There was a time when it was normal to smoke tobacco anywhere, even in college classrooms, with some professors puffing on cigarettes while lecturing.
Smoking was marketed as the ultimate cool accessory and many fell for it. There were smoking sections in airplanes (as if the flimsy curtains could filter out the smoke) and practically all restaurants, bars and clubs allowed it.
“Today, smokers have to go out of their way to a designated smokers’ area, and this inconvenience has been enough to make a good number of them quit altogether,” said Dr. Doug Lisle, clinical psychologist.
Now bacon, or other processed meats, are artificially “fortified” with vitamins to whitewash the fact that these are categorized as a Class 1 carcinogen—in the same league as tobacco and asbestos.
Some may find it “OA” to advocate against such poisonous substances masquerading as food cooked in home kitchens and eaten from lunchboxes, or served in school cafeterias.
Clever marketing and advertising gimmicks said hot dogs and chicken nuggets are “nutritious” food.
But better late than never —parents are slowly becoming aware of the damage that processed food has wrought to their children’s physical and mental health.
Food addiction is real, and so is lack of knowledge on what is good and bad food. People who struggle with obesity or being overweight also suffer from depression. Depression makes it difficult to stay on course in a diet program.
“People love to hear good news about their bad habits,” said Dr. John McDougall, physician, author and advocate of a low-fat, whole-food vegan diet to prevent degenerative diseases.
Industries diligently try to promote their food products as good by mixing them with vitamins and minerals, making healthcare a growth industry, and diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc. a global pandemic. Something being less bad doesn’t make it good, it’s just less bad.
It is the duty of parents to convince their children to eat whole, plant-based food with low—if not zero—amounts of salt, oil and sugar. Mothers need to start teaching it for their kids to get healthy and stay healthy. No amount of medical care can help solve health problems.
Good health is the result of healthy eating habits. Whether in school or at home, children need to live out the importance of a good diet, adequate sleep and active lifestyle.
“Workplaces, schools and homes are worst places where food addicts or emotional eaters tend to cave in, because in these places, things become socially acceptable, readily available and easily affordable. Food addiction is one of the hardest to beat because of these reasons,” said culinary instructor, author, reformed food addict and chef AJ.
Addiction specialist Dr. Vera Tarman confirmed: “People who quit drugs and alcohol go to food.”
There may be schools with sports programs, but students can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Not all students will join their school’s varsity teams, but they deserve to have a good nutritional foundation.
What top athletes eat
Look at what athletes eat to stay on top of their game:
Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams consume a largely raw vegan diet, while American football’s “greatest quarterback” Tom Brady is also a plant-eater most of the time.
Footballer Jermain Defoe, boxer David Haye, surfer Tia Blanco, Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, ultramarathoners Scott Jurek and Rich Roll, mixed-martial artists Nate Diaz, Abel “Killa” Trujillo and Mac Danzig are some of many plant-powered elite athletes.
From those examples, it makes sense for parents to cultivate a supportive environment for children to make the right dietary decisions. Kid’s menus in all restaurants wrongly suggest chicken nuggets, fries, sweet hot dog-laden spaghetti and cheeseburgers—none of which should be ingested by growing humans.
The Department of Education has guidelines as to what school cafeterias should serve, but private schools options to comply, but still sell category 1 carcinogens like bacon.
There are lip-service wall announcements on what diners should fill their plates with, but what’s mostly on sale are fried, unhealthy meat products with no healthier plant-sourced options.
Wouldn’t it be great to help keep student absences down and produce truly healthy
kids by genuinely adopting healthier food offerings? Let’s make it easy to decide to eat healthy.
A supportive environment is crucial for healthy eating practices to become a habit. —CONTRIBUTED