Ministry to impose ban on sugary drinks in schools

Source: Taipei Times (http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/10/11/2003680129)

HEALTH CHECK:A legislator proposed the amendment, citing data showing that about 29 percent of elementary and junior-high school students are overweight or obese

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Education has agreed to amend the School Health Act (學校衛生法) to impose a ban on the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks at elementary, junior high and senior high schools, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said on Thursday.

Current regulations allow only seven types of drinks to be sold at elementary and junior-high schools — vegetable and fruit juices, fresh milk, yogurt, soy milk, ultra-high temperature processing milk, bottled drinking water and mineral water.

The law is less restrictive for senior high schools, where the only sugary drinks that cannot be sold are carbonated beverages.

Pan made the comment at a legislative hearing, at which Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Nai-hsin (蔣乃辛) proposed an amendment to the act to expand the ban to the sale of foods high in salt, fat and sugar, in addition to prohibiting the sale of sugary beverages at senior high schools.

The ban is needed because children’s consumption of junk food is responsible for increasing weight problems among students, he said.

About 29 percent of students at elementary and junior high schools are considered overweight or obese, Chiang said, citing student health check data provided by the ministry.

The ministry agreed with the direction of the proposed amendment, which it would put into practice as soon as it is enacted by the Legislative Yuan, Pan said.

In March, Changhua County became the first local government to ban sugar-sweetened beverages at preschool to senior high school campuses and other educational institutions.

The amended Changhua County Self-Governance Ordinances for Food Safety Management (彰化縣食品安全管理自治條例) stipulate that companies and people are forbidden from providing sugar-sweetened drinks to students in the county’s approximately 1,000 educational institutions, regardless of whether they are selling, gifting, rewarding or delivering.

Drinks provided by parents to their children should have sugar content labeling and cannot exceed 25g of sugar per serving, it says.

Lycopene might improve BPH, joint study suggests

Source : Taipei Times (http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2017/09/04/2003677780)

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

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Medical research suggests that eating foods that contain lycopene — commonly found in red fruits and vegetables — can improve benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) physician said yesterday.

The Taiwanese Association of Andrology held two talks on men’s health issues at NTUH yesterday, one about BPH — a non-cancerous condition in men in which the prostate is enlarged and often causes problems when urinating.

About half of men aged above 50 years in the nation have problems with BPH, and the likelihood of developing the condition increases with age, the association said.

An early symptom of BPH is a weakened or slower urine stream, NTUH urologist Tai Huai-ching (戴槐青) said, adding that while the normal discharge rate is about 15cc to 20cc of urine per second, mild cases of BPH can cause the rate to drop to about 10cc to 15cc per second and serious cases to lower than 10cc per second.

He said symptoms also include frequent or urgent need to urinate or inability to completely empty the bladder, which might lead to urinary tract infection or even increased risk of chronic kidney disease in serious cases.

A five-year international clinical study conducted by researchers from NTUH and the US on thousands of BPH patients above the age of 50 found that those who consumed a certain amount of lycopene showed significant improvements when urinating, association chairperson and NTUH urologist Chang Hong-chiang (張宏江) said.

The causes of BPH are mainly associated with genetic inheritance, but men who eat foods high in animal fats also have higher risk of developing the condition, he said.

Lycopene can be found in ripe tomatoes, pumpkins, carrots, papayas, grapefruits and many red fruits and vegetables, John Tung Foundation Food and Nutrition Center director Hsu Hui-yu (許惠玉) said.

However, as lycopene is a lipid-soluble compound, people might mistakenly think that the fruits and vegetables must be cooked for the body to absorb it, but it can also be absorbed when eaten raw with salad dressings, meats or nuts, as they all contain oils, she said.

The FDA is flip-flopping on its decision to let tea farmers use a worrisome chemical

CNA  Thursday, June 29, 2017, 3:12 pm TWN

Source : The China Post (http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/2017/06/29/499082/the-fda.htm)

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday revoked its decision to tolerate fluopyram in tea, after its previous decision to permit residue of the fungicide stirred controversy.

In line with the Council of Agriculture (COA) policy of allowing the use of a pesticide that is a mixture of fluopyram and trifloxystrobin on tea bushes, the FDA on March 15 announced that up to 6 ppm of fluopyram residue would be permitted.

The announcement immediately triggered an outcry, because fluopyram has been linked to thyroid and liver cancer in mice.

According to Pan Chih-kuan (潘志寬), head of the FDA’s Division of Food Safety, the FDA’s decision to revoke the tolerance for fluopyram was made to ease consumers’ concerns and avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.

The FDA and COA will reconsider the use of fluopyram and its residue limit and will strengthen communication with the public before a further decision is made, he said.

 

 

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