ASK DR.MOORE March 01, 2006
Dr. Mark Moore, best-selling author of the gender selection book Baby
Girl or Baby Boy--Choose the Sex of Your Child, answers readers'
questions on pregnancy and pediatrics.
Obesity, Diet and the American Way
Forget the Avian Flu, an epidemic is already raging in America: The
Obesity Epidemic. Not to belabor the statistics but it is estimated
that 58 million Americans are overweight. And since adults are the ones
feeding our kids, 35% of our children are overweight, too. The majority
of heart disease and diabetes are related to obesity, as well as a significant
percentage of hypertension, colon and breast cancers, gallbladder disease
and many other aliments. It has been suggested that our fat-filled diets
are killing us more than smoking and heart disease. New studies have
shown more ‘relaxed’ attitudes towards body image of overweight
Everyone asks: Why have I gained weight? How can I lose weight and keep
it off? What is the best diet to be on? While in the grocery store,
we pick up an item, read the label and wonder is this food healthy for
Why, then, is America so fat? Most overweight people will tell you they
"eat healthy". And they do try. It is becoming more apparent,
that our Food Companies do not make it easy for us. Ten years after
the Nutritional Facts labeling laws were passed, we are only slightly
better off. The problem is companies use methods to disguise the lack
of nutritional value of many of the products we consume on a daily basis.
I believe in freewill and responsibility of choices but we are being
killed by a system that allows advertisers to prey on our children,
and sell the parents (and grandparents) the line that if you buy them
candy, your children will love you and you're a good parent.
We bought a gingerbread house kit for the holidays. It stated a mere
"120 calories". Harmless, it seemed until one notes there
are "80 servings per container". Thus, were
the gingerbread house and its piles of icing to be nibbled away over
the weeks, we would have consumed an extra 9600 calories (mostly pure
sugar with no nutritional value).
You would think yogurt is good for kids. We encourage our children to
eat it for breakfast. Recently, we tried a new yogurt, you know, the
one with cartoon pictures on the labels. Again, at first glance, it
appeared be similar to the low-fat yogurt we had been using previously.
Upon comparison, and unifying the serving sizes, the results were surprising.
Standard Low-fat Yogurt (Publix): Calories 130, Fat <1g., Sugar 15g,
Kids brand yogurt: Calories 320, Fat 8g, Sugar 44g, Protein 8g.
You must apply algebraic ratios to solve this problem! First, to equalize
the playing field, you must standardize the SERVING SIZES. Don't know
the value of a "gram", usually written as a "g"?
It’s metric. The key is to equalize the serving sizes and then
use that "multiplier" to equalize the other values. For example
because the serving size of the kids yogurt is only 80g, it is multiplied
by 3 to be equivalent to the 240g serving size of the standard lo-fat
Final comparison results show the Kids yogurt had 300% more sugar, 800%
more fat, almost 300% more calories and less protein than the standard
adult brand. Oh, you paid twice as much for the kids yogurt as a similar
amount of the regular yogurt.
A quick glance at kids "snack" crackers shows many to have
150 calories and 6g Fat in a tiny one ounce serving (30g.). Please do
not believe anyone that tells you that you may eat ‘dark chocolate’
because it’s "healthy".
Even the former president Bill Clinton has gotten on the bandwagon.
He had a near miss with the grim reaper when rushed into surgery for
multiple coronary artery bypass. Now he plugs the food pyramid and an
anti-obesity pledge with the American Heart Association.
I’m a heretic. We avoid buying food with TV/movie characters on
the box, we don’t give our kids juice and we’re even phasing
out those tiny fish crackers. Drastic times call for drastic measures.
If big food companies don't start policing themselves, I believe the
government will do it for them. We need standards. We need truth in
labeling. We need Total Calorie Counts for entire packages and maybe
limits on valueless food products and serving sizes.
Readers may send questions to our
email address. This column is for informational purposes only and
is not a substitute for professional or medical advice.
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