Taxes on sugary beverages seem to cut consumption, a Harvard public health expert said Tuesday, describing the sometimes controversial tariffs as one path of attack against the U.S. diabetes epidemic.Sara Bleich, a professor of public health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, said that a preliminary analysis of Philadelphia’s six-month-old 1.5-cent per-ounce tax shows sales dropping 57 percent by volume.“Consuming those drinks is very tightly linked to both obesity and diabetes,” Bleich said of the single largest source of added sugar in the American diet.Philadelphia’s tax-related drop came amid reports that consumption of soda and other sugary beverages has been in decline nationwide, said Bleich, speaking as part of a panel at the Harvard Chan School on the toll of diabetes and the future of treating the disease.LaShawn McIver, senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy for the American Diabetes Association, noted that the metabolic disorder is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than AIDS and breast cancer combined, and costs the country $322 billion annually.One in 11 Americans — some 30 million people — has diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many more — about 84 million — have prediabetes. Complicating the picture, McIver said, is that nearly 90 percent of the latter group aren’t aware of the threat.“This is a huge issue from a public health perspective,” McIver said.Diabetes is closely linked to the nation’s obesity epidemic, with nearly 90 percent of those with type 2 diabetes — the vast majority of cases — also overweight or obese. The root problem, Bleich said, is that we live in an environment rich in cheap, convenient, calorie-laden foods, and an era of increasingly sedentary lifestyles.“Diet is a huge driver of the diabetes epidemic, and this is important because a person’s ability to control their diabetes is very dependent on their ability to select foods or be in an environment that allows them to control their blood sugar,” Bleich said.That’s where food policy comes in, she said. Policy can alter the food environment and make consumers less dependent on willpower alone. Taxes alter environment by making cost a more significant factor. Another effective tactic, Bleich said, is requiring calorie counts on restaurant menus, so that customers can consider not just price and taste, but also the health effects of meals.Requiring calorie counts on menus began in New York in 2006 and has since spread to other states, Bleich said. A federal version of the requirement contained in the Affordable Care Act is set to take effect next year. The measures have had less impact on consumer choices than on restaurants, which have been dropping the highest-calorie dishes and adding new ones that average 12 percent less, a difference of roughly 60 calories.“It sounds small, but at a population level, if you can extract that number of calories out of the diet, it can actually have a pretty big impact on levels of both obesity risk and diabetes risk,” Bleich said.Panelists also discussed the role of technology in treating the disease. Continuous glucose monitors use a probe under the skin to keep tabs on blood sugar, with data uploaded for doctors to review. They can also send out help signals.Howard Wolpert, vice president for medical innovation at the Lilly Innovation Center, said that technology can both improve blood sugar control — reducing risk of complications such as blindness, kidney failure, and infections — and make medical care more efficient. People whose blood sugars are relatively stable can see the doctor less frequently, while those with erratic sugars can keep regular appointments.Telemedicine, Wolpert said, has the potential to make a bigger difference, extending the reach of physicians to underserved communities, like Native Americans and Inuits, in which care is scarce but rates of diabetes are high.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (NASDAQ: GMCR) was chosen from among hundreds of submissions from around the world to be included in the McDonald’s 2010 Global Best of Sustainable Supply. The Best of Sustainable Supply recognizes best practices of companies that demonstrate leadership and innovation in sustainable supply. McDonald’s first introduced Newman’s Own Organics coffee roasted by Green Mountain Coffee, part of GMCR’s family of brands, to its restaurants in New England and Albany, NY in October 2005.“This recognition affirms the importance of our efforts to seek sustainable solutions to poverty and hunger in communities around the world that supply us with coffee”GMCR was selected for its efforts to fight poverty and hunger in its coffee supply chain. In 2007, GMCR commissioned the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) to conduct one-on-one surveys with small-scale coffee farmers in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The survey showed that more than 67 percent of the interviewees could not maintain their normal diet from 3 to 8 months of the year. These months, known as “los meses flacos,” or “the thin months,” occur after the coffee harvest, when farmers’ earnings have been depleted and the price of food staples rises.Under the leadership of Rick Peyser, Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach, GMCR initiated support of projects with the goal of eliminating “los meses flacos” by helping families diversify their production and income. A coalition of nonprofit organizations and Fair Trade coffee cooperatives including Save the Children, Heifer International, Catholic Relief Services, Café Femenino, Community Agroecology Network (CAN), Pueblo a Pueblo, CECOCAFEN, and CESMACH have created a web of projects across multiple regions. Since 2007, GMCR has funded 14 projects in 10 countries, which are starting to help more than 18,000 families (over 96,000 people) develop the capacity to overcome months of food insecurity in a sustainable manner.“This recognition affirms the importance of our efforts to seek sustainable solutions to poverty and hunger in communities around the world that supply us with coffee,” said Peyser. “We believe there is a direct link between the quality of coffee we purchase and the quality of life in the farming communities that grow this coffee. As such, we are focused on supporting projects that improve the quality of life. Reducing food insecurity improves health, enhances children’s ability to learn, and provides families with new opportunities to begin lifting themselves out of poverty. When farmers and their families are unable to maintain their normal diet, they are generally not able to invest in their coffee, so this work will also help improve the quality of coffee in the cup.”The 2010 Best of Sustainable Supply was recently announced during McDonald’s 2010 Worldwide Convention and is featured on its Corporate Social Responsibilityweb site.About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR)As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR’s operations are managed through two business units. The Specialty Coffee business unit produces coffee, tea, and hot cocoa from its family of brands, including Green Mountain Coffee®, Newman’s Own® Organics coffee, Tully’s Coffee®, and Timothy’s World Coffee®. The Keurig business unit is a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers are produced by a variety of licensed roasters and brands, including Green Mountain Coffee, Tully’s Coffee and Timothy’s. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects. Visit www.gmcr.com(link is external) for more information.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its web site, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. GMCR encourages investors to consult this section of its web site regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to GMCR’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released.Source: WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–4.27.2010
Ghana’s U20 left Accra on Wednesday night for Italy to prepare for the FIFA World Youth Championship.The Black Satellites will be based at the Novara Training Centre-where they camped before the 2013 African Youth Championship.A 26-man squad including two foreign based stars Frank Acheampong and Daniel Pappoe made the trip.This will be their second visit to the plush training complex after spending ten days in the Northern Italy province before the African U20 Championship which was played in March.Ghana are scheduled to play Kosovo, Brazil and Egypt on their European tour before their opener against France on 21 June.The Satellites will also face Spain and USA in Group A. Ghana won the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup in Egypt under current coach Sellas Tetteh.
Here’s how I see things now:HittersLocks (11): Will Smith, Russell Martin, David Freese, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, A.J. Pollock, Chris Taylor, Kiké HernandezOn the bubble (3 players for 2 spots): Matt Beaty, Gavin Lux, Edwin RiosNot happening (3): Jedd Gyorko, Kristopher Negron, Austin Barnes Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Editor’s note: This is the Friday, Sept. 27 edition of the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.The Dodgers have clinched the number-1 seed on the National League side of the playoff bracket. They won’t know their first-round opponent until next Tuesday’s wild card game is complete.Dave Roberts has said the final roster spots depend on the Dodgers’ first-round opponent. I tend to believe him. The Nationals, for example, are a largely capable group of hitters against left-handed pitchers. The Cardinals are not. For a relief pitcher on the bubble – right-hander Dylan Floro or left-hander Caleb Ferguson, for example – the opponent could dictate whether or not he watches from the Dodgers’ bullpen or from Camelback Ranch.With that in mind, I wanted to take another look at the Dodgers’ projected 25-man NLDS roster. Is anyone actually auditioning for something this weekend in San Francisco? PitchersLocks (9): Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez, Kenta Maeda, Joe Kelly, Julio UríasOn the bubble: (6 players for 3 spots): Ross Stripling, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Adam Kolarek, Caleb Ferguson, Casey Sadler, Dylan FloroNot happening (2): Josh Sborz, Yimi GarciaFirst, some injury-related caveats.1. Hill has one more start (Sunday against the Giants) to prove his knee can handle 2 or 3 innings on a mound. I’m only calling Hill a “lock” on the premise that his knee holds up. If it doesn’t, I imagine the Dodgers would plug Urías into his spot. Maybe Gonsolin or Stripling. The ability to pitch 2-3 innings seems to be the main qualifier for whomever starts Game 4. It’ll be a bullpen game regardless of who pitches and when.2. We can only take Kelly and Roberts at their word when they say Kelly is going to be ready for the postseason. If you buy that, then Kelly’s next appearance is not a test of his health, but a tuneup. If it is a test – of what, neither will say – and Kelly does not pass, then another short-inning reliever would need to take his place.3. Seager’s latest hamstring injury is a good omen for Lux’s chances of making the final cut. Turner’s back injury might help Beaty. If some roster “insurance” for Seager or Turner is unwarranted, both Lux and Beaty probably make it anyway.As for where the few remaining “position battles” stand …BenchThe first time I ran this exercise, I nearly penciled in Beaty and Lux as locks. (Lux as locks. Heh.) I almost did it again, in spite of how they’ve hit lately. Beaty is 1 for his last 20. Lux is 1 for his last 16. If Scott Elbert and Brian Dozier can get postseason roster spots, these guys can too, though I wonder if Edwin Rios’ surprise September call-up (3 for 9, two HRs) has changed the internal conversations at all. All three are left-handed hitters with pop. Rios’ lack of positional versatility might off-set his value as a pinch hitter, so even a 470-foot home run into San Francisco Bay might not get Rios in at this point.BullpenThere are a lot of wrinkles here. Some if-then scenarios. Let’s start with the big “if.”Roberts asked Kolarek and Kenta Maeda to pitch the ninth inning of a 1-0 win Thursday because Jansen wasn’t allowed to pitch three days in a row. For those of you who just tuned in, you might think the manager is open to using that ninth-inning committee in similar situations in October. Dave Roberts says he’s open to a lot of things, but ninth-inning committees aren’t one.Before Wednesday, Jansen had not converted save opportunities on consecutive days since May. While closing the Dodgers’ first two wins over the Padres, Jansen looked downright normal. If back-to-back scoreless innings against the Padres counts as “earning the closer’s job,” then maybe Jansen is not the question mark I envisioned three weeks ago. But that’s a big “if.” It’s the big “if.” Right now, with three games remaining, Jansen, Maeda and Kolarek all look like necessary ninth-inning options. That means they’re all in.In his seven relief appearances since Sept. 7, May has used his two-seam fastball to neuter right-handed hitters, and his four-seamer to neuter lefties. The two pitches regularly clock in at 95-99 mph. His low-90s cutter has been an effective if unconventional “off-speed pitch” in short situations. For the Dodgers, this was the best-case scenario.May has adjusted to his new role. Kolarek has been dominating his, for the most part. If Kelly is healthy – also a best-case scenario for the Dodgers – that leaves one bullpen job for Gonsolin, Stripling, Ferguson, Sadler and Floro. Woof.I think we can safely peg Sadler and Floro as the longshots here. They’re essentially right-handed specialists, Floro more so than Sadler. Floro is the bigger liability against left-handers, while Sadler’s 2.23 ERA looks a bit deceiving. They’re both behind Maeda, Baez and Kelly in the bullpen pecking order. Those three all offer the added bonus of postseason experience, the ability to pitch multiple innings, and a better chance of retiring the occasional lefty. I think Sadler and Floro are out.Ferguson has emerged as an unusually versatile relief pitcher. Since Aug. 1, the left-hander is almost evenly dominant against lefties and righties. I could make the case for him to take Kolarek’s role, but Roberts seems content with what he’s gotten from his designated LOOGY. If the Dodgers weren’t planning to throw their entire bullpen at Game 4, Ferguson would have an even better case than Floro or Sadler to be the final pick.As things stand, however, I imagine Roberts and Andrew Friedman will want to guard against the danger of a bullpen game that runs too long. Asking three or more pitchers to tag-team six or seven innings isn’t monumental. If Game 4 is tied after nine innings, however, managing workloads becomes a bit dicey – for that game and for the remainder of the series. Stripling and Gonsolin have pitched up to five innings as recently as August. Ferguson hasn’t completed three innings in a game all year. That’s why I think Ferguson draws the short straw here – only because Hill couldn’t stay healthy enough in September to start 5+ innings in the NLDS.The two remaining options are both attractive. Despite a shaky first inning Wednesday, Stripling has been reliable overall this month. Gonsolin has limited his September opponents to a miniscule .504 OPS, but seven walks in 11 innings might not cut it. Throw in Stripling’s experience and I give him a slight edge for the final roster spot over Gonsolin.Whether the Dodgers draw the Cardinals, Brewers or Nationals in the first round could determine who gets the final bullpen spot. So could the health of Hill and Kelly. Gonsolin has had two poor innings all month: one last Wednesday against the Rays, and another Sept. 7 against the Giants. Maybe one good outing by Gonsolin and one bad outing by Stripling this weekend shifts the balance.There’s a broader takeaway here, too. Back on Aug. 1, fans were up in arms when the Dodgers failed to consummate a trade for Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez. Friedman chose to build a new bullpen out of his existing parts instead. At a distance, that might have sounded like a hope and a prayer. Yet since Aug. 1, the Dodgers’ bullpen has been one of the best in baseball just about any way you slice it. Their internal options for October are bountiful, and Vazquez is in jail. What a difference two months makes.-J.P.Editor’s note: Thanks for reading the Inside the Dodgers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.More readingBelli or Yeli? – FanGraphs’ Craig Edwards declared the National League MVP race “too close to call.”Who’s your padre – Clayton Kershaw’s final regular season start offered a compelling audition for Game Whatever.Pescascarian diet – Walker Buehler says he won’t eat anything that swims.