Pumpkin-Flavored Drinks contain Excessive Sugar, and no Natural Pumpkin Elements
Submitted by Sophia Turner on Thu, 09/18/2014 – 11:44
About $300 million worth of pumpkin-flavored products are consumed by Americans every year. The Pumpkin-Flavor Season begins in September and ends in November. Doctors are, however, not happy with the pumpkin season coming back because pumpkin-flavored products, according to them, contain excessive sugars and no natural pumpkin elements.
After the summer equinox, consumers see a variety of foods and other products made from seasonal ingredient. As per recommendations of the World health Organization, adults should not consume more than 25 grams of sugar per day. One pumpkin latte is more than enough to cross that limit and adding whipped cream in the drink makes it even worse.
Pumpkin is a famous fruit across America and most of the pumpkin-flavored products are sold between the months of September and November, which is its peak season. Nutritionists said that pumpkin spice lattes – sold by Starbucks from August to October – are thought to be beneficial for people who need fiber and vitamins. However, it is not going to offer any health benefit when there is no natural pumpkin in the drink.
Nearly every pumpkin-flavored product available in the market from July lacks natural pumpkin elements, said doctors.
Joyce Hanna, a nutrition expert and associate director of the Health Improvement Program at Stanford University, said 37 grams of sugar is present in the popular 12-oz size Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. And it must be noted that the drink has that amount of sugar without fat milk and whip.
Doctors suggest that people should go in for home made versions of Pumpkin drinks so as to keep them as natural as possible and free from extra calories and sugar.
Ingenious mom comes up with an app that locks her kids’ phones until they call her back
Sharon Standifird is a mom from Houston, Texas, who had a problem: Her children would not return her calls and texts on time. Frustrated and worried, she decided to take the matter into her own hands and create an app to specifically deal with teenagers who do not answer calls from parents on their smartphones, even though she didn’t actually know how to code.
“We need to develop an app that just shuts their phone completely down and they can’t even use it,” she told ABC13. “I got on the internet and I literally just started researching how to develop an app.”
Called Ignore No More, the app is available only on Android at this time and costs $1.99 per phone, although an iOS version is in the making. Once installed, the app will allow parents to lock the phones of their children until they call back. Until that happens, they’ll be restricted to calling parents, or 911 in case of emergencies. Everything else, however, will not work on the smartphone.
“It takes away texting, it takes away gaming, it takes away calling their friends, surfing the internet. If there’s an emergency, the child will always be able to call 911. It’s a feature that no developer can take off the phone,” Standifird said.
The application can’t be disabled, the app’s description says, and the app’s website has a thorough FAQ section that explains what can happen in various scenarios with the phone such as the phone being set on airplane mode, being lost, and other types of mishandling of the app.
As for Standifird, after installing the app on her son’s phone she discovered that he returns her calls and texts a lot faster than he used to. ABC13‘s video showing the app in question follows below.
Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “Did I really need to eat the whole box of chocolates?” If you did it in one sitting, you may suffer from Binge Eating Disorder, a newly-sanctionedpsychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V by the American Psychiatric Association. But even if you ate the box over several sittings, you might still suffer from its more controversial cousin—Food Addiction, not yet included in the DSM-V.
There’s been a lot of heat about food addiction, but little light. None other than Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, has spoken out in favor of the diagnosis. Yet the psychiatric and the scientific communities have been slow to get on the bandwagon. Manyscientists eschew the diagnosis whileothersembraceit. Not surprisingly, the food industry has largely dismissed the notion. No one argues that food isn’t pleasurable, or even that food doesn’t activate the “reward center” of the brain. But can food truly be addictive? In the same way that alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs are?
Some scientists poo-poo the idea on basic principle. You don’t need alcohol, tobacco or street drugs to live, but you do need food. How can something required for life be addictive? There are three levels of motivation: liking, wanting, and needing. When we go from wanting to needing, that’s when we start to invoke the concept of addiction. As a species and as individuals, we clearly need food. Strike one for the naysayers.
But do we need all kinds of food? Certainly, we need those foods that supply essential nutrients—those things our bodies can’t synthesize itself. These include vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids (found in protein), and essential fatty acids (found in fish and various vegetables). If you’re missing any of these you’ll get some classic nutritional deficiency disease, such as beriberi or scurvy. But what about energy? We certainly need energy, but we humans are very capable of turning protein or fats into energy when it is required. What if a foodstuff supplies only energy? Alcohol is energy, but it is certainly not required for life. There’s no biochemical reaction that requires alcohol. Thirty-nine percent of Americans are teetotalers, and while they might be missing out on some fun, they’re not exactly ill.
Which brings us to sugar. Another fun substance, full of energy, made up of two molecules linked together: glucose (kind of sweet, and not that much fun), and fructose (very sweet, and a whole lot of fun). Glucose is a nutrient, although not essential—it’s so important, that if you don’t eat it, your liver will make it. But what about fructose? Is fructose a nutrient? As it turns out, there’s no biochemical reaction that requires dietary fructose. A rare genetic disease called Hereditary Fructose Intolerance afflicts 1 in 100,000 babies, who drop their blood sugar to almost zero and have a seizure upon their first exposure to juice from a bottle at age six months. Doctors perform a liver biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. From that moment on, they’re fructose-free for the rest of their lives. And they’re amongthe healthiest people on the planet. Alcohol and fructose both supply energy. They’re fun—but they are not nutrients. Strike two.
But oh, do we want it. As an example, rats are not big fans of lard. But if you lace the lard with some sugar (called “cookie dough”), that’s another story — indeed, in a controversial abstract at this year’s Society for Neuroscience meeting, rats were found to prefer Oreos to cocaine. And we humans are not far behind. Arecent study by Dr. Eric Stice of Oregon Health Sciences University looked at our obsession, by parsing out the fat from the sugar. Subjects laying in an MRI scanner consumed milkshakes where the fat and the sugar concentrations were dialed up or down. Bottom line, fat stimulated the somatosensory cortex (in other words, “mouthfeel”), but only sugar stimulated the reward center. And adding fat to the sugar didn’t increase the reward any further. This study shows we want sugar way more than we want fat.
I’ve argued previously that excess sugar has been added to processed food because the food industry knows that when they add it, we buy more. And 77 percent of the food items available in the American grocery store are spiked with added sugar. But is this just “wanting”, or are we “needing”? Is sugar just abused, or is it downright addictive? In animals, it’s a “no-brainer.” Dr. Nicole Avena of Columbia University exposes rats to sugar water in an excess-deprivation paradigm for three weeks, and they demonstrate all the criteria needed to diagnose addiction: binging, withdrawal, craving, and addiction transfer (when you’re addicted to one substance, you’re addicted to others as well).
But has the food industry created a “need” for sugar? America loves fast food, and the rest of the world has embraced it with open arms, due to its palatability, portability, and price. Fast food is made up of four items: salt, fat, caffeine, and sugar. Salt and fat don’t drive addictive behaviors, as there’s no tolerance orwithdrawal. Caffeine is a well-characterized addictive substance. But what about sugar? In the reward center, sugar stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, and dopamine drives reward. But dopamine also down-regulates its own receptor (which generates the reward signal). This means the next time round, you’re going to need more sugar to generate more dopamine to generate less reward, and so on, until you’re consuming a whole lot of sugar, and getting almost nothing for it. That’s tolerance, and sugar is guilty as charged. What about withdrawal (headache, fatigue, jitteriness)? Here things get a little stickier. Most sugar addicts are looking to mainline their drug of choice, and that means a soda. Soda usually has caffeine too. Upon cessation, they certainly get withdrawal, but was it the caffeine or the sugar or both? We still don’t know. Strike two and a half?
The concept of sugar addiction will continue to evoke visceral responses on both sides of the aisle. One thing most agree on is that sugar should be safe—and rare. That means “real” food. In the short term, Americans must watch out for ourselves, and that means cooking for ourselves. The American Heart Association recommends a reduction in consumption from our current 22 teaspoons per day to six for women and nine for men; a reduction by two-thirds to three-quarters. Our current consumption is over our limit and our “processed” food supply is designed to keep it that way. Food should confer wellness, not illness. The industry feeds our sugar habit to the detriment of our society. We need food purveyors, not food pushers.
Body language is older and more innate for us as humans than even language or facial expressions. That’s why people born blind can perform the same body language expressions as people who can see. They come pre-programmed with our brains.
I’ve always been incredibly fascinated with body language and how it helps us achieve our goals in life. The power of body language is probably best described by Amy Cuddy’s famous quote:
“Our nonverbals govern how other people think and feel about us.”
If you are anything like me, then you’ve had a healthy obsession with body language for some time. In recent years, a few fascinating studies at Harvard, Princeton and other top universities shed new light on body language and how to use it at work. So whilst the power of language is extremely important to convey the right message. The power of body language however, might be the determining factor of how someone makes us feel.
Here is an insight into some of the latest studies on how we can use body language to our advantage in every day life.
Your body expresses emotion better than your face
We all grow up learning how to deal with each other based on facial expressions. And yet, that might not at all be the best way to judge other people’s emotions.
Researchers from Princeton performed a very simple experiment. They asked study participants to judge from photography whether that person is feeling joy, loss, victory or pain. Now some photographs showed facial expressions only, some showed body language and some both.
Have a go yourself at the following picture and try to say whether the tennis player’s faces on the right enjoy victory or loss:
And the results couldn’t be any more startling:
“In four separate experiments, participants more accurately guessed the pictured emotion based on body language — alone or combined with facial expressions — than on facial context alone.”
Extremely positive and extremely negative emotions are especially hard to distinguish from each other, explains head researcher Todorov.
Now, it gets even more interesting. Body language isn’t just something we have to learn. Most emotional expressions come built into our system. For example, scientists from British Columbiaobserved congenitally blind people at the Paralympics.
In this example, the left athlete can see, whereas the right athlete is congenitally blind. Yet, after winning, both express the same body language for victory:
So, if body language is both so ancient and ingrained and also so powerful to express our true emotions, how can we use it better in our every day lives to achieve what we want?
Amy Cuddy from Harvard has answers for us:
Body language changes who you are – literally
In one of my favorite Ted Talks, Amy Cuddy explains some of the most peculiar happenings of body language. Cuddy focuses a lot on the business world and how body language is helpful for us here and the possibilities seem to have no boundaries.