Health updates

The following is new information regarding your health, with details about the sale of raw milk, and the relationship between sleep deprivation in children and adult obesity.

An introduction to the debate over raw milk

Most Americans are only familiar with pasteurized and homogenized milk because in many states it is illegal to sell raw milk, based on government concerns about food safety. But there is a growing and vocal segment of health-minded consumers who passionately believe that raw bovine milk is better for us. In fact, one common question heard is, “Why do the national organic standards allow organic milk to be pasteurized?”

In the early 1900s, laws banning raw milk were passed when shipping and handling of dairy was problematic, leading to mass spoilage and food poisoning. But modern production and shipping processes alleviated these problems. Advocates note that pasteurizing milk kills beneficial enzymes while reducing nutritional value, leaving conventional milk difficult to digest and less healthy.

Because raw milk is still illegal in most states and frowned on by the FDA, the USDA national organic standards board realized that if they did not allow certified organic milk to be pasteurized, organic milk would not be available on the market.

Sleep-deprived kids become obese adults

A new peer-reviewed study from Bristol University highlights an important factor in the current childhood obesity epidemic. Researchers found that children who stay up too late at night are more prone to pack on the pounds throughout their lives. The study noted that sleep deprivation leads to a disruption of the hormones that control the desire for calorie-rich foods, hunger and energy expenditure.

One in four children, ages 11 to 15 years, is now so obese that their weight threatens their health. Researchers in the study indicate that weak parental oversight of children’s use of television, computers and mobile phones is a prominent reason children are sleeping less.

 

Resource: www.organicconsumers.org

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 6, December 2006/January 2007.

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