I hate to even use the word conspiracy, as it lays claim that someone or some group is doing something malicious on purpose and trying to cover it up.  But the more I see campaigns surrounding feeding the hungry, the more I feel something weird going on beneath the surface.

I’m not denying there are people that don’t get enough food or there are many that go to bed hungry.  But are Americans really dying from starvation?  Hunger and starvation are different beasts.  Is there a problem that is bigger but being brushed under the carpet?  Is the media tugging at our heart strings to appease the people that pay their salaries?

Back in 2012, there was a report in Lancet (a British Medical Journal), called the Global Burden of Disease that reported obesity as now a bigger problem than hunger, except for sub-Sahara Africa.  This report also has a LOT of controversy around it.  I haven’t dug too deep but I think there’s one industry that is the spear head of the controversy, or dare I say it…conspiracy.

I estimate this conspiracy has roots to almost 40 years ago.  Remember 1977?  Neither do I, I was born at the end of ’78.  But back in the late 70’s, the attack on fat started.  For all the years leading up today, there are more and more foods claiming ‘low fat.’  The problem is that as our foots contained less fat, our midsections contained more.

When you remove the fat, you remove the flavor.  In order to make cardboard taste better, you have to add sugar.  Since then, Americans have become larger and fatter by eating what they they were told was ‘healthy.’  Something else to consider is that gym memberships also exponentially increased since the attack on fat commenced.

With an increase of ‘healthy’ eating and exercise, the only results measured is that we have added inches to our waist line and dollars to our insurance premiums.

Obesity. Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. National Center for Health Statistics (US) . Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar.

Obesity. Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults.
National Center for Health Statistics (US) .
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar.

In the mid 2000’s, diets that were carb restrictive and sugar eliminating became popular as they touted that it wasn’t fat that was out foe but it was sugar and the foods that easily broke down into sugar that were the devil.  Remember Atkin’s?  Fast forward to the early 2000 teens and eating lifestyles like the Paleo Diet have gained much traction and success.  Gluten free is everywhere, which means mostly grain free.  Grains, like wheat, spike your blood sugar higher than M&M’s and a Snicker Bar combined.

In social media and the select few prime timers like Dr. Oz and Katie Couric, sugar is now at the forefront of the health and obesity crisis.  Guess who doesn’t like this?  The food industry.  There are 600,000 food items in America.  80% of them have added sugar.  It’s estimated that 95% of Americans will be overweight or obese in the next 20 years.  What foods contain the most sugar?  The low fat ones.  You can have a bowl of Corn Flakes with no added sugar or you can have a bowl of sugar with no added Corn Flakes.  Your body reacts the same way.

Ever wonder why on your food labels every macro-nutrient has a percentage of recommended daily allowance…except sugar?

Why don't they want you to know the % Daily Value of sugar?

Why don’t they want you to know the % Daily Value of SUGAR?

In a conspiracy, there is often an issue that is being covered up.  This cover up sits right in front of your face every time you go to the grocery store or open your cupboard.  As this generation calls for more and more transparency with organized anything (religion, politics, medicine, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, etc.), those organizations often try and divert attention away from the real problem.

If the increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autism, are a true threat to the future of our society and the intake of sugar has a massive influence on those disease processes, then it makes sense why Big Food would want to divert attention.  They had a free run for 40 years with enormous profits and government policy backing of their low fat foods.

Instead of tackling the ever growing problem of obesity, no pun intended, let’s divert public policy and social media to a problem that does exist, to a lesser extent, called ‘feeding the hungry.’   Better yet, let’s divert your attention away from the larger, ever-increasing problem (obesity) by solving the smaller, shrinking problem (hunger – again, no pun intended), by feeding the hungry with food that is causing the larger problem in the first place.

You can’t fight hunger by creating obesity.  

When was the last time you donated fresh produce to your local food bank?  When was the last time you collected apples for your church?  How many times have you thrown a dozen eggs into the big decorated box collecting food at your local Wal-Mart?

I know, I’m starting to think I’m sounding a bit crazy too.  I know there’s logistics that go with food banks and meal donations but are we trading short term solutions for long term consequences and real problem diversion by donating and feeding the very foods that are at the source of the obesity crisis?

Conspiracy or actual altruistic good intention, our media has a great way of making you feel like you’re doing good when a much larger, much more damaging problem stares us in the chubby, double-chinned face.  Dave Ramsey says it best, “You can’t borrow your way out of debt.”  I’ll say it again.  You can’t fight hunger by creating obesity.  Maybe I’m just looking for a conspiracy but maybe I’m onto something.  Either way, I would encourage you to watch the documentary ‘Fed Up.’

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  1. I have complained about the “sweetness” of all foods ever since I arrived in this country 40+ years ago. I have traveled throughout Europe and NEVER tasted anything so sweet as American food. Give me a glass of water with a squeezed lemon (zero sweetener!) and I’m happy, no sweetened drink for me and home made food!