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Tao of Fact:
Tai Chi's taoist tenets extoll the virtues of balance in all aspects of our lives, including diet and lifestyle. When our internal dynamics get out of balance our health is impacted. So, as our external national, or international lifestyle and policies get out of balance our global health & wellbeing is affected. This "Tao of Fact" section deals with all of these aspects of personal and global balance.
Junk Food Nation - By Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor - The Nation
. . . Conflict about junk food has intensified since late 2001, when a Surgeon General's report called obesity an "epidemic." . . .
. . . A related ploy is to deny the nutritional status of individual food groups, claiming that there are no "good" or "bad" foods, and that all that matters is balance. So, for example, when the Administration attacked the WHO's global anti-obesity initiative, it criticized what it called the "unsubstantiated focus on 'good' and 'bad' foods." Of course, if fruits and vegetables aren't healthy, then Coke and chips aren't unhealthy. While such a strategy is so preposterous as to be laughable, it is already having real effects. Less than a month after Cadbury Schweppes, the candy and soda company, gave a multimillion-dollar grant to the American Diabetes Association, the association's chief medical and scientific officer claimed that sugar has nothing to do with diabetes, or with weight. Industry has also bankrolled front groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom, an increasingly influential Washington outfit that demonizes public-health advocates as the "food police" and promotes the industry point of view.
Meanwhile, public opinion is solidly behind more restrictions on junk food marketing aimed at children, especially in schools. A February Wall Street Journal poll found that 83 percent of American adults believe "public schools need to do a better job of limiting children's access to unhealthy foods like snack foods, sugary soft drinks and fast food." Two bills recently introduced in Congress, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy's Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act, both place significant restrictions on the ability of junk food producers to market in schools.
Interestingly, this is a crossover issue between red and blue states. Concern about obesity and excessive junk food marketing to kids is shared by people across the political spectrum, . . .
[for entire article go to: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/081205Q.shtml
Controversy over US drug adverts
BBC News, Washington - By Matthew Davis - Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 23:36 GMT 00:36 UK
The US pharmaceutical industry has just brought in a new code to tackle concerns that "direct-to-consumer advertising" is misleading the public on the benefits and risks of prescription drugs.
Access to medical information has helped change the doctor-patient relationship
. . . Consumer groups and politicians have been getting increasingly concerned about the over-selling of the benefits, and under-selling of the risks, of prescription drugs.
Criticism grew into a chorus last year after safety scandals hit several heavily-advertised medications, including the pain-reliever Vioxx.
We must ask ourselves: 'Are these ads, which we know are costing billions, properly educating patients or just peddling expensive products?'
-- Senator Bill Frist (R)
. . . Vioxx was one of the most heavily marketed drugs before being withdrawn
He argues that "mindless drug advertising" is driving up the costs of medicines.
"Turn on your TV, and within 15 minutes you'll be bombarded by dreamy ads that suggestively over-promise and, even more likely, will make you and your children experts on erectile dysfunction," Mr Frist told the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
"We must ask ourselves: 'Are these ads, which we know are costing billions, properly educating patients or just peddling expensive products?'"
. . . Indeed, a recent study by the US Food and Drug Administration found ads increased awareness of new treatments, and that most doctors felt they helped discussions about health matters with their patients.
How does the consumer find out about natural health solutions to their health problems, in the equation of drug advertisement public education, that the FDA appears so satisfied with?
-- COMMENT INSERT From World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
. . . But the study also found that adverts unnecessarily increased patients' anxieties about their health, and that doctors felt under pressure to prescribe specific medicines.
Doctors say that consumer ads increase demands from patients for specific medication - which may or may not be suitable for them to take.
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