Beyond Sugar Shock

Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment & Obesity

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Join the Conversation. What is your biggest Ahah! from this video, “Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment and Obesity”? Talk to us now.
Do you or your loved ones overeat? Have you or your family members been gaining unwanted excess weight? Are you concerned about our obesity crisis?
To gain insights into why two-thirds of people are getting fatter and fatter and sicker and sicker, I urge you to watch a video of this fascinating panel discussion, “Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment & Obesity,” thanks to the Harvard School of Public Health and the Huffington Post.
I’m so excited that I came across this video while doing research for my next book, Tame Your Crazy Cravings™.
This program presented an illustrious panel, which included:
Walter Willett, Chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, and Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
David Kessler, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco; and Author, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
Dariush Mozaffarian, Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and
Michael Rich, Director, Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital
The modferator of “Why We Overeat” was moderated brilliantly by Meredith Melnick, Editorial Director for HuffPost Healthy Living.
This program has many fascinating points, and I urge you to watch through it for the entire time.
In particular, I urge you to pay attentiont to these fascinating comments from Dr. Mozaffarian:
“Now sugar, I agree that sugar is a problem, but sugar is no greater a problem and then totally unsweetened refined grains. And the worry I have about just focusing on sugar, it gives the refined grains, it gets them off the hook.
“So white bread, all refined cereals that have no added sugar at all, they say zero sugar on the panel, those are just as bad. And when we’ve looked at populations of hundreds of thousands of people, the weight gain associated with Skittles is exactly the same weight gain that is associated with Corn Flakes or white bread or a bagel. So to think that a bagel, that has no sugar, is different than candy is really misleading. …”
Also, I invite you to keep watching to check out the second video (at 59:00) from the HBO film, Weight of the Nation, .where you can discover which beverages contain the most sugar content, thanks to The WATCH Nutrition Clinic.
I’d love to hear what you think about this video.
Join the Conversation. What is your biggest Ahah! from this video, “Why We Overeat The Toxic Food Environment & Obesity”? Talk to us now.

Announcements

Get Ready to Calm Your Crazy Cravings with Me

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Join the Crazy Cravings Conversation™. What foods do you most crave and when? Post your comment now.
Cravings-can-stock-photo_csp5445145
Do you find that whenever stress strikes, deadline hits, your kids misbehave or grief wallops you, you’re seized by absolutely urgent, overpowering Crazy Cravings™ for easily accessible, fiber-stripped carbohydrates or other sugary, salty, fatty foods?
Then, the next thing you know, fueled by your frantic cravings, you hunt out your favorite trigger foods, which, of course, are quite easy to find.
After all, unless we live in the boonies or the outbacks, we’re in the midst of a junk-food jungle, which is full of convenience stores, bakeries, and carts that sell a plethora of tempting donuts, candies, cookies, crackers, chips, and junk foods.
What’s a wanna-be healthy eater to do?
And what can you do if you want to lose weight and your cravings keep derailing you?
Well, you need to learn to Calm Your Crazy Cravings™, as I put it.
Lately, I’ve been wracking my brain and exhaustively researchng how to help you do just that.
In fact, that’s why, as you may have noticed. I haven’t been posting as much lately on this Sugar Shock Blog or on my Huffington Post or Heal Your Life blogs.
You see, I’ve been deep into writing and researching my third book, Calm Your Crazy Cravings (that’s the wokring title).
My next book will help you finally let go of your urgent urges for unhealthy sugary, salty, fatty junk foods, or what I call nonfoods or unreal foods.
My next book, which I’ve been working on intensely for two years, while healing after the death of my mother, is the the follow up to my books, Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock.
Although — as I mentioned in My Carb Confession here and then later here, when I thanked Sean Croxton for inspring me to come clean — the initial inspiration for this book grew out of my own challenging, traumatic experiences and Crazy Cravings, my next book can help millions, I believe, to rise about those incessant desires for unreal foods, which can lead you to disease and even an early death.
Anyhow, I ask you to please be patient with me a while longer, because I’m sooooooo close to finishing my book, Calm Your Crazy Cravings, and then I’ll be posting lots of great tips for you.
For now, I invite you to get excited! At last, you’ll get help to rise above your Crazy Cravings.
Alex-JamiesonIn the meantime, I encourage you to get valuable perspective, awesome insights and wonderful help to understand and manage your cravings from my astute colleague, Alex Jamieson.
Alex offers a different, wortehile, brilliant perspective on the subject of cravings. (Yes, our books will complement each other well.)
The empowering, personable Alex Jamieson — who I had the pleasure of meeting years ago while living in New York City and who I saw recently at an awesome event for health experts presented by cutting-edge health guru JJ Virgin — is now gearing up for the publication of her next book, Women, Food and Desire, which comes out in January.
In fact, you may have been one of millions, who had the pleasure of seeing her on such shows as “Oprah” or “The National Health Test with Bryant Gumbel” or in the award-winning documentary, Super Size Me.
You also can hear her inspring TedX talk here.
In fact, I’m honored to be able to present Alex as one of more than 20 experts, who will participate in my upcoming Sugar World Summit. Stay tuned for details.
In the meantime, talk to us.
Join the Crazy Cravings Conversation™. What foods do you most crave and when? Post your comment now.
Photo Credit: Please note that since I’m on book deadline, I haven’t resarched if it’s okay to use this artwork above. If not, please let me know and I’ll take it down. In the meantime, I want to profusely thank Clipart Vector for this awesome cartoon. Check them out.

Clever Takes on the News

Do you Multi-Task While Eating? It Makes Your Food Taste Bland

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Do you multi-task at meal time?
If you eat while on the computer, watching TV or doing other things, this means there’s a good chance that you’re over-indulging, too. (So found a variety of studies, which link distraction with mindless bingeing. A review of 24 studies drew that conclusion in the April 2013 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.)
Now, more research published in Psychological Science reveals that doing mentally taxing tasks while you eat will make your food taste bland, too.
In other words, when you juggle too many things at mealtime, you just won’t enjoy or appreciate your food as much.
What’s more, scientists at the Institute for Psychological Research at Leiden University in The Netherlands discovered that when participants ate sour, sweet and salty substances while doing various tasks, they consumed more food and preferred stronger tastes.
In addition doing other things while eating makes your food tastes bland. Indeed, researchers found that an “increased task load reduces people’s taste perception by limiting attentional capacity to assess taste intensity and that people adjust their consumption accordingly.”
In short, the researchers believe that cognitive load may compete with sensory input for our attention.
But let’s focus on the good news, as pointed out by Scientific American’s Tori Rodriguez. Other studies have found you eat less when you pay mindful attention to your food and fully focus on the taste, armona and texture.
The important takeaway, as I see it, is that if you want to peel off the pounds, cut out multi-tasking at meal time.
Besides, as this new study reveals, you’ll enjoy your more, too.
So join me: Mindfully savor each morsel or swallow at each meal or snack.
Multi-Tasking at Meal Time: Why It
Special thanks to visual.ly for the above infographic.
Join the Conversation. Do you multi-task while eating? Do you end up eating more? Tell us your experiences.
Then join us in ending multi-tasking while eating.

Announcements

My Most Popular Blog Posts: What Did I Forget?

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Here’s a list of my some of my most popular posts on this Sugar Shock Blog. Please check back, because I’m still adding to this list. (It’s taking a while to compile all the hot posts since I founded this Sugar Shock Blog in early June 2005,.
Weight Loss Assistance
CLS May Reduce Stubborn Fat Around the Middle
How Not to Pig Out on Thanksgiving;
Musings and Commentary
Shame on Reporters Critical of Cookie Monster’s New Moderate Habits
Holiday Help
7 Tips to Squash Your Sugar Cravings this Holiday Season
5 Ways to Indulge Over the Holidays Without Gaining Weight
‘Tis the Season to be Stressed: 7 tips to Relieve Holiday Stress
Relieve Holiday Stress: Holiday Gift to You from Debra Berndt and Me (Audio Program)
5 Tips to Soften Halloween Sugar Shock
The Sour Scoop About Sugar
Sugar at “Safe” Levels Can be Deadly;
The Inside Scooop about Agave (I don’t recommend it)
iHigh Fructose corn Syrup: Some Scary Facts to Consider Before You Gulp Down Soda & Other Foods (with 3-minute video)
146 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health (Guest column from Nancy Appleton)
Reformed Sugar Addict Alec Baldwin Interviews Dr. Robert Lustig;
The Fallacy of Diet Foods
Study Shows Diet Sodas Are Linked to Weight Gain
Tips to Let Go of Sugar or Pile off the Pounds
Delay Away Your Sugar Cravings (Creatively Procrastinate)
7 Tips to Help You Squash Your Sugar Addiction
Slipped? Destroyed Your Diet? 7 Tips to Get Back on Track
Humorous Takes on the News
Michelangelo’s David Returns to Italy After Touring the U.S.
Help to Shop
Stumped when Shopping? Some Sugar-Free Foods By Brand
Social Media
The best time(s) to post on social media
Get Social Media Secrets with Mitch Meyerson
Woo-Hoo, Feel-Good Tunes
Listen to Woo-Hoo, Feel-Good Tunes
Listen to Guests on My Gab with the Gurus Shows
Lose Weight with Best-Selling Author & Spiritual Activitist Marianne Williamson (she spoke about her then-new book, A Course in Weight Loss; she wasn’t running for Congress yet;
Anita Moorjani: On Cancer, Near Death & Treasuring Our Magnificence
Other Health Posts
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): Do You Have It?
Anita Moorjani: On Cancer, Near Death & Treasuring Our Magnificence;
Hyperactivity and Mental Woes Linked to Soda Consumption
Take Charge of Your Stress & Sleep: Two Keys to Live Life Well
Salt: The Forgotten Killer: — The AMA & CSPI Urge Crackdown On the White Powder, But What About The-More-Dangerous Substance, Sugar?
Other
Are You Among the 85 % of People With Low Self-Esteem? It Can Lead to Weight Gain & More
My Sweet, But Stringent Standards & Disclosures
Did I leave out your favorite posts? Let me know which one(s) to include.
Connie Bennett is a former sugar-addicted journalist and the author of two bestselling books, Beyond Sugar Shock and Sugar Shock, Connie’s sour-to-sweet story began in 1998, when she quit sugar on doctor’s orders. Her doctor blamed all 44 of her strange ailments (baffling brain fog, ferocious fatigue, horrible headaches, embarrassing mood swings, severe PMS, etc.) on her habit of eating hard candies, red licorice, refined crackers, and other quickie carbs. While releasing her sugar and carb addiction, Connie created many simple tactics to make letting go of sweets an easy, exciting adventure.
Since 2001, Connie has been helping thousands of sugar addicts worldwide through her Sugar Freedom Now Course, speaking, and coaching (she is a certified life coach, certified health coach and EFT practitioner). She founded this Sugar Shock Blog on June 7, 2005.
Subscribe now to this Sugar Shock Blog to get juicy tidbits, tips, and musings on healh, wellness, personal empowerment, social media, and more.

Announcements

Snacks at the Office Can Derail You

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Check out this really timely, important op piece, “The High Cost of Free Office Snacks,” by New York Times contributor Ezekiel J. Emanuel.
For years — basically, since 1998 when I quit sugar — I’ve been irked by this phenomenon of offering sugary “treats” galore at company offices and meetings.
What I’ve found discouraging is that sweet “treats” — candies, cookies, cake, and soda — also are often offered at conferences intended to make you a better blogger, speaker, and author. But when you eat all that junk food, you’ll have trouble thinking straight and may not be able to remember all those good tips! And, of course, mindlessly noshing can also lead to challenges with your waistline if you don’t already have them.
Kudos again to Ezekiel J. Emanuel for getting people’s attention to an important topic.

Announcements

Michelle Obama Gets Food Companies to Act

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Thank to Michelle Obama’s crusade to combat children’s obesity, major food companies such as PepsiCo and Kraft Foods are changing their products.
She is, in fact, “defining defining her role as first lady by taking on the $600 billion food and beverage industries in a quest to end childhood obesity within a generation,” observes Kate Andersen Brower of Bloomberg Business Week, in an artticle entitled, “Michelle Obama’s ‘Spotlight’ on Obesity Enlists Kraft, PepsiCo.”
“Her lobbying of companies to make products healthier, labels easier to read and limit marketing of unhealthy foods to kids is paying off,” Brower observes.
A month after she began her campaign, “PepsiCo Inc., the world’s second-largest food and beverage company, pledged to stop selling full-sugar soft drinks in schools by 2012.” In addition, Kraft Foods Inc., the maker of Oreo cookies and Oscar Mayer lunch meats, jumped on board, announcing that it would further reduce the sodium content of its products..
Reporter Brower points out that the first lady’s efforts are part of a “movement to recast what the food industry is selling,” according to David Kessler, who was Food and Drug Administration commissioner from 1990 to 1997. “She puts the spotlight on the issue like few others can,” Kessler told Brower.
The American Beverage Association — which represents soda companies — has now joined Michelle Obama’s effort by running a national ad, which claims that the industry is committed to reducing beverage calories in schools by 88 percent.
Things started happening after a well-publicized meeting in Washington on March 16 when the first lady addressed members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents major food companies such as Kraft and PepsiCo. At that GMA meeting, Obama urged the companies to reduce sugar, fat and salt in their products and “to move faster and to go farther” to make them healthier.
The first lady has “accelerated our focus,” Kraft’s president of health and wellness, Rhonda Jordan, told the Bloomberg Business Week reporter Brower, who then quotes Patrick Basham, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based research group that promotes libertarian policies.
Basham believes that the first lady’s anti-obesity efforts are “in sync with public skepticism about `the motives of big business’ in the wake of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression.” He also believes that the recent moves by the companies may be an effort to prevent government crackdown.
“The food industry is terrified of being either legislated out of business or so regulated they won’t be able to do what they want,” Basham told Brower.
What’s intriguing is that Michelle Obama became concerned about child nutrition for personal reasons.
She told audiences at a National PTA Conference in Arlington, Virginia, on March 10, that she got a “wakeup call” when her pediatrician voiced concern about her family’s eating habits.
While I applaud the first lady’s efforts, as always, no matter what changes the large food companies institute, I encourage people to reduce or even eliminate their consumption of processed foods.
Vegetables and fruits that come courtesy of Mother Nature are best for our bodies. Plus, they taste better — something you’ll discover after you cut back on processed carbs.
We just don’t need to consume large quantities of packaged foods that usually have