U.S. Attacks Malnutrition; Artificial Sweeteners; FDA Corruption
Contents in in this issue:
- “U.S. Attacks Malnutrition (In Children Abroad),”
- “Artificial Sweeteners: Is It Safe to Eat Them?” by Lucile K. Billington,
- “Editorial Comment (On FDA Corruption).”
The following is a transcription of the March 1966 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
U.S. Attacks Malnutrition (In Children Abroad)
In July of last year, the New York Times printed a news release by the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) regarding malnutrition occurring in foreign countries.
The director, David E. Bell, stated in a message to various mission chiefs that it was now a settled policy of his agency and an important health measure to correct serious protein deficiencies of preschool children in selected countries. He then concluded:
“That the high prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in the world is a leading contributor to human misery, apathy, disease, economic stagnation and political instability.
“That the problems associated with hunger and malnutrition cannot be separated from the basic problems related to social and economic development such as agricultural production, industrial production and population growth.
“That an estimated 50 percent of the preschool age children in the developing countries are suffering from malnutrition and that there is evidence that this condition produces a nonreversible retardation of mental and physical development of 10 to 25 percent.”
These conclusions could apply here in the United States as well. Remember the late President Kennedy’s remark, “Flabby youths are a menace to our security.”
The teenage diet problem of future U.S. citizens was recently studied by Dr. Riemer in an extended test of Iowa school children. A U.S. Government publication, “Improving Teenage Nutrition,” notes as to teenagers, 60 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys have poor diets, receiving two-thirds or less of the nutrients recommended for their age by the National Research Council. It has been found that disease (including dental caries) preys most surely and more viciously on the undernourished. Apparently, the much publicized “Younger Generation,” supposedly the best fed in the world, is developing many physical weaklings and probable mental misfits, according to draft statistics, international athletic events, and psychiatric tests.
The number of draft rejections has steadily increased over the years. The national overall rejection rate for inductees in World War II was 33 percent, or much more than the rate for World War I, with its much higher acceptance standard. During the Korean War we were surprised to learn that 17 percent were rejected for psychiatric problems. Now, according to Dr. Hugo Engle, who has jurisdiction over inductions in the New York area, the overall rejection rate for that area has climbed from 50 percent to 60 percent. The national overall rate is now 50.2 percent and still rising, according to Col. George H. Walton, author of The Wasted Generation and a member of Gen. Hershey’s Selective Service Staff. Present rejections find approximately 27 percent mentally unfit for military service. Each successive generation appears less healthy, according to these draft statistics. No wonder our Commander-in-Chief is alarmed and has insisted on a Physical Fitness Program for our youth. Apparently, the physical deterioration process must be reversed if we are to survive as a nation.
Certain nutritionists urge that improved physical fitness can be achieved only by reverting to more natural, organic foods and discontinuing the highly over-processed, devitalized and chemicalized foods now so abundant. Naturally, more exercise demands more and better food to achieve physical fitness. Could this be the reason that in comparison with foreign athletic adversaries the reports are so discouraging? Headlines read:
“American Men Flop, Russians Lead”
“U.S. Hopes Grow Dim”
“Failures of Vaulters and Relay Teams Are Damaging Blows”
Simple Russian foods— like dark bread, potato soup, borscht (beet soup), honey in the comb, and a little meat—apparently often furnish something lacking in the diets of our athletes.
Another recent headline advised, “Masai Walk All Over U.S. Records.” The Masai tribes of 150,000 African warriors and herdsmen, in the vicinity of Nairobi in Kenya, were recently visited with a treadmill by Prof. George Mann of Vanderbilt University and his team of researchers, to evaluate fitness and to see if exercise might be sparing them heart trouble. Some of the Masai walked 5 to 10 miles through the bush to get in on the test. Two of the 39 in the test walked the treadmill right off its maximum scale of 30 minutes and 30-degree elevation. The 13-year-old youngster in the group embarrassed the others by lasting only 14 minutes, the average for American college boys.
The U.S. record was set by a student at Peabody University at Nashville who worked out on the machine once a week for six months and then in his final test lasted 27 minutes before being spilled down the 27-degree slope. (Pulse rates had gone up for the Masai the same as for Americans; however, none of the Masai were breathing heavily.) Further studies revealed no symptoms of atherosclerosis and far lower serum cholesterol levels on the average than generally found in Americans.
These natives drink natural milk that was found to have a butterfat content that soars normally to about 6.5 percent. Normal butterfat carries its own anti-cholesterol factor, as has been stressed by Dr. Royal Lee and other nutritionists for years. Some medical experts have not agreed. Now, this fact has recently been verified and printed in the October 1965 Bulletin of the International Society for Research on Nutrition and Vital Substances at its eleventh convention at Salzburg, Austria.
Resolution No. 36 on Nutrition—on fat intake, cholesterol, atheromatosis, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction—reads, in part,
“10. In spite of contrary opinions, butter—because of its natural composition and its clinically proven wholesomeness in nutrition and diets, especially in pediatry and general hospital diets (particularly stomach, gall, and liver diseases)—has always been an excellent alimentary fat. Its particular characteristics are:
- The direct corpuscular absorption into the cells
- The extraordinarily rapid absorption ability probably connected herewith
- Its natural abundance of active substances occurring in food, liposoluble vitamins, lecithin, and fatty acids of varying degree of saturation, with which no other fat or oil can compare, and its sometimes high content of arachidic acid
“Another factor, which should not be overlooked in its importance for the nutrition of man, is the adaption of mammals to milk and milk fat for millions of years, which otherwise is only the case with natural oils.
“Also, older people and people liable to suffer from vascular diseases may eat butter especially if there is at the same time an optimal intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the form of vegetable oils. The content of cholesterol of the butter does not constitute a risk—not even for older people or for people liable to suffer a myocardial infarction.”
Perhaps, then, butter is not the artery-clogging villain that the American Heart Association believes it to be.
Could it be that we Americans are wrong in other ways in regard to proper foods and a healthy nutritious dietary? The so-called “Consensus of Medical Opinion,” in regard to calories as a nutritional guide and as the prime preventive measure of American medical practice, with the yearly physical examination, have failed to keep us healthy.
The American Heart Association reports that we lead the world in deaths from heart disease. It is killing many young people under forty throughout the country. More and more hospitals are continually full. Records reveal that 50 percent of these hospital beds are occupied by mental patients. More hospitals are being built every year, and more patients are being found to fill them. Surely, something is wrong. Foreigners nourished on natural food continually show up our physical weaknesses. Despite the boasted scientific advances in medicine and health, we are in many respects a very sick nation. More and more deficiency conditions are becoming congenital.
Perhaps Mr. Bell’s policy and the AID health measure should be used domestically to correct serious protein deficiencies (malnutrition) of expectant mothers, preschool children and teenagers so our nation may again become properly strong and healthy.
“Have we sold our birthright for a mess of pottage?”
Artificial Sweeteners: Is It Safe to Eat Them?
By Lucile K. Billington, MS
A variety of food products and drinks with artificial sweeteners has appeared in the markets in recent months. These include beverages, salad dressings, puddings, gelatin desserts, canned fruits, and others to tempt or to serve the weight-conscious public. Low-calorie soft drinks are numerous and seem to be especially popular with both young and old.
What are artificial sweeteners? They are chemical substances, two kinds of which are generally used; namely, the more familiar saccharin and the cyclamates. Saccharin sometimes is used alone but more frequently it is combined with sodium (or calcium) cyclamate.
The marked increase in the use of foods with artificial sweeteners, especially the increased consumption of “diet drinks” has caused some concern on the part of both the consuming public and scientific groups. Are these sweeteners safe to use? Are there any long-range health hazards or undesirable side effects? What about effects on children, pregnant women, and persons afflicted with chronic illness?
In 1955, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, recommended that artificial sweeteners be used in special-purpose foods for those who need to restrict their intake of sugar and total food energy. It also cited evidence that cyclamates may produce a mild laxative effect at intakes of 5 grams or more daily and recommended further study as to safety. In 1962, similar recommendations were made.
In May 1965, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement, after a review of present experimental data, as follows: “There is no evidence that cyclamates at present use levels are a hazard to health.” However, it was again emphasized that scientific studies will be continued as to amounts that can be tolerated under varying conditions and over extended periods of time.
Now, where does that leave us—the consumers? It is evident that information on artificial sweeteners still is incomplete as to tolerance, long-range effects, and individual response under various kinds of stress or ill health.
In view of these gaps in our information moderation in use would seem to be the key word for most of us. Young children, pregnant women, and the chronically ill might be better off to do without them, unless otherwise advised by the physician.
Weight control can be better accomplished through a revised dietary pattern and, lastly, we might be reminded that cold water is still one of the best thirst quenchers
—Health, Quarterly Bulletin of the Wisconsin State Board of Health, Summer, 1965
Editorial Comment (On FDA Corruption)
We understand a complete scientific report in regard to calcium and sodium cyclamate will soon be published. It will corroborate the very disturbing information found in a recent investigation by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The results reported to date are incomplete in detail for tests made on rats. However, they did determine that these chemicals stunted growth, affected ability to conceive, and resulted in the death of some litters.
This brings us back to the question, “Is it safe to use them?” Apparently, the vaunted consumer protection has been only a myth.
According to the recent investigation by two Senate Subcommittees and one House of Representatives Subcommittee, the misuse of its powers by the FDA may have undermined the consumer’s health instead of protecting it, according to charges made by Sen. Edward Long of Missouri.
The investigation has sparked resignation of top officials within the PDA, which, no doubt, should have a more salutary effect on the confused consumer and taxpayer.