Happy 2015! It’s a new year, and if there is one thing I love about the new year, it is the new vigor so many people have for life and the well-intentioned goals that typically revolve around health and fitness. I have heard all kinds of resolutions (mostly unrealistic ones that falter after a week or so), and while I think that resolutions have the potential for greatness (as long as they are specific, made realistically, and put into action with a plan for success), they oftentimes set the resolver up for possible failure, followed by frustration, self deprecation, and then a “screw it. I failed so I might as well go back to the old ways (or worse)” mentality. If I could gift only one resolution to many of the people in my life to get them moving in the right direction it would simply be this: CUT THE SUGAR!
Reducing the amount of sugar in anyone’s diet is the first step towards improved health, wellness, and livelihood. Frankly, the stuff is total crap, and to make matter worse, it’s incredibly addictive crap.
This past week, I somehow worked a bit of magic and managed to get my whole family to sit down with me and watch the documentary, Fed Up. Take a moment to watch this trailer to get a little insight into what the film is all about. Then, I’ll break down my thoughts on the movie, Big Food, and the world of sugar at large. I’ll tell you one thing before you watch, though: Something has GOT TO change, and I call for a revolution.
“This is the fundamental problem no one is talking about in society.”
What is this problem? I am sure you know by now… it’s sugar. This film provided a powerful launching off point for multiple family conversations since. Namely, the power of sugar and the way that the movie emphasized the power of media and Big Food to basically brainwash people since the moment they are exposed to a screen, a checkout line at the store, or even a typical city street.
“Kids are being told the biggest lie they will ever hear in their lives.”
Yoplait yogurt is not, in fact, healthy. Packaged products labeled “low fat” or “cholesterol free” are not real food. And sugar is added to EVERYTHING to build addiction, to fuel sales, and to (whether inadvertently or not) create a nation filled with increasingly sick sugar addicts, who have been led to believe that they’re buying healthy food items for their family, when in fact, of the “600,00 food items in America, 80% of them have added sugar.” And this sugar is killing us.
Worse yet, the folks behind the millions of advertisements know exactly what they are selling and who they are selling to. The sugar industry is extraordinarily powerful and they’re in business to make money, not to keep America healthy. Kids are the target because a child who gets addicted young is going to live an entire (sick) life buying the sugar-filled “foods” that these same people make money off of. This addiction is real, and kids are the target. To emphasize this, the film shows images of two brains, one given cocaine and one given sugar, and guess what… the brain lights up with sugar just like it does with one of the most addictive drugs there is. If you eat sugar (especially in the quantities that people are putting down these days), you’re going to become an addict; it’s as simple as that.
This is the first generation of American children expected to lead shorter lives than their parents
To me, that is terrifying. Despite the advancements in medicine and technology, people keep getting sicker, and now for the first time EVER, kids are going to live shorter lives than their parents. It is time that something changed, and the many of the ones with the most power to protect are doing quite the opposite.
If a foreign nation where doing this to our children, we would defend our families.
But government in this country not only hasn’t taken action to amend this, they are a part of the problem, leading to “one of the great public health epidemics of our time” where the government is actually “subsidizing the obesity epidemic.” The statistics don’t lie, but a blind eye is being turned to this epidemic by the individuals who have the power to do something about it.
The film provides some powerful statistics that hit home for my parents and definitely got their attention and hopefully the attention of many more across the country.
Over 95% of all Americans will be overweight or obese in 2 decades.
by 2050, 1 out of every 3 americans will have diabetes.
Dr. David Ludwig, associate professor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said it spot on: “We’ve placed private profit ahead of public health. It’s systematic political failure.” And it’s time the blame is directed where it should be. Up until this movie, I had never seen blame placed where it belongs. Instead, it seems to pingpong around from excuses such as “folks have no willpower” or “people are just too sedentary.” The blame needs to be put not on willpower, but on Big Food, advertising, and certain alliances between Bog Food and government, and the continual shoving under the rug of the biggest epidemic facing this country. Blaming willpower, as author Gary Taubes puts it, is a crime. Similarly, the number of people who are exercising are higher than they have ever been, yet Americans are fatter than ever before. Yes, we need to move (and not on an elliptical confined to a globo gym for an hour a few times a week), but more importantly, we need to change what we put in our mouths. Sugar impacts insulin, insulin levels impact mood, energy level, and productivity. Getting outside and moving looks a whole lot less inviting when your only functioning at half-mast because your slowly poisoning yourself with the food that is touted as healthy everywhere you look. It’s a sad dichotomy, and a condition that must change.
“Years from now, we’re going to say, ‘I can’t believe we let them get away with that.'”
Sound familiar? I think so. Pretty much every person in my generation and older knows someone whose life was impacted or lost as a result of smoking cigarettes. What’s the response? Outrage. Disgust…. How did this go on for so long? How was this considered ok? Why were young adults the target of cigarette advertisements for years? How were people allowed to smoke in restaurants, on public transportation, around children?
Is processed food the new tobacco? I’ll tell you what, I kind of hope so because look how far we have come in demonizing big tobacco. Let’s just hope that Big Food is next. Let’s hope that films like this continue to gain popularity and start the kinds of conversations that are scary to initiate, but potentially life saving when done. Keep asking your loved ones to watch this movie. Keep sharing articles like this one. Keep spreading the word. Keep supporting small farmers, who grow real, life-giving foods. And if you’re going to keep one resolution this year, make it this one: CUT THE SUGAR!
Happy New Year! Please share this message with anyone who might read. Who knows? You could change a life <3