I read a lot of blogs. These last couple of weeks my time has been limited to reading a few blogs in depth (bring on those LP RR's), scanning several and only being able to comment on some.
Since I started blogging and fell into this amazing world of triathlon and all things endurance, one of my very favorite blogs to read is Cook Train Eat Race. Last week he wrote up a great post about taxes on soda and obesity.
Go read them-here's a link to SODA TAX and OBESITY IN AMERICA
I read through each and every comment left on this post. One thing I don't have a lot of lately is time, but I wanted to take the time to read this. There were so many different views on the subject and great ideas.
As a former fatty myself who used to dine on Chinese take-out and processed foods all too often, I do have many opinions on the subject.
Do I think that the Government should be determining what's "good" and "bad" when it comes to what is taxable food?
Government is already waist deep in all kinds of garbage when it comes to the food industry so there is no way that there could ever be a fair "grading system". So many FDA officials are former big food executives with only one goal in mind-and it is not your health. I could go on and on here about this (as well as corn and soy crop subsidizing) but let's stay on topic here. (However, I will gladly revisit this subject)
What I will say is that from my own personal experience, I did not see "processed foods" for the danger they were until I educated myself.
Then I learned WHY high fructose corn syrup is poison to our bodies.
I did not understand why white bleached & enriched flour was not the best choice nutritionally until I learned WHAT it was (and was NOT).
I did not know the difference between grass fed organic beef vs. feedlot beef other than one was really expensive.
Nor did I understand the dangers of artificial sweeteners and how they effect our brain.
Simply by learning over time how these FrankenFoods react within our bodies as a whole (and not just on a weight loss level or fitness level) did I start to see the bigger picture. This was a precipice to change for me and the all-mighty calorie was not the only piece of the puzzle.
Let's think back to the days of our grandparents-
they ate clean foods-they ate real foods-they ate organic
(but it was just FOOD back then!)
They moved their bodies just living daily life.
No sitting around watching TV or playing video games
No putting around for hours behind a computer screen
No texting. No email.
No driving to every single destinationThey did not have the rampant obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease and a slew of other health problems we face as a Nation today.
By making life "easier" with transportation, communication, fast food, convenience foods we are actually slowing killing ourselves. Our children are now suffering the most from this. Childhood diabetes is on the rise. ADD and ADHD is all over. Our kids are getting bigger and bigger. And with that sicker and sicker.
Take this article for example:
"If we are what we eat, then America kids are Fritos.That's just one of the major findings from the new USDA Dietary Guidelines. Fries and chips are the only "vegetables" on the list of Top 25 calorie sources; fruit juice is the sole "fruit" to make the leader board.
The prevalence of these foods plays a big role in the childhood-obesity epidemic, which affects fare more than our children's waist size. Many chronic conditions are on the rise among kids including asthma, allergies, diabetes, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). All of these conditions have been linked to what kids eat." ~Alan Greene, MD pediatrician and author of Raising Baby Green.
I remember reading a study that put kids diagnosed with ADHD on a diet on clean, unprocessed foods and within 6 weeks of eating "real" food their symptoms improved remarkably.
But is it is up to US, the consumers to make the decisions to stop putting our hard earned dollars into the things that make us sick.
Big food will slap whatever label they think will appeal to the diet trend of the moment-
multigrain and whole grain
low sugar and low carb
low fat and low sodium
But all in all these processed foods are made with cheap ingredients that offer no real nutritional value. Do you think Big Food cares about your health or their bottom line?
Where we need to start is with EDUCATION. If people truly understand what they are doing to their bodies, maybe the choices they make will change. Maybe not. But at least they will be armed with information to make an educated decision.
Take High Fructose Corn Syrup for example-
Do you know WHY HFCS is used widely in processed foods?
Do you know why HFCS is essentially poison for your body?
SO instead of a Fat Tax let's get out the Fat Facts and educate the Nation!