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Parents Fined In Canada For Not Sending Ritz Crackers In Kids’ Lunches

Published on November 28, 2013,

Dr Yoni Freedhoff’s Weighty Matters blog has an extraordinary account of a mother in Canada whose children have been fined because their packed lunches did not have the required grain component. To ‘rectify’ the mistake, the lunches were supplemented by the school with Ritz Crackers…

Kristen Bartkiw's note via

Kristen Bartkiw’s note via

It’s quite possible that the single stupidest school lunch policy on the planet comes courtesy of a strange interpretation of the Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations…

Apparently if a child’s lunch is deemed “unbalanced“, where “balance” refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada’s awful Food Guide, then that child’s lunch is “supplemented“, and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.

She did not send along any “grains”.

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine.

As Kristen writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, “microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box” those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers…

More at:  Parents Fined For Not Sending Ritz Crackers In Kids’ Lunches

Opportunity: Become A Backer Of ‘Carb-Loaded’ and Help Challenge The Diabetes Epidemic

Published on July 15, 2013,

Recently we helped publicise a new documentary film project called Cereal Killers which has successfully used the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to raise funds towards its launch and promotion. Now Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying To Eat has taken to Kickstarter to raise $40,000 to put the final touches to its production. Carb-Loaded already has interviews in the can with some fabulous commentators (including Gary Taubes, Tim Noakes, and Yoni Freedhoff who feature regularly on this site). It looks like a great project – we’re backing it and if you want to then you can from as little as $1…

Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat is a documentary film being produced by Lathe Poland and Eric Carlsen. The film will explore the exploding diabetes epidemic. Not by coincidence, Lathe was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2010. He always thought of himself as a healthy eater. He rarely ate sweets, never drank soda, and had no family history of diabetes. Why would a seemingly healthy thirty-something like Lathe get a disease like this? The misconception that he had, like many people, was that diabetes is either hereditary and it’s not your fault, or you eat junk food like it’s going out of style and you end up diabetic.

“According to The Journal Pediatrics, pre-diabetes and diabetes cases in children ages 12-19, grew from 9% in the year 2000 to 23% in 2008.”

Is our lifestyle, culture, or food ecosystem enabling the sky-rocketing increase in diabetes and obesity? Or is it the catalyst? More importantly, can this wave of momentum be reversed? These are the questions that will be answered in the film Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat. Leading nutrition scientists, doctors and researchers will weigh in on this unparalleled epidemic. Additionally, the film will explore our connection to a food culture that may be responsible for the most expensive healthcare crisis in modern memory.

See more at: Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat

Dr Yoni Freedhoff: Juice is NOT a F@*#$*&g Fruit!

Published on March 26, 2013,

One of the most frustrating aspects of conventional thinking is the way certain products are held up as healthy when the reality is that they are anything but. Fruit juice is one of the worst offenders. The situation is not helped by health guidelines (such as Canada’s official Food Guide) that describe juice as a fruit equivalent and manufacturers who inevitably then go on to use this in their marketing. On his blog, Dr Yoni Freedhoff looks at the situation in Canada where research suggests some children are now consuming several times the recommended daily fruit juice limit. This is from Weighty Matters…

English: Orange juice. Italiano: Succo d'aranc...

Orange juice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So are Canadian children drinking too much juice?

Good god yes.

recent study published in Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism set out to determine Canadian fruit and vegetable consumption.

Their findings?

The average Canadian child between the ages of 2 and 8 is consuming 50% more than their recommended juice maximums. But that’s not the whole story. Some kids are chugging tons of the stuff with the 75th percentile of 2-3 year olds drinking 2.5x as much which means 25% of Canadian preschoolers are drinking even more than that!

Juice is sugar water with vitamins. It has drop per drop the same amount of sugar as soda pop and in some cases more (like that grape juice which has double the sugar of Coca-Cola – 10 staggering teaspoons a glass). Liquid calories don’t satiate, and they don’t pack the fibre and phytonutrients of actual fruit.

So do you think the Food Guide’s inclusion of juice as a fruit, or to put it differently the Food Guide’s failure to admonish against juice consumption might have something to do with its consumption among Canadian preschoolers?

I sure do. And while it’s not true causal proof, looking to Australia, a country where their Food Guide explicitly discourages juice consumption and sets the same half cup maximum as the Canadian and American Pediatric societies, my read of this report has their average 2-3 year olds drinking only a third of a cup of juice a day.

Bottom line?

Our Food Guide stinks and what it says does matter.

More at:  Juice is NOT a F@*#$*&g Fruit!

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