How Nixon contributed to the world's Obesity problem

Tuesday, June 19

Thank you so much to everyone for all the kind messages that you have sent me after my post
yesterday.  I am so excited for the next chapter in my working life:)

In my daily blog reading today, I really enjoyed this post by my fabulous friend, Little Miss Medic, her stories about working as a Doctor in a South Africa, are always really interesting and usually either really inspiring or hilarious!

A friend also sent me this link to a documentary that I found fascinating about obesity in the UK and the US, called "The Men who made us Fat."  It's and hour long, really well put together and discusses why the world has the rising the obesity problem that it does.

It is an hour long to watch and I would highly recommend it, but I have summarised below the principle that it is centred around.  The creator, Jacques Perreti, explains how American politicians in the 1970's are the cause of todays obesity epidemic.

Basically, in the 1970's during the Vietnam war, Nixon wanted to win the vote of the American Farmers and of the housewives.  The Farmers wanted less restrictions on what they were allowed to produce, the housewives wanted cheaper groceries, and Nixon wanted all of them happy.  Earl Butts was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, and he encouraged Farmers to expand their crop sizes, in order for them to make more money and to create cheaper food for the public through bulk production.  This resulted in Farms growing massively in size, and so corn (maize) production increased.  

This corn was fed to cattle and sold in it's natural form, and still there was corn left over.  The Japanese had in the meantime come up with a chemical reaction that turned corn in to High Fructose Corn Syrup.  This created a very sweet product, that was only a the third of the price of sugar!  The soft drink companies were the first to realise the benefits of using this cheaper alternative and soon all soft drinks had this corn syrup in it. 

 Other processed foods were soon to follow suit, and for a while everyone was happy.  The processed food companies were able to have a higher profit margin, and the people were able to buy it more cheaply.

What happened though, was that as high fructose corn syrup became the number one replacement for sugar, so the incidence of obesity in the US rose massively.

The problem is, is that some sugars turn more easily to fat than others.  And yes, you have guessed it, fructose is VERY good at turning to Fat.  The other thing that Perreti goes on to explain, is that, fructose interferes with our bodies natural ability to know when we feel full.  So the more fructose that we consume, the less chance we have of feeling full, and again Obesity soars.

Nixon's attempt at winning over voters has contributed massively to the Obesity problem that the world faces today!

I hope that I have dome justice to what the documentary describes, and that it makes sense!

I found it fascinating, and I hope that you did too:)

Let's try and stay away from the fructose corn syrup, and just enjoy corn in it's natural form! 

I needed to add that last bit, my Dad farms Maize (corn)!
template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)