Generation Snackers are obese

Welcome to Generation Snackers. Kids eat almost constantly throughout the day as they graze on cookies, salty snacks and fruit drinks.

by Dr. Martha Grout — 

A new study of 32,227 children and adolescents tracked eating trends from 1977 through 2006 using data from four national surveys. On average, children reach for cookies, chips and other treats about three times a day, consuming nearly 600 daily calories from snacks alone.

Welcome to Generation Snackers. Kids eat almost constantly throughout the day as they graze on cookies, salty snacks and fruit drinks. No wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three children born in the United States in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.

Barry M. Popkin, co-author of the study and director of nutrition epidemiology at the University of North Carolina notes, “It would be great if they were eating fruits and vegetables and reduced-fat milk — and every now and then a cookie or two. But the foods are going from bad to worse.”

This speaks volumes. First, it points to the “low-fat” kick we have been on. How is that working? Is obesity going down? No, because good fats such as avocados, coconut and olive oil, real butter and grass-fed animal fat give us a feeling of fullness that stops us from overeating. Not to mention that good fats are a major energy source and also help us absorb vitamins and nutrients. Dr. Popkin would be wise to drop the recommendation for low-fat milk. Good fats are necessary.

Has the American Diabetes Association come out against high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or soda? No. Calling HFCS the “crack of sweeteners,” Florida’s Rep. Juan Zapata tried in 2006 to ban the state’s school districts from selling or using products containing the sweetener. Tuesdi Fenter, a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association, said in response, “We don’t think that high fructose corn syrup is the enemy. People can have anything they want as long as it’s in moderation.” The problem is that HFCS saturates all manner of processed foods, meaning moderation is almost impossible.

Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, creator of the HCG diet, spent 40 years grappling with the fundamental problems of obesity. Among his conclusions was that agriculture had changed our eating patterns. Hunter-gathering societies typically nibbled through the day. But agrarian societies essentially binged at widely spaced intervals to meet the scheduled labor demands of farming. This changed how our bodies store fat.

Today, we call the result of this change belly fat — that hard-to-lose weight around the stomach and hips. Its presence is not just an eyesore; fat cells in the abdominal area produce more hormones and chemical messengers, which cause the chronic inflammation that drives most chronic illnesses. Simeons figured out how to use human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG) to shed belly fat. In fact, getting rid of belly fat would be an actual preventative medicine prescription for a man with heart disease.

Ironically, snacking is better for us than eating two or three big meals a day. Eating a little bit throughout the day actually keeps blood sugar levels more stable and prevents us from “pigging out” because we are so hungry by the time we get to the lunch or dinner table. Good snacks are not full of sugar and salt. Instead, reach for almond butter on a celery stick, cheese and fruit, or nuts and yogurt.


Martha Grout, M.D., M.D.(H), has two decades in emergency medicine and a decade in homeopathic medicine. She specializes in the reversal of chronic disease and makes use of the homeopathic HCG diet at her environmentally friendly office in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-240-2600 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 2, Apr/May 2010.

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