Over the weekend, I watched the documentary "Fed Up," on Netflix, with my friend. We couldn't decide what sappy romantic movie we should watch, so considering we both love health, wellness, and fitness, once we read the description, we knew we just had to watch it. This documentary examines the obesity epidemic in America and how the food industry is playing a role. It's only an hour and a half long, and well worth it. It was honestly one of the most eye opening things I've ever seen on TV - seeing the statistics pop up on the screen caused me to gasp. Did you know that 9 million adolescents in the US are overweight!? This needs to stop.
I knew childhood obesity was an issue, but I didn't realize just how big of an issue it truly is... no pun intended. Children are our future, and if we stuff them with processed foods and don't educate them on the value of a well balanced, whole, natural meal and exercising, then our future... their future will be nonexistent. How is it okay that we're teaching our children all the wrong ways to live a long, and healthy life?
The documentary mentioned that consumers are being tricked into buying "reduced fat" and "low fat" products because they think that it's better and healthier, but guess what? IT'S NOT. They take out some of the fat, and fill it with sugar and other processed ingredients. They showed a couple of products, the original and the low fat one, and there was roughly a 10 calorie difference. You're better off eating the original product!
Have you ever heard of eating things that only have ingredients you can pronounce? I try to always look at the ingredients, and it's amazed me how many products have ingredients that I don't know what they are, and I can't even pronounce them if they tried. Does that sound like we should be consuming it and trying to get our bodies to digest it? No, definitely not. The next time you're out at the grocery store, try to look at the ingredients of each item that you buy, and try to buy the items that have ingredients that you've heard of before. Because, honestly, why should there be a bunch of added ingredients, added processed CRAP.
- An apple = apple
- Peanut Butter = peanuts
- Almond milk = almonds
- Chocolate = cocoa
- Juice = fruit
The documentary follows three pre-teens around at home and in school, where we are able to see why they have become overweight and obese, and are well on their way to being diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, and if they continue on the path their on, even death. The foods that their parents have in the house are filled with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and ingredients we probably wouldn't even feed to our dogs. They're buying the reduced fat products and feel they are buying healthier, when really, they're not. These children are eating huge portions because the fake food they're consuming isn't stuffed with nutritious ingredients, protein and fiber to keep them full, longer. They're stuffed with processed ingredients and empty carbs, that make you feel hungry, even after you just ate. Plus the high sugar content leaves children wanting more, easily turning into an addiction. The documentary even goes as far as comparing a sugar addiction to a cocaine addiction. Now, I'm not sure if I'd go that far, but it does light up the same spots on the brain in an MRI.
And the school lunches... don't even get me started! Despicable. Now you can say, "well, these kids have a choice," but do they really? There aren't very many healthy choices at school, and kids certainly aren't going to have a salad every day, not when they see their friends enjoying pizza, burgers, and fries day in and day out - without the weight gain, at least not on the outside. By any child consuming these meals day in and day out, they are not healthy, whether they look thin or not. Everything is okay in moderation, but these children are eating these school lunches 5x a week. Thankfully, I don't have children, if I did I would take these issues up with the school, and make sure my children have a packed lunch every day.
So, who do we blame? The food companies for their brainwashing commercials and fake food, the parents for buying it and putting it on a plate in front of their children, or the child for eating it and not knowing better?
What if, we don't blame anyone? What if, instead, we take control of the food that is going into our mouths, and our family's mouths? Throw out all the processed crap in your house. While I'm a huge believer in "everything in moderation," if we don't have something in our house, we can't eat it! Take the time to cook homemade meals, filled with veggies (Pinterest has a ton of ideas), instead of heating up a microwavable dinner. Let's try to learn more about the foods we're putting into our bodies, and what is healthy so we can pass it down to our children.
A calorie is not a calorie.
160 calories of almonds ≠ 160 calories of soda
Teach them to love real, whole foods, and make it fun - involve them in the cooking process, and don't just throw plain tasting food on to the plate, spice it up! These healthy meals will give them energy, helping them do better in school and sports, and make them happy, increasing those endorphins, instead of making them feel sad, sluggish, and tired - which will lead to them sitting on the couch all day. Get them outside and moving too!
Take back the control from these companies. DEMAND IT, and don't look back. Why do we let them poison us? I get that the food tastes good, but it's not real - just look what it's doing to our bodies, and our children's bodies! It's literally making us sick.
These companies modify our food, and are slowly killing us, and it's just okay with everyone. There are even some companies that are paying for research in nutrition, they hide and lie, and say that their products aren't causing any problems. A spokesperson for McDonald's said "Ronald McDonald doesn't market to kids, inspires and informs through fun and magic." Excuse me, what? They think they're not hurting anyone, but they are!
Put down the soda and processed foods, and TAKE A STAND.