Wednesday, November 25, 2015


"I tried every kind of dieting.  They said decrease your calories; increase your exercise; you're lazy; you're stressed out.  And then I met Dr. Lustig.  He said it was none of those things.  It was all the sugar and it was a lack of fiber.  I changed my food to the things he told me to do.  I've lost 100 pounds; I've restored my vitality, my health, and I'm happy."                            --Cindy Gershen

The evidence is mounting.  All calories are NOT equal.  A recent 2015 study* by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist with University of California-San Francisco, looked at the impact of sugar on the metabolism on 43 obese children ages 8-18.  The study replaced calories from added sugars with starchy foods.  The study was NOT designed to reduce calories; in fact, children’s weight was monitored to ensure they did NOT lose weight during the study.  During the study, the children’s sugar intake dropped from 28% to 10%. 

Results were dramatic.  After only 9 days, all 43 of the children’s blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar improved.  What’s the take home message here?  We are eating too much sugar and it is negatively impacting the health – and lives – of America’s children.  

As parents, you and I have a responsibility to ensure that all children have access to healthy foods.  Let’s do WHATEVER IT TAKES to ensure that our children have access to food that is healthy, not food that makes them sick and unhealthy.  The fact is that if a child is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (normally a disease of older adults) that their lifespan will be reduced by 17 years. 

Here are 3 healthy eating tips for you and your children:
  1. Read food labels and look for any ingredient that ends in “-ose”, which is a sugar.  Buy a similar product with less sugar.
  2. Drink water, not soda or juice.  Many parents have been tricked to think that fruit juice is healthy for their kids.  Fruit juice is all sugar and no fiber.  Instead, choose some fresh fruit.  
  3. Avoid ALL foods which contain HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.  This is the most highly processed form of sugar in our food supply and is highly addictive and destructive to our health. 

As we gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving this week, I want to acknowledge and honor the amazing volunteers who have made the Growing Healthy Kids' educational programs for children and parents a success.  It is because of you that we are improving the health and lives of America’s children.  Be kind.  Laugh every day.  Love life.  Eat vegetables.  Thank you. 

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

*The study was published online on October 27, 2015 in the journal Obesity.