At the age of 6 I was morbidly obese.
I grew up in New York City in the 80’s. My parents had a newsstand right in the middle of Columbus Circle. All I drank was soda all day and every day. My obesity was so bad my mother burned most of the photos when I was really big. I ran around the neighborhood and worked very hard in my parents business but that did not help.
I was almost 200lbs at six years old. I always felt ashamed of that even into my teens. I thought I was just fat and would always be fat. What I know now is that I didn’t have a choice. Fat is no longer a Choice, it’s what we have been breed and conditioned to be. There is hope. Read on.
The Fructose Wars have raged for the past thirty years.
- We are all 25 lbs heavier now ( officially obese ) than we were 25 years ago. according to the BMI Index ( a statistical tool which compares weight and height to judge health )
- In 2006, 631,636 people died of heart disease. Heart disease caused 26% of deaths—more than one in every four—in the United States.1
- Diabetes have increased by 90 percent in the last 10 years, and strikes one in four Americans
- We have an epidemic of obese 6-month olds (Kim et al, Obesity 15 1107, 2006)
We’re officially in a battle for our own bodies. The worst part is that they are getting us young, really young. When they’re going after the kids then you know you’ve got to fight back. The first step is understanding how we got here.
How did we all get so fat?
By the time we are adults and obese we have no idea how it happened, let alone that we have been in a war for our own bodies. We look around and see everyone else is fat too so we think it must be normal or it’s just us being weak. Epidemics happen for a reason. We are all so much fatter now than we were 25 years ago but human genetics haven’t changed, so our situations must have. The situation overall has changed drastically. Lets look at the economic and then physiological part of this.
It all began about thirty years ago.
Three things happened around the same time and the combination opened a window for corporate America to profit. A window they dived right into.
- Richard Nixon encouraged the food industry to keep prices as low as possible so rising food prices wouldn’t be an issue in the reelection.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup aka HFCS was invented in Japan and then brought over to the USA in 11975. HFCS is half the price of sugar and twice as sweet so they replaced all natural sugar with it.
- The USDA and AHA in 1982 told us to reduce our fat consumption to stop heart disease, thus starting the Fat Free Craze. With no fat to give food taste the food industry turned to High Fructose Corn Syrup and put it in everything.
This was not a conspiracy, just economics.
See the natural flow right? Nixon wanted food to be less expensive. When High Fructose Corn Syrup was introduced the food companies started to replace the sugar they used with it. Since it was half the price they used the same amount of it as they did the natural sugar. High Fructose Corn Syrup is twice as sweet as sugar so overnight we got food that was less expensive and twice as sweet.
Then the whole Low Fat craze came around. The top medical institutions in the country backed this after much debate so the food companies all went low fat as fast as they could. The problem the food companies faced was that unlike a home cooked low fat meal which can be made to taste great processed food tasted horrible without fat. Their solution to the taste problem was to add even more sugar, particularly High Fructose Corn Syrup. The worst part is that they put it into nearly everything, even things that didn’t go low fat. They did this so those processed foods would taste even better.
High Fructose Corn Syrup use has increased 10,673% in the past 35 years. TEN THOUSAND PERCENT!
The next time you go to the Supermarket try reading the labels of each and every loaf of bread. How many have High Fructose Corn Syrup? I did it and out of 25 different kinds of bread 23 of them had it. High Fructose Corn Syrup is not just used to sweeten pop, it’s now used in punch, fruit juices, processed pre-packaged foods (which account for 90% of the dollars we spend on meals). Most people get MOST of their calories now from HFCS, mostly from soft drinks.
Besides soft drinks, High Fructose Corn Syrup is also now found in
- salad dressings
- cheese spreads
- peanut butter
- ice cream
The number one source of calories in America is from High Fructose Corn Syrup in soda pop.
- Drink a 6.5 oz Soda every day = 8 lbs of belly fat a year
- Drink a 10 oz Soda every day = 13 lbs of belly fat a year
- Drink a 12 oz Soda every day= 16 lbs of belly fat a year
- Drink a 20 oz Soda every day = 26 lbs of belly fat a year
- Drink a 44 oz Soda every day = 57 lbs of belly fat a year
The Coca-Cola Conspiracy
Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology believes that what Coca Cola did in the 1980’s was a conspiracy. I am not into Conspiracy theories or the like. Corporations exist to make profit and they go for it every time. This is how capitalism works, ok fine. What Coca-Cola did in the 1980’s however was wrong. They did truly conspire to make outrageous profit at the expense of our health. I implore you to watch Dr. Robert H. Lustig, MD’s presentation on obesity and sugar.
con·spir·a·cy 1. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
Lets break down this down and see if you think it is a treacherous plot. 1987 Coca-Cola comes out with New Coke. The formula was new and it was not an accident. They had marketers and research both working long hours to make the most addictive beverage possible. Lets look at the formula and see what makes it so treacherous The New Coke Formula
- 45 MGs of Caffeine – Besides keeping you up and making you want more, Caffeine is also a mild duretic, which means it makes you urinate free water.
- 55 MGs of Salt – Salt makes you thirstier
- Even more High Fructose Corn Syrup to hide the taste of the salt – High Fructose Corn Syrup chemically short circuits the brain to make you think you ate or drank nothing.
So basically it makes it dehydrates your body while making you feel even thirstier. Why? So you can buy another drink, probably another Coca-Cola, which now has even more calories because of all the extra High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. I see a breach of ethics here but is this really enough to qualify a a conspiracy?
High Fructose Corn Syrup is Poison
It is a conspiracy when you consider that High Fructose Corn Syrup is a poison. Any fructose taken in large quantities every day without the intake of the natural fibers that nature delivers with fructose is unnatural.
- HFCS creates insulin resistance. Low insulin levels are a co-generator of most diseases, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and premature aging. Several studies over the past few years have also come to this conclusion, including this latest study in Cell Metabolism, in which the researchers note:
“Insulin resistance is a common feature of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Both have reached epidemic proportions worldwide with the global adoption of the westernized diet along with increased consumption of fructose, stemming from the wide and increasing use of high-fructose corn syrup sweeteners.
It is well established that fructose is more lipogenic than glucose, and high-fructose diets have been linked to hypertriglyceridemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and insulin resistance.”
- HFCS goes right to your belly fat. The liver does not process HFCS like ordinary sugars. Most fats are made in the liver. When sugar enters the liver it can store it, burn it or turn it into body fat. HFCS bypasses this process and goes directly to fat. HFCS is processed so rapidly by the body that it doesn;t give you energy like other sugars. It literally all goes to fat as fast as the body can process it. According to Dr. Elizabeth Parks, associate professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center and lead author of a study on fructose, published in the Journal of Nutrition just last year:
“Our study shows for the first time the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose. Once you start the process of fat synthesis from fructose, it’s hard to slow it down. The bottom line of this study is that fructose very quickly gets made into fat in your body.”
- Your brain does not recognize HFCS as food, thus it thinks you haven’t eaten even if you consume 1000 calories of HFCS. One of the most thorough scientific analyses published to date on this topic found that fructose consumption leads to decreased signaling to your central nervous system from the hormones leptin and insulin. HFCS and all fructose does not spike your insulin like normal sugars. If your insulin does not rise as it normally does when you eat any kind of food then your body will not produce lepitin. This hormone tell your brain that you just ate.
A study with two groups of rats, one given large amounts of sugar, the other large amounts of HFCS turned out badly for the one group. The high sugar group was unaffected. The HFCS group male rats did not survive to adulthood, suffering from anemia and high cholesterol, their hearts enlarging until they actually exploded. Their testicles also did not develop normally which was the least of their problems. The females were not so physically affected but none could bear live young. The livers of the rats on the HFCS diet looked like the livers of alcoholics.
But how can High Fructose Corn Syrup be poison? Don’t apples and most fruits have fructose? It’s natural isn’t it???
Fructose is natural, so is mercury, eat that every day for a week and you will die. It is natural to get fructose when you eat an apple. You get the fructose from an apple along with a great deal of vitamin, minerals and fiber. That is how nature intended it. The fiber along with the fructose allows your body to absorb it in a more efficient way. The fiber also helps satisfy your appetite.
What’s even worse is that because most fructose is consumed in liquid form as soda and processed fruit juice, it’s metabolic absoprtion rate is magnified. We already know that fructose is absorbed by the body faster than any other sugar and almost immediatly becomes fat.So what happens when you consume it in liquid form? It gets metabolized even faster and thus it ALL goes straight to belly fat.
What is the difference between High Fructose Corn Syrup and Fructose
They are basically the same. High Fructose Corn Syrup is refined from corn and processed in big Vats of Murky liquid. Four companies control 85% of the $2.6 billion business – Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Staley Mfg and CPC International. 16 plants in our corn belt manufacture the stuff, huge vats of murky fermenting liquid, fungus and chemical tweaking. These corporations will do anything to keep their bottom lines fat and their share holders happy.
How can Fat not be a Choice? Don’t we all have a choice?
The Corn Refiners Association is spending $20 million to $30 million on public relations campaign to bolster the image of High Fructose Corn Syrup, including running full-page ads in more than a dozen major newspapers, claiming that the product is no worse for you than sugar. They even had a pretty little website built at http://sweetsurprise.com. Check it out and see for yourself how they twist the truth around.
The Corn Refiners Association “has been trying to counter the bad publicity around HFCS since 2004,” but concluded it “could no longer afford to rely on simple grass-roots marketing tactics such as talking with nutritionists and doctors.” Meanwhile, in June a nearly $5 billion merger of Corn Products International and Bunge Ltd. signaled that corn manufacturers mean business. Revenues were expected to increase 29 percent in 2008 to reach $4 billion.
They are gearing up for war, while we are just drinking more poison. We can’t make a choice if we are not given one. How can we be expected to do the right thing for our bodies when there is poison is nearly all our food. This poison makes us obese, gives us diabetes, hypertension and they are spending millions to make sure we continue to remain ignorant of this. That is not a choice, that is a mind war. Lets fight back.
What can we do?
- Stop blaming ourselves for being fat.
- Stop drinking all soda, soft drinks and processed fruit juice.
- Start Learning how to Shop, eat right and make it easy on yourself.