Has anyone seen my sugar mojo?
I seem to have lost it somewhere over Christmas and New Years and it doesn’t seem to be coming back!
Remember those scrumptious home made chocolate brownies I was obsessing over a couple of weeks ago?
(If you don’t, let me refresh your memory here).
Well, the brownie express came a knockin’ on my door once again in celebration of yet another office birthday. Actually, I knew they were coming- my colleague had kindly emailed me the day before as a heads up that they were going to be circulating in the office, should I need to excuse myself and cry in the bathroom or budget for the extra carbs and fat injection for that day.
So I sat there, waiting for fate to hit my lips and reside on the hips.
But what happened next surprised me.
The punnet of gooey goodness wasn’t sexy anymore. I saw the fairy-dusted icing mounds for what they really were: 27g of pure sugar per 100g and at least the same amount in fat.
No longer a “treat” or “reward” for being good, I turned down a famous chocolate brownie without flinching.
Why are candy-coated cupcakes, chocolates and drinks called “treats”?
And why are we being conditioned to reward ourselves with this poisonous substance called sugar that can do more harm than cigarettes?
It’s alarming to know that obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia. Today, this country is ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world (read more at obesity facts & figures).
It starts with how society use confectionery as a form of incentive…
I was walking down the street on my way to the market when I passed a heavy woman dragging her exhausted child along the footpath.
Clearly on the way to the same market, the little boy was lamenting about the incredible heat and adamant to stay within the boundaries of the shade provided by the building. “If you are a good boy and walk faster, I will get you an ice cream”, she bargains. Ice cream on a hot day seems innocent enough, I thought to myself, however I spot an already melted chocolate bar in the boy’s hand and a full bottle of “100% Natural” cordial hanging off his Ben-10 backpack!
Was this a situation brought on by genuine lack of nutrition knowledge or just apathetic parenting?
I found resounding sentiments in a blog article by SmallSteps2Health. A husband, father and working professional himself, Mark’s views were sparked by the inclusion of obese children in the latest US version of The Biggest Loser reality show.
“To a large extent parents in America are “falling asleep at the switch” on the nutrition, fitness and health side of the responsibility equation,” he explains, “As a parent your job is to guide, nurture and protect your children as you raise them to be positive members of society. This includes protecting them from themselves, “foodco” marketers, and laziness, so that they aren’t encumbered by fat, so they don’t fall prey to illness, and so they live full, active lives”.
At the end of the day, I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of being that mother more than once in our lives: cupcakes as a token of appreciation, honey joys at a child’s birthday, free up-size on your Coke if you purchase a large meal- we are all conditioned to think that sugar is a gift or goodie of some sort and aren’t conscious of the hidden dangers lurking in these treats.
We are responsible to make informative choices for ourselves and for those dependent on us. Just remember, we are all sweet enough without extra sweeteners!
- Why Our Brains Love Sugar – And Why Our Bodies Don’t (psychologytoday.com)
- Modern day crack: Sugar (nivramwords.wordpress.com)