direction. I guess Oz is now on the bandwagon that we cannot be responsible for ourselves anymore and need the government to limit the quantities of certain foods we can eat.
Now Oz turns to the dangers of Energy Drinks. Deborah Kennedy, author of “Beat Sugar Addiction Now! For Kids,” has been fighting to make parents aware of the dangers that energy drinks can have on our kids. She says that she was shocked to learn that children are consuming their weight in sugar each year. Oz chimes in that this is dangerous for adults as well. Kennedy also says that kids and young adults are using these drinks to stay up longer or before competing in sports and there are a lot of people going to the ER because they are having a reaction to energy drinks.
What makes these drinks so dangerous? Oz has done a whole show on this earlier last year but Kennedy says that the sugar combined with caffeine and other stimulants like ginseng are a knock out punch that will wind your kid up like a top. Oz says one energy drink is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee and has about 7 teaspoons of sugar. he says this concerns him. He says parents need to look at the ingredients of the drinks they give their kids and should regulate them. He also said we should monitor our kids use of electronic toys and computer games because these also have a stimulus effect on our children. Kennedy says the brain needs to calm down after using a video game so we should have our kids stop them about 1 hour before bed time. i was surprised he didn’t say that we need the government to regulate them for us after what he told Bloomberg.
Oz ends the segment by giving out a home made energy drink recipe that he says is great for kids and adults. Take 1 cup baby kale, 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup almond milk, and 1/2 cup greek yogurt and mix in a blender until smooth. He says this will give you more energy without the dangers of caffeine or sugar.
GMO or Genetically Modified Organism foods have been around for quite some time. Many studies have pointed out that these foods could be causing a range of diseases like autism. Whole Foods has stepped up the campaign against GMO foods by telling their suppliers that any food that is genetically altered must be labelled as such by 2018. Walter Robb, CEO, comes out and says that they believe consumers need to know what they are getting when they buy food so his company made the decision to require the labels. I was shocked when he said the Whole Foods would not sell any kind of GMO Seafood. This is because of the companies stance on animal welfare and it will be eliminating GMO poultry soon also.
Oz said he was glad to see a chain taking this responsibility when larger stores like Wal Mart have stated they have no plans to do this. He said we need to know what we are buying to make an informed decision and these labels are a way we can know. Robb said that you can limit your exposure to GMO foods by buying organic whenever possible. He also said the Whole Foods is already putting a NON GMO system in place where consumers know that the 3500 or so products on the list are not modified. They will also have their own private label products that will guarantee the consumer is getting NON GMO food.
Oz says that 91% of the people that responded to his show about GMO’s last year want to be able to purchase non modified foods. This includes things like fish and poultry that are fed GMO grain and food to grow. He says there are ways to limit your exposure to GMO foods and gives us a few guidelines to follow: 1. Buy Organic whenever possible. 2. Stay away from canola, corn, zucchini, soy, and sugar beets unless they are organic. 3. Use quinoa, wheat and grass fed meats as they are less likely to have GMO’s. 4. Use Olive oil and Safflower oil to cook with. 5. Start looking for NON GMO labels that some companies are starting to use.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Oz