When it comes to treating childhood obesity, I find that the most important weapon for fighting obesity is information. I use the analogy of a weapon because I believe that we must fight against those who would knowingly put ingredients into foods targeted to children that cause obesity, neurological disorders and worse. I help parents understand the impact that polluted food is having on their child. I also teach them to find and prepare the delicious clean alternatives. Finally, I help parents manage their own fears and that of their child. Many of the foods on the market today cause food addictions. Giving up these foods can be scary. Ever watch a 2 or 3 year old that isn’t getting his fix of sugar? Melt down time.
What my patients, young and old, learn over time is that clean food doesn’t just heal what ails you; it is also scrumptious, truly delicious food!
The following is an excerpt from my soon to be released book: Below the Radar: How Food Pollution is Driving Obesity, Eating Disorders, Premature Aging and Chronic Illness in the U.S.
According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 U.S. children are obese, which is nearly triple the rate that childhood obesity was in 1963. The question is why is this happening? I believe that it is happening because U.S. children are exposed to pollutants that have been shown to cause obesity almost from birth. An exaggeration? Let’s start by looking at baby formula.
One of the main ingredients in Similac, and many other baby formulas, is Corn Syrup. In Similac, it measures at 42% of the total volume of formula. Corn Syrup is regarded today as the main cause of weight gain leading to diabetes in America. It is also an excitatory neurotoxin, and has been implicated in the increased incidence of ADHD. Besides driving obesity, corn syrup is likely to be genetically engineered in the U.S. What does this have to do with obesity? Researchers have found that animals get fatter and that the rate of obesity is faster when they are fed GMO crops. More importantly, the effects are passed on to the humans that eat these animals. So unless you are eating 100% grass-fed, pastured or fresh caught animals and fish, you are ingesting GMO’s, a lot of them, and so are your children.
Another dangerous ingredient in most baby formulas is soy protein Isolate, which is derived from a hexane chemical extraction process.  Not only is soy protein isolate likely to be from a GMO form of soy, since 90% of all soy in the U.S. is also GMO, soy protein isolate is a form of MSG, or processed free glutamate. Why is this an issue? Because MSG is, (you guessed it) very fattening. We have been using MSG to fatten lab animals in obesity studies for decades. Unfortunately, it is in children’s foods in abundance, beginning with baby formula! Most parents would not recognize it, however, as it is called many different things, none of which are MSG. In addition it is sometimes a derivative of processes and/or combinations of ingredients. The following chart spells it out:
So, what we are saying so far is that Similac infant formula is 42.6% corn syrup solids, which is a form of highly processed GMO sugar that is believed to be the primary culprit in the increased incidence in diabetes, in combination with 14.7% soy protein isolate which has been shown to be a dangerous neurotoxin. Can it get any worse? Yes.
The next ingredient in the Similac I bought is 11.5% high oleic safflower, followed by 10.1% sugar (sucrose). If you do the math, we now have 52.7% sugar (corn syrup solids plus the sucrose) with GMO soy protein isolate. If you wanted to raise a diabetic obese child with ADD or ADHD, this would be the way to do it. Not only is High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) fattening, and neurotoxic, it is also highly addicting. I cannot tell you how many parents have told me that their child will not eat any real food and only wants foods high in sugar. No wonder! The saddest thing is that most parents are doing the best they can to feed their children “healthy” foods. Unless you know what to look for, it is very easy to be duped into believing that you are doing a good thing for your baby/child. There are even “organic” baby formulas that have these same ingredients since many do not have to be labeled, in particular the GMO’s.
The next on the list is 8.4% soy oil (most likely from GMO soybeans) and then 7.8% coconut oil, which is the only healthy ingredient so far assuming that it is unrefined, which it does not say, so I am going to assume that it is not. There are a number of problems with the remaining ingredients, i.e. chemical versions of the vitamins for example that I won’t go into here as the focus is on childhood obesity.