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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Why does the food industry keep playing the blame game while our kids keep getting fatter?

A new study shows kids are downing 16 percent of their daily caloric intake in the form of added sugar, and it’s processed and packaged foods — not sodas — that are delivering the carbohydrates says the soda industry.

This, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a department of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new findings are from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the results of which are derived from more than 7,100 interviews conducted from 2005 to 2008 among adults and children.

While many of the foods blamed by the CDC are desserts, such as cakes, candy, cookies and ice cream, sweeteners are an important ingredient in many processed meats as well says the candy industry.

The report indicates that boys take in 362 calories a day from added sugars in their food and beverages, while girls take in 282 calories. But 59 percent of the calories from added sugars come from foods and only 41 percent from beverages. Who Cares?

Shouldn’t the issue be that kids are eating too many calories and exercising too little!

Each food group has needed nutrients. Sugars of all kinds supply quick energy, but are easy to overdo because they taste good. As parents, let’s limit the total calories and quite edging toward the idea of food police. As long as each segment of the industry keeps up the “it’s not me, it’s him game” nothing will change in that arena.

The game-changer will be if consumers vote for change with their food dollars. For them to make intelligent decisions, they need correct nutritional information. Commodities with check-off funds have seen how that information helps consumers. But the real impact can be made with grower-to-consumer contacts. Putting a face on food production helps consumers build trust and have someone to ask questions. As a producer, help with booths at farmers markets and local fairs plus utilize the commodity association promoters at local events. It can only put dollars in your pocket.





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