What Causes Childhood Obesity?
There are several identifying factors behind the recent surge of childhood obesity. One of the major causes is toxic food choices. Diet induced diseases, including obesity, account for the largest burden of chronic illnesses and health problems worldwide. The current Western diet, characterized by foods that are highly processed, deficient in nutrient quality and high in energy density, has American children overweight and sick as ever. More families each day are forsaking healthy home-cooked meals and are gorging on calorie-rich, nutrient-poor snacks, sodas and sweets when the dinner bell rings. In fact, 90% of the money Americans spend on foods goes towards processed foods.
Why are processed foods so toxic?
Very simply, the human body is unable to express optimal health when it is fed unnatural food. Your body knows exactly what to do with food that grows from the ground and found in nature, but becomes confused when faced with mechanically altered foods.
The modern convenience foods of today -sugar and white flour products with hydrogenated vegetable oils- are key factors in the alarming rate of chronic degenerative diseases, learning disabilities, and dental disease in children. These denatured, junk foods do not provide sufficient nutrients to allow anyone's body, especially those of growing teens and children, to reach full potential of health, nor the proper functioning of the immune, nervous, skeletal, digestive, and reproductive systems.
At the heart of the problem: Sugar. Refined sugars, or simple carbohydrates, provide no nutritional value to children's body other than to provide calories. When consuming processed carbohydrate like white flour and sugar, the body rapidly absorbs it into your system and needs relatively no digestion time. Blood cells are then flooded with sugar and the result is a physical disaster.
Many researchers believe refined or processed, high glucose foods are the major dietary cause of all degenerative disease. The sugar surge depletes, replaces and uses up important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It quadruples adrenaline output, inhibits immune functioning, lowers metabolism, raises cholesterol and increases triglycerides. The glucose that is produced from refined foods gets stored as fat. The conversion process not only causes fatty deposits on your children's bodies, but also in their cells, on their arteries and on their hearts. Fat is even deposited in the liver, kidneys and other organs. The constant bombardment of blood sugar raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, premature aging, and cancer.
When considering what foods a child or teen should consume, here are a number of important factors:
Characteristics of toxic foods:
* Produced, manufactured and likely only been around for a short period of time
* Made in a laboratory or factory
* Animals that are raised in captivity and fed unnaturally
* Always the same
* Keeps forever (ever seen a twinkie go bad?)
* Ready for instant consumption
* Dull, bland
* Artificially flavorful
* No connection to land or culture
Characteristics of non-toxic foods:
* Been around for thousands of years and eaten by your ancestors
* Grown from the ground or tree
* Animals that graze freely
* Variable quality
* Spoils quickly
* Requires preparation
* Vibrant colors, rich textures
* Authentically flavorful
Here are a couple more suggestions:
* If it didn't exist when hunter-gatherers were around it's probably not food.
* If it's wrapped in layers of plastic, cardboard and foil, it's probably not food.
* If it requires heavy advertising to sell it, it's probably not food.
Remember, addition is the first step towards making lasting change. Children must eat foods that fit the non-toxic criteria in order to keep their bodies growing healthy and strong!