What is obesity?
The Webster dictionary defines obesity as a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. From my culinary viewpoint, obesity is the consumption of the unhealthy foods, filled with ingredients, preservative and additives that our bodies cannot properly digest and reserves. Childhood obesity is an epidemic that is endangering the future of America. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), “More than one third of US adults – more than 72 million people – and 16% of US children are obese. Since 1980, obesity rates for adults have doubled and rate for children have tripled… one of seven low-income, pre-school aged children are obese… and obesity in low-income two to four-year-olds increased from 12.4% in 1998 to 14.6% in 2008.” This plague of unhealthy living in children and adolescents leads to the development of obese-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes (once only seen in adults), as well as cardiovascular disease including high-blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and abnormal glucose tolerance. Aside from the obvious health issues, the obesity epidemic is financially draining as well: in 2000, obesity-related health care costs totaled an estimated $117 billion! Between 1987 and 2001, medical costs related to obesity increased 27%. From 1979-1981 to 1997-1999 the annual hospital costs related to childhood obesity rose from $35 million to $127 million (CDC).
Chef how should we approach the transition from eating to eating smart.
Stop eating and start experiencing! Stop buying ingredients for what is not in them and buy for what is. Then take ownership of the problem.
Chef how can we start eating local.
First I will say if you want to be truly successful in this task: you need to know what your local producers produce, and eat seasonal, then if it is to difficult for you, do not try to make your entire meal out of local ingredients, but try to infuse your meals with complementing local ingredients and work your way up. You will feel proud of your intention, action and result.
Example: pan seared Wisconsin pork chops, with Wisconsin roasted apple and cranberry chutney, and Wisconsin caramelized Brussels sprouts and potatoes. What Food Additives ALWAYS contain MSG?
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour