Last week a friend at work told me about a friend who was just in her pediatrician's office. This friend has been reading The Table of Promise practically since inception! (Thank you!) When she went into her Ped's office, she noticed a flyer regarding childhood obesity, a growing problem of grave concern. The flyer said "More and more children are gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. Children who gain too much weight are more likely to have health problems when they get older. They are also more likely to be overweight as adults. What's the goal for overweight children? The goal is for overweight children to slow down the rate of weight gain. This gives their bodies a chance to catch up with their weight as the grow. Doctors want children to get to and maintain a healthy weight."
Apparently, the flyer says that parents can make two simple changes, cut 100 calories from your child's daily diet and add 2,000 steps. I am all for adding steps. But food is the biggest factor in wieght gain, no matter how much you excercise. And the flyer suggests that part of the way one can reduce calories is to replace sugar with splenda. Me, I say preposterous. The flyer also directs patients to go to the splenda website, which I of course did. They have a whole section on simple changes. I am also all for reducing calories. But isn't it easier to switch to plain yogurt rather than one sweetened with splenda? Or ELIMINATE a snack rather than choosing a lower calorie one?
I am not in favor of fake sweeteners and sugar substitutes. There is significant evidence that they trick the body. The sweet taste prepares the digestive system into believing that it will be soon working on digesting lots of calories. Then like an out of work union, when no calories arrive in your tummy your digestive system lobbies for more work. Your body demands that you eat more since you gyped it out of once promised calories. Not to mention the problems with aspartame, and the problems with a new sweetner neotame. I don't see the same smoking guns for splenda (sucralose) or xylitol based off what I have googled on the internet, but they are chemicals none the less, and I don't to eat them. And the tricks they play on our body are the same.
But the idea that splenda is now infiltrating pediatricians' office in the hopes of plugging their product to overweight kids and desperate parents across the country. I say WRONG WRONG WRONG! Doctors should be prescribing real food to their patients, period. And we parents need to stand up to our kids. We are in charge. If you don't want your kid to eat crap, don't give it to them.
This post is entered in Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays and Real Food Whole Health's Blog Carnival!