Posted on 06-07-2012
The Wellness Arena
Natural News, by Ronnie Commins
low-nutrition items such as soft drinks, French fries, and low-grade meat, laced with fat, cheap sweeteners, pesticide residues, chemical additives, and salt. We have become a Fast Food Nation of bulging waistlines and high blood pressure.
Recent studies link pesticide residues and chemical additives like MSG in processed foods and restaurant fare to hormone disruption and obesity. No wonder 60% of Americans are either overweight or obese. One in every three children born since the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Diet-related obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are now the nation's number one public health problem, generating an estimated $150 billion in health care costs every year. Millions of youth and adults have literally become addicted to the chemically enhanced junk food served in fast food restaurants, school lunchrooms, and institutional cafeterias. In 1972, the
The junk food industry, now under attack by public health advocates and parents, finds itself in a similar position to where the tobacco industry was in the 1990s. After decades of lies and industry propaganda, the truth is finally coming out: junk food kills.
Indeed, despite individual efforts by some states to tax soda pop, require healthier school lunches, or mandate calorie information in chain restaurants, obesity rates in the
We need to subsidize healthy organic food, not junk food, and promote sustainable food and farming practices, instead of subsidizing factory farms and chemical-intensive farming and food processing. We need to provide physical education, cooking, nutrition and gardening classes in our schools, and ban or restrict the advertising of junk foods in the mass media. We need to teach children and adults alike to eat less meat and fatty foods and instead increase their consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and home-cooked meals.
It is time to put a Surgeon General's warning on junk foods. It's time to come to grips with the fact that we have allowed the junk food industry and the mass media to brainwash our youth and turn them into fast food addicts.
Studies have shown that school organic gardens, salad bars, and healthy lunches improve the health and academic performance of young people. Healthy eating habits and gardening skills nurtured and developed at an early age most often have a lifetime impact.
So yes, let's slap a heavy tax on junk food served at fast food restaurants and in school cafeterias. A 100% tax on junk food and beverages would help pay for the collateral damages of this industry: the $150 billion in diet-related disease and health care costs now incurred by the public and taxpayers for obesity and diabetes.
But of course we shouldn't hold our breath for
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