The EALM Blog Shelf

While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!

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The EALM Blog Shelf

Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Fed Up? Well I am Fed Up With Blame!

Fed Up? Well I am Fed Up With Blame!
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
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Do scare tactics work?

I know the new documentary Fed Up declares that scare tactics have worked for decreasing tobacco sales. Personally, I worry that scare tactics will actually contribute to more fat shaming, diet shaming and finger pointing.

I was really surprised that Katie Couric narrated this film directing negative attention toward Michelle Obama, food companies and one evil — sugar. My surprise is specific to Katie’s history of an eating disorder.

As a certified eating disorder specialist, I know and hope Katie knows that deprivation and shaming lead only to more binging, overeating and weight gain. This black and white delineation simply contributes to the eating disorder mentality.

In addition, I personally don’t think scaring people into not eating sugar is any better than scaring them into not eating fat back in the 80s. That particular scare tactic definitely didn’t work. We all got “fatter”.

If we isolate just one macronutrient, people will continue to eat it secretly. Meanwhile, food companies easily reformulate their products to meet the new standard. Scaring and blaming merely nurture the “poor health epidemic” we have today.

That’s right! Here’s another very important point. First, let’s rename the “obesity epidemic”. Let’s call it the “processed food epidemic” or the “ill health epidemic.” Obesity is usually just the most visible symptom of a much larger problem.

As Fed Up points out, there are “skinny” fat people who are just as unhealthy. So why do we call this problem an obesity epidemic? It’s about health not size.

 

Read more at Your Tango: http://www.yourtango.com/experts/laura-cipullo/fed-well-i-am-fed-blame#ixzz362jGl4bj

A Reflection on BMI | Part 2 – BMI Report Cards

A Reflection on BMI: Part 2 BMI Report Cards
By Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

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Just to recap what we learned in Part I, BMI is a measurement based on an individual’s height and weight. It is used on a scale to reflect one’s status as underweight, normal and underweight. While using measurements is essential for statistical reasons and diagnostic tools, BMI is being utilized as a marker of health rather than focusing on behaviors and a cluster of measurements. We have said it before and will say it again; BMI is only one measurement and it’s not always reflective of a person’s state of health.

 

After collecting all of this information on BMI, does this change how we look at it for our growing children and adolescents?

 

Adolescent bodies, the time of development just after childhood, are growing at a rapid pace. Mentally and physically. Teens deal with an increased level of hormones in their bodies, which contribute to the many different growth spurts they will endure. They struggle with self-identity and the desire for independence. This combination often causes teens to be deeply self-conscious, which can inhibit decision-making. It could cause them to become defiant and often times unresponsive to parental guidance.

 

Puberty arrives at different times, stages and intervals for every child but usually happens around age 11-14. On average, teens experience a 20-25% growth increase during this time—35 pounds for girls and 45 pounds for boys. In an average one-year spurt, girls grow roughly 3.5 inches and boys about 4 inches. Using a measurement such as BMI, which is already so marginalized to determine the health status of a rapidly changing youth seems counterproductive.

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Over the past few years, you may have heard of BMI Report Cards or, as they are more harshly referred to, “Fat Letters.” They are letters sent home from schools reporting on a child’s BMI and suggesting to seek out a physician if results are above normal. Needless to say, parents did not respond well to this. It caused a national outrage. In 2004, Arkansas was the first state to send BMI report cards home to parents and/or guardians. Children and adolescents with a BMI indicating they were “overweight” were suggested to consult a health care professional. Today, the program is implemented in over a quarter of United States school districts.

 

A cover story from the New York Post last week chronicled (with pictures!) this same concern. Click here to read the article in full and see the letter that a young girl was sent home with from the NY Department of Education. Unfortunately, this is happening with more regularity in New York City schools than the article chronicled. It isn’t just front cover news; a friend of ours recently received “obese” range marks for two of her three children who are nowhere near overweight. Now it becomes clear that we cannot possible classify these kids as overweight or underweight without taking into consideration other factors such as fat distribution, family history and the child’s behavior. This leads us to a very important question—if BMI calculates the relationship between height and weight, in a time when height and weight are rapidly changing at different paces and intervals, how can we justify using this as a determinant of adolescent health?

 

Knowing everything that we know about BMI, is this really something that will be beneficial for children and adolescents? Shouldn’t we be focusing on their habits through this time to pave the way for a lifelong positive relationship with health and food?

 

Perhaps even more important, we should be considering how these letters impact the children receiving them. We know that adolescence is the time that individuals are molded into adults. So what happens when a child is told they are fat? A recent article published by the LA Times discusses a study at UCLA that researched this question. Their data reflects “10-year-old girls who are told they are too fat by people that are close to them are more likely to be obese at 19 than girls who were never told they were too fat.” (LA Times, Deborah Netburn) The research goes on to emphasize the danger of “Weight Labeling” at this age. With our understanding of adolescent development, it’s easy to see why.

 

The major flaw with BMI calculations continues to be that it cannot tell you an individual’s habits. Those high in muscle weight are considered overweight, petite individuals are underweight and normal range individuals could be harboring unhealthy eating habits. BMI is limiting. It doesn’t ask the big questions; have you started menstruating? Are you feeling pressure to experiment with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or sex? How often do you think about food? Are you eating a balanced diet? These are the thoughts and habits that, overtime, determine the health of an individual.

 

Has your child received a BMI report card known as a Fitness Gram? What are your feelings concerning weight stigmas and children?

 

For more information on this subject, check out the Academy of Eating Disorder’s stand on BMI reporting in schools and Examiner’s take on Fitnessgrams.

Protein, Fiber and a Booty Barre Class? Sign me up!

Two weeks ago, along with Tracey Mallett, founder of The Booty Barre, Kashi held a protein and fiber-packed media event to launch a new GOLEAN cereal that launches in June. The two-hour event included samples of Kashi’s newest addition, Vanilla Graham Clusters, and a “kick your booty” workout that Tracey led. She also discussed the importance of the protein and fiber found in Kashi cereals as well as how important it is to incorporate physical activity into any health-improvement plan.

What is The Booty Barre?

If you’re into fitness trends, and from the West coast, you’ve probably heard about The Booty Barre. But for those of you who don’t know about it—The Booty Barre is a high-energy workout combining Pilates, dance and yoga—all accompanied by upbeat, get-your-blood-pumping music. And let me tell you, once the music started, Tracey’s workout was no joke. It worked the “booty” and much more! New Yorkers, think “Physique 57” and Pilates combined.

We started with a warm-up at the barre including some combinations and several repetitions of toe raises and pliés. Then we progressed on to all kinds of different body movements in addition to “booty” shaking—curtsies, stretching, arm and ab exercises, plus routines focusing specifically on the gluteus (buttocks). At the end, we each received our own copy of the workout. While a barre is helpful, one can easily use a sturdy chair for balance when following the DVD at home or on the go. Tracey also suggested that the kitchen counter will do too. Just so you know, we (Laura C. and Laura I.) were sore 48 hours after!!

Protein and Fiber-Packed Aftermath

After the workout, we had the chance to create our own parfaits beginning with sample bowls of Kashi GoLean Vanilla Graham Clusters. Combined with fresh raspberries and bananas, Kashi’s new cereal provided us with a delicious way to refuel. It also gave us a great opportunity to meet other bloggers and media representatives. We even got to speak with Tracey and the ladies representing Kashi—an amazing group of women!

This new GOLEAN cereal contains 11g protein, 9g fiber and 30g carbohydrates per one-cup serving.The first ingredient on the label is soy grits. Hum, do you know about this seemingly new ingredient? Soy grits—soybeans that have been toasted and broken into fine pieces. They are a popular high-protein and fiber, low-carb alternative to yellow and white (hominy) corn grits. You can enjoy these Vanilla Graham Clusters alone as part of a midday snack or decide to incorporate them in creative ways such as adding them to your granola bar ingredient list or simply sprinkling them on top of Greek yogurt. Click the link here for more information on other varieties and ways to use Kashi’s Cereals.

This protein and fiber-oriented media event was awesome to attend! Yet again, this type of experience drives home some of the most basic principles of nutrition education—healthy lifestyles begin with the consumption of balanced meals which include wholesome carbs high in fiber and adequate lean protein combined with consistent participation in movements/physical activities that you love, are practical and motivating. Being a certified diabetes educator, I am always seeking cereals that make people feel full and help rather than hurt blood sugar management. Kashi GOLEANn has always and now continues to fit the bill! Thanks Kashi!

 

6 Nutrition Trends of 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia

These seeds are gaining even more popularity and are being called the “new flax seed”.  You can even find them in single serving pouches like you can nuts, etc. to make them easier to add to your meals and snacks.

Natural sugar “alternatives.”

Coconut sugar and coconut nectar are leading this battle. Coconut sugar comes from the nectar of coconut tree blossoms, but doesn’t taste like coconut. The sugar is simply the dehydrated form of coconut nectar. It may have slightly more vitamins and minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and B vitamins) than white sugar.

Self Monitoring

Once again, fitness apps will influence consumers to utilize technology for tracking progress, motivation and guidance. Apps such as Nike Fuel and LarkLife are becoming vital parts of health and wellness for all ages as they offer not only personal fitness tracking but calorie counting and menu ideas as well.

Gluten-Free Foods

With over 11% of the US population suffers from a gluten allergy, becoming even more popular and common are gluten-free food products. Based on a survey from over 1,800 members of the American Culinary Foundation, the National Restaurant Association predicts annual menu trends, with gluten-free securing the same spot as in did in 2012, at number 8 on the list. Perhaps gluten free is not a fad but here to stay. Sorghum is a gluten-free whole grain with a neutral, slightly sweet flavor. It’s extremely versatile; it is expected to be in many products and on many restaurant menus in 2013. Experiment with naturally gluten-free grains like amaranth, brown rice, millet, oats, polenta, and quinoa, which have a variety of nutritional benefits and are delicious!

Juicing

With $5 billion in revenue this year and projected growth of four to eight percent, healthful, all-natural and raw fruit and vegetable juices (Organic Avenue, Cooler Cleanse, even Jamba Juice) will explode into the isles of mass supermarkets to offer customers the option of purchasing fresh pressed juices. Small shops are popping up everywhere, like Organic Avenue and Cooler Cleanse, specializing in fresh pressed juices.

A Simpler Life

School. Work. Family. Kids. Dating. Fitting in physical activity. When life gets busy, simple meals are a must. As consumers become more health conscious and saavy shoppers, companies are producing less processed and more wholesome ready-to-go foods. Grab and go items will have fewer ingredients to appeal to consumers, providing more fresh and simplistic meal and snack options. Natural and simple menus with few ingredients are going to gain in popularity as consumers are starting to realize that strict low carb and low fat diets are not always best.  Choosing high-quality calories and carbohydrates with more nutrition per bite, will be most important for achieving a healthy lifestyle. It’s not just about total calories, it’s about where those calories come from.

A Soy-licious Dinner

Last month, Solae hosted a dinner created by Chef Peter Berley, former executive chef at Angelica Kitchen NYC and author of The Flexitarian Table. Held at The Kitchen NYC, the event provided for a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, learn more about soy protein isolate, and try  Chef Berley’s soy-licious dishes!

Prior to the dinner, we learned about a few soy-based products that work with Solae. Now if you aren’t familiar with Solae, it is a company that produces soy protein isolate, which can be found in some foods like energy bars, soy milk, and protein shakes. In the first hour, Chef Berley prepared hors d’hourves made with Morningstar Farms. The chicken-less nuggets and soy-based bacon wrapped in lettuce were both crunchy and unexpectedly flavorful! As a vegetarian and fan of meat-less products and chicken-less nuggets included, I was amazed at how Chef Berley had transformed these foods into an elegant bite.

When it came time for dinner, we were intimately seated around Chef Berley, who demonstrated how each dish was prepared. With volunteers, the demonstration quickly turned into an interactive and lively dinner, where we learned how soy was incorporated into the dishes in very different ways. The 4-course meal consisted of:

Lemon Tofu Ricotta with Parmesan and Mint – The “ricotta” was actually Morinaga Silken Tofu (Firm) that was mashed with a regular potato masher, and sautéed with garlic, lemon zest, parmesan and mint. Served over a thin-crusted bread, don’t let the simple ingredients fool you–this tofu ricotta was packed with bold flavor and the just the right texture to recreate a “ricotta-like” mouthfeel.

Romaine Hearts with Creamy Soy Miso Vinaigrette — With the consistency of Caesar salad dressing, these romaine hearts were dressed in a vinaigrette contained no eggs or mayo, but tofu!

Miso Vinaigrette

Three Bean and Bell Pepper Chili with Chipotle Soy Sour Cream — As his cookbook suggests, Chef Berley chose to incorporate a bit of meat into this dish using 1/2 organic beef and 1/2 tofu. With the tofu thrown into the blender, it became a smooth consistency and acted somewhat like a thickener that helped the chili come together.

Three-Bean Chili

Maple Sweet Potato Tart with Ginger Soy Ice Cream — As you may have noticed, Chef Berley is quite the fan of substituting half of the main ingredient with half soy. But which component of the dessert was made with soy? If you guessed the less obvious—potato tart—then you are soy-ly right!

Sweet Potato Tart and Ginger Ice Cream

From start to end, the dinner was excellent. At the end of the event, we received a copy of the Chef’s book along with a backpack full of Solae goodies. Now after learning about several innovative ways to incorporate tofu in just about any food, perhaps it may inspire you to try new ingredients or use an old favorite in a new way. In fact, you can even get inspired by recipes from your very own copy of The Flexitarian Table–which we will be giving away to one lucky reader! Check out the entry details here.

Dishing It Out

Founder and blogger behind Mom Dishes It Out, check out what Laura Cipullo RD, CDE has been up to! From nutrition advice, recipe ideas, to the latest in the health and food world, here’s the latest dish:

Dinner Makeover

The Real Simple food team called in Laura Cipullo, for new dinner ideas and healthy cooking tips.

 

Shedding Pregnancy Pounds

Registered Dietician Laura Cipullo appears on Headline News (HLN) dishing on how Moms can shed the pregnancy weight.

How to Eat Healthy When You Work Odd Hours

If you missed Laura’s appearance on CBS’ The Couch, tune in here for tips on how to eat and what to eat.

Eating Healthy: What you need to do and why

As featured on The One World Initiative Blog, kick-start your journey toward eating healthy with these 6 philosophical yet super-practical tips!

Sugar Substitutes: A Sweet Deal?

Sugar Substitutes: A Sweet Deal?

Seated at a restaurant or standing at the coffee bar, do you reach for the blue, yellow, pink or green packet? Well, that depends. Do you prefer aspartame, neotame, saccharin or sucralose with your coffee? If you have no idea what any of these ingredients are, perhaps the names of these sweeteners will sound more familiar: Equal, NutraSweet, Sweet’N Low and Splenda. When did these artificial sweeteners become so popular? In addition to these colorful packets conveniently offered at nearly every restaurant and cafe, our current food supply provides us with an abundant array of foods in “sugar-free” forms. But are these sugar-free options really healthier for us?

Tastes like sugar, looks like sugar but is it sugar?

By themselves, artificial sweeteners contain the sweetness of regular table sugar but without the calories. As you will see in the table below, artificial sweeteners are much more sweeter than sugar.

With the rise in obesity and diabetes, it’s no surprise that sugar has gained a bad reputation. Whether it is due to personal health reasons like managing diabetes or health conscious individuals who are looking to moderate their intake, many people try to avoid sugar at all costs. But what are the health costs of subbing in artificial sweeteners for the real deal? Although artificial sweeteners mimic the sweetness of sugar, no matter how it may taste or look, artificial sweeteners are chemicals.

Currently, there is a very large market for sugar substitutes, both man-made and natural. For now, it may interest you a few differences about these popular sugar substitute brands:

Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
220x sweeter than sugar
It loses its sweetness when exposed to heat.
Made with an amino acid, phenylalanine – those who have phenylketonuria should steer clear from this!
Sucralose (Splenda)
600x sweeter than sugar
Does not break down when cooked or baked, which is why it is in many foods and drinks.
Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, SugarTwin)
200-700x sweeter than sugar
Stevia (PureVia)
200-300x sweeter than sugar
Derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana
Although it’s only gained recent popularity in the U.S., the Japanese have been using it for decades.

In terms of safety, the FDA reviews artificial sweeteners and sets a limit on the amount people should consume which is based on an individual’s weight. Although they are generally deemed safe to consume, it is possible to get by without them. To learn more about different types of sweeteners, their composition and research studies that tested their safety, click here.

Artificial Sweeteners: The Catch 22

When it comes to artificial sweeteners, be mindful that they are not limited to the colorful packets you find in restaurants and cafés. Today, these sweeteners are found everywhere. Anything labeled “sugar-free,” or “diet” may be artificially sweetened. At zero to little calories, it’s no wonder why many artificial sweeteners are appealing to consumers. But wait—are these artificial sweeteners really zero calories? While this may be the case for sweeteners packaged in their individual packets, it is not always the case when present in foods and beverages. Sugar-free food doesn’t mean calorie-free food! With artificial sweeteners, we may trick ourselves into thinking we consumed less—when we actually end up consuming more.

Whether it is artificial or natural, consuming anything sweet generally encourages “sugar craving and sugar dependence (2).” Moreover, studies show that flavor preference for sweets can be trained by repeated exposure to sweets (3).This means that the more sweets we expose our palates to, the more our taste buds will ask for them.

The body’s reaction to artificial sweeteners raises other questions, such as whether or not substitutes are fueling our nation’s obesity epidemic. Research suggests a correlation between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and long-term weight gain (1). Although sugar-free foods can help with weight loss or aid in calorie control, artificial sweeteners can often distort our perception of calories. Consuming foods made with artificial sweeteners may satisfy our current cravings while  low in calories, but later our bodies may be searching for those calories, leading to additional cravings.

On the other hand, some people do not associate artificially sweetened foods and beverages with calories. For example, even though a sugar-free cookie is likely to contain fewer calories than a regular cookie (which in theory can help reduce one’s calorie intake) if an individual decides to eat an entire box of sugar-free cookies, then the individual will have probably consumed more calories than what would have been in one regular cookie made with real sugar.

Live a Sweet Life with Less Added Sugar

This week, challenge yourself! Our taste buds are ever changing and it is possible to retrain them. When it comes to your morning cup of Joe, try adding 1 less packet. If you typically add only 1 packet, try adding only half. If you typically drink soda, try switching to flavored carbonated water, like Perrier. Or, if you are craving for something sweet, opt for a sliced fruits on whole wheat breads with some peanut butter or perhaps a homemade smoothie. By adding fruit, not only do you get the natural sweetness, but is also full of flavor, antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Try to cut down on sweets in general. Now this does not mean you should deprive yourself—in moderation, it is perfectly okay to enjoy sweets. If you want your cake, eat it. It is better to consume less of the real thing rather than more of the artificial one. Savor the taste and enjoy it in moderation.

Adopt small changes to turn make it part of a healthier lifestyle. When possible, it is best to avoid any added sweeteners (4). Although artificial sweeteners are considered safe and may help people manage Diabetes, they are most commonly found in processed and packaged foods. In terms of nutrition and living a healthy and happy lifestyle, they are not as nutrient-dense as whole, unprocessed foods. Since artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than table sugar, if used, should be used in very small quantities–or if you must, to stick with Stevia. Just remember, it is possible to live a sweet life, with less added sugar.

 

References:

  1. Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, et al. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2008;16:1894–900. [PubMed]
  2. Liem DG, De Graaf C. Sweet and sour preferences in young children and adults: role of repeated exposure. Physiology and Behavior. 2004;83(3):421–429. [PubMed]
  3. Yang Q. Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010;83:101–108. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  4. A/ADA Scientific Statement: Nonnutritive Sweeteners: Current Use and Health Perspectives: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association

 

What's on our "Q"?

 The Skinny on Shakes for People With Diabetes

With so many meal replacements on the market, but how do you pick
which one is best? Taste shouldn’t be the only determining factor. It can
be important to consider the sugar, carbohydrate or even protein content.11 Nutritious, Kid-Friendly Finger Foods

Who doesn’t love meatballs? Check out this easy to follow recipe made
from lean turkey breast, which helps turn this usual calorie fest into something
a bit healthier. And while your at it, make sure to check out the Mango Tango Tortillas!

Jet-Set With Your Picnic Basket! Fun Theme Ideas for Lunch

Themed picnics are a great way to incorporate entertainment, flavor, and
even education into a family outing. Add a clever theme to your picnic by
incorporating foods from another city or, better yet, from around the world!

Also in “Q”: Remember to tune in for Restaurant Week 2012 recommendations, this Wednesday AM on CBS’s W1NY!!

 

The Ban On Soda In Containers:16 oz – Do you know you just guzzled 1.5 bagels??

In response to Laura’s appearance on Fox and Friends, Sunday morning hosted by Dave Briggs. Laura debated Mr. Wilson from Consumer Freedom. Some people are asking if Laura is in favor of  a nanny state. She is not in favor of this and shares her views here:

Everyone must make changes, both parents and policy makers need to reverse the obesity and diabetes epidemics. In general, people need to eat less and less of highly processed foods, including soda and chips.  America needs to become physically active again. I am not in favor of a nanny state, but the poor health of Americans, the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on medical care and the rise in both diabetes type I and II, scream for change.

Individuals must recognize, regardless of the source, added sugar in large doses is similar to drugs, and alcohol. These sugars affect the brain immediately. When someone has high blood sugar they cannot see or think clearly. Our nerves are damaged to the point of losing feeling in our limbs. In addition, our bodies respond to added sugar and sugar by releasing hormones such as insulin that lead to weight gain in the stomach and eventually diabetes.

The American environment is toxic to our health.
Yes, genetics are partly responsible for America’s health crisis, but the environment plays a huge role. Supersized portions, no gym for children in schools and encouraging eating while watching movies sets people up to fail at self care.
Perhaps a better proposal than the ban on soda is to have movie theaters change concessions stands to restaurants. Encouraging mindful eating before or after a movie rather than guzzling a soda during a film could aid in eating less.
Research shows mindless eating while watching movies and tv causes obesity. Do people realize that their 24 oz of soda is equal to a small meal? This small meal is equal to 1.5 bagels.

We are in an obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Again, I do not want a nanny state but the government is partly responsible for these epidemics since they subsidize food such as corn, issue food stamps to buy drinks with added sugars and other processed foods. Did you know Diabetes cost America 218 billion dollars in 2007? Imagine what the cost is now. The soda ban is not a costly proposal for America. Rather, it makes people aware that it is not normal, nor healthy to drink non-nutritional beverages in quantities greater than 16oz. We are in a crisis; Everyone must make changes, both parents and policy makers to get America eating well and moving more.

Bottom-Line
America must focus on eating foods for fuel – not mindless eating for boredom or stress. The goals should be to eat food that is high in nutrition like beans and berries– not empty calories. Focus on fresh, local food, not processed boxed food for at least 75 percent of your intake if not more. Finally, drink water or Perrier for hydration not soda. And please do not drink sport drinks or sell sport drinks in schools especially if the school doesn’t even offer gym class. Parents need to set boundaries with children, but so does the Food and Drug Administration and the food companies.