Our country is becoming one of the most obese countries in the world! Is this something to be proud of? How do we tackle this problem? One family at a time. Your family. You can take some of these tips and change the future of your family’s health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), data collected between 2000 and 2008 reveals the 10 countries with the highest percentages of an overweight population:
#1 – American Samoa, 93.5 percent
#2 – Kiribati, 81.5 percent
#3 – U.S., 66.7 percent
#4 – Germany, 66.5 percent
#5 – Egypt, 66 percent
#6 – Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9 percent
#7 – New Zealand, 62.7 percent
#8 – Israel, 61.9 percent
#9 – Croatia, 61.4 percent
#10 – United Kingdom, 61 percent
This chart above shows the increase in use of High Fructose Corn Syrup in the last 40 years. And as you can assess, our country is increasingly more unhealthy. Can we continue on this path?
Our kid’s diets are easily influenced by the foods they are fed at school or at friend’s homes, for better or worse. Children are not immune to this increasing problem. In the U.S. alone, one third of all children ages 2-19 are now overweight.
There are quite a few downfalls to overweight children. Some are emotional. They will experience social problems and limitations. But more than social, there’s a predisposition for the rest of their lives. Something subconscious happens where they believe they will always be that heavier person. This translates into adulthood. The other side of overweight children is their basic physical development. Their immunity is compromised, and they will be more prone to diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure earlier in life.
Shouldn’t we give our kids the best start? We need to be aware that we are training their eating habits and choices. Do it for their future! Both for their emotional future and physical and health future.
One ingredient in particular is holding our children back. It’s High Fructose Corn Syrup! Be very aware of the dangers behind this substance and it’s power over our bodies and our children’s bodies.
In a quote from the NY Times basically describing the substance: “Table sugar comes primarily from sugar cane or sugar beets. High-fructose corn syrup is made essentially by soaking corn kernels to extract corn starch, and using enzymes to turn the glucose in the starch into fructose. The ingredient is a favorite of food makers for practical reasons. Compared with sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup doesn’t mask flavors, has a lower freezing point and retains moisture better, which is useful in making foods like chewy granola bars. And because the corn crop in the United States is heavily subsidized, high-fructose corn syrup is also cheap. As a result, it’s now used in so many foods, from crackers to soft drinks, that it has become one of the biggest sources of calories in the American diet.” They also say there are groups attempting to change the name of HFCS to “Corn Sugars” which they feel will sound “better” to consumers. But beware!! It’s the same product.
The truth about high fructose corn syrup:
- Is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than other sugars
- Is metabolized in your liver, where it turns directly to fat and cholesterol (table sugar, or sucrose, is metabolized in your intestines)
- Leads to fat deposits in your liver, increasing buildup of lipoproteins
- Contributes to plaque buildup and narrowing of blood vessels
- Generates uric acid within mere minutes of ingestion, leading to an increased risk of numerous diseases
- Contributes to increased food intake and weight gain because of its inability to stimulate appetite-dampening hormones
Tips to avoid HFCS:
- Understand what “natural” or “organic” means on labels with regard to HFCS. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the use of the word “natural”. Foods and beverages can be labeled as “natural” even though they contain high fructose corn syrup, because fructose is a naturally occurring sugar. The word “organic” is heavily regulated, and basically, only foods labeled as 100% organic can be assumed to be HFCS-free. For a more detailed explanation, see the Tips below.
- Avoid fast food. Most Fast food contains high fructose corn syrup.
- Read food labels. This is the easiest and most sure-fire way to know if there is high fructose corn syrup in your food. High fructose corn syrup can be found even in products which aren’t sweet, such as sliced bread and processed meats like sausage and ham.
- Avoid canned or bottled beverages. Soft drinks, sports drinks, lemonade, iced tea, and almost every sweet drink you can think of contains high fructose corn syrup. If you do buy sodas, look for international brands without HFCS or even the “passover” section of your grocery store. Cokes with a yellow cap don’t contain HFCS.
- Buy fresh produce and learn to cook it. The real problem is too much refined and processed food, not any one particular ingredient.
- Lower your sweetener consumption altogether. The USDA recommends that a person with a 2000 calorie, balanced diet should consume no more than 32 g (8 tsp) of added sugar per day. Here are some sweet foods and the percentage of the daily recommended amount of sweeteners they provide:
Typical cup of fruit yogurt – 70%
Cup of regular ice cream – 60%
12-ounce Pepsi – 103%
Hostess Lemon Fruit Pie – 115%
Serving of Kellogg’s Marshmallow Blasted Froot Loops – 40%
Quarter-cup of pancake syrup – 103%
Cinnabon – 123%
Large McDonald’s Shake – 120%
Large Mr. Misty Slush at Dairy Queen – 280%
Burger King’s Cini-minis with icing – 95%
Consider some of these tips to fight obesity in your family:
- Get moving. Take bike rides and sign up for fun-runs together as a family.
- Turn the TV and computer off
- Eat raw as often as possible
- Remove temptations from your home. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it.
- Limit ALL sugars, not just High Fructose Corn Syrup, although starting there is a good idea.
It’s so important to take the leadership in your own family. Take the time to care enough about your children’s future. You have been entrusted with these precious beings, how will you set them up for a healthy future?