Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Could Have Cigarette-Like Warning Labels

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff February 3, 2016


People that smoke cigarettes know the risk they are taking when doing it. Aside from the commercials they may see on television or their friends telling them about smoking’s pitfalls, they also see the warnings every time they buy a pack with the Surgeon General Warning on the side.

It looks like some want to have similar labels on sugar-sweetened drinks. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine feel that such labels will have a positive effect on deterring parents from purchasing these drinks for their children. Sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas and sugary juices have been found to have as much as seven teaspoons of sugar per 6.5 ounces. With the newest eating guidelines proclaiming that added sugar shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of a person’s daily calorie intake, that amount is almost double the dietary recommendation, making it a factor in the children obesity rate.

The main reason researchers are advocating for such a label is to better inform parents of the health risks that are included in the over-consumption of such beverages. Obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay are only a few things that children can be exposed to if they are to drink too many of these sugary drinks, dangers that the parent may not necessarily know about or consider when purchasing for their child.

Researchers put this theory to the test by surveying over 2,300 parents that have children between the ages of 6 and 11. They divided the parents into several groups, including: parents that saw no labels on beverages, parents that only saw how many calories were in the beverages, and several groups that saw different alterations of warning labels on the beverages.

When the parents were asked if they would buy sugar-sweetened drinks for their child, 40 percent of the parents that saw the warning labels said they would buy the drink for their child, compared to 60 percent who saw no labels on the beverages, and 53 percent who had calorie labels.

The labels did prove to have positive effects on parents, but there are other questions that arise. Such as will the parents choose healthy alternatives to these sugary drinks? Will they do it on a consistent basis? Will they make sure there isn’t over-consumption regardless of the beverage? But maybe warning labels is a step in the right direction particularly with reversing the increasing trend of childhood obesity. What effect do you think such labels will have on the purchase of sugary drinks? 

Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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Filed Under: Childhood Obesity | Diabetes | For Dieters | For Providers | Obesity

Can a 'Fat Tax' Lead to Better Food Choices?

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff January 20, 2016


When we have to make a choice between two or more foods certain things may determine our decision: Which one do we think tastes better? Which one fits our diet? More times than not, the choice comes down to which items cost less — whether subconsciously or intentionally.

Low income consumers in particular are looking for the best priced products. They also tend to be the most susceptible to obesity. However, even the smallest of price differences can sway the consumer to purchase the product. What does this have to do with weight management and obesity? In two words: “Fat Tax.”

Fat Tax is a theory that adding additional charges on unhealthy food and drinks may help slow the rising rates of obesity. To test the validity of the tax’s effects, researchers conducted a study consisting of data spanning over six years and 1,700 nationwide supermarkets.

The focal point of the research was milk and its varying prices. At some stores there was no price differentiation of milk across all fat content; however, at some stores, the milk was priced higher based on contents of fat. Therefore, whole milk was the most expensive and skim milk was the cheapest.

How did the price range effect milk sales? The slightest difference of 14 cents showed substantial deviation from the higher fat options to the lower-fat options, particularly in lower income areas. Even though the results were significant, it still may not indicate how effective a Fat Tax would fare. More measured assurances about how the tax would perform are needed before it is implemented.

“The general perception is that these taxes need to be substantial, at least 20 percent and often as high as 50 percent, to have meaningful impact,” says Vishal Singh of New York University. “Here, we have compelling field-based evidence that such taxes don’t need to be high to be effective.”

He may have a point. The price shift of the items was minimal (as much as 10 percent), and yet the difference in what was sold considerable, and performed best in low income areas where obesity is at its highest risk.

What do you think about a Fat Tax? Do you think it’s something that should be implemented in America?

Source: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Health and Money | Obesity

Politics over Dietary Guidelines?

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff January 13, 2016


In this day and age it seems no matter how noble the cause, it is soon taken overtaken by politics. And even if politics aren’t necessarily involved, someone usually finds a way to introduce politics into the situation, including our dietary guidelines.

A piece was put out from public health and sustainability experts from George Washington and Tufts Universities stating that sustainability considerations must be included when forming the new Dietary Guidelines for Americas (DGA). The request was met with scrutiny, particularly by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and their Chairman, K. Michael Conaway, who believed that the recommendations commented on “wider policy issues” and exceed the group’s scope. The group denied the Conaway’s statement and also remarked that the previous DGA stated nothing about sustainability — something they felt should be included.

What do the experts mean when they say sustainability? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ definition is:

Sustainable Diets are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.

So where does politics come into the issue of sustainability in the DGA?
• Industry leaders feel under attack and believe sustainability evaluations may lead to future regulation
• Sustainability has the potential to change the current food-groups guidance to one that focuses on specific foods in food groups
• New political coalitions may form that further tip the balance in favor of sustainability, particularly when drafting future dietary guidelines
• Sustainability considerations may sanction and elevate the importance of sustainable diets, opening the government up to greater demands for sustainability investments and telling consumers that such foods are preferred

These factors don’t necessarily scream politics. However, when you consider that they will impact members of the military, 8.6 million Women, Infants and Children program participants, and 31 million children served through the National School Lunch Program, the effects of these recommendations can become rather extensive.

What do you think about the recommendations? Are they justified or is it overreaching?

Source: George Washington University

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Filed Under: Eating Habits | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating

How to Lose 200 Pounds in a Year!

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff January 5, 2016


One of the worst things about being obese is how simple tasks become increasingly difficult. Such as driving a car like Jim Carpenter, cleaning the house like Julie Roth, or even going on a leisurely stroll like John Blair. For nearly 500 pound television producer Bill DiNicola, it was the inability for his safety harness to fasten on a roller coaster he was attempting to ride at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. Things that we take for granted can be insurmountable for some. “You’re that person who can break furniture by sitting on it, by doing what it is designed to do,” says DiNicola.

Bill didn’t always have issues with his weight. He was a high school athlete, but when the activity decreased and the food intake rose, Bill added weight at an uncontrollable pace to the tune of 476 pounds. Bill knew that his weight was an issue, but when he was unable to fit into a size 4X jersey, he knew he had to take action. The sobering moment came with a revelation. “There’s one thing you can do right now, and that’s change and switch it,” he says. And that’s exactly what Bill did.

In January 2015, Bill went on the New Direction System as a part of the Bon Secours nutrition and weight loss program. Under the medical supervision of Dr. Phillip Snider and his staff, Bill lost 227 pounds. The hard work and dedication it took pales in comparison to the feeling of accomplishment and renewed vigor for life Bill has. That roller coaster harness that wouldn’t latch over 200 pounds ago now does so with no problem, and Bill is back to enjoying the thrills of riding the roller coaster with the thoughts of the shame he had before being a distant memory.  Take a further look into Bill’s story with the video below:



The New Direction System has done this for countless people throughout the country and can do it for you too! If you are a dieter and ready to start the New Year with a new you, fill out a Find a Clinic form and let us help you find a weight loss program in your area. If you are a provider and would like to help your patients get a new grasp on life, fill out our Become a Provider form and find out how you can better treat obesity at your practice.

Obesity Showing No Signs of Decreasing

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff November 20, 2015


A sobering report from federal health officials was released last week in regards to the country’s obesity problem. Obese adults in the country were at 38 percent in years 2013-2014. It is a rise, albeit slight, from the 35 percent of obese adults in the years 2011-2012. What makes this report particularly disappointing is all the efforts that have been taken by way of initiatives and laws implemented to combat obesity resulted in no decrease in the statistics, but rather an increase.

There are some positives that came from those actions, such as the reduction in sugar and soda consumption as well as calorie intake. However, it seems as though those improvements belong to some demographics more than others. For example, African American women have an obesity rate of 47 percent, and Hispanic women are at 46 percent from years spanning 2011 to 2014. The next closest was Hispanic men with 39 percent.

The report concluded that there have been improvements in the American diet, but there is a wide gap with regards to who actually takes part in its improvement. Many of the people that don’t take part are lower-income and less-educated parts of the population. There’s increasing concern that there is no remedy for that particular issue. “When we take the U.S. average, we are hiding a lot of detail,” says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of then nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The silver lining in the report were the results of childhood obesity. It showed that there are no changes in the obesity rate — that’s the next best thing to having a decrease. School lunch food requirements and the removal of sugar-sweetened beverages have been installed in school systems to stymie the obesity rate and they may be doing their part.

Researchers don’t have many answers as what the next course of action could be. Not only does much of America not partake in enough physical activity, but inexpensive and less healthy food choices become more attractive. A good place to start is with continuing to educate the public about living a healthy lifestyle and eating a proper diet. Also, we must educate people on how the body reacts to different type of foods. Simply put: We know that certain foods will make you gain weight, but why?

Reports such as this show that laws won’t be enough to slow the obesity rate of the country because at the end of the day the power is with the consumer. They will always be able to choose what they would like to eat. Change the mentality of the dieter and it will be a step in the right direction to reverse the upward trend of obesity in America.

Source: The New York Times


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Filed Under: Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Treating Obesity

Turn New Year's Resolutions to Rest of Year Goals

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff November 9, 2015


“New Year’s Resolution, bro!” That was the reply I received when I asked a friend if he is ready to come to the gym with me. That’s the train of thought for a lot of us dieters around this time of year. The New Year is right around the corner, and that is when we’ll either finally start or get back on track towards a healthier lifestyle.

But why wait? There is rarely ever a “perfect time” to start something —not to mention there are some negatives to waiting until the New Year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching and it’s tough not to overeat during those holidays. Dieters sometimes feel that since we know when we’ll start, we have that extra time to eat however we want, and possibly gain some extra pounds to add to the ones we already want to lose. We may also get into some bad habits, like slacking on physical activity. When the New Year starts, we expect our activity to be high and consistent; that’s the goal at least, so we may get comfortable in our inactivity during the meantime.

What better time to start than today, right now? You know what you want to do, so why wait until the New Year to start? Instead, make the New Year a target for when you want to reach your goal weight and start working towards it. So when the New Year starts, it will be time to set new goals. Find motivation wherever you can. Maybe there are events you may want to take part in such as a 5k or 10k that you have to prepare for. Tag along with a friend or family member that may already have a workout regimen. The finish line won’t ever get closer until you start. Start now with working towards a healthier you with Robard’s proven weight management programs that have helped thousands achieve their weight loss goals — but, more importantly, improve their health and happiness. What better time to start than now? To find a clinic near you, click here.

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Filed Under: About Robard | Eating Habits | For Dieters | Habits | Healthy Eating | Obesity | Weight Loss Programs

November is National Diabetes Month

by Marcus Miller - Robard Staff November 2, 2015


According to the National Diabetes Education Program, “National Diabetes Month is observed every November to draw attention to diabetes and its effects on millions of Americans.” The NDEP’s 2015 theme, Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What’s Yours?, “highlights the need for ongoing diabetes education and support among people with diabetes and those who care for them.”

Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes; therefore, prevention and treatment of obesity is of utmost importance to help control or minimize the effects of type 2 diabetes. Studies show that metabolic control of diabetes can reduce the associated complications.

According to a medical protocol written by Robard Medical Advisory Panel member Christopher Case, MD, “Recent research has elucidated the pathophysiology of diabetes, suggesting that insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction as key components. Weight loss can address the underlying pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes, even within one week on a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). Diet-induced weight loss through a VLCD removes stores of ectopic fat outside the fat cell, improving beta-cell function, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol. This is often associated with a reduction in medications to treat type 2 diabetes and an improved quality of life.”

Robard offers a suite of materials related to type 2 diabetes for you and your patients. In addition to our extensive Diabetes Medical Protocol, we offer patient education modules, patient brochures, and more, to assist you with explaining the correlation between type 2 diabetes and obesity. Our medical protocols are also available on our website. To view the protocols, login to www.Robard.com, and visit “Medical Protocols” under the “Education” tab in the top navigation. By using Robard’s frequently asked questions and patient handout on type 2 diabetes, you can further educate your patients on recommendations for suggested initial testing, ongoing monitoring, and contraindications/risks.

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Filed Under: Diabetes | For Providers | Treating Obesity

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With more than three decades of field-tested experience in the weight management industry, Robard Corporation’s comprehensive medical and non-medical obesity treatment programs, state of the art nutrition products, and executive level business management services have assisted a vast network of physicians, large medical groups, hospital systems and clinics to successfully treat thousands of overweight and obese patients. Our turnkey programs offer significant business growth potential, and our dedicated team provides hands-on staff training, services and education to add a new, billable service line for safe and effective obesity treatment within 60 days. For more information, visit us at www.Robard.com or call (800) 222-9201.

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