Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, went viral when his video, Sugar: The Bitter Truth got more than 2.4 million views. Since then he has been on a campaign to reduce (if not entirely eliminate) processed sugar and sweeteners in our diets. Some of his messaging may be seen as extreme or laughable as he states that “children under 18 should not be able to purchase soda” but it certainly has captured our attention. He explains in his video and several interviews how the massive amounts of sugar we consume has contributed to obesity and obesity-related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and fatty liver syndrome. These were considered old man diseases only 20 years ago and now are commonly seen in young children. I think as parents this should give us something to think about (and learn more about).
In the new, soon-to-be-released documentary, Fed Up, narrated by Katie Couric, Dr. Robert Lustig accompanied by many other heavy-hitting health advocates are hoping to open the eyes of the general public about food, specifically junk food. In my book, Eating Myself Crazy: How I Made Peace With Food and How You Can Too, that I released last year, I strongly voiced my concerns with the food industry and its overuse of sugar, sweeteners and additives.
“Today we have a tendency to put all our trust in manufactured solutions that are created with synthetic processes. This includes foods with flavors and additives derived from chemicals that are used to attract consumers with a strong appeal. ‘The food industry is not only generating billions of dollars for itself by designing hyperpalatable combinations of sugar, fat and salt it’s also creating products that have the capacity to rewire brains, driving us to seek out more and more of those products’ – (The End of Overeating, David A. Kessler, MD 2009). Natural foods are “enhanced” by flavors and chemicals turning food into something else. Most of the natural ingredients are manipulated or stripped from the original state resulting in food that our bodies re not biologically adapted to digest. Could these newly designed foods pose some risk to our overall health? With obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and depression rates soaring, one would have difficulty arguing they don’t.” http://indieinkpublishing.com/eating-myself-crazy/
The fact is that our foods have dramatically changed in such a relatively short time. We were hunters and gathers for most of our human existence and today’s sedentary bodies and brains are being overwhelmed by this new sugar overload. Today Canadians consume up to 51 lbs a year! Americans even more! We just haven’t evolved to manage all of these syrupy sweet modern foods. And will we ever?
Some argue that sugar is not the villain (most of them being the food companies) but that we are not taking in sufficient nutrients or exercising enough. Fed Up addresses this debate straight on. I am very excited to see a documentary such as this to break apart the misconceptions and support what I have been saying in my presentations for the past 5 or 6 years. I remember when I first started talking about reducing our sugar and sweetener intake it wasn’t very well received ESPECIALLY at my very first paid gig at the Canadian Diabetes Association. I, at the very least, thought the organizers of the Canadian Diabetes Association event would support the idea of moving away from sugary foods. Therefore, I started emphasizing more on what we should be eating and less focused on what foods we should avoid. Maybe some of us just aren’t ready to address our sugar dependency. Trust me, it is a dependency, I suffered through my own sugar addiction to know how it works. But there is good news, it can be broken.
Please take the time to watch Fed Up and if you feel it was valuable source of information, share it with others. It comes out May 9th. http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/home