Refer to the attached articles to answer the questions:
1.Big Sugar?s Sour Past ? food companies regularly fund studies that influence public perception of the benefits of their products. The article states 3 ways in which the benefits associated with these products are made known to the general public.
a. List the way this info is spread to the public.
Researchers say industry funding is critical to advancing science.
b. What do critics of this funding say about these studies?
2. ?Why can?t Africa feed itself??
The author feels that natural disasters play a small and predictable role in Africa?s chronic food crises. Name four other factors cited in the article that contribute to the problem.
3. ?Fishing village?
What is the main reason parents believe selling their children will be beneficial to them?
4. ?Another Broken Nation?
According to the article, what is the main reason for the terrible conditions in Guinea?
5. ?The Growing Color Divide?
List the 5 factors that the author states is associated with infant mortality.
Latinos often have lower socioeconomic status than blacks, but their infant mortality rates are not as bad as black rates. Why?
List 3 possible reasons the author states may be behind the black-white infant mortality rate gap.
New York City was one of the first places in the USA to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants.Mayor Bloomberg introduced legislation to ban the selling of sugared drinks larger than 16 oz. In Connecticut, the legislature’s Committee on Children held hearings on legislation proposing to tax sugary soft drinks and candies. Do you agree with this idea? Does government have the right to control what we consume, even if it is considered unhealthy? If this legislation becomes law, what will be the next food to be targeted? Is there a better way to get the message out to people about overconsumption of certain foods? What are some of the pros and cons of this trend towards government intervention in our food choices? What are some other unhealthy trends the government has tried to control? Were they successful?
Industry paid Harvard researchers to downplay sugar?s role in bad health
BY CANDICE CHOI
AP FOOD INDUSTRY WRITER
NEW YORK ? The sugar industry began funding research that cast doubt on sugar?s role in heart
disease ? in part by pointing the finger at fat ? as early as the 1960s, according to an analysis of
newly uncovered documents.
The analysis published Monday is based on correspondence between a sugar trade group and
researchers at Harvard University, and is the latest example showing how food and beverage
makers attempt to shape public understanding of nutrition. In 1964, the group now known as the
Sugar Association internally discussed a campaign to address ?negative attitudes toward sugar?
after studies began emerging linking sugar with heart disease, according to documents dug up from
public archives. The following year the group approved ?Project 226,? which entailed paying
Harvard researchers today?s equivalent of $48,900 for an article reviewing the scientific literature,
supplying materials they wanted reviewed, and receiving drafts of the article.
The resulting article published in 1967 concluded there was ?no doubt? that reducing cholesterol
and saturated fat was the only dietary intervention needed to prevent heart disease. The
researchers overstated the consistency of the literature on fat and cholesterol, while downplaying
studies on sugar, according to the analysis.
See SUGAR , Page 4A
The group now known as the Sugar Association began discussing ways to change negative
attitudes after studies began emerging in the early 1960s linking sugar with heart disease,
according to documents dug up from public archives.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JIM SHANNON REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
SUGAR: Industry-funded studies
Continued from Page One
?Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its appearance in
print,? wrote an employee of the sugar industry group to one of the authors.
The sugar industry?s funding and role were not disclosed when the article was published by the
New England Journal of Medicine. The journal did not begin requesting author disclosures until
In an editorial published Monday that accompanied the sugar industry analysis, New York
University professor of nutrition Marion Nestle noted that for decades following the study, scientists
and health officials focused on reducing saturated fat, not sugar, to prevent heart disease.
While scientists are still working to understand links between diet and heart disease, concern has
shifted in recent years to sugars, and away from fat, Nestle said.
A committee that advised the federal government on dietary guidelines said the available evidence
shows ?no appreciable relationship? between the dietary cholesterol and heart disease, although it
still recommended limiting saturated fats.
The American Heart Association cites a study published in 2014 in saying that too much added
sugar can increase risk of heart disease, though the authors of that study say the biological
reasons for the link are not completely understood.
The findings published Monday are part of an ongoing project by a former dentist, Cristin Kearns, to
reveal the sugar industry?s decadeslong efforts to counter science linking sugar with negative
health effects, including diabetes. The latest work, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine,
is based primarily on 31 pages of correspondence between the sugar group and one of the Harvard
researchers who authored the review.
In a statement, the Sugar Association said it ?should have exercised greater transparency in all of
its research activities,? but that funding disclosures were not the norm when the review was
published. The group also questioned Kearns? ?continued attempts to reframe historical
occurrences? to play into the current public sentiment against sugar.
The Sugar Association said it was a ?disservice? that industry- funded research in general is
Coca-Cola Co. and Kellogg Co. as well as groups for agricultural products like beef and blueberries
regularly fund studies that become a part of scientific literature, are cited by other researchers, and
are touted in press releases.
Companies say they adhere to scientific standards, and many researchers feel that industry funding
is critical to advancing science given the growing competition for government funds. But critics say
such studies are often thinly veiled marketing that undermine efforts to improve public health.
?Food company sponsorship, whether or not intentionally manipulative, undermines public trust in
nutrition science,? wrote Nestle, a longtime critic of industry funding of science.
The authors of the analysis note they were unable to interview key actors quoted in the documents
because they are no longer alive. They also note there is no direct evidence the sugar industry
changed the manuscript, that the documents provide a limited window into the sugar industry
group?s activities and that the roles of other industries and nutrition leaders in shaping the
discussion about heart disease were not studied.
Nevertheless, they say the documents underscore why policy makers should consider giving less
weight to industry- funded studies. Although funding disclosures are now common practice in the
scientific community, the role sponsors play behind the scenes is still not always clear.
In June, the Associated Press reported on a study funded by the candy industry?s trade group that
found children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don?t. The National Confectioners
Association, which touted the findings in a press release, provided feedback to the authors on a
draft even though a disclosure said it had no role in the paper. The association said its suggestions
didn?t alter the findings.
In November, the AP also reported on emails showing Coca-Cola was instrumental in creating a
nonprofit that said its mission was to fight obesity, even though the group publicly said the soda
maker had ?no input? into its activities. A document circulated at Coke said the group would counter
the ?shrill rhetoric? of ?public health extremists.?
Coca-Cola subsequently conceded that it had not been transparent, and the group later disbanded.
Visit rep-am.com to comment on this story.
?FOOD COMPANY SPONSORSHIP, WHETHER OR NOT INTENTIONALLY MANIPULATIVE,
UNDERMINES PUBLIC TRUST IN NUTRITION SCIENCE.?
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND LONGTIME CRITIC OF INDUSTRY FUNDING OF
Coca-Cola Co. and other companies, as well as groups for agricultural products like beef
and blueberries, regularly fund studies that become a part of scientific literature, are cited
by other researchers, and are touted in press releases.
Copyright (c) 2016 Republican-American 9/13/2016
Powered by TECNA
Why can?t Africa feed itself?
By Chris Tomlinson
NAIROBI, Kenya- Almost 40 million Africans- more than Texas? population- are short
of food, left to rely on aid to stave off hunger and even starvation.
Perhaps as troubling, though rarely mentioned, is that almost all of these people
live within 100 miles of well-fed towns. Farms just a few hundred miles away can have
Generous people around the globe reach into their pockets to help aid groups that
care for malnourished children with bloated stomachs and dehydrated mothers nursing
Many people, however, wonder why African countries still suffer from famine.
Other parts of the world experience droughts, crop failures and other calamities without
anyone starving. Why can?t Africa feed itself?
Hunger is nothing new in Africa. Ninth century religious documents in Ethiopia
describe the slow death of hundreds of people on the rocky northern plains. In the early
20th century, draconian colonial policies to placate urban residents and civil servants
during food shortages often left many in the majority rural population to die.
But starving Africans didn?t really enter global consciousness until 1971, when
tens of millions of people went hungry and more than a million died in Mali, Mauritania
Heart-wrenching scenes from the 1984 famine in Ethiopia- the first such crisis to
be widely televised- gave a new impetus to relief work. Bob Geldof formed Band Aid to
raise money, and the following year, Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie provided a
theme song, ?We are the World.?
Yet Africans still periodically suffer critical food shortages.
The World Food Program says poor harvests have left 4 percent of Africa?s
population- 23 million people in the south, 13 million in the Horn of Africa and 2 million
in the west and center- without enough food.
The agency said Jan 29 that only an emergency operation to ship in hundreds of
thousands of tons of food had staved off starvation in six southern countries.
Most famines are blamed on droughts, but many experts say crop shortages are
predictable, and famine is preventable.
At the Famine Early Warning Center in Nairobi, scientists study the climate,
infrastructure, economics and politics that combine to bring hunger and death. For these
experts, rainfall is only one of the many enemies.
?I think people tend to overestimate the importance of climatic factors as causes
of food insecurity,? said Nic Maunder, the center?s specialist for the greater Horn of
Maunder says war, bad governance, disease and poor roads and other
infrastructure play equally important roles, but the biggest factor is poverty.
?It?s usually an access question, not an availability question.? Maunder said,
noting that famines can occur in countries that appear to have plenty of food.
Food security is not merely about the food supply but an individual?s ability to
buy it, he said. Famines almost never occur in cities or large towns, where incomes don?t
depend on agriculture.
Maunder said Ethiopia is a classic example. Farmers in western Ethiopia produce
consistent bumper crops, while crop failures in the east bring food shortages every four of
five years that usually leave 5 million to 10 million people hungry.
?Those people in the east are on the edge of destitution all the time, so if their
crop fails they can?t afford to buy the crop coming from the other side of the country,?
Ethiopia, like most African countries, has a poor road system, which means
sometimes it is cheaper to ship food from the United States than to truck it across the
But the injection of foreign food can harm local economies. An excess of free
food can drive down the price of locally grown food, leaving local farmers without
enough income to but seeds for the next season. Improperly managed, temporary food
aid can lead to permanent food dependence.
Corruption and mismanagement are also factors. Aid workers blames Malawi?s
food shortage began last year on the illegal sale of the national corn reserve and the
embezzlement of the profits. Zimbabwe?s food crisis is linked to President Robert
Mugabe?s seizure of white-owned farms.
Mugabe?s administration seized farms for redistribution to black subsistence
farmers, resulting in a 0 percent drop in production.
In Angola, where civil war has destroyed the agricultural sector, officials and
workers in the state oil industry skim off profits while the United Nations struggles to
feed millions of poor living in refugee camps.
The contrast can be seen in Namibia and Botswana, two prosperous, wellgoverned
nations in southern Africa. While caught in the same drought that has brought
hunger to Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia, those two nations require almost no outside
aid to feed their people.
On a whiteboard hanging on the wall of his Nairobi office, Ron Senykoff has
drawn a telling graph with a red marker. As regional director of the U.S. agency for
International Development?s Food for Peace program, he keeps tabs on the continent?s
Senykoff?s graph has two horizontal lines. The top one is a series of waves.
Along the bottom, a straight line slowly sinks. The top line is the rainfall cycle: a
perpetual series of good and bad years. The bottom line shows the declining ratio of farm
land per person as Africa?s population has more than tripled since 1970.
With the amount f land per person dropping, the shock waves caused by the rain
cycle are amplified, Senykoff said. There are no more natural disasters in Africa now
than decades ago, only three times as many people to suffer form them, he said.
Senykoff?s job is to give away the surplus food grown by American farmers and
bought by the U.S. government. The World Food Program gets about 60 percent of its
food from the United States. He said his team works hard to meet the legal requirement
that American food not disrupt local markets. They watch the price of grain closely and
check to see if donated food is being sold in village markets. But if faced with letting
people starve or hurting the local economy, he?ll make sure people get food.
There are 53 countries in Africa, and agriculture remains the main economic
driver for all but a handful. Experts say they need to modernize their economies and
move away from subsistence farming, as China and India have.
African leaders should look at crops where they have an advantage, rather than
strive for self-sufficiency, Maunder said. For example, Kenyans could buy their staple
food-corn- from Uganda instead of trying to grow it themselves as they do now.
Hunger Crisis grips Africa
A bevy of factors are contributing to Africa?s hunger crisis, now affecting more
than 38 million people in several countries. Of particular concern is the Phenomenon of
shifting weather patterns that have recently had disastrous effects.
Groups rescue African children sold to work in fishing villages
By: Cassandra Vinograd
YEJI, Ghana- The house is filled with children but has little of their laughter. These boys and girls have lost a big piece of their childhood to long hours and rough treatment working for fishermen.
A few bounce balls or play games on the porch. Others help with the laundry. But on a bright summer day, most are draped listlessly over the furniture, sleeping or staring into space, while the international aid group that freed them tries to trace the parents who sold them into virtual slavery.
Their future is uncertain, and the fight against child trafficking is West Africa is far from over. Only last July did Ghana?s parliament pass a child trafficking law, and it still awaits the president?s signature.
Among the kids is 15-year-old Kwabena Mensah. He says his mother sold him as a fisherman?s helper when he was 8, hoping it would be a short stint to pay his way through school. Instead he spent seven years doing a dangerous job 13 hours a day, earning little beyond regular beatings from the man he calls ?my master.?
?It burns me to know that I spent my life with my master, because whenever I walk with people my age and they?re talking about school, I can?t say much, because I spent the life I should have had in school with my master,? Kwabena said.
Kwabena was among more than 100 children rescued earlier this year in Yeji, a fishing community on Lake Volta, 300 miles from Accra, the capital. The International Organization of Migration, an independent agency, says it has reunited 537 children with their parents or other guardians since launching its Yeji Trafficked Children Project in December 2002.
Fishermen or go-betweens typically promise between 200,000 and 1.2 million cedis (about $20-$120) plus future wages for children as young as 4. The parents rarely see any more than the initial see, and the children are often beaten and poorly fed. Fishermen value them for their small hands, making them dive to disentangle nets.
Some drown, and IOM workers say nearly all the children they have freed tell of beatings, irregular meals and harsh living conditions.
?These are coastal communities, and it?s an age-old practice,? says Cromwell Awadey, a Ghanaian research officer with International Needs Ghana. His independent group is working with the International Labor Organization and the International Program on the Elimination of the Child Labor, both U.N. projects, to raise awareness in Ghana of child trafficking.
Project director Joseph Rispoli, an American, said nearly all the children have suffered malaria, amoebic diseases and psychological trauma. Apart from medical care, ?Most children need at least a couple of years of regular counseling in order to heal,? Rispoli said.
His organization offers fishermen small loans and job training in exchange for freeing the children.
Gabriel Kudomor, a fisherman for 23 years, released 13 children in 2003 and set up a poultry farm with IOM assistance. He now helps the IOM by speaking out against child trafficking.
?Too many children were dying,? he said. Once the children are freed, IOM rescuers use information provided by the fishermen to find parents.
?We give then back to the people that sold them, because there aren?t too many options,? says Rispoli.
The task can be difficult. Empty-eyed Abena was sold a year ago and no longer remembers who her mother is. She is 5 years old and doesn?t know her last name. Neither does the fisherman for whom she worked.
Rescued children spend two months at the house on the outskirts of Accra, where doctors, nurses, social workers and psychologists are on hand round-the-clock to rehabilitate them. The exhausted children spend hours catching up on sleep.
For Kwabena, it?s heaven. ?We play free, we eat free, and nobody beats us.? He said softly with a slight smile. He is about to be released to the mother who sold him. His hands still shake.
IOM says it offers funds- paying the returned children?s school fees for two years- and job training to parents to dissuade then from selling their kids. Many of them see selling their kids as the only way to get their children an education. School fees in Ghana cost around $5 a year, both books and mandatory school uniforms can add $60 to that sum, or some two months? earnings in a country where half the 21 million people get by on a dollar a day.
Another broken nation Ruled by an aging dictator, Guinea quietly falls apart
BY TODD PITMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS CONAKRY, Guinea ? Entire neighborhoods in the capital haven?t had electricity or running water for years. The central bank is in such bad shape it sometimes turns to the black market to replenish hard currency reserves. Doctors joke the best medicine for the sick is Air France ? a plane ride out of the country. Popular anger at Guinea ?s plight is being aimed at President Lansana Conte more than ever before, manifested in a crippling two-week nationwide strike that ended Sunday with a deal to appoint a new prime minister with expanded powers. For many, it?s not enough. ?Conte must go,? said Sadio Diallo, a 22-year-old university student standing near the charred hulks of overturned cars torched by a mob last week in a suburb that hasn?t had electricity in 20 months. Conte, who reportedly suffers from severe diabetes and a heart condition, is unlikely to go anywhere soon ? at least not willingly. Among the last of Africa?s ?Big Men,? who have clung to power by the gun, fraudulent elections and fear, he likes to say God put him to power, and only God will remove him. Guinea has managed to avoid the catastrophic wars that have ravaged its West African neighbors, yet 23 years after Conte seized power in a military coup, his crumbling state resembles a shattered nation just recovering from one. Across the street from the presidential palace, trees and bushes sprout from the windows of an abandoned 15-story building. A few blocks away, Conakry?s poorest eat once a day and live in claptrap shelters cobbled together from rusted aluminum siding and debris. Guinea doesn?t have to be this way. The Oregon-size country boasts half the world?s known reserves of bauxite, the ore used to produce aluminum, and it has deposits of gold, diamonds and iron ore. Analysts say the nation, at the confluence of several West African rivers, could generate enough electricity to power the region. But Transparency International, an independent group that monitors misgovernance, ranked Guinea as the most corrupt country in Africa in its 2006 annual survey. See GUINEA , Page 4A2 ________________________________________
ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOS A man walks while listening to his radio in Conakry, Guinea . Entire neighborhoods in the city, Guinea ?s capital, haven’t had electricity or running water for years. The central bank is in such bad shape it sometimes turns to black market money changers to replenish hard currency reserves.
A man washes clothes outside his home in Conkary, Guinea .
Powered by TECNAVIA
Copyright (c) 2007 Republican-American 02/11/2007GUINEA : Ruler clinging to power Continued from 1A2 Unions estimate the unemployment rate at 60 percent, and skyrocketing inflation means it takes more than a month?s pay for a civil servant to buy a sack of rice. ?We?re like a ship lost at sea,? said Rabiatou Serah Diallo, who heads one of Guinea ?s two main unions and lives in a neighborhood that hasn?t had running water in five years. ?We don?t know where we?re going. If we?re ever going to find land, we need to change the captain.? Conte, who is in his mid-70s, is only the second head of state Guinea has had since independence from France in 1958, and there is anxiety about what will happen after he goes. By law, the head of the national assembly should become president, but many fear the army could stage a coup if Conte dies, or even before. They worry, too, about the chances for civil war. Many of those who took part in the nationwide strike hoped it might snowball into a popular, peaceful revolution. But when demonstrators attempted to march on the presidential palace Jan. 22, security forces opened fire, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. Trying to head off further bloodshed, union leaders halted more protests and scaled back demands, urging Conte not to step down but rather appoint a premier with more powers. It?s a solution that let everybody declare victory. But it?s a solution Guinea ?s 9 million people have seen before. During a 1996 army mutiny, soldiers angry over low pay bombarded the presidential palace for several days while Conte holed up inside. He emerged unscathed, offered raises to his attackers and later named a prime minister for the first time to tackle national ills ? problems that still reign: water and electricity shortages, high prices for rice. Nonetheless, analysts say the mass protests marked the start of a new era. ?The way people are making politically overt claims on the government is qualitatively new and different,? said Mike McGovern, a Guinea expert at Yale University. ?This has never happened in the last 49 years. Guinea has crossed a threshold. Their aim is not just lower prices for rice and petrol (gasoline), they?re saying, ?We want to get to the root of the problem, which is bad governance and corruption.?? Thierno Sow, head of Guinea ?s main independent human rights group, agreed. ?It?s the first time we?ve seen a movement so intense,? he said. Real change won?t come easy. Conte has survived coup attempts, military revolts, a failed attempt on his life and multiparty elections three times since 1993. During the last vote in 2003, the opposition was so discouraged it didn?t field a candidate. Cheikh Tidiane Traore, a ruling party lawmaker, acknowledged Guinea is in bad shape, but argues the president alone is not to blame. ?We must all take blcme, especially the ministers. It?s a communal responsibility,? Traore said. ?We know people are angry. Water and electricity, they?re priorities, they?ll come, but we need time,? he said. And, he added, ?the will to change.?
Powered by TECNAVIA
Copyright (c) 2007 Republican-American 02/11/2007
The Growing Color Divide in U.S. Infant Mortality
by Rogelio Saenz
(October 2007) How one fares in the United States has been characterized by a racial division that begins at birth with disparities in health care. Inadequate health care can have a significant effect on the future social and economic path of newborns.
Despite continued improvements in the health of the African American population, black babies are still nearly 2.5 times more likely than white babies to die before reaching their first birthday. To make matters worse, recent data show rising infant mortality among blacks in some states.
Infant mortality is associated with a variety of factors that include socioeconomic status, mother?s age, nutrition, birth weight, and lack of prenatal care. Recent increases in black infant mortality also coincide with significant cuts in programs designed to assist the poor and an erosion of benefits in jobs held by many poverty-level workers.
The trends in black infant mortality come at a time when, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the overall rate “has not declined much since 2000, when it was 6.89.” The center reported this spring that the nation’s infant mortality rate in 2004 was 6.78 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, not significantly different from the 2003 rate of 6.84.
The Persistent Black-White Infant Mortality Gap
Blacks have consistently had higher infant mortality rates compared with other racial/ethnic groups in the United States.1 This gap continues. Blacks had the highest infant mortality rate during the 2002-2004 period (a three-year period yields greater statistical stability), when nearly 14 black infants died for every 1,000 births (Figure 1).
Infant Mortality Rates by Race and Ethnicity, 1989-1991 and 2002-2004
Note: The rates are three-year averages.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States 2006.
Furthermore, while the infant mortality rate went down for all racial/ethnic groups in the United States over the last 15 years, the 20 percent decline for blacks was somewhat slower than for other groups, ranging from a drop of 22 percent (whites) to 32 percent (American Indians/Alaska Natives). In the 1989-1991 and 2002-2004 periods, black babies were 2.4 times more likely than white babies to die in their first year of life.
High infant mortality rates are often associated with low socioeconomic status, but the relatively low rates for Latinos represent a paradox because Latinos tend to have lower educational attainment and income levels than non-Latinos. This lower Latino infant mortality has been attributed to factors including familial support, diet, and immigration selectivity, as well as methodological issues involving birth and death records.
Reversal of Optimism
During the 1990s, there were signs of improvements in the health of black infants in the 39 states with enough blacks for a reliable analysis (at least 20 black infant deaths during a given period). All of those states except Iowa and Oklahoma saw their black infant mortality rates decline between the 1989-1991 and 1998-2000 periods.
However, recent data show a partial reversal of this trend.2 Sixteen of the 39 states experienced rising black rates between the 1998-2000 and 2002-2004 periods (Figure 2). In 10 states, the rates rose by more than 5 percent, with the greatest increases registered in West Virginia, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Colorado.