We all want to know- what is the cause of obesity in America? Many years ago I heard a brilliant researcher Rick Mattes, Ph.D, R.D. speak to this subject. He asked the audience “Is it fat in our diet, inactivity or something else?” Since we have always had fat in our diet and people throughout the ages have been inactive it is neither one. So what did Dr. Mattes think was the culprit? Beverages.
If you look at the graphs of beverage consumption in America, it closely follows the rise in obesity. When I was growing up all there was to drink was milk, water and the occasional soda at a party. Now the industry has exploded with every kind of beverage imaginable and unimaginable. Vitamin water, recovery drinks, sports drinks, mochas, sweet coffee drinks. You name it – it exists. And what do they use to sweeten these drinks to cut the price points – high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and other cheap forms of sugar. How do our bodies compensate for all this extra sugar?
In fact, our bodies were made to handle natural sugars attached to the form they were found in, according to Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California-San Francisco. A good example is fruit: a natural form of fructose that has fiber built into it. Nature made a way to help us handle the sugar in a food. In fact, sugar cane is one of the most fibrous foods you can find and would be impossible to eat a large quantity of.
Dr. Lustig recommends the only beverages we drink are the ones I did when I was a child: water and milk. Drinking sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange can be quite satisfying and feel like a treat after your body gets used to natural sweetness, a process that can take several weeks and well worth the effort.
In an elaborate video of the cause of obesity in America and beverage consumption (and well worth your hour of watching) Dr. Lustig clearly outlines why fat is not the culprit. He elaborately shows how manufactured fructose (a process that takes genetically modified corn to produce a cheap form of sugar for manufacturers to use in their products) in the diet actually causes obesity, heart disease and other diagnosis? you would rather avoid in your lifetime.
Since the government subsidizes corn, wheat and other products, these manufactured fake foods and beverages are inexpensive to make and buy. A family can feed themselves inexpensively on these “foods” versus eating fruits and vegetables which have become more costly. Then, to treat the symptom of putting these manufactured foods in our body, we are prescribed expensive drugs for diabetes, high cholesterol, gout, and arthritis just to name a few.
Why treat the symptom, not the cause? Why not STOP eating or drinking anything with these manufactured sugars and instead consume natural sweet foods of fruits, vegetables, and foods you find in the farmer’s market, or on the periphery of the grocery store? Staying away from processed foods not only makes a huge deposit in your health bank account but will save you money in the long term with medications to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or worse.