Are You “Fed Up” ? I am.

“Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.”

Typically, this blog is not written from first person, however, I want to share with you my experience about watching the movie/documentary “Fed Up” and share some shocking facts with you. This documentary was one of the most eye opening films I have seen. It was intriguing, heart breaking, and unbelievably raw. I couldn’t agree more with the comments below.

In the United States, it is estimated that 93 Million Americans are affected by obesity. And guess what? We cannot exercise our way out of this problem. Since the 1980’s American’s have had the phrase “eat less, move more” embedded into their heads. However, that is not the case. Sugar is the biggest culprit to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes in children (and adults)… and it is hiding in our every day foods. All sugars, regardless of how they are labeled (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, evaporated cane sugar, brown sugar, etc.) have similar effect on the body when it comes to producing insulin and raising blood sugar levels. Sugar is digested into glucose and can contribute to inflammation, a.k.a. the body’s response to internal damage. This doesn’t include the natural occurring sugar in fruit and vegetables, though. Due to the about of fiber in fruit and vegetables, it takes your body longer to digest resulting in no insulin spike, and a steady amount of energy released. One teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar. To put it another way, 16 grams of sugar in a product is equal to about 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar. The daily recommended allowance from the World Health Organization is 6-9 teaspoons, max. According to Fed Up, most Americans consume an average of 41 teaspoons. That’s over 5x the recommended daily allowance. Five times.

Here is a great example to show you just how awful added sugar can be. A research study was conducted with 43 cocaine-addicted rats. Over a 15-day period, they had the choice to choose sugar water, or cocaine. 40 out of the 43 rats choose the sugar water. Still think sugar isn’t addicting? In 2012, Americans consumed an average of 765 grams of sugar every 5 days, or 130 pounds each year.

Fed Up shows it is not just the big name companies that are shoving sugar down consumers’ throats. School’s are not helping this case either. Schools are now selling unhealthy frozen foods (pizza, nachos, chili cheese fries, burgers, etc.) in order to be more cost effective. However, it is killing the health of our children. In my own opinion, schools should ensure that all children and youth participate in a minimum of 30 min of activity during the school day. The schools need to implement programs that help promote physical activity as well as healthy food choices, and they need to reduce their use of high-fats and high-sugar meals and work on promoting low-calorie and high nutrient meals.

Did you know that congress is trying to state that Pizza should be considered a vegetable? This way schools can keep it in their lunch programs. According to NBS News, Congress wants to keep pizza and french fries on school lunch lines, fighting back against an Obama administration proposal to make school lunches healthier. In late 2011, a spending bill unraveled school lunch standards. The bill would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to prevent that. Although Congress didn’t declare pizza to be a vegetable, many people see it that way because congress declared tomato paste as a vegetable in order to keep pizzas in school cafeterias. Take a look at the comparison of lunches around the world compared to the US.

Lastly, remember that it is not just the sodas and candy bars that contain sugar. When companies take out the fat and calories in our prepackaged foods, they taste AWFUL! Therefore the companies have to do something to make the food taste better… so they add SUGAR. Be mindful about what you buy. Stick to fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, complex carbs, and overall just make smart decisions. Sugar-free is NOT sugar free. Sugar is lurking behind even the “healthiest” looking of foods.

Can you go sugar free? The Fed Up Challenge is a national campaign to break loose from the sugar industry’s powerful grip – with a particular focus on kids and schools! We’re asking individuals, kids, schools, parents and communities to join us in going sugar free for 10 days. Giving up sugar will be tough because sugar is everywhere and we all crave it, but setting that kind of healthy example for your kids is all the inspiration you’ll need to get through.

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