Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On Child and Teen Obesity: It's not your fault.

The world breaks your heart. They advertise the worst food to you using the cartoon characters you loved when you were a toddler. They programmed you since birth. They fill your schools with sugar and pizza and french fries, with fruit juice and chocolate milk and soda, all foods that make you fat. And they put it in front of you and feed it to you, and then they tell you "Get more exercise." They don't tell you that no amount of exercise could work off the calories they're selling you. There aren't enough hours in the day.

It's not your fault if you're fat.

Even though everyone else joins in telling you it's your fault. All the skinny kids and adults who snicker, hiding their smiles from you, making jokes behind your back when you get in the swimming pool to exercise, they like to blame you because they don't want to see the truth: The deck was stacked against you before birth. For genetic reasons, you store more fat than they do, and that's an accident of chromosomes.

It's not your fault.

The diet that doesn't make them fat does make you fat, but it's making all of us sick, and that's the truth. Sugar is addictive. It's more addictive than cocaine. Think about that. People try to give sugar up every day, but they can't. They break down, adults who are supposed to be responsible and mature can't give up sugar, because it's in their brain and their blood, and it's been there since they were babies. The sugar is so ingrained in their brains that they end up sticking needles in their bodies to augment their natural insulin because their bodies can't keep up with the sugar. The age of onset for type 2 diabetes gets younger and younger every year. And you know what? Plenty of those jeering skinny people? They're going to get Type 2 diabetes too. We are in a public health crisis right now, and we should be screaming about it, but our government looks the other way.

That's not your fault.

Look on a nutrition label. On the right hand side there is a percentage recommended daily allowance for every ingredient on the label except for sugar. Why is that? Because they don't want you to know that they're making you sick. They want you to believe the labeling on the front of the box that tells you what's inside is good for you. Whole grain cereal. Fat free cookies. Low fat potato chips. It's double speak. George Orwell couldn't have written it better. They are tricking you.

That's not your fault.

Are you living in a food desert? Are the stores you shop in stocked only with food in boxes and bags? Do you have no other choice?

That is definitely not your fault.

Do you want to be healthier? If it's in a box or a wrapper, don't buy it, and that includes fast food. If you can put it on your pantry shelf for the next year without it going bad, don't eat it. It's full of chemicals. Do you crave sugar? Eat an apple. Eat five apples. Just don't reach for that healthy sounding whole grain granola bar that keeps feeding your addiction, making you want more and more and more. Are you thirsty? Have some water. Have some sparkling water. Have some tea. Don't reach for that cola or that fruit juice because it's practically the same thing as reaching for an insulin needle. If you live in a food desert, make the healthy choices you can make. Opt out from soda. Do water instead. You can do that even in a food desert.

Are you a child or teenager living in a house with people who rely on processed foods? It's not your fault if they resist you or stop you from making a change in your diet.

It's not your fault at all.

It's not our fault, but that doesn't change the problem: The only thing that will save our health as a nation is if we stand up to the sugar and the processed food that is killing us and say, "No more. I'll feed myself thank you." Be a voice for change. Eat from nature, not from industry, as much as you possibly can.

And above all, remember, it's not your fault that you will falter sometimes. It really isn't. There is a multi-billion dollar industry that spends oodles of money on advertising and marketing aimed at making you crave their product, distracting people from the obvious: Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. It's killing us.

It's not your fault at all. Just keep trying. That's all you can do.

Be your own hero.

I believe in you.