Twelve: Is Your Food Making You Sick?
Selling Sickness in the Lobby, Fast Food
Dr. Peter Cram reported in JAMA (Journal of the
American Medical Association) that forty per cent of hospitals have fast food
in the lobby.(3) While you might
consider this an outrage, the hospital probably considers it business as
usual. Your hospital banned cigarette
smoking long ago,(47) yet still sends
the message that fast food is healthy for you.
In reality, fast food is unhealthy and leads to chronic diseases and new
revenue for the hospital. For the
hospital accounting department, looking at the bottom line, this is a good
thing. Financial consideration, rather
than the health of the community, is the deciding factor. Untrained in medical nutrition, hospital
accountants may not understand that fast food causes obesity, metabolic
syndrome, insulin resistant diabetes, hypertension and accelerated
cardiovascular disease. (1-7)
Left Image, Would this hospital sell Burger King? 1914 Photo of German hospital, courtesy of Wikimedia
Food Causes Chronic Disease
Michael Pollen, a journalist and author of "In
Defense of Food", and "Food Rules" says in a New York Times
“Fast food causes chronic disease, and there’s lots of money to be made
selling fast food, and then treating the diseases that fast food causes. One of
the leading products of the American food industry has become patients for the
American health care industry". (8)
Food, Obesity and Chronic Disease - What is the Evidence ?
You might ask, what is the evidence that fast food
causes obesity and chronic disease? For starters, a 2004 study published in
Lancet found that eating Fast Food causes weight gain and insulin resistance.
(29-30) The authors say, “fast foods contain large amounts of
partially hydrogenated oils, and this class of fatty acids can cause insulin
resistance and increase risk of type 2 diabetes.” Fast food also contains large amounts of
highly refined starchy food and added sugars linked to increase risk for
diabetes and obesity. The national
obesity epidemic has been rising at parallel rates with refined sugar
consumption, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The average
American consumes 70 pounds a year of refined sugar.
Risks of Sugar Consumption - HFCS
Ignoring for the moment the hydrogenated vegetable
oils in fast food which are an enormous health risk, let's focus on the
sweeteners, the high fructose corn syrup used in fast food and soft
drinks. The evidence linking massive
amounts of sugar consumption to chronic disease is overwhelming. (9-27) High Fructose Corn Syrup is our preferred
sweetener, refined from government subsidized corn and used for processed
foods. HFCS is cheaper and sweeter than
regular table sugar (sucrose), and it prolongs shelf life. High Fructose corn
syrup is a 4.5 BILLION dollar
industry, with our annual sugar consumption at 73.5 lbs per person. Now,
that’s a lot of sugar!
Refined Sugar - Sucrose – This is an Addictive
Some scientists say that refined table sugar
(sucrose) is not food, and should be reclassified as a drug capable of
producing craving, withdrawal effects and addiction.(44) A 2002 Princeton study showed addictive
behaviors in rats given intermittent high sugar intake.(46) A 2008 report in NeuroScience examines the
evidence for addiction associated with intermittent excess sugar intake.(45) The scientific evidence of sugar addiction is
summarized nicely by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., author of “ The Sugar Addict’s
Total Recovery Program”, and “Potatoes Not Prozac”. Her program, called Radiant Recovery, is
dedicated to helping people overcome sugar addition. (43)
Comparing Fructose to Glucose
Chemically speaking, HFCS is a mixture of 55%
fructose and 45% glucose, a ratio intended to mimic common table sugar, called
sucrose. Sucrose is a simple molecule made of one fructose and one glucose
molecule, so the corn industry can say that sucrose and HFCS are the same
stuff. Of course this is partially true,
but there is a difference. Firstly,
HFCS has 10% more fructose than table sugar.
Secondly the fructose in HFCS is absorbed into the bloodstream more
rapidly, since the body must first cleave apart sucrose with enzymatic
digestion, after which, the liberated fructose can be absorbed into the
bloodstream. Once absorbed, fructose and
glucose are metabolized quite differently.
Glucose is OK, IV Fructose is NOT OK.
Intravenous glucose is commonly given to patients in
the hospital to sustain life. There is
no IV fructose in the bag, because IV fructose is dangerous to your health. (48)
Warning – Fructose
(IV) fructose is dangerous to your health and never given as an IV medication. On the other hand, IV glucose is routinely
given in the hospital as a safe nutrient.
Health Risks of Fructose in Fast Food Sodas
In small amounts, fructose has always been a healthy
part of human diet in fruits and vegetables.
However, large amounts of fructose pose a serious health risk. Unlike glucose, fructose cannot be used by
the body. Instead, it must be processed
in the liver where it is uncontrollably converted into fat particles,
triglycerides and atherogenic lipids.
This causes insulin resistant diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular
disease. Thus, fructose is considered
more dangerous and harmful than plain old glucose. Fructose also causes abnormal lipid panels in
obese kids, who may then be given statin drugs.
Wouldn't it make more sense to cut out the fructose instead?(9-27)
in Five Teens have High Cholesterol
A recent CDC report raises alarms about increasing
teen obesity and high cholesterol found in 20% of kids.(27) The CDC report went on to recommend that
doctors adhere to guidelines calling for statin drugs for kids with high
Surely You Must Be Joking ?- Statins for Kids?
1998, the American Academy of Pediatrics convened a Committee on Nutrition to
discuss "Cholesterol in Childhood” which published guidelines for treating
kids with statin drugs for high cholesterol. (28) The guidelines were revised in 2008 by Dr. Stephen
R. Daniels, causing a national uproar.(29) Apparently, Daniels and co-authors had
undisclosed ties to Merck, maker of statin drug Mevacor™. (30) The problem with
cholesterol guidelines for kids is absence of any medical data showing benefit
from statin drugs in this age group.
Alternatively, we have plenty of evidence that statin drugs cause
harmful adverse side effects, especially considering a child starting a statin
drug is committed to 40 years of drug treatment. Articles such as, “Storm Over Statins”,
promptly appeared in the media and medical literature raising opposition and
creating backlash against the guidelines for statin drugs for kids.(33-35) In view of what we know about Fast Food
causing teen obesity and abnormal lipid panels, it would seem the height of
absurdity to give kids statin drugs, rather than address the fast food and soda
Contamination of Soda Fountains
Another problem with fast food in the lobby, is
fecal contamination of soda fountains, reported in the Jan 2010 issue of the
International Journal of Food Microbiology.(41-42) Take Action ! Make a copy this article and
give it to your local congressman, or hospital board member.
For references and links, see my web site: www.bioidenticalhormones101.com
References for Chapter 46.
Selling Sickness in the Lobby, Fast Food in Hospitals
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Fast Food Restaurants in Children’s Hospitals, Hannah B. Sahud, MD et al.
Prevalence and Type of Brand Name Fast
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(2006) Lenard I. Lesser, MD
Vol. 287 No. 22,
June 12, 2002 JAMA by Peter Cram, MD Fast
Food Franchises in Hospitals
The Perils of Ignoring History: Big Tobacco Played Dirty and Millions Died. How
Similar Is Big Food? KELLY D. BROWNELL and KENNETH E. WARNER
Row over Fatty Grub in Hospitals, The
Sun UK. By EMMA MORTON, 13 Jan 2010.
Daily Mail, UK,
NHS pays patients to lose weight - while opening fast food branches IN
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CMAJ July 29, 2008; 179 (3). Frying up hospital cafeteria food , Yoni
Freedhoff and Rob Stevenson
Big Food vs. Big Insurance By MICHAEL POLLAN September 9, 2009 NY
Curr Opin Lipidol. 2009 Dec 2. Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all
about fructose. Bray GA.
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may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. George A Bray et al.
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of Type 2 Diabetes in Young and Middle-Aged Women by Matthias B. Schulze et al.
Corn Syrup, Is it Really Just Like Sugar? January 30, 2009 by Kitchen Table
The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup Written by Bill
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Dana Flavin, MS, MD, PHD
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Corn syrup removed from SFUSD chocolate milk, SF Gate.
The Double Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup By Bill Sanda,
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Eating at Fast-food Restaurants More than Twice Per Week is Associated with
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PEDIATRICS Vol. 101 No. 1 January 1998, pp. 141-147 Cholesterol in Childhood
Committee on Nutrition
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Childhood, Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD, Frank R. Greer, MD and the Committee on
Pediatrics Fails to Disclose Industry Ties in Lipid Guide for Kids.
CDC: 1 in 5 teens has cholesterol problems. Now what? By Sarah Klein, January
22, 2010 CNN News
PEDIATRICS Vol. 122 No. 4 October 2008, pp. 904-905 LETTER TO THE EDITOR An
Assessment of the New Lipid Screening Guidelines Michael J. Steiner, MD Wallace
D. Brown, MD
Volume 359:1309-1312 September 25, 2008 Number 13 NEJM Storm
over Statins — The Controversy Surrounding Pharmacologic Treatment of
Children, Sarah de Ferranti, M.D., M.P.H., and David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D.
July 08, 2008 Is it for real? Cholesterol screening in toddlers and statins
from elementary school age?
8-Year-Olds on Statins? A New Plan Quickly Bites Back, by Tara Parker-Pope Jul
8, 2008 NYTimes
One-fifth of U.S. teens have unhealthy cholesterol.Reuters News.
Should We Test Teens for High Cholesterol? American Teens May Be at Risk
for Problems Once Associated Only With Middle Age By JOHN GEVERJan. 22, 2010
MedPage Today Senior Editor
For Kids With High Cholesterol, Change Diet, Exercise Before Drugs January 22,
2010 By Nadja Popovich
Saturday, January 23, 2010 More Business for Big Pharma.
Statins for Kids?Dr. Michael J. Breus 10-Day Boot Camp for a Healthier
Lifestyle. Huffington Post.
Soda fountains contained fecal bacteria, study found By Madison Park, CNN
January 8, 2010 6:35 p.m. EST
(42) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19926155 Int
J Food Microbiol. 2010 Jan 31;137(1):61-6.
Beverages obtained from soda fountain machines in the U.S. contain
microorganisms, including coliform bacteria . Amy S. White, Renee D.
Godard, Carolyn Belling Department of Biology, Hollins University,
The scientific evidence of sugar addiction, Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. is the
best selling author of Potatoes Not Prozac, The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery
Program, Your Last Diet, Little Sugar Addicts and Your Body Speaks.
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Author Jeffrey Dach MD