Monday, September 24, 2007

Special Investigative Report on CNN

I've been on top of everything the last few days. It's really neat to see how much better I feel. I've decided to go to a meeting tonight rather than tomorrow. I do know that the scales will probably show me up for a few various reasons. But I'm ok with that. Especially since I know that those reasons will right themselves and all will be ok.

This weekend we stumbled upon a show on CNN...a special investigation report by Sanjay Gupta. It was called Fed Up: America's Killer diet. VERY good show. Some of the points, facts and statistics were quite interesting of note.... (I will put my thoughts and additions in italics.)

1. There are a few doctors/scientists out there that feel that depression can be linked to the foods we eat. Namely the fats that we are eating. They are saying that we need the different kinds of fats in our diet...but in a healthy proportion. In the last so many years (20 or so) the numbers are no longer type of fat has just skyrocketed. The doctors/scientists are saying that this imbalance could be causing the upsurgance of depression. Now, my thoughts on the depression thing. I think that that could seriously be a huge factor. But I also think that the eating habits of America is so out of whack that peoples bodies are screaming. They are not getting enough nutrients, which I think is causing some of these problems. I know that Todd used to hardly ever eat veggies and fruits. He was depressed a good bit of the time. I started not really forcing him to eat fruits and veggies but having them for dinner and simply serving them to him...leaving it up to him if he was goign to eat them. The first seemed to help eliminate some of the 'down' days. AND two, if I don't have them with a meal he asks where they are, because he misses them.

2. Speaking of fruits and veggies. We all know that the daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies for a person a day is 5 servings. Sadly enough, if every American were to eat their recommended allotment, we wouldn't have enough fruits and veggies in America to meet the demand! Doesn't this just make you want to scream. What is even worse than the fact that we dont' have current America we are throwing unused fruits and veggies away at an alarming rate! I'd love to know a statistic on how many Americans are actually eating a healthy amount of fruits and veggies!
Along with this, they also talked about how corn and soybeans are the biggest agriculture item out there, with millions in govement funding going to these farms. Yet this year was the first that they are expanding funding and subsidies to go to farmers of other things such as apples, and other veggies. Yet, the funding is still totally disproportionate! Why are corn and soybeans such a big deal......the oils that they can get from them!

3. They did a study. They told people that they would give them free wings to eat if they filled out a survey. They had two groups at two different tables/areas. One group had the wait staff taking away the bones from the wings as soon as they participants were done. The other group simply piled the picked bones in front of them...and the wait staff didn't remove them. The study was to see if a person ate more if they could actually see the results of how much they ate...versus the person that ate and had the results/bones removed so that they couldn't see how much they had eaten, they only had to rely on their memory and their stomachs. After it was over they counted the bones and weighed them. They found that the people that had the bones removed so that they could not SEE how much they had already eaten ate up to 50% more than the people that had their bones in front of them as a physical reminder of what they had already eaten. They also referred to a test with popcorn at the movies.....testing portion sizes.....and the kicker of that one...the people ate the popcorn like mad......and it was STALE! This doesn't really surprise me....but it was neat to see the results of actual studies.

4. The average kid is eating up to three pounds of sugar a week! Three pounds!

5. They had a near perfect study case of what America's diet is doing to people. They had a kid that grew up in Jamaica. He was thin, fit and a healthy boy when he moved to America with his family. Within 6 months of living in America, he had put on 30 pounds. A trip to the doctors office showed that he had developed high cholesterol, high blood pressure and was borderline type II diabetes. He was roughly 10 or 11 years old. His mother did what needed to be done. She learned about healthy nutrition and how to eat properly and immediately changed the eating habits for her family. The boy has lost 15 pounds and his numbers and health has dropped back out of the danger zone. They asked what was the difference, whey this happened. The kid and his mother talked about how there are so many tempting choices, tempting in taste and packaging. And the tempting choices were so 'easy'. They were the convenience foods. The sweets and everything else. They fell into the average American diet quickly and easily! And the results were swift and fast. 6 months??? And this kids life was turned around and could have been disastrous if left to go. Wow amazing because that is what we are doing to our children day in and day out. Let alone what we are doing to the adults and teens and elderly! 

6. They had a cook on...who also happened to be the editor (or some such title) with Cooks Illustrated Magazine (mom's fav!). He talked about how Americans have forgotten what it is to actually cook from scratch. In in forgetting about cooking from scratch, our taste buds have gone catawumpus and we have learned to prefer the taste of prepackaged, unnatural foods. He stated that the foods solely from scratch have a more subtle taste...which is not what the average person prefers now. How sad is that? I'm proud to announce that Todd and i actually prefer the meals from scratch! But it is correct, the taste is phenomenally different. 

7. Twinkies. They used twinkies as an example. They talked about how years and years ago, twinkies were made with the good old stand by ingredients, eggs, flour, sugar, milk. Then they read the ingredients of the current twinkie. Very few things that were recognizable. Some items were changed for cost (high fructose corn syrup) but many were changed for preservative factors! I admit to being guilty of still buying some prepackaged items. I know it and I'm slowly trying to change my lifestyle to eradicate them from my life. But this is something that I've lived with for a while. I started noticing that the homemade things last for only days..while the prepackaged (full of preservatives) foods last for weeks! Bread! If you make your own, it lasts only 2-3 days before it starts tasting stale yet I can buy bread in the store and it will last a week or two at my house (and who knows when it was actually baked even before I got it!) Jellies. Homemade jelly goes bad in the fridge within a month or so. Yet good old smuckers (and don't get me wrong...I grew up on smuckers and LOVED it) will last for at least 6 months before there is any problem! I can go on and on. This is my own personal soapbox!

8. Changing the contents of food and selling healthier options. Sounds great! They have reported that the public clamors for it....yet refuses to buy it when the companies do it. I do probably have to agree. However I do know that these 100 cal packs and such items are seemingly flying off the shelves. Could there be a turn, a shift in America's thinking????

So.....all this was quite interesting. We tivo'd it and I may watch it again...the information was just phenomenal! Once again, while I was watching, I felt it again. I have had a calling. I've felt it a few times here and there. Last night was another strong tugging. I really do feel as if my next calling in life is to somehow help others with their obesity problems...or nutrition problems if I want to be nice about how I put it. I know I've been saying things like, "Oh I want to get to my goal weight before I do something" and things like that. However, I need to be looking into options NOW!

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