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Education and awareness regarding food choices for you and your family
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone tell me ‘Yeah, I know how to eat healthy, the problem is just doing it,’ I could retire at the ripe age of 31 years old. I would have to agree that implementing a good food profile tends to be the more difficult part (or at least it takes a more consistent effort to be worthwhile), but I also am going to have to call BS on a lot of people’s grasp on what it means to actually fuel your body appropriately. And if you’re thinking ‘yeah, he’s right, MOST people don’t know…but I do,’ there’s still about a 95% chance I’m still talking about you…
First of all, let me concede some points here—for years, people have been taught bad and outright wrong/outdated information. Sometimes it seems like there is so much more bad information out there than there is useful and accurate information when it comes to food, it’s scary and downright disheartening to someone who is wanting to begin that journey of understanding how to eat in order to reach your goals. The information is not always readily available, easy to find, and without any controversy. But, there are some principles that are of no surprise to anyone, and that’s what I’d like to address here.
Let me paint a scenario that has happened in front of me literally hundreds of times in my young adult life:
A family is sitting at the breakfast table in a restaurant. Mom and dad are drinking a soda and eating whatever carb-dense, nutrient-devoid, protein-deficient breakfast that is the standard to a vast majority of people. Kids are eating pancakes (sugar) with syrup (sugar) and drinking an OJ (don’t fool yourself…this is sugar water). The kid is restless, squirming around in his seat. Dad tells him to settle down, knock it off, and finish his breakfast (keep eating and drinking your sugar and stop being so hyper!). The circus continues until the family eventually finishes, pays, and leaves.
There are only a few possible explanations that I can come up with:
1. It’s Sunday, and the family eats really well 95% of the time, but this was an exception to the regular standard.
2. They eat like this pretty much all the time.
Now I’m willing to bet most of the time, scenario #1 is not as likely. So assuming that it’s all about scenario #2, there are a few sub-possibilities here:
2a. They have no idea that drinking soda and having pancakes for breakfast is bad for you.
2b. They have at least an inkling of an idea that soda and pancakes are bad for you, but they feed it to their kids anyway.
I refuse to believe that someone would be surprised with the information that soda and pancakes are bad for you. So what does that leave us? People KNOWINGLY are doing this, not only to themselves, but to their families—particularly children who, because the parents are leading by this poor example, don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of setting themselves up for success metabolically. These daily choices (that aren’t even CHOICES to the kids—they don’t know any better from such a young age!) are not only affecting the population’s health, well-being, quality of life, longevity, and function, but they also adversely affect our infrastructure fiscally when the population continues to get less healthy and more sick.
Now before I get berated about how I don’t have a right to complain about this, I am in no way suggesting that everyone is a bad parent. Of course I know everyone cares about their families and their children, and I’m definitely not trying to get political or controversial. I just care about people’s well-being and setting people up for success, and the jury ISN’T still out on whether or not feeding your kids a bunch of garbage all day is bad for them or not. A little education and awareness here can go a long way in changing lives for the better. What do you do to make a difference?