One of my all-time favorite movies contains one of the saddest, most prophetic storylines Ive ever seen. The Pixar movie, Wall-E portrays humanity 800 years in the future. And their lifestyles are so sedentary, their diets so non-organic and sugar-laden, that theyre too grotesquely obese to stand up under their own steam.
Currently there are nearly 30 million youth between the ages of 2 and 19 who are obese or overweight. And among adults 20 and older a staggering 155 million are obese or overweight. The implications for their health over the short term and long term are alarming and disheartening - obesity, diabetes, nervous tension, hypertension, acne, headaches, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, and depression.
Sugar Shock: Each year Americans consume 130 pounds of sugar - thats almost three pounds of sugar every week. Adults devour 22 teaspoons every day, and our children? Hold on to your hats: 32! Yes - 32 teaspoons of sugar every single day! The biggest culprits are sodas, candies, cakes, cookies, and other toxic treats.
Informed Consumers: The Food and Drug Administration is considering recommendations to provide more comprehensive information on food labels so that consumers know exactly how much sugar theyre eating every day.
In response, food industry detractors make these contradictory claims: 1. that more information will simply create more confusion; and 2. that people who read food labels are already watching what they eat and dont need this additional information. The industrys hysteria about labeling really appears to be all about their bottom line. The publics health seems to be a secondary concern.
No Sugar Added Vs. Sugar-Free: A food labeled no sugar added may still contain sugar. Some natural sugars are in fruits [fructose] and many dairy products [lactose]. Both sugar-free foods and foods to which no sugar has been added may still contain artificial sweeteners.
Sweet Tooth Truths: Sugar substitutes, which may be 200 to 8,000 times sweeter than white sugar, can boomerang by stimulating your appetite and increasing your craving for carbs. Were wired so that when we taste something sweet, our taste buds may be happy, but our bodies expect a caloric payoff.
When there are no calories forthcoming from an artificial sweetener, our neuroreceptors remain in a fixed state of excitation and expectation. Like Charles Dickens Oliver Twist, our brains and our bodies cry, Please, sir, I want some more! The unhappy twist is that we end up eating much more to satiate that craving and we gain weight.
Corn Syrup: A Recipe For Disaster
When will we ever learn to leave Mother Nature alone? We clever humans take the fructose and glucose which are naturally occurring in corn, and separate them to make corn syrup. The fructose is then free to run amuck and it makes a beeline for your liver. Some 90 million Americans suffer with fatty livers caused by consuming tons of this noxious chemical. As a leading cause of diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and cancer, corn syrup is a recipe for disastrous health.
Sorry to leave a bad taste in your mouth, but sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.