USDA vs. FDA: What’s The Difference?

A family enjoying a healthy meal at the dining tableHere’s something you may have realized…there are a LOT of government agencies out there – and many of them are deeply influential regarding how we live our lives.

…even how and what we eat.

Two of the most important agencies that primarily affect our food every single day are the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But what specifically are these agencies responsible for?

The USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing government policies that will help farming, agriculture, forestry, and food communities thrive. It’s overall goals are to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, improve nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education, and protect natural resources, and foster rural communities.

The USDA can be contacted here.

The FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services – which is one of the United States federal executive departments.

The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter medicine, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), and veterinary products.

The FDA also enforces other laws, including sanitation requirements on interstate travel and control of disease on products ranging from certain household pets to sperm donation for assisted reproduction.

The FDA can be contacted here.

Soda (Even Diet) Can Raise Your Risk Of…

A woman holding glasses of both water and soda

There’s already SO much information out there explaining why soda, in general, just isn’t that great for you. From obesity to metabolic syndrome, the ongoing story on the negative impact of this sugary favorite is just getting worse and worse.

And now soda…and diabetes? Yes.

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A new study is now suggesting that just one 12 ounce serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage can raise your risk.

To conduct the study, researchers analyzed 15 years of data on soda pop consumption that included more than 27,000 people from seven European countries.

Their findings? More than 40 percent developed type 2 diabetes. Additionally, those who said they drank at least one soda or some other sweet drink each day showing an 18 percent higher risk of developing the disease. When other physical factors, like body weight and body mass index weren’t controlled for, the risk rose to 22 percent.

READ: The New Reasons Soda Can Kill You

This study is important because it is consistent with purely U.S. study findings that soda drinking can increase diabetes by 25 percent.

Interestingly, diet soda drinkers weren’t exempt from the risks. Experts have noted that the relationship between diabetes and diet soda can be explained partially by a greater craving for sugar after diet soda consumption. Additionally, aspartame, one of the main artificial sweeteners used today, causes an increase in glycaemia and a rise in insulin levels.

It is important to note that while this study does support the previous findings of multiple other studies, which conclude that soda hurts both your weight and your health, the results of this study are based on what scientists call an association study. This means that the information is gathered from self-reported drinking patterns, which can naturally contain certain inaccuracies.

Why The Diabetes Link?

READ: 4 Things That Make Diabetes Worse

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make enough of a hormone called insulin, or when the body ignores the insulin that it produces. Insulin’s job is to move glucose from the blood and into the body’s cells. Glucose is one of the body’s primary sources of energy. Without insulin, glucose is prevented from doing its job – to help support and replenish the body. When this happens, the body is stuck with too much blood sugar and too little nutrition for organs.

Sweet drinks can increase the risk of becoming overweight, which is already a well-known diabetes risk factor. But in addition to this, researchers believe that when a lot of sugar enters the bloodstream quickly, as it does when people consume soft drinks, the pancreas has to secrete larger amounts of insulin. But over time, with repeated soda sugar rushes, the pancreas may not be able to keep up with the demand for insulin, and sugar levels in the bloodstream may remain high, which is one of the essential symptoms of diabetes.