The good thing about living during an epidemic is that you have lots of company to share your misery with. We are living in an epidemic, one that is destroying lives young and old. You know someone, probably whole families, that are suffering the effects.
The difference between this health care epidemic and most others is that there is no panic at all associated with it. Unlike the most recent health-scare, ebola, there are no calls for quarantine. Unlike AIDS there are no gigantic rock and roll rallies promoting awareness and money for treatments.
You don’t catch these diseases by breathing tainted air or contact with body fluids, you get them by watching TV commercials and eating like everyone around you. All you have to do to get type two diabetes is drink a Coca Cola with every meal. Eat processed foods and drinks every day and after less than a lifetime you can be on the waiting list for new knees, weighing the pros and cons of amputation, finding out that you need triple bypass surgery on your heart, wondering when you will have a donor liver available for the transplant you need.
If you think I am being dramatic, watch the documentary ‘Fed Up’. This documentary is about your kids. Amazingly, there are children getting type two diabetes by the millions. It is an epidemic. That type of diabetes is referred to as ‘adult-onset’ diabetes, because it is caused by diet and kids did not used to get it. Now it is an epidemic.
If you think I am being dramatic, watch the documentary ‘Weight of the Nation’. It is about you and your fellow citizens. It is about how if you are not overweight, you are in the minority now. Only thirty percent of Americans are now in their proper weight ranges. This epidemic is more prevalent than the Black Plague was in the Middle Ages.
The problem with this plague is that it doesn’t kill fast enough. As you eat four times more sugar every day than is recommended for a healthy diet and pack on the pounds just a few more every year this death is slow motion. Only if you start eating sugar in every bite at birth will you start having health problems by elementary school. If you are reading these words then chances are you are too old to be in that boat. Your kids are in that boat.
This morning I found out about a new website, SugarScience.org, whose goal is to make finding out about sugar in packaged food fun and easy. From NPR we read:
As part of its outreach, Schmidt’s team has created a user-friendly website and is partnering with health departments across the country to spread the word. The website includes downloadable resources, including television commercials, that public health officials can localize for their own cities.
The website makes it easier for local governments and health care providers to spread the word about added sugar. They are going to provide television commercials to go up against every other commercial on television. Of course this will only work if we went back to the days were a broadcast network had to provide free air time for no-sugar ads like they had to do for no-smoking ads against tobacco. The free air-time requirement is actually why tobacco companies quit running TV ads, because they didn’t want to go up against the no-smoking ads. As it is, you will not likely ever see one of these quit-sugar ads on TV.
Right now, we face a real uphill battle in our personal fight against sugar, sugar advertising, and Big Food. Sugar is cheap and addictive. Slick commercials repeated many times a day give us triggers that create desire to eat sugar. Everyone else is doing it.
Frankly, I don’t know how we get out of this health care crisis without government help, but at the same time I don’t see our government helping any time soon. Our government is now run by people that don’t believe that government can help, or that government should help. Regulations against sugar will never come. We are alone, individually against the whole system. We only have each other to count on for help. Being fat and sick is now a social disease. We must not look at one another and see someone that is beyond help, we have to see someone that doesn’t know what the problem is yet. WE have to spread the knowledge mouth to ear.
Take what you learn at SugarScience.org and pass that information to everyone in earshot.
Stop buying processed foods–nothing from a box, bag or bottle.
No added sugar.
Eat real, single ingredient foods. Your fruits and vegetables don’t have to be organic or anything special, they just have to look like whole fruits and vegetables.
Don’t eat fast food.
Send your kids lunch in a brown bag if you can, school lunches are no longer safe.
I know this sounds awful, but the only power we have over the food industry is in our wallets. If we quit eating crap they will quit making it. They only make it now because it is cheap and addictive and we keep on buying it. Stop buying it.