I absolutely love finding new, informative, insightful movies to share with everyone. Recently, my husband and I watched Fed Up, a documentary featuring Katie Couric about the REAL reasons we are facing an unprecedented obesity epidemic. The film shed light on what changed with our food supply in the early 1980's (proliferation of fast food and processed food) and how this has caused our population, and especially our CHILDREN to become obese and sick.
The main thing I appreciated about this film is the shifting of the "blame" from the person to the food industry. Not only is there an epidemic of obesity, but also "obesity shaming." The average person would need a degree in biochemistry to understand the complex, toxic, unhealthful mix of chemicals in virtually all processed foods that are being relentlessly marketed to our population - especially our children. According to the research presented in the film, controlling your weight is not a simple matter of burning more calories that you consume - the quality and the type of calories must also be considered.
This brings us to the topic of sugar. Excess sugar in our diets one of the main causes of obesity and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. This film also shows that sugar is highly addictive, even more so that cocaine! The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume no more that 6 teaspoons of added sugar/day = about 25 grams. The average American consumes 22 teaspoon of added sugar/day = 88 grams! Excess sugar is hard on your liver, pancreas, and may result in weigh gain. Here's the rub: there is sugar in everything! Just read the labels and do the math (1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams). To put this in perspective,
- 1 can of soda = 40 grams of sugar
- 1 cup (8oz) of orange juice = 21 grams of sugar
How much added sugar are you getting per day? Sure, everyone likes to enjoy a sweet treat every now and then but what about the amount you are consuming daily, without even knowing it? Take a look at the items in your kitchen and consider the sugar content. Be mindful of eating out since you cannot "see" the sugar content - restaurants are notorious for adding sugar, fat and salt, which is yet another reason why we prepare our meals from whole foods instead of "eating in the street" on a daily basis. It is about awareness and control. It's not like we don't use sugar or sweeteners (such as Agave Syrup or Molasses) in our recipes, but when we do we CONTROL the quantities and use just enough so that the dish is delicious and healthful.
I would encourage you to take the "Fed Up Challenge" and go sugar free for 10 days just to see the difference. Kamaal and I did this for 21 days about ten years ago and not only did we lose weight but our body composition changed and we became leaner. As a young athlete, Londale Jr. eliminated added sugar from sports drinks, etc. and gained muscle mass. Our entire family eats this way naturally now - it's second nature. We drink lots of water, read labels, and are mindful of the sugar content in the packaged foods and juices we buy. Awareness is the first step. Try it for yourself and your family!