High Sugar, Low Fiber Western Diet Makes Children Obese

This headline is a “no brainer” yet it is amazing how many people ignore this simple truth. Our “Western Diet” consisting of very high sugar and carbohydrate foods, usually highly processed, and the fact that natural fiber is not present in these foods, contributes to over-production of insulin by the body, and supression of leptin (the hormone that normally tells the body when it is appropriate to stop eating.)

Childhood Obesity Caused By ‘Toxic Environment’ Of Western Diets, Study Says

“A UCSF researcher has determined that a key reason for the epidemic of pediatric obesity, now the most commonly diagnosed childhood ailment, is that high-calorie, low-fiber Western diets promote hormonal imbalances that encourage children to overeat… Diseases that once were only seen in adults, like type 2 diabetes, now are occurring in increasing numbers in children, according to Lustig. Overweight children tend to become overweight adults, which also puts them at greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Children who are obese also are socially ostracized and teased, putting them at risk for depression and other psychiatric conditions, he adds. ‘Our current Western food environment has become highly insulinogenic,’ Lustig says, ‘as demonstrated by its increased energy density, high-fat content, high glycemic index, increased fructose composition, decreased fiber, and decreased dairy content. In particular, fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin,’ he adds. Lustig says that it has long been known that the hormone insulin acts on the brain to encourage eating through two separate mechanisms. First, it blocks the signals that travel from the body’s fat stores to the brain by suppressing the effectiveness of the hormone leptin, resulting in increased food intake and decreased activity. Second, insulin promotes the signal that seeks the reward of eating carried by the chemical dopamine, which makes a person want to eat to get the pleasurable dopamine ‘rush.’ Calorie intake and expenditure normally are regulated by leptin, Lustig says. When leptin is functioning properly it ‘increases physical activity, decreases appetite, and increases feelings of well-being.’ Conversely, when leptin is suppressed, feelings of well-being and activity decrease and appetite increases — a state called ‘leptin resistance.'”

This phenomenon explains the epidemic of obesity and begs the question, “When will we leave high sugar, processed foods on the shelves and start eating a high fiber (through natural vegetables) and lowered carbohydrate diet?”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.