PROTEIN AFFECTS THE FEELING OF FULLNESS


Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Many individuals seek out high protein foods when dieting because it is commonly believed protein rich meals make the dieters feel fuller. Not surprisingly, this belief had not been tested on a meta-scale. In a new study featured in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers conducted a step-by-step review of evidence on the effect of protein consumed on noticed fullness and validated that Protein does make us fuller.

Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD., RD, Distinguished Professor, Department of Nutrition Science.

The recent fad following of low carb, high protein diet can in part be attributed to the fact that individuals often feel fuller when protein consumption is high, even if fewer

calories are consumed overall. “A good deal of evidence suggests that protein activates satiety hormone release and so should be most strongly tied with fullness ratings,” said lead investigator Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD., RD, Distinguished Professor, Department of Nutrition Science, Director of Public Health, and Director of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University, “but individual studies are often conducted in small populations or with different approaches that can make interpretation of results challenging. Our study combined multiple experiments to confirm the presence of an effect.”

Researchers used a variety of statistical models to make sense of the data. These included a quantitative meta-analysis and a secondary directional analysis using a vote counting procedure. Both analyses predicted that higher protein loads have a greater effect on satiety than lower protein loads.

With the validation that protein intake is related to satiety, defined as fullness between meals, an incremental higher protein intake should allow individuals to feel fuller between meals. Indeed, while protein may help individuals feel fuller; it is by no means the silver bullet. “Feelings of hunger and fullness are not the only factor that influence intake. We often eat for other reasons. Anyone who has ever felt too full to finish their meal but has room for dessert knows this all too well,” explained Dr. Mattes.

Heather Leidy, PhD., Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri.
Heather Leidy, PhD., Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri.

“The exact amount of protein needed to prolong fullness as well as when to consume protein throughout the day is not resolved, and our study did not determine this,” said Heather Leidy, PhD., Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. So while the researchers encourage the public not to consume protein to the point of excess, people looking to moderate their energy intake by enhancing the sensation of fullness might consider a moderate increment in protein consumption as a first step. “Though this study did not specifically evaluate dieters, feeling fuller could help to reduce food intake, an important factor when dieting,” concluded Dr. Mattes. “If these effects are sustained over the long-term – and our study only looked at short-term effects – increased protein intake may aid in the loss or maintenance of body weight.”

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.

 

 

The effects of increased protein intake on fullness: A meta-analysis and its limitations, Jaapna Dhillon, MS, PhD Candidate; Bruce A Craig, PhD; Heather J. Leidy, PhD; Akua F. Amankwaah, MS, PhD Candidate; Katherene Osei-Boadi Anguah, PhD; Ashley Jacobs, MS, RDN, PhD Candidate; Blake L. Jones, PhD; Joshua B. Jones, PhD; Chelsey L. Keeler, MS; Christine E.M. Keller; Megan A. McCrory, PhD; Rebecca L. Rivera, MPH; Maribeth Slebodnik, MLS; Richard D. Mattes, MPH, PhD, RD; and Robin M. Tucker, PhD, RD,Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.01.003, published 3 March 2016.

Source: Elsevier

 

 

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner, and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity.

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

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WHAT WAS THE ‘PALEO DIET’?


Homo neanderthalensis adult male. Reconstruction based on Shanidar 1 by John Gurche for the Human Origins Program, NMNH. Date: 225,000 to 28,000 years.
Homo neanderthalensis adult male. Reconstruction based on Shanidar 1 by John Gurche for the Human Origins Program, NMNH. Date: 225,000 to 28,000 years.

The Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet, a weight-loss fad  in which people copy the diet of plants and animals eaten and by early hominids during the stone age, gives modern homo sapiens great freedom to choose from a wide variety of food types. These prehistoric diets most likely differed over time, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Kent State University.

Their findings are published in The Quarterly Review of Biology.

Dr. Ken Sayers, a postdoctoral researcher at the Language Research Center of Georgia State.
Dr. Ken Sayers, a postdoctoral researcher at the Language Research Center of Georgia State.

“Based on evidence that’s been gathered over many decades, there’s very little evidence that any early hominids had very specialized diets or there were specific food categories that seemed particularly important, with only a few possible exceptions,” said Dr. Ken Sayers, a postdoctoral researcher at the Language Research Center of Georgia State. “Some earlier workers had suggested that the diets of bears and pigs–which have an omnivorous, eclectic feeding strategy that varies greatly based on local conditions–share much in common with those of our early ancestors. The data tend to support this view.”

Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University
Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University

The co-author on the paper, Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy, is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University, well known for his reconstructions of the socioecological and locomotor behavior of early hominids such as “Ardi” (Ardipithecus ramidus, 4.4 million years old) and “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis, 3.2 million years old).

The study examines anatomical, paleoenvironmental and chemical evidence, as well as the feeding behavior of living animals. While early hominids were not great hunters, and their dentition was not great for exploiting many specific categories of plant food, they were most likely dietary “jacks-of-all-trades.”

The review paper covers earliest hominid evolution, from about 6 to 1.6 million years ago. This touches on the beginning of the Paleolithic era, which spans from 2.6 million to roughly 10,000 years ago, but Sayers suggests that the conclusions hold in force for later human evolution as well.

The researchers offer several points that need to be mulled over by people wishing to copy the diets of the prehistoric hominids:

1. It is not easy to define the Paleo diet. Proponents state certain types of foods and a percentage of energy should come from protein, fats, and carbohydrates. These recommendations are based largely on estimations from a limited number of modern human hunter-gatherers, but the diet of early humans was almost certainly much broader.

paleo-diet-caveman-“I think that you would certainly have lots of variation way beyond what those recommendations are,” Sayers said. “When you’re trying to reconstruct the diet of human ancestors, you want to look at a number of things, including the habitats they lived in, the potential foods that were available, how valuable those various food items would have been in relation to their energy content and how long it takes to handle a food item.”

There’s more to dietary reconstruction than looking at teeth from a chemical perspective or under a microscope. It involves characterizing the environment and taking into consideration factors as disparate as locomotion, digestion, and cognitive abilities, Sayers said.

2. Our prehistoric hominids lived in a wide range of environments, which affected the types of food available. The variables important to feeding decisions would have differed greatly from place to place and over time, and thus greatly differing optimal diets would have been predicted, as suggested by modern evolutionary ecology. This is clearly observed today. Hunter-gatherers in a northern climate may have an almost exclusively animal-based diet while hunter-gatherers near the equator might rely heavily on plant-based resources.

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Wild strawberry plant.

3.  Even the same food isn’t the same today as it was in   the olden days. For example, in an earlier study, Sayers investigated the diet of langur monkeys living high in the Nepal Himalaya. At one point in the year, there were wild strawberries on the ground, which seemed to be an attractive food choice. However, the monkeys wouldn’t eat them. Sayers tasted the wild strawberries and found they were incredibly bitter.

“The strawberries that we’re eating in the market have been selected for certain properties, such as being large and sweet,” Sayers said. “The foods that we’re eating today, even in the case of fruits and vegetables, have been selected for desirable properties and would differ from what our ancestors were eating.”

  1. Early humans had shorter life spans, so it’s difficult to say if their diet was “healthier.”
burial-icon
Burial ceremony at Horn Shelter, about 11,000 years ago. A group leader wearing a badger headdress shakes turtle shell and deer antler rattles as members of …

“Individuals throughout the vast majority of the Stone Age were not living that long. Life expectancies are so high today, at least in many regions of the globe,” Sayers said. “A lot of the diseases that do come about today or have been linked with high-fat diets or things like that have been referred to by some researchers as ‘diseases of affluence.’ They’re diseases that come about simply because we’re living long enough that they can show their effects.”

In recent years, controlled studies have compared the Paleo diet with alternative approaches, and with respect to particular health issues, nutritionists are largely taking a “wait-and-see” attitude towards them.

  1. Our ancestors were focused on survival, not necessarily eating a balanced diet. “Throughout the paleo with pigvast majority of our evolutionary history, balancing the diet was not a big issue,” Sayers said. “They were simply acquiring enough calories to survive and reproduce. Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees.”

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.

 

 

Georgia State University News. (2014, December 16). Retrieved March 11 , 2016, from What Was The ” Pleo Diet” Researchers Suggests There Was More Than One Way To Feed A Caveman: http://news.gsu.edu/2014/12/16/paleo-diet-one-study-suggests/

EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society

 

 

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner, and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity.

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

 

COUPLES’ LIFESTYLE CHOICES EFFECT OBESITY RISK!


 

download (2)The lifestyle an individual share with their better half has a greater influence on one’s chances of becoming obese than one’s upbringing, research suggests.

By the time individuals hit their 40s, choices made by cohabiting couples, including those linked to diet and exercise, have a greater effect than the lifestyle each shared with brothers, sisters, and parents growing up.

Researchers go on to say the study will further help scientists understand ties between obesity, genetics, and lifestyle habits.

Its findings bolster the message; lifestyle changes in adulthood can have a significant effect tackling obesity, regardless of a person’s genetic makeup.

images (2)The research team reviewed data provided by 20,000 people from Scottish families. They compared the individual’s family genetics and home environment in childhood and adulthood and related these to measures tied to health and obesity.

journal.pgen.1005804.g003The research encompassed 16 measures including, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure, body fat content and body mass index.

The information originally collated as part of the generation Scotland project is a national resource of health data and helps researchers to investigate you know who links to health conditions.

Professor Chris Haley of the medical research council’s human genetics unit at the University of Edinburgh led this research study published in the journal PL OS Genetics.

Professor Haley stated; “Although genetics accounts for a significant proportion of the variation between people, our study has shown at the environment you share with your partner in adulthood also influences whether you become obese and this is more important than your upbringing. The findings also show that even people who come from families with a history of obesity can reduce their risk by changing their lifestyle habits.”

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.

 

 

Pedigree- and SNP-Associated Genetics and Recent Environment are the Major Contributors to Anthropometric and Cardiometabolic Trait Variation. Charley Xia, Carmen Amador, Jennifer Huffman, Holly Trochet, Archie Campbell, David Porteous, Generation Scotland, Nicholas D. Hastie, Caroline Hayward, Veronique Vitart, Pau Navarro, Chris S. Haley. PLOS Genetics. DOI.10.1371/journal.pgen.1005804. Published online February 2, 2016.

Source: University of Edinburgh

Additional source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society

 

 

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner, and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity.

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGHER RISK OF DEATH IN OBESE INDIVIDUALS THEN NORMAL-WEIGHT INDIVIDUALS AT ANY FITNESS LEVEL


A few facts about obesity are in order before we digress to our main topic of the dangers of obesity vs. the lack of fitness. These facts are taken right from a page of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Couch

Obesity is common, serious, and costly.

  • More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. [Read abstract Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)]
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
  • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read summary]

27f837b45067bb1a3d1d18b5be97dbf4

Obesity affects some groups more than others.

[Read abstract Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)]

  • Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%)
  • Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40-59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20-39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults.

14342363-Thinking-hispanic-businesswoman-portrait-with-glasses-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Photo

Obesity and socioeconomic status

[Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief [PDF-1.07MB]

  • Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to have obesity than those with low income.
  • Higher income women are less likely to have obesity than low-income women are.
  • There is no significant relationship between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend—those with college degrees are less likely to have obesity compared with less educated women. (CDC, 2015).

These are sobering, grim statistics indeed, which prepare us in a way for the main topic at hand.

A new study, published in theInternational Journal of Epidemiology, refuted the concept of ‘fat but fit’. The study, in fact, states that the prophylactic effects of fitness against early death are greatly reduced in obese people.

Up to this point, the effects of low aerobic fitness have been documented on older populations. Very few studies have investigated a direct link between aerobic fitness and health in younger populations. This study by academics in Sweden followed 1,317,713 men for a median average of 29 years to examine the association between aerobic fitness and death later in life, as well as how obesity affected these results. The subjects’ aerobic fitness was tested by asking them to cycle until they had to stop due to fatigue. (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Men in the highest fifth or top 20% of aerobic fitness had a 48% lower risk of death from any cause compared with those in the lowest 20%. Stronger associations of observed deaths were related to suicide, alcohol abuse, and narcotics in the lower 20th percentile. Unexpectedly, the authors noted a strong association between low aerobic fitness and deaths related to trauma. Co-author Peter Nordström has no explanation for this finding: “We could only speculate, but genetic factors could have influenced these associations given that aerobic fitness is under strong genetic control.” (Oxford University Press, 2015).

This study also evaluated the misconception that ‘fat but fit is ok’. It’s startling finding revealed men of a normal weight, regardless of their fitness level, were at lower risk of death in comparison to obese individuals in the highest 25% of aerobic fitness. The study went on to say that, the relative benefits of high fitness might still be greater  in obese people. The study ended with one caveat, the effect of a higher fitness profile was reduced with increased obesity; in those with extreme morbid obesity, it was no significant effect at all.

Even with the limitations that this study cohort included only men, and relative early deaths, the amassed data in no way supports the notion that ‘fat but fit’ is a self-limiting condition.

Dear readers, if you have read this far, the Captain would be most heartened if you would rate this and future articles and/or leave a comment at the top of the blog posts whether positive or negative. In this way, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” may better serve you and our entire readership.

 

 

CDC. (2015, September 21). Adult Obesity Facts. Retrieved January 12, 2016, from Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

Högström, G., Nordström, A., & Nordström, P. (November 10, 2015 ).
Aerobic fitness in late adolescence and the risk of early death: a prospective cohort study of 1.3 million Swedish men
. Retrieved January 12, 2016, from International Journal of Epidemiology: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/12/20/ije.dyv321

Oxford University Press. (2015, December 20). Obesity more dangerous than lack of fitness, new study claims. Retrieved January 12, 2016, from EurekAlert: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-12/oup-omd121815.php

 

 

Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon
Captain Hank Quinlan, Owner, and Publisher, Chief Curmudgeon with Sam Borsalino, Assistant Publisher

Dear Hail-Fellows well met, “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is written and edited by your favorite curmudgeons Captain Hank Quinlan and

Flatfoot Willie, Corespondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers
Flatfoot Willie, Correspondent at Large with fellow Staff Writers

Staff (monkeys in the back room). We offer an ongoing tirade to support or offend anyone of any large dimension, cultural background, religious affiliation, or color of skin. This gazette rails against an eclectic mix of circus ring ne’er do wells, big ring fatty and fatso whiners, congenital idiots, the usual motley assortment of the profoundly dumbfounded, and a favorite of intelligent men everywhere, the

May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity .
May the Most Venerable H. L. Mencken bless our unworthy but earnest attempts at tongue in cheek jocularity.

“Great Booboisie.” Nor shall we ignore the wide assortment of shirkers, layabouts, and slugabeds.

Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.
Latest office staff confab at Fat Bastard HQ.

All this and more always keeping our major focus on “Why so fat?”  Enough said? We at “The Fat Bastard Gazette” think so. If you like what you read, and you know whom you are, in this yellow blog, tell your friends. We would be elated with an ever-wider readership. We remain cordially yours, Captain Hank Quinlan and the Monkeys in the back room

“The Fat Bastard Gazette” does not purport to offer any definitive medical or pharmaceutical advice whatsoever in any explicit or implied manner. Always consult a qualified physician in all medical or pharmaceutical matters. “The Fat Bastard Gazette” is only the opinion of informed nonprofessionals for the general edification and entertainment of the greater public. 

 No similarities to any existing names or characters are expressed or implied. We reserve the right to offend or support anybody, anything, or any sacred totem across the globe.

 


 

CONTAMINANTS IN FOODS… NOT TO WORRY? Vol. 1 No. 71


© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationGlobal food production has become the mainstay of providing food for the masses. The food supply chain is so complex it may now be considered a supply web. Protecting citizens from health risks due to chemical contaminants is a gargantuan task at best.

“The new globalized food supply contrasts sharply with the landscape of previous generations when many foods were grown, manufactured, and distributed within a local area.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015) If there were any food problems, it would be confined to a more manageable geographical area.

The weary citizen is more concerned today than ever before about what they buy and demands more information about its effect on their health. An all-consuming fear has developed concerning chemical contaminants in the food supply. This fear is exacerbated by misinformation disseminated by unreliable and unscrupulous sources.

Markus Lipp, PhD
Markus Lipp, Ph.D.

“Fortunately, available data suggest that many unregulated contaminants have a negligible effect on human health. In these cases, enacting limits would not protect consumers but would create unnecessary regulatory burden, making food more expensive but not safer, said Markus Lipp, Ph.D., former senior director of food standards at U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and currently senior food safety officer, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). Lipp and other experts—toxicologists, food scientists, and regulators—spoke at the “Chemical Contaminants in Foods Workshop—Risk-Based Approaches to Protect Public Health,” held at USP headquarters in Rockville, Md., in November 2014. (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

Dr. Claire Kruger is President of Spherix Consulting
Dr. Claire Kruger is President of Spherix Consulting

Claire L. Kruger, Ph.D., a toxicologist and president of Spherix Consulting, Inc. said,”No food is completely safe. Even water can kill you if you drink too much; everything we eat comes in shades of gray, not black, or white, with regard to safety. Foods actually possess degrees of harmfulness because all foods have the potential to cause harm. Potatoes normally contain natural toxins called glycoalkaloids in small amounts that pose no health risk, but during prolonged storage, potatoes can generate higher glycoalkaloid levels that can cause neurologic effects. Another substance, acrylamide, is formed in many foods during baking and frying, and it always has—it is nothing new—but regulators are investigating its health effects.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

Henry Chin PhD Independent expert in Food Safety, Food Chemistry and Composition, Crisis Management and Risk Management
Henry Chin Ph.D. Independent expert in Food Safety, Food Chemistry and Composition, Crisis Management and Risk Management

“In 2011, news broke that arsenic had been detected in apple juice, and consumers were alarmed. Many people think of arsenic as a poison, and it certainly can act as a lethal poison. Yet arsenic is also a chemical element that occurs naturally in water and soil and does not harm people if the amount ingested is sufficiently low, said Henry Chin, Ph.D., Henry Chin and Associates and a member of the USP Food Ingredients Intentional Adulterants Expert Panel.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

In addition, what is the media’s role in the communication of risk and risk assessment concerning the food supply? Apparently in the media’s pell-mell rush to press accuracy and thoroughness are brushed aside in favor of timeliness and sensationalism. New studies are taken at face value with little or no support from previous studies either pro or con.

Fellow travelers should take note and consider the source of information reserving judgment until all the facts are presented. It is unfortunate that the majority of the population has a knee-jerk response to any alarmist media release about contaminants in food. A knee-jerk response only opens the door to suspiciousness and frustration as to what to eat next. “Consumers routinely turn to self-proclaimed “experts” for guidance about what to eat and what to avoid. These sources are often biased by profit motive—they are selling something—but even if not, they typically provide misinformation because they lack the knowledge, credentials, and judgment needed to provide accurate, useful advice.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

“Although health risks from food contaminants will never disappear completely, that is not the goal, and it is also not necessary. The dose makes the poison, and if the dose is kept at a safe level, the risk to human health is negligible, or even nonexistent. The key for public health is not to have a zero tolerance for contaminants, but rather to keep contaminants within tolerable, safe limits. Perhaps the ultimate goal is two-fold: Safe food and peace of mind from trusting that our food is safe.” (Lipp & Chase, 2015)

Lipp, M., & Chase, C. G. (2015, November Volume 69, Number 11). Chemical Contaminants in Foods: Health Risks and Public Perception. Retrieved November 19, 2015, from IFT – Feeding the Minds that Feed the World: http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2015/november/features/chemical-contaminants.aspx?page=viewall