America is a nation with an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes. Part of the problem, according to many physicians and public health advocates, is the manner in which foods are processed and designed to make the public overconsume. The use of refined sugars is perhaps the most common method of feeding food addictions, with modern Americans consuming exponentially higher amounts of sugar than their ancestors.
Katie Couric joined with Laurie David and director Stephanie Soechtig to produce the new attention-grabbing documentary Fed Up, about how food manufacturers have exploited our sweet tooth to expand our consumption of their products, even as we become obese and diseased as a result. This film is highlighting something that is well known by many - that refined foods are not that healthy for us and are contributing to common health problems. Unfortunately, even though many people know this they are reluctant to change their eating habits. Thus, the creators of the film have issued a challenge for the public to try going 10 days sugar-free.
If you try this challenge and notice that you are going through withdrawals, recognize that this is often what happens when people are quitting something unhealthy that they are addicted to. Sugar has been compared to addictive drugs, since like those drugs it is being consumed in amounts that are toxic to the body and which disturb the body's systems. If you wish to stabilize insulin levels and normalize stress hormone levels it is important to avoid refined sugars and instead eat a diet of whole unprocessed foods that provide vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, and healthy fats.
Making these diet and lifestyle changes is easier when you have support from family and friends and when you have addressed any psychological issues that are related to overconsumption of sweets or other foods. Support groups, counseling, and hypnosis are some of the resources commonly used to help people address psychological and psychosocial factors that are affecting their eating habits and sabotaging their health. One way in which the food industry helps foster food addictions is by using advertising to create psychological associations with food. Getting you to associate food with being loved, nurtured, excited, or energized, or with sex, can make those food products seem irresistible. If you are "fed up" with being manipulated in this manner and wish to break free of unhealthy eating habits, Fed Up may help motivate you to take the steps you need to reclaim your health.