According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third (34.9 percent or 78.6 million) of US adults are obese, putting them at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. The CDC stated that these conditions are the second leading cause of preventable death in the US.
The Mayo Clinic defines obesity as a “complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat.” In addition to one-third of obese adults, the CDC reported that approximately 17 percent (12.7 million) of children and adolescents ages two to 19 are obese. These numbers are shocking, especially since a little over 12 million children are under the age of 20, which puts them at risk for the same health problems as someone their parent’s age…the most troubling aspect about obesity, in my opinion, is that it can be prevented; however, due to the nation’s ignorance regarding food labeling and the food industry’s concern for money and efficiency over American health, adults and children are consuming chemically altered foods that are allegedly adding to the growing number of obese Americans.
Freelance Writer Christina Sarich is the author of “Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body and Mind Through the Art of Yoga.” She posted an article on the “Natural Society; Transform Your Health Naturally” website, arguing that “the way industrial agriculture conducts its business robs the soil of important nutrients, which are then a void in our food.”
Sarich believes that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not feed the American people, but rather feed corporations’ pockets. Companies target children, which Sarich stated makes them a “GM-Generation that is eating BT corn – a type of GMO originating from the soil bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis – and high fructose corn syrup by the bucket load.”
Tim Lobstein of the World Obesity Federation said, “No wonder ‘fat’ children are seen as an investment in future sales.” In other words, junk food-GM-contaminated companies hook children on their products, watch them get heavy and thrive off their increasing body weight and appetite because their habits bring their companies money.
An article on prevention.com entitled “Are GMO’s Making You Fat?” expressed that researchers in Norway fed one group of rats food containing GM corn and a control group non-GM corn. The study showed that over the course of days, the rats on the GM-corn diet grew fatter and ate more than the rats on the non-GM diet. Author of this article Emily Main stated that the researchers also noticed that the rats got fatter when they ate fish that had been raised on GM corn.
Main quoted research from The Organic Center, a non-profit organization in Washington DC, that found “nutrient levels in modern crops are anywhere from ten to 25 percent lower than they were 50 years ago, likely because the crops are bred for higher yields, as many GM crops are.” The center stated that “as nutrient levels go down, we have to eat more to get the recommended levels of nutrients we need, which may explain why GM crops led to overeating rodents in the Norwegian study.”
Pat Thomas, author of “Eat GMOs, Get Fat?” published on beyond-gm.org, added that the Norwegian study “also found that the animals fed on a diet of GM corn put on weight and were less able to digest proteins and suffered immune system problems…This inability to digest proteins has important implications for health. The proper digestion of protein is necessary for many biological functions which include providing the body with amino acids.”
It is honestly devastating to read that much of the nation’s population suffers from obesity, which is in part linked to GMOs. The finding that troubled me most was how junk food companies target children. Children have a hard time saying no to junk food and sugar, unless their parents strictly prohibit them to consume such snacks. Most people think that when a child is consuming junk food they are not doing any harm to themselves, which is due in part to the fact that food labels omit the facts about whether or not junk food products contain GMOs. So while kids are “just being kids” and eating a cookie or a Twinkie, they are setting themselves up for detrimental health problems that could kill them.
GMOs are in almost everything, but we just don’t know it. When we eat, we have no idea what we are putting into our bodies, unless the labels specify. Some of us care and others, like myself, don’t think to check a label or question how or where it was made. Ignoring labels results in the population getting fatter, which affects one’s overall health. My mom always nagged me about staying away from sugars, sweets or soda, and steered me toward reduced fat items and organic labels. I always laughed at her when she yelled at me about what I ate. Looks like momma actually does know best! (I still like cheese though.)
Brogan Wessell can be contacted at email@example.com