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TRANS FAT DOESN'T STIR MUCH 'NANNY STATE' DEBATE

Monday, 11 November 2013 07:09 Published in Health & Fitness

WASHINGTON (AP) -- They are among our most personal daily decisions: what to eat or drink. Maybe what to inhale.

Now that the government's banning trans fat, does that mean it's revving up to take away our choice to consume all sorts of other unhealthy stuff?

What about salt? Soda? Cigarettes?

Nah.

In the tug-of-war between public health and personal freedom, the Food and Drug Administration's decision to ban trans fats barely rates a ripple.

Hardly anyone defends the icky-sounding artificial ingredient anymore, two decades after health activists began warning Americans that it was clogging their arteries and causing heart attacks.

New York, Philadelphia, a few other localities and the state of California already have banned trans fat from restaurant food.

McDonald's, Taco Bell and KFC dropped it from their french fries, nachos and chicken years ago.

The companies that fill grocery shelves say they already have reduced their use of trans fat by nearly three-fourths since 2005.

Growers are promoting new soybean oils that they say will eliminate, within a few years, the need for partial hydrogenation, the process that creates trans fats still used to enhance the texture of some pie crusts, cookies and margarine.

Mostly, Americans' palates have moved on, and so have their arguments over what's sensible health policy and what amounts to a "nanny state" run amok.

When they aren't feuding over President Barack Obama's health care law, state politicians are busy weighing the wisdom of legalizing marijuana. Already 20 states and the District of Columbia have authorized it for medicinal use. Voters in Colorado and Washington state approved smoking pot just for fun.

The FDA is taking heat for delays in coming out with new rules on regular-old tobacco cigarettes under a law passed in 2009. There are the new e-cigarettes to worry about, too. More than 20 states have banned stores from selling electronic cigarettes to minors, but the federal government has yet to take them on.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to stop restaurants from selling sodas larger than 16 ounces, and the federal government's efforts to impose healthier lunches on school kids are causing more of an uproar than the trans fat ban.

Still, Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health, says a national trans fat ban is "a big deal." After all, the FDA estimates it will prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths a year.

Levi doesn't see it as evidence that federal regulators are suddenly on a roll, however.

"There are other areas where regulation is sort of stuck - everything from nutrition labeling to food safety to the tobacco regulations that have not seen the light of day," Levi said.

Talk of new government regulation typically stirs up libertarians and conservatives. Yet the trans fat ban hasn't provoked much beefing.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh groused that bureaucrats shouldn't regulate what people eat because it's "none of their business" and research on nutrition keeps changing. After all, sticks of margarine made with trans fats used to be recommended as a healthier alternative to butter.

Heritage Foundation research fellow Daren Bakst, who specializes in agriculture issues, blogged that the FDA is "ignoring the most important issue: the freedom of Americans."

A few fans of ready-to-spread cake frostings and microwave popcorn that still contain trans fat griped via Twitter.

They don't have to worry immediately.

The FDA must consider comments from the food industry and the public before it comes up with a timeline for phasing out trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils. It could take years to get them off the market.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, has been warning about the dangers since the early 1990s. Advocacy by the center helped persuade the government to add trans fat to nutrition labels beginning in 2006.

That created consumer pressure on food companies to find tasty ways to replace partially hydrogenated oil with less harmful fats. The companies' success helped clear the way for the government to consider a trans fat ban, he said.

"It's a little bit of an exception, in that it's so harmful and it was so widely used," Jacobson said, "and there are substitutes so that people can't tell the difference when it's removed."

Next on Jacobson's wish list is something that would be much harder for industry and the FDA to accomplish: reducing the salt in processed foods.

"There are estimates that it's causing around 100,000 deaths prematurely every year in this country," he said. "That is just huge."

---

Follow Connie Cass on Twitter: HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/CONNIECASS

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

 

 

Shattenkirk's goal helps Blues beat Penguins 2-1

Saturday, 09 November 2013 23:57 Published in Sports

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Kevin Shattenkirk's first goal of the season midway through the third period sent the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Ryan Reaves also scored for St. Louis and Jaroslav Halak stopped 19 shots as the Blues won for the 11th time in 15 games to start the season. It's the first time they've done that since 2003-04, also the best start in franchise history.

It was St. Louis' first regulation victory against the Penguins since a 4-1 win Dec. 19, 2006, in Pittsburgh.

Jussi Jokinen scored and Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the Penguins, who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak. The 20 shots were a season low for Pittsburgh.

Shattenkirk's wrist shot from the right point got through traffic at 10:52 of the third period. Fleury got a piece of the puck but it trickled into the net to break a 1-all tie.

Shattenkirk extended his points streak to eight games.

Reaves scored the first goal of the game and the 11th of his career when he redirected Maxim Lapierre's centering feed past Fleury 2:52 into the second period.

The Penguins were able to get the equalizer when Jokinen, parked in the slot, redirected Evgeni Malkin's centering feed from the right circle 8:06 into the second. Roman Polak was serving an interference penalty for the Blues.

Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart gave the Blues their best scoring chances in the first period. Shattenkirk's shot from the right circle was stopped by Fleury 5:33 into the game. Stewart missed on a backhand at the side of the Pittsburgh net after getting a pass from Patrik Berglund with 8:33 left in the first period.

Halak was up to the task for the Blues in the first, stopping Chris Kunitz's one-time snap shot of Sidney Crosby's no-look pass with 10:17 remaining. Halak then had Crosby barreling down on him from the left side after T.J Oshie's turnover, but the Blues' goalie made a save with his right arm as Crosby tried going high on the short side with 3:45 remaining in the opening period.

Fleury preserved a 1-all tie by stopping Oshie with 16:15 remaining, then getting a shoulder on David Backes' one-timer after Oshie's feed with 10:45 to play.

Fleury flashed his glove on Alexander Steen's wrister with 5:14 remaining off a 2-on-1 to keep the Penguins within a goal at 2-1.

NOTES: The Blues are one of four teams that haven't allowed a goal to Crosby in his career. The others are San Jose, Edmonton and Chicago. ... Blues D Jordan Leopold (hand) missed his first game of the season. Penguins D Paul Martin (undisclosed) also missed his first game with an injury. Penguins RW James Neal (upper body) returned after missing 15 games. RW Beau Bennett (lower body) returned after missing 11 games. ... The teams' previous meeting was Jan. 24, 2012, a 3-2 shootout victory for the Penguins. ... Reaves and Penguins D Deryk Engelland fought 3 seconds into the game.

Mauk leads No. 9 Missouri past Kentucky, 48-17

Saturday, 09 November 2013 16:31 Published in Sports

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Maty Mauk threw five touchdown passes, four to Dorial Green-Beckham, and No. 9 Missouri cruised past Kentucky 48-17 on Saturday.

Making his fourth consecutive start in place of the injured James Franklin, the Tigers' redshirt freshman completed 17 of 28 attempts for 203 yards and took full advantage of 6-foot-6 sophomore Green-Beckham, whose TD receptions set a school record.

Mauk added a 6-yard scoring pass to Henry Josey, who also rushed for two TDs, including an 86-yarder.

Missouri (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) allowed Kentucky (2-7, 0-5) two touchdowns in the third quarter but the Mauk-to-Green-Beckham connection answered both scores with TDs.

The victory helped the Tigers stay a half-game ahead of idle South Carolina (5-2) atop the East division heading into their second bye and gave coach Gary Pinkel his fourth nine-win season in 13 years with Missouri.

Missouri outgained Kentucky just 426-369, but its defense recorded seven sacks and recovered a fumble in handing the Wildcats their 13th straight SEC loss.

Kentucky's only consolation were scores on the opening possessions of both halves. Joe Mansour kicked a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter, while quarterback Jalen Whitlow ran for a 1-yard TD to start the second half.

Raymond Sanders' 1-yard TD run brought the Wildcats within 35-17, but the Tigers tacked on two more TDs to cap a day in which they scored four consecutive times in the first half and three times in the second.

Missouri came in with one of the SEC's top offenses, averaging 500 yards and nearly 41 points per game. The Tigers were coming off a 502-yard effort in last week's 31-3 rout of Tennessee, when Mauk ran and passed for more than 100 yards each and threw for three TDs.

Mauk ended up matching his season TD total in one game before giving way to Franklin in the fourth quarter, his first action since injuring his shoulder against Georgia.

Green-Beckham had the biggest day, catching seven passes for 100 yards. Josey, meanwhile, finished with 113 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Dominant as the Tigers were, their timing seemed off during the first two series after the early start. But then they caught a huge break when Kentucky punter Landon Foster shanked a 13-yard kick to the Wildcats 39.

Back-to-back runs of 6 and 27 yards by Marcus Murphy moved the Tigers to Kentucky's 8 and set up Mauk's floater in the left corner of the end zone, where Green-Beckham effortlessly went up over 6-foot cornerback Nate Willis to snag the touchdown pass.

Missouri special teamer Levi Copeland made Foster's day even worse on the next drive by blocking his attempted punt inside the 10. It was recovered by the punter at the 4. Josey ran it in on the next play, and just like that the Tigers were up 14-3.

The Tigers' next touchdown was nearly identical to the first, as Green-Beckham out-jumped Willis again on the left side of the other end zone for a 7-yard score to cap the Tigers' first sustained drive, 67 yards and 10 plays.

Missouri was just as methodical on its final scoring drive of the half. The Tigers went 87 yards and 15 plays and ended with Mauk's 6-yard pass to Josey, who stretched to hit the pylon as he was knocked out of bounds.

 

Kentucky controlled the ball for more than 37 minutes, but it didn't matter as Missouri scored quickly in bunches.

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