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Food-Related Diseases

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Americans suffer from an epidemic of food-related diseases, such as obesity; type 2 diabetes; cardiovascular, liver and kidney diseases; some types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The U.S. government estimates that about half of all American adults—117 million people—have one or more preventable, chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. Rates of these chronic, diet-related diseases continue to rise.

These diseases are caused, in part, by a food industry that promotes processed food packed with unhealthy ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, added sugars, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives and other additives.

Dietary guidance issued by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are often politicized and polarized, with industry influence trumping science and the government’s own health advisors.

Key Documents on Food-Related Diseases

What Causes Weight Gain. Mark Bittman, New York Times, June 10, 2014.

Always Hungry? Here’s Why. David S. Ludwig and Mark I. Friedman, New York Times, May 16, 2014.

It’s the Sugar, Folks. Mark Bittman, New York Times, February 27, 2013.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food. Michael Moss, New York Times, February 20, 2013.

Experts Zero in on Pizza as Prime Target in War on Childhood Obesity. Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2015.

Is Sugar Toxic? Gary Taubes, New York Times, April 13, 2011.

Big Food vs. Big Insurance. Michael Pollan, New York Times, September 9, 2009.

Food For Thought: Eat Your Way to Dementia. Bijal Trivedi, New Scientist, September 3, 2012.

More (Stronger) Evidence Linking Sugar to Diabetes. Mike Mechanic, Mother Jones, February 28, 2013.

Avoiding Sugared Drinks Limits Weight Gain in Two Studies. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, September 21, 2012.

Health Officials Urge F.D.A. to Limit Sweeteners in Sodas. Stephanie Strom, New York Times, February 13, 2013.

Sugary Drinks Linked to 180,000 Deaths Worldwide. Leslie Wade, CNN, March 19, 2013.

Sugary Drinks Tied to Obesity Among Preschoolers. Genevra Pittman, Reuters, August 5, 2013.

Diet Soda, the Silent Killer? Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, March 1, 2012.

Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks Are Harming American’s Health. Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2005.

Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization, 2003.

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