Our Children Are Trying To Tell Us Something. Will We Listen?
“Between what’s in our food and how much of it that we eat, Americans consume more calories, fat and sugar today than ever before.”
So said First Lady Michelle Obama, recently announcing a new ad campaign.
Today versus 40 years ago, Americans consume 56% more added oils, fats and dairy fat, 23% more calories, and 14% more sugars and sweeteners (the equivalent of 12 extra pounds of sugar per person each year).
And while Americans spend almost 16 cents of every dollar managing disease, we only spend 9.5 cents of every dollar on food. As a result, we are paying a high price for cheap meals.
In no way is this more apparent than in the health of our children who suffer from epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes, autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma, in part, because we are failing, at the federal level, to support initiatives that would make clean and healthy food affordable to every family.
With studies linking the increase in obesity to the increase in food allergies, the First Lady is remarkable in her efforts. But to restore the health of our children will require our collective efforts as a country, across every level of government and both sides of the aisle.
To address obesity, without addressing the flood of cheap, processed foods is like trying to mop up the kitchen without turning off the sink.
And while none of us can do everything, we can all do something. And if that one thing is to simply watch the clip below, then grab a seat, sit down, and listen. Because in the face of the sudden childhood epidemics that we are seeing, our children are trying to tell us something.