OK, I'll be honest. I get annoyed by something just about every day. It’s even in my Twitter bio. But nothing makes me more fed up than how people have been bamboozled by the food and beverage industries. With that, here are 8 things about the state of our food industry that make me furious.
I am FED UP with:
1. The unhealthy lunches served to our kids at schools
The standards for what our kids should be eating are incredibly low — especially in our school system. We all know that eating a diet rich in whole foods and low in sugar is the healthiest choice, but we don’t feed our children that way. The rampant diabetes and obesity rates prove it.
2. Pizza and french fries count as a vegetable
I am not exaggerating. Due to some aggressive lobbying practices from Big Food companies, pizza and French fries are still counted as vegetables. Really?!
3. Kids are getting adult diseases
For the first time in history, we have a generation of children that will live shorter lifespans than their parents. Our children are being diagnosed with food-related adult diseases such as type 2 diabetes, at an unprecedented rate. It was unheard of a generation ago. As many as a third of type 2 diabetes cases are now diagnosed in children, even though this was a disease that used to not develop until later in life, around age 40.
4. Food advertisements targeting our kids
Billions of dollars are spent by fast food companies and Big Food makers to target children. The goal? To hook them as early as possible on sugary foods. This is unethical and immoral.
5. The access and availability of junk food
Vending machines are on every corner (even in schools), and junk is strategically placed in stores near cash registers, and even at toy stores. Junk has infiltrated everywhere we go — even places that are supposed to be helping us get healthy, like gyms and hospitals!
6. Misleading nutrition labels
Nutrition labels should be clear, easy and honest. Unfortunately, that is not the case — reading a label is purposely difficult and confusing, making it hard for us to see what is really hiding in our food. To list just a few examples of egregious these practices are, big food companies hide the amount of sugar by using 56 different names for it, measuring it in grams instead of teaspoons. Also, unlike every other ingredient on a nutrition label, there is no mention of the daily recommended amount of sugar.
7. Celebrity endorsements
This practices goes from Michael Jackson dancing for Pepsi to Blake Shelton hawking Pizza Hut. Celebrity endorsements work, which is why companies pay them the big bucks. Celebrities need to think twice about the health of their fans and just say NO!
8. The myth that cooking is hard and takes too long
It isn’t and it doesn’t. That idea has been marketed Big Food companies to us to help sell more products.
Right now it's harder to be healthy than ever before. But we can fix it. Cook real food and sit down to eat as a family. Go see Fed UP with your friends and family and take the Fed Up Challenge by cutting added sugar from your lives for 10 days. The changes we make in our homes, schools and communities go a long way. The health of our children is worth the fight.
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