Risk maven @dropeik asks why grape juice, OJ, etc. aren’t in sugary drinks display. Cites USDA stats:
grams of sugar per 100 grams of beverage
Carbonated cola beverages 10.6
Orange juice 10.2
Apple juice 10.9
Cranberry juice 12.1
Grape juice 14.9

Risk maven @dropeik asks why grape juice, OJ, etc. aren’t in sugary drinks display. Cites USDA stats:

grams of sugar per 100 grams of beverage

Carbonated cola beverages 10.6

Orange juice 10.2

Apple juice 10.9

Cranberry juice 12.1

Grape juice 14.9

JAMA study undercuts “thinner-is-better” medical orthodoxy. @PamBelluck piece nicely framed on 1912 @NYTimes story on “the perfect girl” (171 pounds!).

JAMA study undercuts “thinner-is-better” medical orthodoxy. @PamBelluck piece nicely framed on 1912 @NYTimes story on “the perfect girl” (171 pounds!).

[My post building on this piece, “Single-Study Syndrome and the G.M.O. Food Fight,” is published at Dot Earth.]
Anti-GMO groups push new study claiming big impacts on longevity, cancer rates in rats fed Roundup-ready corn. Study has quickly attracted scientific criticism. One issue is the rat breed (they normally develop tumors after two years). Single-study syndrome? 
[UPDATE 10 p.m.: The food researcher and writer Marion Nestle, a supporter of GM labeling, called the study “weirdly complicated” in an excellent look at the work posted by Tim Carman of the Washington Post.] 
[UPDATE Sept. 20, 6:45 a.m.: In Rosie Mestel’s Los Angeles Times article, one scientist said the combination of a tumor-prone rat breed and small sample size created big problems: “Another red flag was that tumor rates didn’t increase in line with the dose of GMOs fed to animals, as scientists would expect to see if the genetically engineered corn were to blame, said Kevin Folta, a plant molecular biologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Instead, ‘you are likely seeing variation of normal tumor incidence in a small population of rats,’ he said.”]
For a broader view of the literature on animal diets and GM, read this review paper from 2011: ”Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review”
Abstract: 
The aim of this systematic review was to collect data concerning the effects of diets containing GM maize, potato, soybean, rice, or triticale on animal health. We examined 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from 2 to 5 generations). We referenced the 90-day studies on GM feed for which long-term or multigenerational study data were available. Many parameters have been examined using biochemical analyses, histological examination of specific organs, hematology and the detection of transgenic DNA. The statistical findings and methods have been considered from each study. Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. However, some small differences were observed, though these fell within the normal variation range of the considered parameter and thus had no biological or toxicological significance. If required, a 90-day feeding study performed in rodents, according to the OECD Test Guideline, is generally considered sufficient in order to evaluate the health effects of GM feed. The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.
[UPDATE, Sept. 20: For more on risks, Roundup-ready corn (the variety used in the study) and the herbicide Roundup, read geneticist Michael Eisen’s June blog post: “#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and why they should not scare you.”]

[My post building on this piece, “Single-Study Syndrome and the G.M.O. Food Fight,” is published at Dot Earth.]

Anti-GMO groups push new study claiming big impacts on longevity, cancer rates in rats fed Roundup-ready corn. Study has quickly attracted scientific criticism. One issue is the rat breed (they normally develop tumors after two years). Single-study syndrome

[UPDATE 10 p.m.: The food researcher and writer Marion Nestle, a supporter of GM labeling, called the study “weirdly complicated” in an excellent look at the work posted by Tim Carman of the Washington Post.] 

[UPDATE Sept. 20, 6:45 a.m.: In Rosie Mestel’s Los Angeles Times article, one scientist said the combination of a tumor-prone rat breed and small sample size created big problems: “Another red flag was that tumor rates didn’t increase in line with the dose of GMOs fed to animals, as scientists would expect to see if the genetically engineered corn were to blame, said Kevin Folta, a plant molecular biologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Instead, ‘you are likely seeing variation of normal tumor incidence in a small population of rats,’ he said.”]

For a broader view of the literature on animal diets and GM, read this review paper from 2011: ”Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review

Abstract: 

The aim of this systematic review was to collect data concerning the effects of diets containing GM maize, potato, soybean, rice, or triticale on animal health. We examined 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from 2 to 5 generations). We referenced the 90-day studies on GM feed for which long-term or multigenerational study data were available. Many parameters have been examined using biochemical analyses, histological examination of specific organs, hematology and the detection of transgenic DNA. The statistical findings and methods have been considered from each study. Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. However, some small differences were observed, though these fell within the normal variation range of the considered parameter and thus had no biological or toxicological significance. If required, a 90-day feeding study performed in rodents, according to the OECD Test Guideline, is generally considered sufficient in order to evaluate the health effects of GM feed. The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.

[UPDATE, Sept. 20: For more on risks, Roundup-ready corn (the variety used in the study) and the herbicide Roundup, read geneticist Michael Eisen’s June blog post: “#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and why they should not scare you.”]

"If behavior and technology do not change, more numerous humans will trample the earth and endanger our own survival. The snake brain in each of us makes me cautious about relying heavily on changes in behavior. In contrast, centuries of extraordinary technical progress give me great confidence that diffusion of our best practices and continuing innovation can advance us much further in decarbonization, landless agriculture, and other cardinal directions for a prosperous, green environment. For engineers and others in the technical enterprise the urgency and prizes for sustaining their contributions could not be higher. Because the human brain does not change, technology must."

— Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University on a path toward fitting people on a finite, thriving planet

25-year primate study in @NatureMagazine challenges “starvation diet” approach to longevity and follows the Woody Allen trajectory for dietary dogma.

Nature news post: 

To those who enjoy the pleasures of the dining table, the news may come as a relief: drastically cutting back on calories does not seem to lengthen lifespan in primates. The verdict, from a 25-year study in rhesus monkeys fed 30% less than control animals, represents another setback for the notion that a simple, diet-triggered switch can slow ageing. Instead, the findings, published this week in Nature1, suggest that genetics and dietary composition matter more for longevity than a simple calorie count. Read the rest. 

Fascinating!
DARWIN isn’t required reading for public health officials, but he should be. One reason that heart disease, diabetes and obesity have reached epidemic levels in the developed world is that our modern way of life is radically different from the hunter-gatherer environments in which our bodies evolved. But which modern changes are causing the most harm?
Many in public health believe that a major culprit is our sedentary lifestyle. Faced with relatively few physical demands today, our bodies burn fewer calories than they evolved to consume — and those unspent calories pile up over time as fat. The World Health Organization, in discussing the root causes of obesity, has cited a “decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.”
This is a nice theory. But is it true? To find out, my colleagues and I recently measured daily energy expenditure among the Hadza people of Tanzania, one of the few remaining populations of traditional hunter-gatherers. Would the Hadza, whose basic way of life is so similar to that of our distant ancestors, expend more energy than we do?
Our findings, published last month in the journal PLoS ONE, indicate that they don’t, suggesting that inactivity is not the source of modern obesity. READ ON.

Fascinating!

DARWIN isn’t required reading for public health officials, but he should be. One reason that heart disease, diabetes and obesity have reached epidemic levels in the developed world is that our modern way of life is radically different from the hunter-gatherer environments in which our bodies evolved. But which modern changes are causing the most harm?

Many in public health believe that a major culprit is our sedentary lifestyle. Faced with relatively few physical demands today, our bodies burn fewer calories than they evolved to consume — and those unspent calories pile up over time as fat. The World Health Organization, in discussing the root causes of obesity, has cited a “decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.”

This is a nice theory. But is it true? To find out, my colleagues and I recently measured daily energy expenditure among the Hadza people of Tanzania, one of the few remaining populations of traditional hunter-gatherers. Would the Hadza, whose basic way of life is so similar to that of our distant ancestors, expend more energy than we do?

Our findings, published last month in the journal PLoS ONE, indicate that they don’t, suggesting that inactivity is not the source of modern obesity. READ ON.

Economist on Feeding 9 Billion

"The reaction against intensive farming is a luxury of the rich. Traditional and organic farming could feed Europeans and Americans well. It cannot feed the world." That is one core conclusion of an excellent package of reports @theEconomist on the rising challenges related to feeding the human population now, and on the path toward 9 billion.

There’s much more. The future of food: Crisis prevention

The main points reflect priorities described in recent Dot Earth posts:

Varied Menus for Sustaining a Well-Fed World

Beyond the Eternal Food Fight

August 6, 2010, 5:28 pm

Feeding Fewer Than 9 Billion

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

A population specialist noted that strategies for limiting hunger need to include family planning along with farming methods.

Agriculture, family planning, Food, Population, tradeoffs
August 5, 2010, 3:28 pm

Poverty and Lack of Research Block Path to a Well-Fed World

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

A menu for feeding 9 billion people while preserving places like the Amazon rain forest.

Africa, Agriculture, Food, Poverty, r&d, Sustainability
May 14, 2010, 3:45 pm

On Climate, Food and Security

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

A growing human population with an expanding appetite on a finite planet needs new options to avoid hunger.

Climate Change, development, Food, Global Warming, hunger, Poverty, security

February 11, 2010, 6:39 pm

A Menu for Feeding 9 Billion

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

With a mix including genetically modified crops and expanded aquaculture, where appropriate, scientists foresee a well-fed human population later in the century.