Governor Schwarzenegger on Nutrition

This relates to brainspeed.com and similar plans for the future, from sports to gamer enhancement. One has to agree with the Governor's statements especially relating to childhood nutrition. This letter appeared in the Weider publications, electronically in RedNova

In Defense of Supplements

THROUGHOUT MY ADULT LIFE I've never missed an opportunity to preach the health benefits of the bodybuilding lifestyle. For me, following this lifestyle means not only working out in the gym on a regular basis but also maintaining good dietary habits. In addition, supplements are essential for safeguarding against nutritional deficiencies and augmenting training performance and its results.

Dietary supplements are of use to everyone, not just athletes. For instance, older people can benefit from multivitamins, calcium and glucosamine. Expectant mothers require extra supplementation as they nurture new life. Even in children, vitamins bolster growth and good health.

However, in the last few years, attempts have been made to limit the availability of many nutritional supplements. It's the nature of government to regulate - whether it's businesses, the workplace, when you should have lunch. Legislation on food supplements isn't necessarily an outright attack on the industry; it's just one more area where officials can say, "Wow! This isn't regulated. Let's go after it and regulate!"

* The issue has been clouded by misrepresentation of some of these products. Too often, dietary supplements are lumped into the same category as anabolic steroids. Possession and distribution of the latter is illegal, and all measures to stem their use should be enforced. Such was the case when I signed California Senate Bill 1444, which sought to tighten the legislation on supplements containing ephedrine-group alkaloids or steroid hormone precursors. Yet to ban dietary supplements such as protein powders, multivitamins, glutamine, etc., is misguided and wrong.

In the state of California, I've opposed attempts to limit the availability of dietary supplements. Many well-intentioned legislators don't understand these products, so they mistrust them, sometimes confusing them with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Recently, I vetoed California Senate Bill 1630, which sought to restrict the availability of performance-enhancing dietary supplements in schools. In explaining why I sent back the bill, I wrote (in part): "I am returning Senate Bill 1630 without my signature. The illegal possession and use of performance-enhancing steroids is clearly prohibited, and those existing laws should be strictly enforced to their full extent, particularly given the apparent heightened activity surrounding this dangerous practice. However, this bill focuses on performance-enhancing dietary supplements (PEDS) instead of focusing on ensuring that students participating in high school sports are not engaged in steroids use."

* I told those who supported this bill that obesity rates, particularly among children, are sky-rocketing, as are health-care costs. To show true concern for the health of our children, why don't we pass a law that takes junk food out of schools? Stop allowing the sale of french fries, doughnuts and other unhealthful foods at schools. Replace those products with fruits and vegetables and well-balanced, nutritional meals. That's the right move to protect the health of our children.

* Let me be clear: I believe in the use of healthy dietary supplements. It's wrong to consign them to the same category as anabolic steroids and other illegal substances.

For those of us who live the bodybuilding lifestyle, exercise, sound nutrition and supplementation improve our health and the quality and length of our lives. That's why I'm so energized to fight any attempt to limit the availability of nutritional supplements. A practical and responsible step forward would be educating the media, government bodies and consumer groups on how to distinguish between dietary supplements and harmful illegal substances. In the pages of MUSCLE & FITNESS and FLEX, our mission must be to enlighten the uninformed to the differences between the two and ultimately protect the kind of right America's forefathers wrote into our Constitution: the freedom of choice.

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Gov is working to protect dietary supplements


Copyright Weider Publications Jun 2005

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