So, would you? Would you give your child alcohol? Even if they asked really nicely? Even if they pouted and stomped their feet? Even if all their friends were doing it? Even if your friends were giving it to their kids? Even it they served it at school? Of course, you wouldn’t! No one would. That is crazy!
First of all, everyone knows that is bad for them, plus it is illegal.
But what if sugar caused damage to the human body similar to what alcohol does. Would you think twice before you gave your child that sugar-laden treat? Just interchange the language, “Mom (or Dad) can I pleeeeease have a shot of vodka, pretty pleeease?”
Well, I have some news for you. If you are eating the Standard American Diet and you are providing your children with sugary treats after school and desserts, then that is exactly what you are doing. Remember, just because everyone is doing it, does not undo the damage that it is causing.
I am not pointing fingers. We did this with our own children and they in turn had their health problems. So I am sharing this not to say you are a bad parent (because you’re not). You just do not understand how our food has changed in the last 50 years and the health problems that too much sugar can cause to the human body.
February 1, 2012 — we should remember this day. This is a milestone day, a turning point that we can look back and say was the day we turned the corner of fixing our health problems. Why? Because of a little article published in the journal Nature called “The toxic truth about sugar.” Here is a link to the UCSF news release on the article. The article talks about the health concerns that too much sugar has on the human body. Here’s an excerpt:
Sugar, they argue, is far from just “empty calories” that make people fat. At the levels consumed by most Americans, sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes significant damage to the liver – the least understood of sugar’s damages. These health hazards largely mirror the effects of drinking too much alcohol, which they point out in their commentary is the distillation of sugar.
Worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled during the past 50 years and is viewed as a key cause of the obesity epidemic. But obesity, Lustig, Schmidt and Brindis argue, may just be a marker for the damage caused by the toxic effects of too much sugar. This would help explain why 40 percent of people with metabolic syndrome — the key metabolic changes that lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer — are not clinically obese.
This information is nothing new. Science has known about this little problem for some time. In fact, for a long time. There have been books and articles, but no one really pays much attention to it. But the reason I’m so excited is that this time, it is different. This article is getting attention. I am seeing news reports on this article pop up in mainstream media. Plus, I feel the researchers at UCSF are putting the gloves on and are ready to fight for what is right for our health and to bring this message out. Politically, we are trying to figure out what to do and how to address the problem in a way that society can handle and accept. And, the reason I am particularly excited is because I believe people are paying more attention, which is key.
If you want to know why sugar is a problem, you can read the blog post I did last April called: “sugar – making us sick“. It has some links that will give all the details on the topic.
“We are in the midst of the biggest public health crisis in the history of the world.”
This battle is not over by any means. In fact, I think it has just begun. The information is out there and available. The question you have to ask yourself is this – are you going to continue to give your kids (and yourself) a toxic substance that causes them (or you) health problems over time? Or are you going to take responsibility (even though no one else is) and do what is right for you and your family now?
Start with the recommended guidelines for sugar intake and make it your goal to stay within that range. You’ll be shocked to realize how much sugar you (and your kids) are taking in that you didn’t even realize.
At first, it may seem overwhelming and like an unattainable task. But it’s not. We were there. We were the typical American family eating the Standard American Diet with tons of sugar and we made the change. Yes, it takes a little time and effort, but I promise you will feel better and you will look better and it is a heck of a lot better than the alternative (which is being a statistic in “The biggest public health crisis in the history of the world.”)
You do not need to wait for a tax on sugar to start cutting back now. A little here and a little there is all it takes. This is an important fork in the road for you. What’s it going to be?
As always, if you need help or guidance that is what I do, just drop me a note or check us out at The Kitchen Skinny. The Kitchen Skinny is an integrated nutrition coaching and healthy eating club that helps people move towards healthy eating one meal at a time. We have a great group of people dedicated to making a healthy change in their diet and would love for you to join the club to make healthy eating a larger part of your life!