sugar, boomers and history

We boomers are not as healthy as we think we are.

According to JAMA, even though we are living longer, Baby Boomers are more likely to have issues with chronic disease, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and obesity, than the previous generation at the same age.

Vintage Advertising Posters | Inappropriate adsCould it be it’s because our Moms were unduly influenced by the Soda Pop Board of America? This ad promised Moms that children would fit in during those awkward teenage years.  And, it claimed early soda pop consumption would guarantee happiness throughout their child’s lifetime. So, why not start a kid on a regimen of sugary beverages?  What Mom would forsake all these claims for her child? Who was she to argue with laboratory tests?

Meanwhile, In America...It’s probably safe to say, most Moms never dreamed that their children’s love for the sweet stuff would eventually (in the ’80’s and 90’s) turn into this – 128 ounces of pure diabetic delight! (Or maybe they did?)

Whatever problems we boomers have with sugar, I kind of think the Soda Pop people might have brainwashed our parents, and later – us. Check out this blog to see what happens to your body the hour after drinking a Coke. Makes you wonder what our Moms would think about soda pop today?

If you are like me, at some point in life, (maybe after learning there were 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 ounce can of pop) you may have switched to a diet soda. Many of us may remember this as the first –

Tab. Tab soda...one of the first calorie free sodas...
Originally meant for athletes, diabetics and the health conscious, we thought we were making an intelligent and informed choice – until…we found out about (drum roll please) the dangers of artificial sweeteners.

It’s a fact, Americans are are a society of soda consumers – half of us consume at least 2.6 glasses a day. We can’t help it – it’s part of our culture.

Over consumption of sugary drinks boils down to – excess calories without nutrients. At this stage of my life I want nutrients! Nutrients fight disease, nutrients prevent cell inflammation and nutrients fuel my immune system. This is a no-brainer. If I am consuming calories, I want nutrient dense ones. Smoothies, water or juices will work here.

Too much diet soda equals no calories, no nutrients and a host of other health worries. Many artificial sweeteners cannot be broken down chemically by the body, by water treatment facilities, or by anything in the environment – these chemicals are not indigenous to this planet, and no one really knows the long term effects. Artificial sweeteners fool the body and the body systems. Originally thought to be a sweet alternative for diabetics, research now indicates the opposite, they can actually pose an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Good-bye diet drinks, you are officially banned from my diet!

I need to remember –  water is a nutrient, a vital nutrient! It’s not sweet, but it is necessary for the human body. Also – anything in moderation (not deprivation) can be part of a balanced diet.

Humans have a sweet tooth for a reason, it began as something necessary for us to survive on this planet. The problem is:  now sugar is pervasive in our food and drinks, reaching unprecedented levels of consumption. This is not moderation – this is a poor diet. I need to get myself back to craving the sugar in a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.

No wonder we boomers are not so healthy – we might have had some help along the way!

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