Garden City Park, NY: Seven vaping-related deaths have now been reported widely by national media over the past week. While this is certainly a subject worthy of discussion and concern, far more worrisome is the growing epidemic of child, adolescent, and teen obesity that continues to plague the United States.
It has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that obesity now affects over 13.7 million children and adolescents, while the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates 300,000 deaths per year due to obesity—and that means we have around 800 obesity-related deaths each and every day. At this point, 13.9% of our obese population signifies 2- to 5-year-olds; 18.4% represents 6- to 11-year-olds; and 20.6% represents 12- to 19-year-olds. In fact, obesity remains the second leading cause of preventable death in this country.
What has made so many of our young people so obese? Parents across the globe might be mortified to learn that the answer to that question is: THEM.
According to certified nutritionist Matt Poteet, PharmD in his recent article "Why Parents Are Killing Their Kids With Fast Food," a study conducted in 2016 "found that 91% of parents had fed their children fast food, up from 79% in 2010." These fast foods, however, are just a part of children's daily diets. Dr. Renee Dufault, former FDA food investigator and author of our book, Unsafe at Any Meal, explains throughout her work that the Standard American Diet (SAD, aptly enough) is filled with alarmingly high levels of sugar, fat, and sodium—as dangerous for adults as they are for our kids. In particular, Dr. Dufault points out that the prevalence of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) in so many of these heavily processed fast foods serves as a magic carpet to various health problems over time for youngsters such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease among other conditions.
Whenever whistle-blowers like Dr. Dufault or longtime natural health advocate Dr. Nancy Appleton (bestselling author of our books Suicide by Sugar, Killer Colas, and Stopping Inflammation) have tried to bring to light the pervasive enslavement at the heart of this country's fast food addiction, their message has either been disputed by those corporate interests that stand to lose money or dismissed by a general public still too close to the problem to recognize it. With the national media seemingly beholden to fast food products and suppliers because of the huge advertising dollars they represent, it stands to reason that the American family will frown upon vaping as they line up at a fast-food restaurant drive-through window to buy their children yet another potentially dangerous meal.
So how can we change all of this—what can we do? According to Bill Tara, author of the forthcoming How to Eat Right & Save the Planet ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0486-5), the answer is as simple as what you and your family now choose to place on your food plates. In his new book, Tara confirms plainly but urgently that the world's modern diet is a mere reflection of "vested interests that are deeply embedded in the political, medical, agricultural, and food manufacturing sections that powerful forces can call into play whenever challenges are made to the status quo."
In addition, the mainstream Western diet's continued emphasis on meat has created an industry that kills over 70 billion land animals every year—and also sets the stage for the deaths of our grown children decades earlier than the average lifespan at this point in human history. By driving ourselves away from those fast-food restaurants and embracing a plant-based diet in place of meat, Tara believes we stand our best shot at keeping ourselves, our children, and our planet alive and healthy.
Built upon decades of previous experience that included his co-founding of the Kushi Institute together with Michio and Aveline Kushi (who introduced macrobiotics to the West in the early 1950s), Mr. Tara's stellar reputation across the natural foods community has included stints as a senior faculty member for the Kiental Institute in Switzerland and the Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the European Macrobiotic Assembly for four years; as Chairman of the North American Macrobiotic Congress; as Director of Natural Health Care at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain; and more recently, as founder of the Community Health Foundation in London, England, one of the largest natural health education centers in the world. Upon publication of his new book, Tara plans—along with his wife, Marlene Watson-Tara—to contine teaching workshops and intensive training in macrobiotics, vegan nutrition, and natural health care throughout the world.
This is a time in history where technology has made many things easier but has also kept us busier than ever before. It's not unreasonable then to assume that the aforementioned corporate interests at the heart of the fast-food industry have come to rely upon—perhaps even have cultivated—a general public driven by the distraction of everyday life to embrace the convenience and comfort that fast food meals deliver to them and their children. The truth, as ever, is harsher than anyone wants to admit. It's commendable that parents try to protect their children from the new health dangers of vaping, but it's also troubling when they put their kids directly in harm's way by serving them up a daily life culture in which all manner of fast-food consumption occurs throughout the school year. By pointing out how crucial a well-balanced and nutritious diet is to a child's health, the hope is that life can be made better. It has to start somewhere—why not here?
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Since it began almost two decades ago in 2000, Square One Publishers has continued its mission to bring out books that awaken readers to the existence of this nationwide health crisis—one that has only grown in size and and effect over the past few years. The realities of the crisis should no longer be a mystery to anyone, but the following are a few of the key Square One health titles that we feel might help provide workable solutions to this ongoing problem:
* Dr. Vlassara's AGE-less Diet:
How Chemicals in the Foods We Eat Promote Disease, Obesity, and Aging and the
Steps We Can Take to Stop It
by Helen Vlassara, MD; Sandra Woodruff, MS, RD; and Gary E. Striker, MD
* Unsafe at Any Meal
What the FDA Does Not Want You to Know About the Foods You Eat
by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault
* Suicide by Sugar
A Startling Look at Our #1 National Addiction
by Dr. Nancy Appleton
* Killer Colas
The Hard Truth About Soft Drinks
by Dr. Nancy Appleton
* End Your Addiction Now
The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Free
by Charles Gant, MD and Greg Lewis, PhD
* The Fabulous Fiber Cookbook:
Great Recipes You Can't Live Without
by Sandra Woodruff
* Why You Can't Lose Weight
Why It's So Hard to Shed Pounds and What You Can Do About It
by Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPh
* The Book of Macrobiotics
The Universal Way of Health, Happiness & Peace
by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack
* Deadly Harvest
The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food
by Geoff Bond
* Vicki's Vegan Kitchen
Eating with Sanity, Compassion & Taste
by Vicki Chelf