Cut Back on Sugary Beverages Archive

  • Imagine this. With minimal warning you are told on one of the hottest weeks of Summer with a heat index over 100 that your tap water will be shut off for the foreseeable future. India, Pakistan, Africa? None of these. It happened to 100,000 residents of Prince Georges (PG)  County, Maryland–a community just outside Washington, DC–in July 2013. Life is full of work-arounds. You avoid a traffic snarl by taking a back road. People in Prince Georges County were told to fill bath tubs and buy bottled water. One resident recalls purchasing 42 gallons. Businesses too were on their own. Problems like this in part help explain the controversy surrounding tap water in America. But so do marketing efforts that confuse people. Inside the beltway, DC Water promotes tap only. Home water treatment company Brita, a division of Clorox, challenges people to ban the bottle. Some, like Culligan, have even used print advertising to suggest that people may not actually know what’s in their tap water. Most of us carry around two sets of ideas. In a new study, the Young & Rubicam advertising agency concluded that while we may profess one idea, we often conceal another motivation. People may say that they are either for or against tap water or bottled water, but in reality they may consume both, or even substitute a different beverage for water. Working around all the vested interests in drinking water in America, Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America launched a simple and sweet initiative to encourage each of us to make an easy choice to improve our health and well-being. Uniting the World of Drinking Water Mrs. Obama’s big idea? Drink more water. “I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water every day,” the First Lady said during a kickoff event in Watertown, Wisconsin on September 12. Still, a spokesman for Mrs. Obama was asked to clarify if this includes bottled water. It does. “Whether it comes from a faucet, an underground spring, a rambling river or a plastic bottle, the message is: ‘Drink up.” Partisan rancor being what it now is, however, an initiative to get Americans to drink more water–backed by the American Beverage Association and the International Bottled Water Association–ignited controversy and prompted skepticism among some citizen interest groups promoting tap water over bottled water and others who challenge the 8×8 convention. While the health benefits of drinking water are well understood, there is confusion about whether we need to drink eight 8-ounces glasses each day. Further, environmental groups that want people to avoid drinking from plastic water bottles were also uncomfortable with the announcement, even though for close to a billion people on our planet there is no such thing as safe and pure water from a tap and these groups, it seems, typically fail to include other plastic […]

    Safe Water, Fresh Look at the Tap

    Imagine this. With minimal warning you are told on one of the hottest weeks of Summer with a heat index over 100 that your tap water will be shut off for the foreseeable future. India, Pakistan, Africa? None of these. It happened to 100,000 residents of Prince Georges (PG)  County, Maryland–a community just outside Washington, DC–in July 2013. Life is full of work-arounds. You avoid a traffic snarl by taking a back road. People in Prince Georges County were told to fill bath tubs and buy bottled water. One resident recalls purchasing 42 gallons. Businesses too were on their own. Problems like this in part help explain the controversy surrounding tap water in America. But so do marketing efforts that confuse people. Inside the beltway, DC Water promotes tap only. Home water treatment company Brita, a division of Clorox, challenges people to ban the bottle. Some, like Culligan, have even used print advertising to suggest that people may not actually know what’s in their tap water. Most of us carry around two sets of ideas. In a new study, the Young & Rubicam advertising agency concluded that while we may profess one idea, we often conceal another motivation. People may say that they are either for or against tap water or bottled water, but in reality they may consume both, or even substitute a different beverage for water. Working around all the vested interests in drinking water in America, Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America launched a simple and sweet initiative to encourage each of us to make an easy choice to improve our health and well-being. Uniting the World of Drinking Water Mrs. Obama’s big idea? Drink more water. “I’ve come to realize that if we were going to take just one step to make ourselves and our families healthier, probably the single best thing we could do is to simply drink more water every day,” the First Lady said during a kickoff event in Watertown, Wisconsin on September 12. Still, a spokesman for Mrs. Obama was asked to clarify if this includes bottled water. It does. “Whether it comes from a faucet, an underground spring, a rambling river or a plastic bottle, the message is: ‘Drink up.” Partisan rancor being what it now is, however, an initiative to get Americans to drink more water–backed by the American Beverage Association and the International Bottled Water Association–ignited controversy and prompted skepticism among some citizen interest groups promoting tap water over bottled water and others who challenge the 8×8 convention. While the health benefits of drinking water are well understood, there is confusion about whether we need to drink eight 8-ounces glasses each day. Further, environmental groups that want people to avoid drinking from plastic water bottles were also uncomfortable with the announcement, even though for close to a billion people on our planet there is no such thing as safe and pure water from a tap and these groups, it seems, typically fail to include other plastic […]

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  • One of the emails I look forward to most is the daily HealthBeat from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). For example, who knew that an estimated 32 million Americans have incontinence (an accidental loss of bladder control).  This kernal of knowledge was part of the recent email: “5 Ways to Dodge Incontinence.“ The good news, according to HSPH, is that if you buy their “special health report, “Better Bladder and Bowel Control,” you can learn about the causes of urinary and bowel incontinence and treatments. There is not yet any feedback, however, on how many of the people who have purchased the report have actually achieved success. But, there is this good reason to buy the report, “Most people take bladder control for granted—until the unintended loss of urine interrupts the ability to carry on an ordinary social and work life.” They are, things you can do without buying the report, such as losing weight, exercise–of course–and “don’t strain” your bowels. (I’ll save this one for the experts to explain.) But, there’s one more thing, HSPH notes that “the artificial sweetener NutraSweet, which contains aspartame, can give you a sort of false urge–the feeling you need to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full. But so can spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Nicotine is also considered a “bladder irritant.” My take on this is simple. Don’t stop doing what you are doing (except quit smoking). Just BE MINDFUL; CUT BACK on ALL SODA and DRINK LOTS OF WATER to help flush away the irritants. [If you would like to purchase the HSPH report, you can can save 30% using this link:  http://hvrd.me/12DaPMw.] Share on Facebook

    What do Artificial Sweeteners & “Bladder Irritants” Have in Common?

    One of the emails I look forward to most is the daily HealthBeat from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). For example, who knew that an estimated 32 million Americans have incontinence (an accidental loss of bladder control).  This kernal of knowledge was part of the recent email: “5 Ways to Dodge Incontinence.“ The good news, according to HSPH, is that if you buy their “special health report, “Better Bladder and Bowel Control,” you can learn about the causes of urinary and bowel incontinence and treatments. There is not yet any feedback, however, on how many of the people who have purchased the report have actually achieved success. But, there is this good reason to buy the report, “Most people take bladder control for granted—until the unintended loss of urine interrupts the ability to carry on an ordinary social and work life.” They are, things you can do without buying the report, such as losing weight, exercise–of course–and “don’t strain” your bowels. (I’ll save this one for the experts to explain.) But, there’s one more thing, HSPH notes that “the artificial sweetener NutraSweet, which contains aspartame, can give you a sort of false urge–the feeling you need to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full. But so can spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Nicotine is also considered a “bladder irritant.” My take on this is simple. Don’t stop doing what you are doing (except quit smoking). Just BE MINDFUL; CUT BACK on ALL SODA and DRINK LOTS OF WATER to help flush away the irritants. [If you would like to purchase the HSPH report, you can can save 30% using this link:  http://hvrd.me/12DaPMw.] Share on Facebook

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