27 Jul 2015
Americans Are Finally Eating Less: After rising for decades, calorie consumption has declined in recent years as public attitudes have shifted.
After decades of worsening diets and sharp increases in obesity, Americans’ eating habits have begun changing for the better.
Calories consumed daily by the typical American adult, which peaked around 2003, are in the midst of their first sustained decline since federal statistics began to track the subject, more than 40 years ago. The number of calories that the average American child takes in daily has fallen even more — by at least 9 percent.
The declines cut across most major demographic groups — including higher- and lower-income families, and blacks and whites — though they vary somewhat by group.
In the most striking shift, the amount of full-calorie soda drunk by the average American has dropped 25 percent since the late 1990s.
As calorie consumption has declined, obesity rates appear to have stopped rising for adults and school-aged children and have come down for the youngest children, suggesting the calorie reductions are making a difference.
The reversal appears to stem from people’s growing realization that they were harming their health by eating and drinking too much. The awareness began to build in the late 1990s, thanks to a burst of scientific research about the costs of obesity, and to public health campaigns in recent years. The encouraging data does not mean an end to the obesity epidemic: More than a third of American adults are still considered obese, putting them at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Americans are still eating far too few fruits and vegetables and far too much junk food, even if they are eating somewhat less of it, experts say.
But the changes in eating habits suggest that what once seemed an inexorable decline in health may finally be changing course. Since the mid-1970s, when American eating habits began to rapidly change, calorie consumption had been on a near-steady incline.
“I think people are hearing the message, and diet is slowly improving,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
Barry Popkin, a University of North Carolina professor who has studied food data extensively, described the development as a “turning point.
There is no perfect way to measure American calorie consumption. Butthree large sources of data about diet all point in the same direction. Detailed daily food diaries tracked by government researchers, data from food bar codes and estimates of food production all show reductions in the calories consumed by the average American since the early 2000s. Those signals, along with the flattening of the national obesity rate, have convinced many public health researchers that the changes are meaningful.
The eating changes have been the most substantial in households with children. Becky Lopes-Filho’s 4-year-old son, Sebastian, has always been at the top of the growth chart for weight. Ms. Lopes-Filho, 35, is the operations manager of a pizzeria in Cambridge, Mass., and her son, like her, loves food. As he has gotten older, she has grown more concerned about his cravings for sweets. Instead of a cookie every day now, she said, she has been trying to limit him to one a week. “If he was given access, he would just go nuts,” she said. “He, I think, would tend to be a super obese kid.”
There is no single moment when American attitudes toward eating changed, but researchers point to a 1999 study as a breakthrough. That year, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a paper in The Journal of the American Medical Association that turned into something of a blockbuster.
The paper included bright blue maps illustrating worsening obesity rates in the 1980s and 1990s in all 50 states. Researchers knew the obesity rate was rising, but Dr. Ali Mokdad, the paper’s lead author, said that when he presented the maps at conferences, even the experts were gasping. A year later, he published another paper, with a similar set of maps, showing a related explosion in diabetes diagnoses. “People became more aware of it in a very visual and impactful way,” said Hank Cardello, a former food industry executive who is now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative policy center. “That created a lot of attention and concern.”
Shortly afterward, the surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, issued a report — “Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity” — modeled on the famous 1964 surgeon general’s report on tobacco. The 2001 report summarized the increasing evidence that obesity was a risk factor for several chronic diseases, and said controlling children’s weight should be a priority, to prevent the onset of obesity-related illnesses.Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/25/upshot/americans-are-finally-eating-less.html
25 Jul 2015
Amazing pictures show police destroying an entire TOWN including grocery stores and a nightclub that had sprung up to support illegal miners in the Peruvian rainforest (15 Pics)
09:57 6 comments
Armed police and helicopters descended on an illegal Peruvian gold mine and the settlement that had grown up around it in a massive crackdown on unlawful mining.
Hundreds of workers and their families were made homeless, when police torched the illegal community in the Madre de Dios region in the southeast of the country.
Food shops, brothels and tarpaulin nightclubs, set up to service the workers, were destroyed in the unprecedented raid against so-called ‘wild cat’ miners.
The raid on the La Pampa mining camp came as the government launches a crackdown on the illegal trade, which has destroyed vast swathes of the rainforest.
The police raid on the illegal settlement destroyed food shops, nightclubs and even brothels, and made hundreds of workers and their families homeless
The government has launched a crackdown on the illegal mining trade, which is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the country
Decades of mining have destroyed 60,000 hectares of rainforest in the Madre de Dios region alone, and have resulted in wide-spread mercury poisoning.
The area, famed for its ecological diversity, is now plagued by mercury levels in the soil and rivers that dramatically exceed those recommended by the World Health Organisation.
‘It is terrible for the nearly irremediable wounds it causes to the forest,’ said Peru’s Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said in 2014, on the eve of a U.N. climate conference in the country.
A government-run special force has been tasked with destroying 55 illegal settlements that have sprung up in the area, including La Pampa.
Former La Pampa resident Mariala Valdez, watching the destruction of her home, said: ‘We are not treated like humans, we are being treated worse than animals. What are we going to do now?
Hundreds of workers and their families were evacuated from the temporary La Pampa settlement, which was destroyed by police in this month's raid
Illegal mining has carved large swathes through the Amazon rainforest, and caused a dramatic rise in mercury levels in the soil and rivers
No one realised the extent of the destruction in the country until a report released by a U.S.-Peruvian team in 2013 revealed the true impact of mining
‘We have nowhere to live and no way of supporting ourselves.
‘They do not care though. The fact hundreds of us have been left so damaged by the conditions doesn’t mean a thing.’
Peru’s government has launched a war against the illegal mining industry, calling for the machinery to be dynamited and gas supplies to be severed.
But critics of the government crackdown claim police stings are only a temporary measure, and will not put an end to the gold rush.
‘We have to come here constantly until these criminals understand this is a crime,’ said anti-illegal mining boss Antonio Fernandez.
Until 2013, no one realised the extent of the destruction caused by the rise of illegal mining in the Madre de Dios region.
But a research team from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C. and Peru’s Ministry of the Environment stunned the world with a report cataloguing the extent of the damage.
The report highlighted the devastating impact of the illegal industry, which deprived animals of their natural habitat and left many of the regions uncontacted indigenous tribes homeless.
A government-formed special force has been tasked with the destruction of 55 illegal settlements like La Pampa
The government has vowed to put an end to deforestation by 2021, in a country that is 60 per cent rainforest
Workers and their families shelter from the dust during the raid, after the first five months of this year saw a 28 per cent rise in the output from illegal mines
Families take shelter during the police raid of the temporary settlement of La Pampa. Peru's government succeeded in halving the output from illegal mines last year
A worker is left distraught after the raid, which saw the destruction of his home. Environmentalists have called for the government to give land back to native communities, claiming that indigenous tribes would take better care of the land
The rise in illegal mining has caused seriously elevated levels of mercury in the soil and rivers in the Madre de Dios region, leading to the poisoning of wildlife and the workers
According to the report, 76.5 per cent of the people in the region have levels of mercury in their system far exceeding those recommended by the WHO.
Mercury – exposure to which can lead to neurological damage and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and young children – reaches the workers through the fish they eat from the rivers.
Mercury is used in the mining process to bind to the small pieces of gold and separate them from the earth.
Authorities succeeded in halving the output of illegal mines in the Madre de Dios region to eight tonnes last year, according to the Daily Mirror.
But a 28 per cent rise in the industry in the first five months of this year inspired the renewed crackdown.
Preservation of the rainforest is vital to the control of climate change, and environmentalists argue that land should be returned to the better care of the country’s indigenous communities
A 2013 report discovered that 76.5 per cent of the people in the region have levels of mercury in their system far exceeding those recommended by the World Health Organisation
The government has vowed to halt deforestation by 2021, and said as part of this that 19,300 square miles of land would be granted to native people
Mining is the second greatest cause of deforestation in Peru, which is more than 60 per cent rainforest, topped only by clear-cutting for agriculture.
Although there are large legal mines in the region, they are unable to compete with the smaller illegal mines, which have drawn tens of thousands of people to the rainforest in the hope of getting rich.
Preservation of the rainforest is vital to the control of climate change, and environmentalists argue that land should be returned to the better care of the country’s indigenous communities.
The government has vowed to halt deforestation by 2021, and said as part of this that 19,300 square miles of land would be granted to native people.
Striking never-before-seen shots from inside the White House show how Dick Cheney and George W Bush reacted to 911 as the full horror of the attacks unfolded (28 Pics)
06:31 No comments
In one photo, then-Vice President Dick Cheney rests his feet on his desk as he watches a live TV news report of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In another, he sits beside his wife after they were both frog-marched by Secret Service agents to a secure basement in the White House.
And in a later shot, he takes his glasses off and clasps his hands together before he and his spouse are flown to an undisclosed location.
These never-before-seen images capture Cheney's reaction to the attacks, which saw two hijacked passenger planes crash into the World Trade Center in New York, another jet strike the Pentagon and a fourth crash in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, killing 2,996 people.
They also show the horror felt by other senior government officials, including then-President George Bush and his wife Laura, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet, Cheney's top lawyer, David Addington, and Chief of Staff Andrew Card.
In the photos, Bush looks tense and even bites his lip as he confers with officials in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), a highly-secure underground bunker below the White House's East Wing that can withstand nuclear hits and other devastating attacks.
The then-President would shortly address the nation about the day's atrocities, which were aired live on TV screens across the world.
The same evening, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were flown via Marine Two to a secret destination, revealed in the photos to be Camp David.They were later moved to other undisclosed sites as thousands of rescue workers descended on the wreckage of the WTC towers.
On the day of the attacks, Cheney, now 74, was in charge at the White House, with Bush visiting a school in Sarasota, Florida, at the time.
Cheney has since defended the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the wake of the plane attacks, which included the waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a total of 183 times, declaring that he 'would do it again in a minute'.
The newly-released images of Cheney and other officials' reactions to 9/11 were captured by Cheny's staff photographer, according to PBS.
The photos were released by the National Archives following a FOIA request by FRONTLINE filmmaker Colette Neirouz Hanna.
Shocked: With his glasses off, Cheney stares to his left after he was frog-marched by agents to a secure basement in the White House
Crisis: : The never-before-seen images capture Cheney's reaction to the attacks, which saw four hijacked passenger planes crash in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Above, the then-Vice President holds his head and takes a call below.
Aftermath: Cheney, now 78, leans backward and yawns in one of the photos, released following a Freedom of Information Act request
Tense talks: In the images, Bush (far right) looks tense as he confers with Cheney (far left), Chief of Staff Andrew Card (second left), National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (center) and other officials in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)
Emergency response: The PEOC is a secure underground bunker below the White House's East Wing that can withstand nuclear hits
Frustration: Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, the then Secretary of State, in the President's Emergency Operations Center in Washington in the hours after the attacks
In charge: On the day of the attacks, Cheney was in charge at the White House. The President was visiting a school in Sarasota, Florida
Advice: Cheney holds his hand to chin as his top lawyer, David Addington (seen kneeling), starts to secure the legal authority response
Looking worried: Rice bites her lip as she sits beside Cheney in the PEOC. While the officials were inside the underground bunker, first built for President Franklin Roosevelt in World War Two, there were reports of more hijacked planes heading toward the White House
Preparation: Bush speaks to Cheney, Rice and Card as he prepares address the nation about the day's atrocities, seen across the world
Top officials: Cheney speaks to Bush in the PEOC on the evening of the attacks. Bush arrived at the bunker at around 7pm, it is reported
Spouse: Cheney’s wife, Lynne (left), was also brought to PEOC for security reasons. She and her husband were later flown to safety
Secure room: Cheney, his wife and then-First Lady Laura Bush (center) all look visibly tense as they stand in the PEOC during the crisis
Never-before-seen: The striking pictures of Cheney and other officials' reactions to 9/11 were captured by Cheny's staff photographer
Communications: Cheney (pictured speaking on the phone on the day of the attacks) has defended the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the wake of the attacks, which included the waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times
Ready to speak: Bush is pictured clutching a piece of paper as he speaks to Card, Cheney and Rice ahead of his address to the nation
Reassuring the nation: During his address, Bush promised to 'find those responsible and bring them to justice' for committing the 'evil, despicable acts of terror'. Above, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet is pictured watching the speech at around 8:30pm
Listening: Tenet (left) and FBI Director Robert Mueller were joined by other officials as they watched Bush address millions of citizens
Flown to safety: That evening, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were flown via helicopter to a secret destination, revealed in the photos to be Camp David. Above, the couple are pictured being escorted to Marine Two, which shortly took off for Camp David below.
Bigger plan: Cheney's move was part of a Secret Service plan to maintain the continuity of the leadership of the government, PBS reports
En-route: Cheney and his wife (seen in the aircraft) were later moved to other undisclosed sites as rescue workers looked for victims
Safe place: The then-Vice President is greeted by a sailor at Camp David, situated in wooded hills about 62 miles from Washington, D.C.
Horrified: Cheney (pictured at Camp David) said in the aftermath of the devastating attacks: 'We have to work the dark side, if you will'
On September 11, 2001, two hijacked passenger planes crashed into two World Trade Center towers (pictured) in New York, another jet struck the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The attacks killed a total of 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers
Shocking news: This photo, later seen by people across the world, shows the moment Bush was informed of 9/11 by his Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, who whispered in his ear. At the time, the then-President was attending a school reading event in Sarasota, Florida
- New Photos Show Bush Administration Reaction to 9/11 Attacks | Government / Elections / Politics | FRONTLINE | PBS
- Vice President Cheney on September 11, 2001 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
- Vice President Cheney on September 11, 2001 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!