I’m just going to come right out and say that my eating habits are probably considered really unhealthy. However, after reading Why “Everything in Moderation” Doesn’t Work, I was definitely more aware of the food i was putting in my body. Quite often, I am short on time and grab something quick and cheap on the go. I normally don’t even keep track of what foods I eat at all, meaning some weeks I will cook all week and others I won’t cook at all. It just depends on the day and what my plans are. After taking this class and reading this article specifically, I have learned that my unhealthy eating habits can not be justified by moderation anymore. Because I am young, I don’t really think about the effects that eating unhealthy can have on my body. Most CVD don’t develop until older ages so I have always just eaten whatever I want. This article really opened my eyes to my eating habits and how these things can really take a toll on your body If I were to start taking my eating habits seriously I think my first step would be to eliminate all sugary drinks from my diet. Soda and juice contain so much sugar and other “super villains” in such small amounts. After that I would probably cut out snacks and add more veggies to my diet. The article stated that you need far more “ordinary” food to cancel out the super villain food, so incorporating more veggies and nutrients in general would be a great start to changing my diet.
Sugar is incredibly addictive, in fact, it has been found to be more addictive than cocaine. A study using 43 cocaine-addicted rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar-laced water over a 15-day period, by the end 40 of the 43 rats chose the sugar water over the cocaine. Not only is sugar addictive, it is harmful to our health. Sugar is a leading cause of obesity and shown to contribute largely to chronic metabolic diseases such as diseases, cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides and hypertension (Goldman, Carlson, Bailin, Fong & Phartiyal, 2014). Yet somehow, added sugar is in 74% of packaged foods (University of California San Fransico [UCSF], n.d.) Not only is it hard to avoid, it is hard to tell what has added sugar in the first place, as there are 61 different names added sugars can be listed under (UCSF, n.d.)
Children are at particularly high risk of developing obesity. Since 1970 childhood obesity has increased from 7-18% in 6-11-year-olds and 5%-21% in ages 12-19 (Centers for Disease Control, 2015.) One long-term study looking at the soda consumption in 11-12-year-olds found that with each additional serving of soda there was a 60% increase in the odds of becoming overweight.
With childhood obesity on the rise, the Obama administration tried to improve the nutritional standards of school lunches. Due to large pushback from large food companies like Swan, Congress introduced a bill that let the tomato paste found on pizza to be counted as a vegetable. We saw from our reading that as a country, we tend to undermine vegetables by serving them with or in unhealthy foods. I don’t think that things like pizza toppings, tomato paste, fires or potato chips count as a vegetable serving. We need better guidelines and policies on what truly constitutes meeting the nutritional standards.
I think people would be surprised and disgusted by some of this information. It makes me angry how dishonest our food industry. We have so little regulation in place to protect consumers and there are many products sold in the US which are banned in other countries due to health concerns. The consumer needs to push for more better more guidelines, transparent labeling and harsher regulations on the food industry in order to protect our nation from health risks.
Centers for Disease Control. (2015). Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html
Goldman, G., Carlson, C., Bailin, D., Fong, L., Phartiyal, P. (2014). Added Sugar, Subtracted Science: How Industry Obscures Science and Undermines Public Health Policy on Sugar. Retrieved from https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/added-sugar-subtracted-sciencecsducsreport.pdf
University of California San Fransico. (n.d.) Hidden in Plain Sight. Retrieved from http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.WP_-HI5Jmjh