Dangerous Myth about Nutrition

Gluten Myth. We actually get a large part of our energy from wheat-based carbs like bread and noodles (gluten is the type of proteins in wheat and a few other grains). If we are trying to lose weight, cutting back on carbs is a good strategy, but gluten itself is not harmful. There is a small percentage (about 1%) of the population who have a genetic defect that makes them intolerant to gluten, and they get very sick if they eat gluten. In the other 99% of us, gluten has zero effect. Many food companies have picked up on the“gluten-free” craze, and have started labeling foods as “gluten-free” hoping that the uneducated public will think that this somehow makes the food higher quality. A study published in 2018 showed that children’s food products labeled GF (gluten free) had just as high a sugar content as the non-gluten free products, that is 88% contained enough sugar to classify them as "poor nutritional quality” according to the Pan American Health Organization standards. The concern of the authors is that 88% of children’s GF foods are classified as “poor nutrition” yet parents might be tricked into buying them, thinking that a GF label implies that the food product is nutritionally beneficial.

Metabolic Syndrome Re-defined!

In Pediatrics (March 2012), Dr Robert Lustig and Dr Andrew Bremer published a landmark paper, "Towards a Unifying Hypothesis for Metabolic Syndrome". This paper re-defines metabolic syndrome to include the other areas of pathology caused by metabolic dysfunction, namely cardiovascular disease and fatty liver. This allows us to see the full spectrum of damage that results from fructose being converted to triglyceride and LDL in the liver, the build-up of these damaging fats in the liver and arteries, the stiffening of the arteries leading to hypertension, occlusion of arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes, as well as the development of insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a common symptom of this cascade, but it's not the cause. Obesity is the "fever" (warning sign) of metabolic dysfunction.

NY Times: Sugar is Toxic

Gary Taubes (who wrote the book "Good Calories, Bad Calories") has written a very comprehensive article for the NY Times called "Is Sugar Toxic?". He concludes that it is, and supplies compelling arguments to prove it.  (See “Is Sugar Toxic” in this website.)                          

"Super Size Me" Revisited

Morgan Spurlock is a proponent of the “Lipid Theory” from the 1980”s that blames the rise of heart disease and obesity on eating fat, while ignoring sugar intake. He made a documentary, called “Super-Size Me”, of his own experiment: he ate only McDonalds food for one month and gained 25 pounds. He blamed the weight gain on high fat content, but completely ignored the fact that he drank a super-sized sugar coke with every meal.

Dr Voakes was all set to do the "Super Size Me" experiment (eat 3 meals a day at McDonalds) but NOT drink the huge sodas to show that it's the sugar drinks that made Morgan Spurlock get fat.

However, a much more entertaining version has been filmed by comedian Tom Naughton called "Fat Head". It's a 90-minute spoof documentary that pokes fun at Morgan Spurlock and all the proponents of the "Lipid Theory", while making some very important observations about how eating carbs, and especially sugar, is making Americans obese and sick. Naughton ate fast food, but did not drink the sugar drinks, and actually lowered his elevated BMI to normal after one month.





Caveman Diet for Kids

Humans evolved while eating a diet of meat, fruits and nuts. Our bodies could be expected to function best on these foods, while other types of foods may be potentially harmful. Dr Voakes has written an article exploring this concept, which was published in our local magazine, SOKY Happenings.    

Healthy Weight Kids in Vermont

We are very happy to hear that Mrs Michaels' 4th grade class, at Green Mountain School, is using information they found on to learn about preparing healthy foods, and about the importance of good nutrition. Keep up the good work, guys! Try to stay "sugar-free"!!

Best-Practice Guidelines for Physical Activity in Day Care

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently formulated guidelines for daycare centers, recommending the best practices known for optimal fitness of children who attend, in light of the current obesity epidemic.