Let’s become a healthy nation

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I’m an avid documentary watcher.
Firstly, because I feel there’s nothing worth watching on television and secondly, I am always hungry for knowledge.
Hunger is the operative word for the documentary I watched this weekend.
It’s called “Fed Up” and shines light on the nation’s food industry and childhood obesity.
Obesity is swiftly gaining speed over tobacco as the number one killer of Americans.
The filmmakers were granted access into the homes of three teenagers who all weigh more than 200 pounds and are younger than 18.
Even though the families purchase “fat-free” food and stress exercise for their youngsters, the child’s weight stays the same.
Through the course of the documentary it is revealed that even though food companies have cut fat content, they are adding sugar, which is one of the main reasons cutting calories is fruitless.
Check the nutrition label on your foods and you will find the daily percentage for grams of sugar is absent. According to the film, the sugar industry doesn’t want consumers to know that many of their products contain more than 100 percent of the average daily requirement.
Sugar was added to food to compensate for the unpleasant taste of fat-free foods, the documentary states.
A majority of America’s problem with weight stems from personal choice. We can choose to buy fresh produce over processed meals and cook at home instead of grabbing meals at a fast-food restaurant.
However, according to the documentary, people can become addicted to sugar in much the same way they become addicted to controlled substances such as cocaine.
A large number of food commercials are directed towards children and it is even estimated these children’s life spans will not be as long as their parents, the film states.
For me, the highlight of the film focused on the public campaign against tobacco companies. In that effort, the public stood up to the tobacco industry and demanded changes in their marketing that included warning labels on their cigarette boxes.
Why shouldn’t the same be expected of the food industry?
Eating healthy and smoking cigarettes is a personal choice, however, when the shelves of every grocery store are stocked with sugar filled lower priced commodities, it’s not easy to say no.
I think we can all agree we want our children to live long, healthy and productive lives. Let’s encourage healthy eating habits and maybe take a stand against these food companies because we deserve quality nutrition.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox