When I trained in medical school… we didn’t even learn about the management of Type II Diabetes in children… it didn’t exist. We didn’t see children with strokes, hypertension, or heart disease. Three decades later our children are suffering from these diseases at an alarming rate.
Do you remember having to stop running around as a child out of sheer exhaustion? I don’t either. Things are different these days. Radically different.
- One in three children are overweight, and
- One in five are obese.
- This is the first generation that may not live beyond the life expectancy of their parents.
Obesity … and it’s related illnesses and disability will be the number one cause of death and chronic disease in the US and other parts of the developed world.
Sugar is the problem
A calorie is NOT a calorie … period. If you consume 100 calories of nuts, the fiber and other components in the nuts slow the way you absorb the sugars in the nuts. The liver “sees” the sugar quite differently than if you consume 100 calories of sugar via juice, sports drinks, snacks or any other processed food. When we consume sugar in those drinks and foods it all hits the liver at once. That’s because there is nothing naturally bound to the sugar to slow it down. When that sugar hits the liver, it revs up to meet the demand, which leads to an increase in insulin. The insulin tells the liver to turn that sugar into fat. Worse … the insulin tells your brain that you are hungry! And the cycle repeats itself… over and over and over.
Increasing exercise is NOT the answer
YES .. exercise is important. YES our children should be outside running around. BUT… they couldn’t possibly run enough to burn off the calories that they’ve ingested all day by eating processed foods.
What to do ?
Some simple tips … from the folks at Responsible Foods.
Eat real foods, whole foods, with one ingredient.
On social media, express support for policy changes that limit added sugar.
Exercise. Any amount.
Read the ingredients. The fewer, the better. Can’t pronounce it? Don’t eat it.
If you are serving treats, also offer fruit, veggies and other real food options.
Be skeptical of health claims on packaged foods. The Low-Fat label has been exploited to conceal high quantities of sugar.
Avoid soda, sports drinks, sweet teas and juice.
We are the solution to the problem …. we are the solution to the number one health crisis faced by our children today.
We can do this … It will be hard … but it’s worth it!
Disclaimer: this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.