November, 2004
Shape Up America! Newsletter
November 2004


Ross Products Company partners with Shape Up America!
to Combat Diabesity through "Step Up Your Nutrition" program
There are more than 16 million Americans with diabetes and by far the most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes - the type that is associated with obesity. The recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program showed that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can avert this dreadful disease if they improve their eating habits, lose a modest amount of weight, and walk only 30 extra minutes each day. Even overweight people slashed their diabetes risk in half just by making these small lifestyle changes. To help us get out this good news, Ross Products, a division of Abbott Laboratories, has launched a great new program and selected Shape Up America! as a partner.

If you have a Kroger supermarket near you, starting on October 24th you will hear on the radio and see in the news that Ross Products - makers of Glucerna, Ensure and ZonePerfect - will be promoting the "Step Up Your Nutrition" program at Kroger supermarkets. Taking a cue from the efforts of Shape Up America! to raise awareness of DiabesityŽ* -- the greatly increased rates of diabetes that are a consequence of the growing rates of obesity, Ross Products has decided to take action to get the word out and to offer sampling opportunities for three of their products. At your local Kroger market, Ross will be offering important educational information about diabetes risk and how simple dietary and lifestyle changes such as those promoted by Shape Up America! can reduce that risk. Shape Up America! offers useful lifestyle change information and a step by step weight management program - Shape Up & Drop 10 -- in the "Members Only" section of our website []. Thanks to a grant from Ross Products, membership will remain free of charge through June of 2005.

If you know anyone who is at increased risk for diabetes - that is, anyone with a personal or family history of diabetes or anyone with a BMI above 25 -- now is the time to join Shape Up America! For a colorful and informative booklet filled with useful fitness and weight management information, fitness quizzes, a diabetes risk test, 10,000 steps program information and more - visit Kroger and look for the "Step Up Your Nutrition" program beginning in November.

Atkins in Public Schools - The "A" Stands for "Appalling"
The Atkins Nutritionals company has made millions of dollars selling diet books that disparage carbohydrates. The induction phase of the Atkins diet is so low in carbohydrates that it is ketogenic - forcing the human brain to shift from burning glucose, its preferred fuel, to burning "ketones" instead. There is some evidence the popularity of the diet is waning among adults. Now the company has set its sights on children in our public schools.

The low carb marketers of the Atkins diet are using a shrewd strategy to place their name and logo in front of our nation's children. They are linking with two major national educational organizations: the National Education Association (NEA), and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) as well as two New York State educational groups: the New York State United Teachers and Public Schools for the 21st Century, to commercially address the nation's childhood obesity epidemic in an arena that should be sacrosanct - our nation's schools.

The implementation of a strategy such as this highlights a remarkable lack of good judgment on the part of educational groups such as the NEA and NASBE - educators who should immediately dissociate themselves from an organization that seeks to promote an unbalanced diet to children. There are published studies showing that a very low carb diet in children can influence brain activity and is associated with kidney stones and a decreased bone mineral content. Children need a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat to the calories and nutrition they need to grow, learn and play. We urge you to read below and take action.

The Partnership for Essential Nutrition was launched by Shape Up America! in June, 2004 to combat the promotion of unbalanced diet strategies. The Partnership has been outspoken regarding the dangers of low carbohydrate diets (see the Partnership's website at It takes aim at commercial initiatives that will compromise the health of vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children who have a critical need for a balanced diet to support proper growth and development - especially brain development and function.

To generate a flood of letters of protest, the Partnership urges everyone to write or call:

  • ˇ Jerry Newberry, Director, National Education Association Health Information Network, 1206 6th St. NW, Washington DC 20036 (202)833- 4000
  • ˇ The executive director at the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is Brenda L. Wilburn, 277 S. Washington St., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 684-4000 [].
  • ˇ Public Schools of the 21st Century is a coalition that includes New York State United Teachers and Atkins Nutritionals. New York State United Teachers is located at 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York 12110-2455 (518) 213- 6000.

Member organizations include: Alliance for Aging Research, American Council on Science and Health, American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Institute for Cancer Research, American Obesity Association, National Women's Health Resource Center, National Consumers League, Pennington Biomedical Research Center [PBRC], Dr. George Bray, Emeritus Director of the PBRC, Shape Up America! (Partnership Organizer), Society for Women's Health Research, University of California at Davis-Department of Nutrition, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center
phone: 240-715-3900

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