a) adult disease only b) both children and adult disease
2. Easy Question:
Pizza and other boxed foods contain sugar.
a) True b) False
3. More Difficult:
Thin people can get diabetes too.
a) True b) False
4. More Difficult:
People get type 2 diabetes because they
a) don’t exercise enough b) eat poor quality food c) eat good quality food
Corn syrup, dextrose, xylitol, maltose, rice syrup are the names of
a) chemicals b) sugar c) processed foods
Fatty liver disease can be caused by
a) drinking alcohol b) eating fructose c) both a and b d) neither a nor b
Check your answers below:
Diabetes in Canada
Many immigrants come to Canada because they want to give their children a better future. It is every parent’s desire that their kids grow up strong and healthy. To protect your children’s health, you need to educate yourself – and your children! – on what the most dangerous foods in the supermarkets are and how to eat them or avoid them.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in children, not only in Canada but in many countries worldwide. Dr. Robert Lustig, an American pediatric endocrinologist, who is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, is a specialist in childhood obesity. You can watch his lectures on YouTube. According to him, healthy children are now becoming sick because of what they eat and drink, and at younger and younger ages.
The processed food and soft drink industry promote the idea that the obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. They say that the problem is in the quantity of food that you eat and not the quality of food that they sell.
Years ago type 2 diabetes was an adult disease only. In 1980 almost no children had type 2 diabetes. Today, there are 60,000 children in USA that have it. Now we know that obesity is not about exercising too little – because now we have obese 6 months old babies! Babies do not diet and exercise. And they don’t choose what they eat.
Obesity has increased worldwide at the rate of 1% per year. However, diabetes has increased at the rate of 4% per year. Thin people get diabetes too. People from some countries, like China and India for example, are thinner than Americans, yet they get diabetes as well. Some people are fat on the outside, but other people are fat on the inside. Their fat is around their internal organs.
Obesity is not a disease by itself – it’s a symptom of metabolic syndrome diseases. Metabolic diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney disease, polycystic ovarian disease, and accompanying disease such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
These diseases come from eating processed foods. Processed foods come from a box or a package.
Almost all processed foods contain sugar: soft drinks, desserts, but also ketchup and other sauces, pizzas and other boxed foods. When you read a nutrition label, sugar may be called by 56 different names! Corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, xylitol, maltose, rice syrup etc. are all sugars!
Sugar is half glucose and half fructose. Glucose is stored in your muscles and used for energy. Fructose is very different. Fructose, just like alcohol, is sent straight to the liver! Both alcohol and sugar can give you the exact same fatty liver disease. Sugar and alcohol both cause metabolic syndrome. Sugar and alcohol also act the same way on your brain’s pleasure center – they both make you want more. But you will never give your child a can of beer, yet many parents don’t hesitate to give their child a can of soda. Effects are the same though – sugar is the alcohol of the child.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to feed your child healthy food.
So what can you do?
1. Don’t let your kids drink soda and other sweet drinks.
A can of soda has 9 teaspoons of sugar in it. Stop drinking energy drinks, sports drinks, smoothies and juice. (Juice has no fiber.)
2. Buy less supermarket desserts. Instead, have fun with your kids baking something together at home.
3. Cook at home so that you know there is no added sugar in your food.
4. Buy the foods that don’t have nutrition labels (fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken)
5. Remember: if one of the first three ingredients is sugar, you are buying a dessert. Granola is dessert. Fruit-flavoured yogurt is dessert. Breakfast cereal is a dessert. Check the bread you are buying – it could have a lot of sugar too.
Your health and your family is the most important thing in the world. If you don’t have health, you have nothing.
Frequency of Food Intake
The reason some immigrants might become overweight and develop diabetes in Canada is that they begin to eat more frequently. You will hear in Canada that one needs to eat five to six times a day – three meals and two-three snacks. Some people in North America eat up to 10 times a day when you count all the snacks. Unfortunately, every time you eat, you raise your insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store fat. If your body has to produce insulin many times a day – as opposed to only two or three times a day – eventually the insulin production system breaks down and you get diabetes.
Some people’s bodies can store a lot of fat. These people will get overweight and then obese, and only then they will develop diabetes.
Other people’s bodies cannot store so much fat. Their insulin production system will break down sooner and they will develop diabetes when they are just a little overweight.