Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday February 6: Improved Exercise & Diet the Answers In Sugar Battle

By Sylvia Gurinsky

How does this country solve its obesity/poor health crisis? Some are saying it's time to regulate sugar, much as alcohol and tobacco are regulated.


The problem is not that sugar isn't regulated. Sugar was around long before Americans started having serious health problems. But fast foods and processed foods weren't around, for the most part, until the 1950s. And an increased emphasis on both is where many of the problems lie - along with a decreased emphasis for children on physical education and recess in schools.

Unfortunately, school administrators have been looking for places to cut budgets and increase student preparations for tests. Phys Ed and recess have been among the first programs cut in many places.

That means numerous children don't get the exercise they need. Combine that with the many hours kids spend in front of televisions or computer screens, and you have most of the reasons they grow up into adults who are in bad shape.

And for most adults, the lack of time is a problem. That leads to more fast food meals and frozen dinners at the expense of naturally prepared meals - and health.

Almost 60 years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the organization that is known today as the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. With such programs as First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign and former President Bill Clinton's efforts to get healthy foods into schools, there's no question of continued efforts to lead Americans to healthier lifestyles.

But regulation, in this case, is no answer. Sugar doesn't need to be regulated - just managed.

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