Why is the subject of healthy eating appearing in a professional HR Practitioner’s web-site? The answer is health costs in terms of absenteeism due to medical reasons and health costs is a significant spending for every business. The worst case is to lose a key employee through disease. A lot of our company health programs focus on physical activities and health screening; very little goes into promoting heathy eating and community activism.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a license medical practitioner. Please check with your national health promotion board or company doctor for advices.
Why Sugar is Bad?
With globalization, processed food has found their way into supermarket shelves and small grocery stores in major cities around the world. With the availability of sugar in it granular form, we have been adding it into our beverages and food. This is true whether we are drinking coffee outside our home or adding it to our dishes.
Sugar is bad because over consumption can lead to health problems.This video describes about the events revolving around sugar in the United States.
Dr Aldo R. Maspons: Fructose, Obesity and Fatty Liver
Is Sugar Toxic?
“Robert H. Lustig is an American pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco where he is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics. He practices in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. He also has a special interest in childhood obesity.
Lustig came to public attention through his efforts to establish that fructose can have serious deleterious effects on human (especially children’s) health if consumed in too large amounts. On May 26, 2009, he delivered a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” which was posted on YouTube“ (Source: Wikipedia)
Dr Robert H. Lustig: Sugar – The Bitter Truth
60 Minutes Investigates: Is Sugar Toxic?
CBC News: The Secrets of Sugar
Over Consumption of Carbohydrates Causes Fatty Liver
Barbara ONeil explains the cause of fatty liver. She pointed out that over consumption of carbohydrates cause excess sugar to be stored in the liver as fats. Carbohydrates include cereal, bread, pasta, cakes, rice and potatoes.
Barbara ONeill: Liver and Pancreas
Dr Mark Hyman said that fatty liver creates a whole cascade of issues, including:
• Insulin resistance
• Pre-diabetes and diabetes
• Abnormal cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Heart attack
Dr. Mark Hyman: Do You Have a Fatty Liver?
The Food Industry
The food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Their priority is profits not our health.Sugar is added to processed food to make consumers to eat more and to increase the food’s shelf life.
Sugar can be Dangerous for You
The Science of Addictive Food
Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0
Who Are the Big Players in the Food Industry?
Here is a list of companies that control the world’s food compiled by Alexander E.M. Hess.
- Associated British Foods PLC
- The Coca Cola Co
- Groupe Danone SA
- General Mills Inc.
- Kellogg Inc.
- Mars Inc.
- Mondelez International Inc.
- Nestle SA
- PepsiCo Inc.
- Unilever Group
The website www.foodprocessing.com maintains a list of the top 100 food and beverage companies in the United States and Canada. Many of these companies have operations outside their country of origin and they export their products overseas.
Who Are the Biggest Fast Food Chain?
Forbes listed the following as the biggest fast food chain in the world.
- Pizza Hut
- Star Bucks
- Burger King
- Domino’s Pizza
- Dunkin’s Donuts
- Dairy Queen
- Papa John’s
How Much Sugar in Processed Food?
There is a lot of sugar hidden in processed food. We can find a lot of processed food in the supermarket. Watch the following video to find out how much sugar is hidden in processed food.
Shocking Sugar: How Much Sugar Is HIDDEN in my food
Biggest Drivers of Convenience Food in United States
My personal impression is that in US, people have lesser access to fruits and fresh produce than convenience food stores because big farming corporations have taken over small farmers and supermarket chains have push out small grocery stores that tend to sell more fresh produce.
Fast food, Fat profits, Obesity in America
Megan Sheely in her paper “Global Adoption of Convenience Food” listed 3 main drivers for the growth of fast food companies:
- Possession of a color TV.
- Possession of a microwave.
- Median age of the population.
If You Want To Have Something Sweet
Dr Axe suggested the following substitutes for refined sugar:
- Pure raw honey
- Coconut sugar
- 100% grade B organic maple syrup
Dr Josh Axe: Five Best Sugar Substitutes
Asian Street Food
In Asia, we have street food vendors and hawkers. A lot of them prepare their food from fresh produce, although they may use more oil and MSG. Although not the most healthy and we need to be selective, they are an alternative to convenience food. Citizens can help avoid the sugar epidemic by persuading Governments in these countries to take steps to ensure the survival of heritage foods.
What Can I Do About It?
There are some learning points that I gathered personally from all these video materials.
- Avoid the American diet – This means avoiding processed food and fast food.
- Keep carbohydrates intake under control.
- Watch my food portions.
- Eat more fruits and fresh produce, especially plant based food.
- Cook my own food.
- Look for ways to avoid using sugar in my cooking and beverages.
I will like to end this article with the following video.
Dr Robert H. Lustig: The Complete Skinny on Obesity
Global Adoption of Convenience Food
Telegraph Wire: Why Sugar is Ruining our Health (12 April 2013)
QSR Magazine: The Top 50 Brands in Quick Service and Fast Casual