LIVE: VIDEO AND POLITICS

Thursday, 20 August 2015 16:56
Skinny on LSU-Coca Cola Fat, Obesity research
Written by 

cokeby Jim Brown

There’s always been a disconnect between the accolades LSU gives itself for academic achievement and the bottom line results that come from national rankings.  Louisiana’s flagship rarely cracks the top 100 universities in the U.S., with a majority of SEC schools outperforming LSU year after year. In the 2015 rankings by US News and World Report, LSU comes in at 149. 

 

But there’s always been one shining star in the LSU System -- The Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Pennington has been recognized as a world leader in obesity research and disease prevention. The center’s mission statement reflects the pride it takes in its work: 

“Since 1988, the mission of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center has been to promote healthier lives through research and education in nutrition and preventive medicine. As the largest academic-based nutritional research center in the world, we have the unique distinction of housing the greatest concentration of obesity research scientists.” 

The center’s mission is commendable considering that the most recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conclude that more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.  The annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. is approaching $200 billion. The public picks up on any new study from Pennington Center, because of its stellar national and international reputation. 

Just last week, The LSU Center released a new study on why so many Americans are overweight.  Pennington’s executive director called the study “cutting-edge research.” Their conclusion?  The center’s press release cites “a lack of physical activity” as the main culprit. Nothing about Big Macs, fries, sugar coated almost everything. And, oh yes -- no mention at all of soft drinks like Coca Cola. 

So who paid for the study?  What public interest organization funded this noble effort to get our kids healthier?  Why none other than, you guessed it, Coca Cola.  The world’s largest producer of sugar loaded beverages wants us to quit worrying about cutting calories. Just get more exercise. That apparently is the key to losing lots of weight. Yeah, right! 

The Advocate’s James Gill succinctly asked:  “Why do academics bother was such a charade? Give ‘em a sack full of money and they’ll solemnly go through all the motions of a quest for the truth. All together now: ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke.’” 

Back during my days in public life as Louisiana’s Insurance Commissioner, I proposed legislation that would eliminate sugar loaded soft drinks from dispensaries in public schools. The beverage alliance, including Coca Cola, strongly lobbied against such legislation, arguing that profits from these machines went to buy school athletic uniforms.  So you load up the kids with sugar before sending them out on the playing field in great looking uniforms. 

The front organization for Coca Cola’s money, called The Global Energy Balance Network, has issued a press release that says, “Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is that they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much -- blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on. And there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that in fact is the cause.” 

No compelling evidence?  What! There have been numerous non-biased scientific studies that repeatedly and conclusively prove fast food and sugary drinks cause obesity.  To say otherwise insults the intelligence of even the average observer.  Coca Cola does a great disservice by allowing their front organization to make such unfounded claims. 

The Pennington Center press office told me that this study is ongoing and subject to refining as research progresses. They have their work cut out for them.  To leave their initial conclusions that exercise far outweighs poor dietary choices doesn’t pass the smell test.  Or for that matter, the taste test. 

*******

Everybody's got their poison, and mine is sugar.

Derrick Rose

Peace and Justice 

Jim Brown 

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.

Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.  

Website: JimBrownla.com
Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More

latter-blum2

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1