When I was a little fella I can distinctly remember when I got to drink Coke. It was the late 60s, and Coke came in 16 ounce glass bottles. You opened a bottle with a bottle opener and you drank the contents because there was no way to save it by putting the cap back on. The two liter plastic bottle had not yet been developed, or the twelve ounce can, at least not for pop.
My mom and dad would keep an eight-pack in the house, they came in folding paper cartons. You returned the empty bottles to the store for later reuse by the soda company. When we got to get a pop for Mom or Dad the glasses in the house were all twelve ounce glasses. When you put ice in them then you couldn’t fit the entire bottle of pop into the glass. That is when I got to drink pop. I would pour the pop in, and it would fizz to the top, I would drink the fizz and put in more soda. I would take the filled glass to Dad, no liquid left in the bottle. Sometimes he would ask where was the rest, but he must have considered it my tip for delivery, because I did it just about every time.
The sweet drink for us kids was Kool Aid, and we would make a two liter pitcher of it with a cup of sugar added for sweetness. Mostly we drank water, mostly without ice. My Dad was allergic to milk so we kept it in the house for cooking with, not for drinking. The only milk I ever drank was in the one cup paper containers at school, and we drank it thru paper straws. There was practically no plastic in our lives back then, even the milk in the house was in a paper box.
These days kids are fat and nobody knows why. The WHO (World Health Organization) released a report, the ECHO report on what to do about childhood obesity.
The problem to be solved is this:
In 2013, 42 million infants and young children were overweight or obese.
- 70 Million young children will be overweight or obese by 2025 if current trends continue.
The rate of increase is 30% higher in low- and middle-income countries than that of developed countries.
Here is the proposed solution, which the consensus opinion can support:
The consensus opinion, held by most dietitians though, will not end this epidemic. The number one item above, “promote intake of healthy foods” is the one that will prevent this effort from working. Mainly this is true because the public has no idea what a healthy food is. If you read the labels everything in the grocery is healthy in some way. Sugary breakfast cereals are healthy because of added vitamins and minerals. Fruit juices are healthy because fruit. Breads build strong bodies 12 ways. Whatever.
Real food prepared at home is healthy. That is the entirety of the list of what your kids should be eating. Pouring cereal out of a box or adding hot water to the instant candied oatmeal is not healthy. Kids drinking 100% fruit juice instead of water is not healthy. All of the extra physical activity in the world will not counter act the damage that eating cereal and juice in the morning, pizza or chicken fingers and fries at lunch and spaghetti-0s at dinner will do to your kids. The Happy Meal, with it’s cakey bun, processed potato fries and Coke, even if its a diet coke, will slowly fatten up and sicken your kids, just like it is doing to you, concerned parents. If what the family is eating has made you fat and sick the only difference between you and the kids is the perhaps 20 or thirty years that you have been working on it.
Obese preschoolers are a symptom of a national disease. We are, for the most part, addicted to convenience. That convenience comes in a box, a bag, a bottle. It is sugar sweetened and highly processed. It is dead and cannot spoil. Once inside your kids it is going to spread that highly processed and chemical deadliness to the bacteria in your kids. The plastic it comes in will have put a few extra off-label chemicals into the food too. All of it will combine to create what you can see of the problem, the too-heavy toddler.
The WHO stops short of making the recommendation that I make. I agree–eat healthy foods. In my opinion that list is short. Real food is healthy food. End of list. Juice isn’t healthy, but fruit is. Flour isn’t healthy but wheat is. Sugar isn’t healthy…period. Yogurt is healthy, but add sugar and now it isn’t. Breakfast cereal is unhealthy, but steel cut oatmeal is. Bacon is health food, and so is eggs, but don’t cook anything in processed oils, they are unhealthy. Keep it real and it’s healthy.