“Eating better” isn’t always cost effective, but the long-term costs associated with your general health far outweigh the short-term benefits of cheaper foodstuffs. It’s not just about “moderation,” as any amount of junk is junk nonetheless.
Your life may very well depend on understanding the problem and taking some personal responsibility for what you’re sticking into your mouth. Turning a blind eye to the situation will not make it go away, either.
I’m grateful that @Kristin was able to help me better visualize the situation by crafting this infographic, using conservative public statistics and open records. Make no mistake: you have a greater chance of dying from too much corn than you do by a terrorist plot.
Average high-fructose corn syrup consumed by an American in 1970: 0.6 pounds [George A Bray, Samara Joy Nielsen and Barry M Popkin, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 4, 537-543, April 2004]
Average high-fructose corn syrup consumed by an American in 2000: 73.5 pounds [George A Bray, et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 4, 537-543, April 2004]
Percentage of American children categorized as overweight or obese in 1971: 4 [United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, “Health, United States, 2006, With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans—Table 73: Overweight among children and adolescents 6-19 years of age by sex, age, race, and Hispanic origin, and poverty level: United States, 1963-1965 through 2001-2004”, p. 291.]
Percentage of American children categorized as overweight or obese in 2004: 17.5 [ibid]
“Insulin resistance is a common feature of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Both have reached epidemic proportions worldwide with the global adoption of the westernized diet along with increased consumption of fructose, stemming from the wide and increasing use of high-fructose corn syrup sweeteners. It is well established that fructose is more lipogenic than glucose, and high-fructose diets have been linked to hypertriglyceridemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and insulin resistance.” [Source]
Researchers have found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may contribute to the development of diabetes, particularly in children. [Reported at the 234th national meeting of the American Chemical Society]
Even if it’s not HFCS, the chances of you eating some kind of product that was either made with or produced through corn are… well, go ahead and look in your food pantry. Pick up the average box and/or packet. Even if “corn” isn’t there, it’s obstinately there.
This is not likely the corn that originally came from Mexico centuries ago. No, it’s likely a GMO / hybrid that was designed for mass production. It’s nearly impossible to avoid anymore.
If Michelle Obama was really serious about curbing childhood obesity, she’d force corn-based food products off the market. But she won’t. In 2005, federal subsidies spent $9.4 billion in taxpayer money to promote corn production [source], so the chances of her actually curbing the problem at its root are next to zero. As such, the chances of her “Let’s Move” program succeeding in the long run are also next to zero.
Even if kids exercised regularly every day, they’d still continue to make absolutely lousy food choices for themselves – or, worse yet, an uninformed parent would be making those choices for him or her. Even if a child has a “nutritious lunch” at school or at home, you don’t think they’re going to chase it down with a supersized soft drink or some other kind of sugary snack? Hell, even “fruit juices” are comprised of more sugar than they are fruit itself!
I’m not going to say that regular physical activity doesn’t play a role in helping you lose weight, but I am suggesting that the amount of calories that the average person consumes these days is atmospheric. Don’t think you’re safe just by avoiding fast food, though; there’s not a single aisle at the grocery or convenience store which doesn’t shelve some kind of corn-based foodstuff.
Corn is cheap. Corn is convenient. Corn is making YOU fat.
Stop looking to the government to help you (and/or your kids) stay trim. Good food is going to cost you more money, but no more money than you’re going to be spending to support the health issues that your current “food” choices are helping you achieve.
The food industry, supported by the government, are in it for the money – not for your health.
Oh, and do you wanna know how farmers fatten cattle?
Corn. And if they don’t have enough corn on hand? Sugar:
You’re eating what a cow eats to get fat, my friends. You’re eating like a fucking cow, and you keep buying crap-tacular food products that are doing nothing to help you win the battle of the bulge.
Every so often? Fine. Every day? No way.
Tangentially, I’m calling “bullshit” on Pepsi – specifically in regards to their Pepsi’s Refresh marketing campaign. If they REALLY wanted to “refresh” the world, they’d stop producing products that are killing their consumers slowly; they’d eliminate HFCS and move to natural sugars altogether; they’d stop using artificial sweeteners in their “diet” products; they’d stop producing transfat-tainted products; they’d make an effort to produce far more single-serving containers. That would be refreshing in innumerable ways, but I’d never expect it to happen. Pepsi cares as much about your health and diet as they do your choice of fishing tackle.
The only reason companies might care about your health is to make sure you’re around longer… to be able to purchase more of their “food” products which have little-to-no nutritional value to them. Get it?