Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Health, Eating, and the Truth

I recently spent some time with a close friend who is a big shot in the health insurance industry. As in the chairman of the board of a major health insurance company. He shared with me that at a recent annual set of meetings of the highest level execs in the health insurance world, they finally had a panel about health and eating.  The panel was made up of distinguished widely respected medical and nutritional experts who he says could agree only one thing: healthy eating was vital to managing health costs and shifting towards a system of building a healthy population and away from trying to take care of an extremely unhealthy population.

They could not in any way agree on what healthy eating meant.

I suspect that this is an exaggeration. I'm sure of the following and I think everyone else would agree.  The major unhealthy eating habits that are contributing to general problems and the 20% of the population that is currently obese are:

1. Over-sweetened breakfast cereals:  Frosted Flakes, Sugar Pops, Cocoa Krispies, and Captain Crunch.
2. Soda Pop: Coke, Pepsi and all the rest.
3. French Fries & Potato Chips
4. Fast food over-fat burgers

Aren't they the big four disasters? Or do cookies and deserts also make the list? Does snacking count at this level?  Are fried foods generally a bigger problem than fried potato products?

I'm guessing that the experts could not agree on counting calories, meat-eating, avoiding sweetened foods and refined flour, and all the other components of how you define what we should be eating.


Paul said...

Consumers need to inform the food industry that we're not buying their unhealthy products.

A coworker presented me with a 4.5 oz single serving of Activia blueberry flavour Greek yogurt (she's been emulating me as I buy plain nonfat Greek yogurt). In this tiny single serving container was packed THIRTY GRAMS OF SUGAR!!

Couple weeks back I bribed someone (no names) at the dojo into giving me his can of Nutrament Protein drink in exchange for my protein bar. I flipped the can and read the ingredients: Skim milk, Sugar, Cream. HUH?!? Sold as a protein drink over the counter at the gym next door.


Anonymous said...

I think refined foods in general are the culprit of our "fat" population (including soft drinks) and sugar in particular. Look at the amount of corn sweetener in everything. From can food, to cereals, breads, to frozen items and dairy products. And I'm not even touching the obvious villains like snacks. Essentials nutrients have been removed either from bleaching, steaming or excess processing. Unless we go back to eaten whole, fresh products (fresh fruits & vegetables, eggs, milk, fish, meat, whole unprocessed grains) americans are doomed to stay fat and unhealthy.
And they could not agree on the definition of healthy eating??????
OK, I'll stop now because if you get me started on the subject, I could burst...
My ten cents worth.

BBat50 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BBat50 said...

I admit that my understanding of what I should be eating and how to interpret labels is pretty low.

Some of my best friends have quit eating any meat for health reasons.

Others (Agnes) have stopped eating anything with refined wheat or sugars.

I have tried to drop most carbs (particularly breads, pasta, and potatoes) mostly because they make me feel lousy. I eat a lot of meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, and other proteins. Other than bananas, I'm not a big fruit eater either. this diet helps with my weight (I don't have any cholesterol problems).

Of course, part of my problem with labels is that they are too small to read. And I love deserts and chocolate so I'm always trying to limit my intake.

seema said...