INCREASING THE CONSUMPTION OF LOW-FAT MILK AND WHOLE-GRAIN CARBOHYDRATE SOURCES (TO REDUCE REFINED CARBOHYDRATES)

INTRODUCTION

Public health is an evidence-based discipline and every subset of this discipline, including the marketing process, should at all levels, base on research and evaluation. A comprehensive marketing plan should constitute planning, developing, implementing, and assessments. (Novick, Morrow, and Mays, 2008).

Milk is a highly nutritious drink providing a series of essential body nutrients including vitamins A & D, calcium, potassium and proteins. (heartzine.com). Whole milk consists of 150 calories, and 8g of fat; reduced fat milk contains 120 calories, and 4.5g of fat; low-fat milk contains 100 calories, and 2.5g of fat; and nonfat milk contain 80 calories, and 0g of fat. (Iannelli, 2011).

Refined carbohydrates are the products of processed grains and are typically deficient in essential nutrients, especially vitamin B, and this deficiency is directly proportional to the amount of refinement. Regular consumption of these refined carbohydrates in place of whole- grain carbohydrates will result not only in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but also in their depletion. (Miller, 2009).

ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM

There is a weight problem today in the United States. Obesity is a grave public health problem in the US. The CDC estimates the prevalence at about 26.7%, based on the self reported Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey data of 2009. (MMWR, 2010). Obese individuals have a 50 to 100% increased risk of premature death from all causes, compared to healthy-weight individuals. (CDC, 2010).

The ratio of processed and package foods to unrefined, natural and fresh produce in our grocery stores today is staggering. Designed with delicious taste, these foods have a longer shelf life, and are cheaper to produce. For this reason, they are preferred by both the general public as well as the food industry. The bulk of these processed foods contain ample amounts of refined carbohydrates and are being consumed in record proportions. (Miller, 2009). Consumption of foods having high amounts of refined carbohydrates results in digestion of high amounts of glucose causing a similar effect in blood glucose levels. The resultant effect of this consistent behavior is a poor digestion and intestinal dysbiosis (colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease), an impairment in the regulation of blood sugar (insulin resistance and type II diabetes), conversion of carbohydrates to fat for storage (obesity and weight gain), and suppression of immunity, through the reduction of vitamin C absorption and an exacerbation of glucocorticoid hormones. The excess release of steroid hormones is triggered by a reflex hypoglycemia due to frequent exaggerated insulin response. Sugar addiction, heart disease, free radical tissue damage, high level blood pressure, tooth decay, gall stones, allergic rhinitis, kidney disease, hyperactivity and allergies have all been associated to the consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates. (Miller, 2009).

GOAL

Increase the knowledge base on the target audiences and the food industry, about whole milk and refined carbohydrates versus low-fat milk and whole-grain carbohydrates respectively, on the health and the quality of life of the population ; changing people’s attitudes, to the extent of effecting a positive and permanent behavioral change on diet habits.

OBJECTIVES

1. Increase the ratio of natural, unprocessed or fresh foods to package and processed foods in our most mainstream grocery stores.

2. Increase the number of American families with more successive home cooking.

3. Mandate proper labeling of content and potential hazards on packaged food containers by the food Industry, with a substantial federal oversight.

4. Overall reduction in the incidence of childhood obesity.

MOST LIKELY EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS

The United States dietary guidelines recommend Americans to consume at least three glasses of milk every day.(heartzine.com). The consumption of three glasses of low-fat milk in place of whole milk will save 150 calories a day. This is equivalent to an extra pound of weight every three weeks, 19 pounds every year.

The most aggressive, yet mystifying intervention is entirely avoiding the consumption of refined carbohydrates. A more pragmatic approach will be to create a long-lasting partnership with the food industry on the possibilities of adjusting the content of sugars and refined carbohydrates in their products. An alternative option will be through policy makers, mandating the food industry to reduce the component of refined carbohydrates in place for whole-grain carbohydrates. These last two options are highly politicized and will be an uphill battle worthwhile. Grassroots integration lobbying will be an effective method of advocacy.

SELECTED AUDIENCES

1. Parents with young children between the ages of 2-11 years.

2. Elementary schools

3. County school boards responsible for Health and Nutrition.

4. State and local policy makers

CORE STRATEGY

The strategy will be based on two fronts: through policy change and steps to effectuate a positive behavioral change. The two products are policy change and the healthy diet behavioral change anticipated. Of considerable importance is to work for a policy change through the integration of grassroots lobbying into direct lobbying activities and use the Internet to access and distribute advocacy-related information. The behavioral problem identified in this unhealthy diet habits is compounded by the accessibility of packaged and process foods, as well as the lack of the knowledge base about the health complications and poor quality of life.

The price to be borne depends on the audience. For the food industry, direct economic loss will be incurred in redesigning the plant’s production units, and employing qualified personnel. A very steep opposition is anticipated from this audience. The policy makers will have to sacrifice time and patience in establishing the required policies. They may also lose some financial support from the food industries for future lobbying and campaigns. This is another potential source for opposition. The parents and young children aged 2-11 will have to sacrifice the “good” taste of whole milk and refined carbohydrates for more mediocre tastes, which they will soon get conceivably use to. (Miller, 2009).

The channels of distribution as earlier mentioned will be through the elementary schools, the Internet, and acting as a resource center for the media are excellent outlet points. Nowadays, the use of the social media such as linkedin, faceook, to name a few is a very valuable tool. These same points will at the same time be a resource for advertising as well. (Novick, Morrow, and Mays, 2008).

References:

CDC, (2010).Vital Signs: State-Specific Obesity Prevalence among Adults.United States. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm59e0803a1.htm

Heartzine.com (2008). Low Fat Milk can cut heart Disease Risk. Retrieved from: http://www.heartzine.com/news/low-fat-milk-can-cut-heart-disease-risk.html

Iannelli, V. (2011). Milk-Low-fat Vs Whole Milk. Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.about.com/od/milk/i/05_milk_2.htm?p=1

Miller, V. (2009). How Sugar Can Ruin Your Life. Retrieved from: http://naturalbias.com/how -sugar-can-ruin-your-life/

Novick, L., Morrow, C., and Mays, G., (2008). Public Health Administration: Principles for population-based management.

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease … (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.htm

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4 Responses

  1. Very informative and thoughtful research that do not leave the reader indifferent. The structure and the content are well elaborated. The proposals give a much further consideration beyond this topic.

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