by Sarah Cain
New York City has higher rates of childhood obesity than the national average, and it is worsening. When mayor Michael Bloomberg entered office in 2002, he pledged to improve the health of New Yorkers. Since then, he has led campaigns against smoking and sugar. Now, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is trying to reduce the rates of childhood obesity. The New York Times reported their lack of success last week.
Upon reading of their methods, their failure is not at all surprising. Let us not forget that it was New York State that absurdly planned to ban salt in restaurants for the benefit of people's health. New York State has a history of unwise health policies. It was the primary location for AIDS experiments on foster care children, during a time when New York City officials would routinely remove children from homes, if their care-givers refused to poison them with experimental drugs. New York was also the first state to mandate the swine flu vaccine for health care workers. It is worth reminding readers that most New York State health care workers did not want the vaccine shot, because of serious safety concerns, but we are certain they neglected to mention this to their vaccine patients.
New York City officials are planning to reduce childhood obesity by limiting the amount of sugar that is consumed in schools. While this sounds admirable at first, we began to question their logic when we read that the city had only banned sugar-sweetened beverages in school vending machines. Just how many soft drinks actually contain real sugar? We have yet to find a major brand cola that contains any sugar at all. They contain high fructose corn syrup. So, were any popular drinks removed at all? What's more, all of the drinks that were replaced have been substituted with their 'diet' equivalents, because the real emphasis is on calories and politics, not legitimate nutritional science.
"It would be naïve to think that measures like banningand posting the calories of foods served in restaurants would be enough to bring about a decline in childhood obesity."
— Cathy Nonas, Director of Physical Activity and Nutrition
for the N.Y.C. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Switching from regular soft drinks to their 'diet' versions is only making the obesity epidemic worse. Artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, actually cause weight gain. This is one of the industry's dirty little secrets, and all of the studies prove it. What's more, diseases such as fibromyalgia and Parkinson's disease will start to occur in younger populations in New York City. Such conditions are directly caused by excitotoxin exposure (such as aspartame and MSG). Worse of all is that aspartame is well proven to cause brain tumors (eg. brain cancer), for which survivability chances are lower than for any other type of cancer.
Whenever anti-obesity campaigns such as this one occur in any part of the country, they always seem to result in failure. None of them seem to attack the real problems: high fructose corn syrup, artificial additives, simple-carbohydrate diets, trans fats, soy products, and various other toxins in foods and pharmaceuticals. Instead, politicians attack salt and sugar, which technically a body needs, and it will deteriorate without the right proportions of them in their natural forms. Attacking the real culprits of America's obesity and disease epidemics takes politically incorrect guts, and a willingness to stand up against some powerful people.
As long as corn is subsidized with our tax money, and as long as processed versions of it continue to appear in 80% of the products, we will never be free from the obesity epidemic. America will never be healthy until this changes. By the way, corn in its natural state is, of course, healthy. We rarely see corn in its natural state anymore, and most of it is a genetically engineered frankenfood. Do not expect to read about this on any of the labels, however.
What's more, carbohydrates have now been placed at the bottom of the food pyramid (the main food), with the U.S.D.A. now recommending a heaping 11 servings of grains per day, for the benefit of its industry partners, of course. In an era when fats and candy have been given an official place on the food pyramid, there should be no shock that our rates of disease and obesity are growing alongside our waist lines. They will continue killing us, until we as a society start placing the blame where it is deserved, and take ownership of our own health.