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A Look At The Startling New Findings About Men and Sugar Consumptions
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Hey. Welcome to another episode of the SNA Health Class. Yuri Elkaim here and today I’m going to be talking about some recent research that is showing that younger men are the biggest consumers of added sugar. This is according to research done by the CDC, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What they did was they looked at over a five-year period—2005 to 2010—they wanted to study different groups in relation to the amount of added sugar they consumed in their diet. Added sugar in this sense was added to processed and prepared foods. Immediately, when you think of that, you kind of tend to think about pop, soda, like Coke and stuff like that, but, apparently, only one-third of calories from added sugars come from beverages.
The other two-thirds are coming from packaged foods. And, for the most part, most of these are coming from within the household, so they’re consumed at home. Which means that individuals, families, men, whoever’s buying, are buying foods that are entering the house, which are causing them to consume a lot of sugar, which eventually leads to greater risk of overweightness, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and then a whole other slew of stuff.
This is a study that was presented in the National Center for Health Statistics data brief, and when I say “younger men,” I’m talking about 20 to 59, so that’s a 39-year age gap. They found that with increasing age—so, men older than 60—there was a marked decrease in the consumption of calories from added sugars, which kind of makes sense. I guess you get wiser as you get older, as they say, so you tend to think, I don’t really want to be sick. I want to live my life to the…
I think when you’re young, you have this notion that you’re invincible and you can get away with anything. I went through this when I was in university; I thought I could eat whatever I want and get away with it ’cause I was playing soccer, so it was all good, right? But as you get older, you start to realize your body doesn’t work the same way; you need to take care of it a little bit more, and that could be possibly why they saw the older demographic consuming the fewest amount of sugars.
A couple important things I wanted to point out here. It’s not really important, the men were consuming about 50 percent more calories from sugar than women on a daily basis, but there’s not really much more to this than what I’ve just presented to you. I think this is stuff that…it’s pretty intuitive. It’s fairly intuitive when you think about this.
Where are we getting the added sugars from? Well, if you think about anything that comes in a package or in a box, the easiest thing to do is just look at the food label. Look at the ingredient list. It doesn’t matter if it’s organic; it can still be loaded with sugar, and the only way to know that for sure is to look at two things, which is, as I just said, the ingredient list, which gives you a clear depiction of which ingredients are in the food, if you can call it that; and secondly, is the nutrition-facts label, which will tell you how many calories you’re getting, how much protein, how much fat, how much carbs, all that stuff. You want to look there and if you see 15, 20, 30 grams of sugar, well, you know that that’s a lot of sugar.
It’s very easy, if you think about things like cereal, cereal’s probably one of the most common hidden sources of sugar that’s in our food supply. We wake up—and when I saw “we,” I don’t mean we; I mean they—everyone else wakes up, they have their cereal in the morning. Their cereal could be Honey Nut Cheerios for all I care. Honey Nut Cheerios is a perfect example of clever marketing. They take Cheerios, which everyone thinks is great for their health, and then they add a little honey to it, so they think, it’s just a little bit sweeter, but it’s still good for my health. But, again, you’re adding sugar to your cereal; you’re adding sugar to a food you’re having every single morning.
You compound that. What’s next? Let’s have something for lunch. Let’s maybe go to the food court for lunch. Who knows what’s in those foods, right? Fast foods, very, very, whether it’s a hamburger or French fries or a bun, whatever it is, soda, they’re all loaded with sugar. Again, that perfect combination of sugar, fat, and salt just too really tickle your taste buds.
You come home, you have a bag of potato chips, you have candy bars, you have stuff in boxes, it could be cookies, and it could be anything. All of these foods, if we go back to—just let me find that episode—Episode 13, where we talked about food addiction. The combination of those three things—salt, sugar, fat—all of these food companies, for the most part, know this stuff, and they work like dogs on a bone to figure out the best combination so that you’re eating more than just one. You’re eating several. You empty that box and you’re like, “Oh my God, I need more,” so you run to the store and you get some. And it’s a problem; it’s a very, very big problem.
I think when we look at our schools, I remember when I was in high school—I don’t know if it’s changed a lot now, but when I was in high school, we had vending machines for chocolate bars, Coke, obviously, chips, all the packaged garbage. I don’t even know…it infuriates me. How is it even possible that the school system allows for these vending machines to be put in their schools? I understand they get kickbacks from Coca-Cola and these other companies, but it’s not even ethical; it’s terrible. When you look at the cafeteria food—chicken fingers, French fries, pizza.
It seems like I continue to bring up the same stuff over and over again, but I think collectively, everyone, like you, myself, everyone who’s listening, everyone who knows this stuff needs to put their foot down at some level and say, “That’s it; not anymore.” If you are the person buying food for your house, you are the gatekeeper. You say “That garbage is not coming in my house. I will not put that in my shopping cart.” I don’t know, maybe you’re the type of person who’s going to go to the school and talk to the principal about the food in the cafeteria.
We all have to play our part in putting our foot down and raising the bar and demanding more of ourselves and the way we live health wise, because it’s a debauchery in the sense that our kids are brought up with all this nonsense. It’s all about money; that’s all it is.
These companies have big money, so they can advertise. These companies have a lot of money, so they can give kickbacks at schools and to different education boards. As a result, their foods are in our school system; they’re everywhere. At some level, there needs to be some kind of boycott. The only way to do that is not giving in to them. You can’t buy their stuff.
I go to the supermarket by my house. I walk in the automatic doors; the first thing I see are, like, truckloads, what seems like, the things on display out front are all the garbage stuff—the cookies, the potato chips, all the specials, like buy two bags, get one free. It’s not buy two bags of apples, get one free. Its buy two bags of potato chips and get one free.
Again, what I’m suggesting here is very, very idealist thinking. This is not about, “Well, Yuri, that’s not very realistic,” because that’s true; it isn’t very realistic in the short-term. This kind of stuff is a micro revolution that needs to happen. There are small things that we all have to do on a daily basis, starting by not choosing those crappy foods at the store, so, therefore, they have fewer profits; let’s think about it that way.
We have to choose to support our local farmers; eat natural foods; educate ourselves and our kids about what nutrition is what health is, and allow them to make smarter choices, too, as they age. And over time, hopefully, hopefully by the time I leave this planet, we’ll be in a better spot.
Again, this stuff is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a long time to change because it’s taken a long time to get here. And nobody likes change, especially those big corporations. They’re not going to enjoy this. They will hunt us down, but we will take them down.
Yeah, it’s just not fair. It’s not fair that and I would think that a lot of these young men in these studies are not even aware of the amount of sugar they’re eating. If you have a Coke, right, obviously, you drink Diet Coke. Why do you drink Diet Coke? Well, because it has less sugar.
Okay, that’s one thing but if you eat cereal, are you aware of how much the sugar has? If you have this “healthy” granola bar, do you know how much sugar’s in the granola bar? It comes back to this basic level of education by simply looking at food labels on these packages and, first of all, not even choosing these foods.
So, I wanted to bring this up. I wanted to kind of get a little bit of discussion going. I want to get your wheels turning ’cause I want you to think, as we finish off this episode, I want you to think about where are some areas where I can definitely make some type of positive change in my life or for my kids or whatever environment you’re in? What is something small?
I’m not asking you to reinvent the school system here in terms of what they’re eating, but what is a small act that you can do this week that will make a small, maybe even a big change in terms of lessening, lowering the amount of sugar that you and your family are consuming? This is something that can be; it just becomes part of your day-to-day philosophy.
For instance, in my household Amy does most of the shopping, but I think we’ve come to the agreement that we will not bring garbage into the house; it’s not going to happen. And if it does, I will throw it out. I don’t care if she just spent five or ten dollars on it, it’s going to go right in the garbage; I will burn it. Because if it’s in your house, as this study showed, the majority of these sugar-added calories are coming from within the house. They’re not coming from going out and eating. These are foods that are somehow making their way into the pantry, into the kitchen. We need to put a stop to that.
Think about what is one thing you can do this week that is going to put you and your family one step ahead. Just think about that as we finish off this episode. And if you know what that is, I want you to jump back over to the blog at SuperNutritionAcademy.com/blog and let me know what is it that you’re going to do to make a smart, positive change for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for whomever. Let me know in the comments section of this blog post, Episode 42, and that would be greatly appreciated.
And do not forget to leave a rating and review on iTunes. I really appreciate all the amazing feedback we’ve had. It’s incredible how many awesome reviews and ratings we’ve had. We need to continue getting that four; we need to continue building that because this information needs to come to the forefront of the masses.
We need to hit number one on iTunes, and it’s got to stay there. It’s not even an alternative; that’s going to happen and I need your help to make that happen. So, if you haven’t done so already, jump over to iTunes, find the podcast, and please leave an honest review—it doesn’t have to be positive, but an honest review—about the podcast, what you think, so we can get this ranked higher and higher and higher every single day so we can help more and more people live healthier. Cool?
Thank you very much for your help, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.
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