Do you need something educational and inspiring to watch with your family. We would recommend that documentary FED-UP. I’d like to share some of my take-aways from this film and hopefully you can have a great discussion together with your family at the end about what we could all do in our own homes to improve our health through smarter food choices.
I wanted to share some of the key take home messages of this powerful film.
- The state of America’s health is worse than most of us are even willing to imagine.
- In the past 25 years the number of overweight children has gone from 1:20 to 1:5.
- This year, for the first time in recorded history more people will die globally from the effects of obesity than will die from starvation.
- Obesity is now neck and neck with smoking as the leading cause of cancer.
- The notion that weight gain can be reduced to a simple equation of calories in vs calories out is flat out wrong and it isn’t working. There is much more to the process.
- It is impossible to really accurately count the number of calories you consume nor determine the number of calories you burn per day.
- Even if you could count things accurately, in order to burn off 1 20 oz. soda a person would have to bike for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 1 cookie equals 20 minutes of running. 1 medium French fry equals 1 hour and 12 minutes of swimming. Most people don’t have that much time in their day to try to exercise their way out of a bad diet.
- In addition, 160 calories of almonds is profoundly different in your body than 160 calories of a soft drink or sugary treat. The empty calories of sugar create a dramatic increase in insulin and the storage of fat even if the total daily calories are lower than what you burn!
- There are over 600,000 manufactured processed foods in America and a full 80% of them have added sugar!
- We’re seeing heart disease in 8 year olds, strokes in 13 year olds and people needing renal dialysis due to kidney failure before they are 30. There is no way for this to be caused by genetics. These problems have come on in 30-40 years, far too quick for a genetic cause.
- The entire “fat free” movement was based on poor research and that move to decrease fat in foods is directly responsible for the obesity epidemic. Fat free food tastes awful and so they added more sugar to make it palatable.
- Sugar is a chronic, dose-dependent, hepatotoxin (liver poison). Cancer, heart disease, diabetes are literally driven by excess sugar.
- Processed carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, potato products, processed cereals etc. are literally turned into sugar in an instant inside our bodies. You can eat a bowl of corn flakes with no added sugar or a bowl of sugar with no added cornflakes and although they may taste different, below the neck they are metabolically the same thing.
- Fruit juices that don’t have the natural fibers from the whole fruit are the sugar equivalent of drinking a coke.
- American Heart Association suggests that we should have 6-9 tsp. per day. The average person now eats over 41 tsp. per day.
- W.H.O. scientists determined that we should get no more than 10% of dietary intake from sugar but the sugar lobby in Washington in effect hijacked the document behind closed doors. They wanted the guidelines to say that a full 25% of your dietary calories should come from sugar and they were successful in their efforts to alter the document.
- Sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine.
- Will power doesn’t work well in the face of addiction.
- While government laws require the food industry to label the percentage of daily allowance of other food ingredients, you won’t find that percentage next to sugar. They are exempted from that requirement.
All this was powerfully brought to light within the FIRST HALF of the film. I think you get the point. The entire food system is set up to create obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and other degenerative disease. There is ample scientific understanding but the economic engine of the country is built on many powerful sectors that depend on maintenance of the status quo power structure.
This problem won’t be solved without creating a market demand and even then, it may be too late to right this ship as a society. We’ve now exported our American lifestyle to virtually all corners of the earth.
I’m not a public policy maker. I’m not a research scientists. I’m not a politician. Thinking about how to solve this problem on a global scale can be left to people immensely smarter than me. What I do know is that I can help change is the health of my family, my community of my patients and that is enough for me.