Solutions To Childhood Obesity In America

 

I think there are always times in our lives when we wish we could have a do-over. And that is how I feel right now in America. When I am out and about I can’t help but notice that there are much more obese children these days than there were when I was a child. I remember having 1 or 2 kids in middle school that was overweight. Now it seems like 50% of kids are heavier than they should be.

It worries me very much. I often think about what the future holds for these children. If they are struggling to be healthy now under their parent’s guidance, what kind of a future are we offering them? Perhaps the problem is with the parents?

I was curious if my eyes are deceiving me. Perhaps the obesity rate in American children isn’t nearly as bad as I think it is. So, to test myself, I did a Google Search for “statistics childhood obesity America”. Here’s what I learned from the CDC: “In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s.”

That is freaking Crazy!

I am really scared for our children. I worry about the number of children who develop liver-disease because their livers can’t function. Or they have diabetes or will develop type two diabetes. Children should be able to move around and not be short of breath. They should be able to run and have fun.

My kids are grown, but I wish I could go back and give them better education on nutrition. But I also wish I had the knowledge that I have now. I think if I gave them a better start nutritionally, I could have set them up to be healthier adults.  I am angry that we are constantly being lied to by the media, doctors and the food industry. The commercials on tv feed our kids lies.

Now that I have the knowledge it is my obligation to pay it forward and help those who will listen. And believe me, there are many who don’t want to hear it. I also try to be an example for others. I share my knowledge as much as possible. I discuss nutrition with my kids in hopes of making them realize that some foods out there are so processed that they are not even real food. My hope is that they will carry this knowledge with them and raise healthy children of their own one day.

I am not an Expert but I think we need to find ways stop childhood obesity and we need to do it now. We can’t go back and change time. But we can still help to make a change in a child’s life and the lives of future children. Here are some of the things that I would do, If I could have a do-over.

  • Be the Example of Good Nutrition:  Perhaps I can’t change things in the past, but I get to be the example to others about what is the healthy kinds of foods to eat. And I can show people them what not to eat. Even if they learn one thing from me and pass it on, it will be making a slight change. If you are overweight or have health issues caused by bad nutrition, you need to take action and get healthy. Be the example that your kids need. Show them what you are capable of.
  • As a parent/grandparent, limit the number of processed foods you have in your child’s diet. Understand that sugar is what makes you fat, not fat. Kids should not be eating low-fat food!!! They should actually be eating less sugar, bread, pasta, potatoes and rice and more healthy fat. And they should be eating lots of veggies and fruits. Just eat real food. Real food doesn’t have a label and it doesn’t come in a box.
  • Limit eating at fast food restaurants. I see this all the time when kids eat fast food 3 or 4 times a week for dinner. As parents, I think it is important to stop this habit. I know life is busy and it is hard to find time to cook every night. But you can make a serious effort to try to eat more real food.  Your child’s future health depends on it.
  • Encourage children to eat a colorful diet of real foods which include vegetables, fruit, dairy, and meats.
  • Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet. Perhaps instead of having sweets like cake and cookies in the house, instead have lots of fruit and nuts. Kids will start to want the healthier choices.
  • Pack your child’s school lunch because school lunches are ridiculous and often full of very processed foods. Don’t believe me? Ask your kids what was offered in the cafeteria today. There is a good possibility that it is processed food. I personally would rather pack my kids lunches than to trust the state or county to feed my kids.
  • Discourage snacking after dinner. Often we and our kids eat just to eat.
  • Encourage kids to play outside and be active. Kids these days don’t get as much physical exercise as we did when we were little. Playing outside in the sunshine is really important for childhood health.
  • Get Educated: If you are reading this, then you are either on your phone or computer. Use those tools to learn everything you can about health and nutrition. Here are my top 3 recommended books:

Can we solve childhood obesity? I’m not sure. But I’m sure not going to stand by and watch our kids get sicker and sicker. If I can make a tiny change I will try my best.

What about you? Are you worried about childhood obesity?

Obesity Code Unlocking Secrets of Weight Loss

Are you pre-diabetic, diabetic or obese? Do you love someone who is? If so, you need to read this book! 

As someone who loves someone who was a type 2 diabetic, this epidemic is very personal to me. It is frustrating when your loved one is sick, their blood sugar is out of control and the doctor just wants to give them a pill (metformin in our case) and send them on your way.

This is where the problem is.

Pills don’t cure the disease. They are simply a band-aid. Unless you fix the cause of the disease, it will continue to get worse. We couldn’t let that happen. We had to turn this disease around.

And we did it by changing our diet. He reversed his diabetes and dropped 50 pounds. I was lucky, my obesity hadn’t turned into diabetes yet, but I was heavier than I should have been and very unhealthy.

As part of my weight loss journey, I found myself hungry for more and more knowledge. I mean, I learned by watching my body shrink down from a size 16 down to a size 8 how to be healthy but I wanted to know more. Why does is my body healthier by eating more fat and fewer carbs? Why is it many diabetics are able to reverse their diabetes simply by eliminating sugar from their diet? I got all of my questions answered in this book.

The Obesity Code: Unlocking The Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung, MD

In this book, Dr. Fung answers many of the questions that I needed answers to. And he explains them in an easy way to understand.

First, he talks about the epidemic. And yes, obesity is an epidemic. Just look around. Here in America, it seems as though there are more overweight people than people of normal weight. And the number of obese people is ridiculous.

There are more obese children than ever before in history. This is scary for me. Whats even scarier is learning that there are more type 2 diabetic children and teens with liver disease than ever before! This is frightening to me and really sad.

In the first section of the book, Dr. Fung talks about some of the myths about weight loss. For example, the idea of “eating less and moving more”. I can tell you from my personal experience as someone who ate less and worked out daily that it doesn’t work! No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t lose the fat.  I consistently was overweight regardless of how much I worked out.

It wasn’t until I eliminated sugar and added more fat that I was able to get my weight under control. You see, we are wrong when we had this idea that eating less will help us lose weight. In this book, Dr. Fung explains some of the lies that we were taught. And you will realize that you were not crazy. And if you are overweight, it isn’t your fault. You just need to learn what actually works.

This books helped me to understand how my body works and about how insulin is what controls my weight not necessarily calorie intake. And actually, in part 3 Dr. Fung says he can make anyone fat simply by giving them insulin. He believes that insulin is the cause of obesity. So this explains why counting calories don’t work. Actually as crazy as it seems, insulin

This book really helped to clear up the confusion I have over the obesity problem we have here in the US. It is actually pretty simple. Obesity isn’t about calories in and calories out.

Obesity is about having a hormonal imbalance. The two hormones that play a role in weight loss and weight gain are insulin as discussed above and cortisol.

So what about the hormone cortisol aka stress hormone? After reading this book, I have learned that yes, in fact, stress can cause weight gain and obesity. Also, the lack of sleep can add stress to the body and trigger cortisol. So I think we can all benefit with a little rest and relaxation. Sleep is very important.

He also goes into great detail about how a low carb diet actually does help you lose weight and get healthy. Yes, Atkins had it right all along. It seems us Americans are hardheaded at times. A great example is a low-fat diet that I knew most of my life. From the time I was a teenager until my late 40’s, I believed the hype that fat was bad and you should eat low-fat food. Yet, as a country, eating this way made us fat. Duh. So it is only logical that fat isn’t the problem.

If you were like me and think that fat is the problem (not sugar), then you really need to read this book. I promise you will not be disappointed and it may save your life or the life of a loved one.

 

 

Obesity Isn’t Your Fault!

If you are one of the 30% of Americans who is obese or overweight, it isn’t your fault. And you are not alone.

The frustrating thing is that most of us watch our diet, eat “healthy food”, watch calories or eat low fat. But nothing works. And for me, I realized it was because of the “healthy foods” I was eating was making me fat.

Many of the grains, fruits, and vegetables that I was eating for extra fiber and good health were full of sugar and carbohydrates. And what I didn’t know is that those very things made me crave more sugar and carbs. And not only that my body would store those things as fat.

Now I know that if I want to burn fat, I need to eat more fat and eat less or no carbs. This for me was mind-blowing because I had been doing it all wrong.

The fact is, we have been lied to over the years. It is more than calories in and out.  It is about eating real food, more fats, and more protein. It’s about eating fewer carbs and sugar. Really, it’s about eating real food.

I found this video very inspiring and had to share it with you….

Sarah’s rules for eating:

 “If it says light, low fat or fat-free it stays in the grocery store.”

“eat food. Real food doesn’t come in a box”

“Don’t eat anything you don’t like”

“Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when your not”

“No grains, potatoes or sugar”

I love that these rules are easy to follow because it is pretty simple. Anything that says low fat, turn it over and read the label. I guarantee you it has added sugar and carbs. Better yet, just eat real food!

The biggest reason there is an obesity problem with our country is that people follow the bad advice that is out there. I suggest that people who are obese and struggling with weight issues do their homework and get educated on obesity and the problems associated with it.

Here is a must-read list if you want to combat obesity.

When you do this, you will realize that obesity isn’t your fault. But once you learn what to do differently, then it is your fault if you don’t do anything to take back your health.

Here are 3 successful stories for you.

Here is my weight loss success story.  I lost 60 lbs and took back my life!

Here is my boyfriend Brians Story. He lost over 50lbs and reversed his diabetes.

Here is Steve’s Story: How the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle Rescued Me from My Genetic Curse—Diabetes

If you have struggled with your weight, please share your story below. You could be helping someone else who struggles with obesity.

Should We Drink Cows Milk?

Stop Drinking Cows MilkGot Milk? Nope

Last week I wrote a book review on a book Called Lies My Doctor Told Me: Medical Myths That Can Harm Your Health. In this book, Dr. Ken Berry writes about some of the false beliefs we have about our health. It is worth reading if you haven’t read it yet.

One of the myths that Dr. Berry talks about is the fact that “Milk doesn’t do the body good”? Yet this is something that many of us still believe. And actually, even in the comments of that post, I have many people disputing this belief. I get it. We are fed so much commercialized crap it is easy to believe what we hear as truth. So I decided to try to dig up some facts about the topic.

But first, lets answer the question to: Why do humans drink cows milk in the first place?

Wikipedia says that we humans started drinking the milk of other mammals (cows, goats, and sheep) about 9000 bc. It was a way to get nourishment without having to kill the mammal. But many people would get upset stomachs from drinking milk. It seems as though children can tolerate milk better than adults. Adults can’t tolerate lactose in milk because we don’t have the necessary enzyme needed to process it.  This is why our ancestors made cheese to eat. Cheese doesn’t have the lactose that milk has. But now they make lactose free milk so anyone can drink milk without getting a sick stomach.

Why do humans continue to drink milk in the 21st century?

I think firstly, we drink milk because it tastes good. But the other reason is that we are taught that milk “does the body good”.  Is this true? Well, that’s what the dairy industry wants us to believe.

Read on to learn some interesting facts about milk.

Why I don’t drink Milk

I drank cows milk as a child and continued to drink milk through most of my adult life. This makes me think that if you continue to drink milk into adulthood, you could build up a tolerance to the lactose in milk. This is just my theory. But I did stop drinking milk 3 years ago when I started eating a low carb lifestyle. Milk is very high in sugar especially milk lower in fat, like skim milk. I do however continue to use heavy cream as it is high in saturated fat an low in sugar content. And of course, I love my cheese.

Since I eliminated milk from my diet, I rarely have the stomach problems and gas that I had when I drank milk.

So, Should We drink Cows Milk?

Here are some interesting things I learned about the consumption of cows milk.

Why stop drinking milk

  • Milk makes you fat:  Milk has lactose which is sugar. Sugar raises your blood sugar and insulin which can cause you to gain weight. If you don’t want to gain weight, stop drinking milk especially skim milk which is the highest in sugar. (they take out the fat and add sugar)
  • Milk can upset your stomach: The protein in milk is inflammatory and causes stomach aches and problems including gas and diarrhea in many adults.
  • Milk can give you acne: Because milk is inflammatory, it can also cause skin problems like acne.
  • Milk is not good for your bones: I know…I know. You have heard the lie that milk is good for your bones. Here is a great article explaining why Milk Consumption is actually associated with more bone fractures.
  • Cows milk is full of antibiotics and hormones.

I find it a bit frustrating that the information we are fed over time is often just lies. And we just believe it. As a critical thinker, I have learned to do my own research when I have questions. It’s sad that we have the obesity problem in America that we have. And the number one reason is that people are fed a bunch of bs and lies. Folks are so confused they don’t know what is healthy.

If I would have believed the lies that fat makes you fat, I would still be obese and probably on many medications. Are you are scratching your head, confused about diet and nutrition. I challenge you to go do some research. Read up on obesity and type 2 diabetes. You will quickly realize the big pharma companies want us sick so they can make money. And the food industry are simply trying to sell products.

So no, my personal belief is, milk doesn’t do the body good.

 

 

 

Should I Stop Eating Sugar?

This is a question that most everyone has struggled with if they want to lose weight. The question itself is very simple. It’s just a simple question. And it really only requires a yes or no answer. But behind the sentence, there are so many emotions. The person asking the question of themselves will respond in many different ways. And if they are like me, they will come up with many reasons as to why not to give up sugar.

You see, quitting sugar isn’t so simple. Sugar is not just something that adds sweetness to foods that we eat. It is an entire addiction that has affected many people for years.

My personal experience as a sugar addict is that it is nearly impossible to stop eating it unless you are emotionally ready to make the changes needed to stop. Sugar addiction doesn’t always affect our body (at least not right away) but it also affects our mind. We have to make the physical switch (stop eating sugar) and mentally switch to changing our mindset. Changing the mindset takes work, time and effort. But the first step is really in accepting that you are addicted.

I Am Addicted To Sugar

How do you know if you might have a problem with sugar? It is pretty simple really. If you think it would be difficult to give up sugar for any reason, then you probably have a problem with sugar. And by sugar, I mean carbs and foods that have sugar as the first ingredient.

For example pasta, bread, and fruit. Could you give those up? Many people can’t. But they are all very addictive.

How To Not Eat Bread and Stop Bread Cravings

And by the way, if you are overweight, you probably have a problem with sugar.

The answer to “Should I Stop Eating Sugar?” is extremely personal. But to help you decide if you are ready, let’s talk about some of the benefits of kissing sugar goodbye…

  • You will begin feeling better. You will have more energy and will no longer have afternoon crashes.
  • You will lose weight. It is a no-brainer that sugar makes you fat. Eliminate it from the diet and you will get thin.
  • Once cravings diminish, you will have control over what you eat. You will be able to stop binge eating.
  • You will be more satisfied and less hungry. (Sugar is empty calories)
  • You will have better dental checkups and fewer cavities.
  • You will be healthier.
  • You will have better skin.
  • You may be adding years to your life.
  • You could prevent diabetes down the road. Or possibly reverse it as in the case of my boyfriend Brian and our friend Steve. Yes! It can be done!
How the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle Rescued Me from My Genetic Curse—Diabetes
Brian’s Low Carb Weight Loss Success

On the other hand, let’s talk about why you may not be ready to quit sugar.

  • It is too hard. This is the number one reason people don’t quit. Because sugar is addictive, it can make you feel crappy when you eliminate it from your diet. You may have a sugar crash where cravings are out of control. It is hard to work through the feeling of sickness often referred to as keto flu.
  • Some people feel like they will be depriving themselves of the taste of sweetness and they may miss out on some of the social things.
  • It will be challenging when your spouse or family still eat carbs and you don’t.
  • Some people think that it is more expensive and more difficult to shop and prepare healthier foods.
  • It takes too much time to get healthy, or learn how to get healthy.
  • “My family won’t eat this way.”
  • I eat out too much to do low carb.

There are many more….but really all of them are excuses, not real reasons. See what I mean. Quitting sugar isn’t about the sugar, it is about the mindset and all the excuses that come with it. If you want to lose weight, I suggest reading everything you can about low carb, high fat. Learn how your body works and why your weight got so physically out of control.

Also, I suggest focusing on your mindset. I highly recommend reading Food Crazy Mind as this book really helps you to zero in on your relationship with food.

So to answer your question, “Should I give up sugar”?

You are the person who walks around in your body. Either you are ready to get healthy or your not.

My top recommended books to help with sugar addiction…

Eat Fat Get Thin Review


5 Major Health Effects Of Being Overweight

I think we all know about the health effects of being overweight. For example, I knew that when you are obese you are at a much higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. I mean you hear about this all the time.

But the truth is, when I thought about obesity, I always had a picture in my head of someone, other than me, who was obese. Because, even though I was “overweight”, I never really saw myself as obese.

500px-Body_mass_index_chart.svg
BMI (Body Mass Index) Chart

One day I went online to calculate my BMI. I typed in my height and weight and it said I was Obese! Really? I expected overweight, but not obese. This was a bit of a wake-up call.

My point is, sometimes we don’t realize just how out of control our weight is. The weight gain just happens over time if you don’t watch it. This is why I now weigh myself every day. I feel like it is critical to be honest with myself. When I weigh myself daily, it helps to keep me focused.

Being aware of my numbers helps to keep me on track with my low carb, high-fat lifestyle. And yes, for me it is a lifestyle. At 52 I feel so much healthier than I have ever felt. I don’t ever want to go back to having chronic aches, pains and sinus problems.

It really wasn’t until I first lost about 20 pounds when I noticed that my body was changing. And not just on the outside. I noticed that I hadn’t had a headache in a while, my skin looked and felt better, my allergies were gone and my knees didn’t hurt anymore. I actually felt wonderful.

Now, when I go to that same BMI site, it says I am just slightly overweight. And that’s fine with me. I will soon be at a normal weight again.

There are many health issues directly linked to being overweight or obese.

Health Effects of Being Overweight

Here are 5 of the big ones:

High Blood Pressure: This is often called the silent killer because you don’t realize you have a problem often until it is too late. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause a stroke.

Type 2 Diabetes: This happens when your body doesn’t know how to use insulin. Type 2 Diabetes can also cause many other chronic problems.

Stroke: This is when your brain suddenly bleeds. High blood pressure can lead to stroke.

Heart Disease- This happens when your heart is under stress and can’t function normally.

Cancer: cancer is simply another word for disease. There are many different kinds of cancers. But when your body is not at ease like when you are obese or unhealthy, you are more likely to develop cancer.

What I want to get across in this post is that sometimes we are blind to what is going on with our bodies. But there are many other health issues related to obesity.

We may have sicknesses and go on medications. Some people have chronic pain all the time caused by obesity. The reality is, perhaps losing a bit of weight may actually help solve the problem.

The good news is, by being aware of our weight, we can prevent many ill effects of a poor diet.

At 52, I finally feel like I am in control of my weight and my health.

I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts? Do you think losing weight can help folks get well?

 

Why Are So Many People Fat?

I’m a critical thinker. So when something doesn’t feel right, I ask questions and come to my own decisions based on facts.

When it comes to health and diet there is a plethora of information out there. And lots of opposite information. It is very confusing.

I started thinking about the obesity problem that is going on here in the US and in other parts of the world.

why are so many people obese?
Why are so many people fat?

Why are so many people fat? Why do we have more type 2 diabetes than ever before?

When I was a kid, my Mom and Dad referred to type 2 diabetes as “sugar diabetes” because it was rare that a child would get it. It was an “older” person disease.

I remember being a young woman in the 1990’s. I learned that fats were bad for you. It seemed during this time that everything became low fat or no fat. I remember eating Snackwells and thinking that I was doing a good thing for my body. I wasn’t.

If you read the label of these Snackwells cookies, you will see that they have no nutritional value. I remember the marketing used to talk about how it didn’t include any fat. Fat makes you fat, eat Snackwells.

If you look back in history since the early 1990’s the obesity rate has gone up dramatically and so has type 2 diabetes.

Guess what!? We had it all wrong.

Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat.

sugarThe culprit to obesity is sugar!

Sugar is way more addictive than cocaine. So people keep eating more of it. I was one of them.

Read about my sugar addiction here.

I didn’t realize how addicted to sugar I was. I thought I was eating a healthy diet by eating low fat and counting calories. I was doing it all wrong and making myself sicker.

Today, I noticed that same Snackwell’s has new packaging. It still says fat-free. But now on the front of the box it says, “without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or artificial flavors or preservatives”. So you would think that this would be a healthy snack.

But if you take a close look at the label, there is virtually no nutritional value in the cookies. If you look at the label, it looks like there is 14g of carbs and 9g of sugar. And this is just for 1 cookie.

1985 there was 10% obesity in the United States. Now it is up to 35%! Obesity is very common. And it is getting worse every day.

It makes me really sad every time I see a child who is obese. Or when I hear that someone died from complications of obesity.

But my biggest frustrations comes from the fact that many doctors don’t even give their patients the correct information. I’m not sure why. Some say it is because of the pharmaceutical companies give them a kick-back. Others say it is because they were taught the wrong information in the first place.

All I know is it is pretty simple. We (folks in the US) started getting fat after we started eating more processed food which was high in sugar.

What do you think is the cause of the obesity problem? Does obesity affect your life? Do you know someone who is obese or has diabetes?