We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Friday, May 31, 2013

Caloric Consumption Going Down

Obesity remains one of the gravest public health challenges facing our nation and the world.  Among other things, it places huge demands on our health care system.  So, it comes as good news that according to research done at the University of North Carolina (reported here), "while per capita intake of sugary, calorically sweetened drinks remains high in children and adults, the amounts they are drinking on a daily basis has decreased significantly. Among children ages 2 to 18 years, daily intake totals of calorically sweetened beverages dropped from 616.2 ml/day in 2003 to 460 ml/day in 2010. Among adults, the reduction also was significant, dropping from 536.4 ml/day in 2003 to 441 ml/day in 2010."

Soft drinks are still being consumed at an alarming rate in the U.S., but the trend away from sugary soft drinks is important and, evidently, being encouraged by the beverage industry itself.  This is not to say that the industry has suddenly become a knight in white armor when it comes to the fight against obesity, but at least it is beginning to show some concern for the impact its products are having on our well-being.  We can only hope that the public is becoming more aware of the need to cut back on sugary drinks and, thus, also creating a demand for sugar free products.  Obviously, there is still a long way to go, but it is encouraging that the trend is headed in the right direction.  Amen.