As I listen to the news coverage on Ebola and the various precautions being made in all parts of the country, it is scary to think of that kind of pandemic happening here. And I am grateful that health care professionals and politicians are already anticipating, preparing, and taking necessary precautions.
But what I really wish is that they – and we – would instead look closer to home at the pandemic that is creating disease, distress, cancer and long term health issues for our children, for ourselves.
Since reading “The Omnivores Dilemma” a few years ago I have been concerned and worried about our food chain. Now, having just seen the documentary, “Fed Up” – I am truly distressed about what is happening in every grocery store across our towns. It has been drilled into us that we need to keep our kids moving, exercising, active. But it isn’t enough to combat the sugar. 80% of the products on the shelves today have added sugar. Sugar works like cocaine in our brains and creates addictions.
Please take two and a half minutes to watch this trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7A2RylUTiw
As some of you may know, I spend my weekends in gyms; either coaching basketball or watching one of my children play. It has been especially disconcerting this fall to see so many young girls, fifth, sixth, seventh graders who are overweight, bordering on obese. On the one hand, it is absolutely wonderful that these girls are out on the court, running and enjoying the sport. Exercising. But I know now that it isn’t enough for them – and then mostly I really worry about the children that aren’t in the gym at all.
In the United States, the increase in type 2 diabetes among children since 2001 is 30%. At that rate, by 2050, it is predicted that 33% of all American children will have diabetes. That is completely preventable – and not by playing basketball or exercising – but by demanding radical change in our food industry. It is argued in the movie that today’s food industry is behaving like the tobacco industry of thirty years ago. The good news is that we have created dramatic changes when it comes to cigarettes. We need now to do the same for our food.
We can do this – but we need to wake up. We need to demand change. We need to be worried maybe a little less about Ebola – and a lot more about what’s happening at Stop and Shop.