I was recently introduced to a video that has opened my eyes. Most of the information contained in this video isn’t new news, but it’s new to me. As in most things, we only know what the media tells us and unless we seek out information or have it presented to us, we continue on in our oblivion.
Since most people won’t take the time to watch it, and to help myself process the information, I decided to blog about it.
The premise of the video is to prove, through science, that sugar is toxic. The speaker, Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, presents a compelling argument that sugar is indeed the cause of our obesity epidemic and that it will eventually lead to all sorts of disease, including cancer. Even though the science in the video was a bit over my head at times, he does a good job of explaining. Today I’d like to focus on how sugar, and more commonly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), have crept into our food supply.
In 1973, Richard Nixon was concerned that rising food costs would have a detrimental effect on his campaign so he wanted it removed from the political arena and the way to do that was to make food cheaper. High fructose corn syrup was introduced to the US market in 1975. It is cheaper, by half, than sugar and it’s sweeter. HFCS and/or sugar, has found its way into nearly every processed food on the market today. Americans consume an average of 63 pounds of HFCS per person, per year, and total sugar consumption (which includes HFCS) is up to 141 pounds per person annually. HOLY CRAP! Adult obesity more than doubled between 1970 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coincidence?
Dr. Lustig explains in his video how sugar is making us sick (I may try to tackle the specifics of that in another post). The insidious thing about it is that 1 meal containing lots of sugar isn’t making us sick but thousands of meals will. It’s like water torture….slow but sure. We don’t need sugar to live and yet we can’t avoid sugar if it is in all the processed foods we eat. It’s not easy to avoid. You will find it in bread (including whole wheat), cereal, crackers, even mayonnaise. Yes, we can all eat veggies and protein avoiding as much processed foods as possible, but that isn’t realistic for the majority of Americans. Why? Because processed foods are cheaper and quicker to fix.
I have posted before that the quality of the foods we Americans are consuming has led to our unhealthy selves. Based on what I learned from this video, I was right. Go figure. Our government isn’t going to do anything about it so it’s up to us to educate ourselves and change the way we eat. I do think that it’s in our best interest to make an attempt to force the powers-that-be to see the light and make some changes, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.