Question: What do you get when Whole Foods (Earth Fare wannabe), the YMCA, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and government join forces to organize and implement a boots on the ground, neighborhood-focused, childhood anti-obesity campaign?
Answer: Fatter kids!
This is exactly what is happening in Sulphur Springs, an underprivileged community near downtown Tampa, Florida. Startlingly, at least 40% of first grade children in Sulphur Springs are already overweight or obese!
The Embrace A Healthy Florida initiative which Whole Foods, the Y and Blue Cross are involved with aims to change these sobering stats.
Problem is, their recommended healthy breakfast is bagels and fresh fruit which will do nothing but pack more pounds on these children already struggling with weight issues.
Not only does this type of breakfast provide basically no fat or protein, it is also high in sugar (fruit) and refined carbs (bagels – even if organic and whole grain) which will spike and then drop the blood sugar in these children who are already on a blood sugar see saw – the inevitable fast track to diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
What these children really need is 2 eggs, preferably free range, fried up in butter for breakfast. Now that’s a breakfast that will help trim the backside, steady the blood sugar, and provide excellent concentration during school for optimal learning.
Even a full fat yogurt smoothie with some fresh fruit blended into it would be a huge improvement over the bagel with fresh fruit approach! A sprouted or sourdough bagel loaded up thick with butter would be fine too but you can be sure that there was no Real Butter to be found at this neighborhood sponsored “healthy” breakfast.
It is very sad to see such well meaning programs that have failure stamped on them from the get go.
Until the entrenched thinking that whole unprocessed fats such as butter and eggs are somehow unhealthy changes, however, American children will continue to get fatter and fatter as they are plied with whole grains and fruit for breakfast – the most important meal of the day and a real trigger for overweight unless done right.
It is the parents and caregivers who are able to think outside the box and realize that the USDA Food Plate and Food Pyramid are nothing but a political sham and that Traditional Foods for breakfast are ideal which are high in fat and protein with no refined carbs who truly have a fighting chance to preserve and protect their children from the ravages of the childhood obesity epidemic.
Thank you so so much for your blog. I just started reading it recently- I know this is an old article now but it really struck a chord with me. I am in the Navy and I had the privilege the other day of helping out at a school for homeless children in San Diego. It is an absolutely wonderful school….except for the nutrition (the most important part)! I was instructed to help serve lunch- it was a “birthday celebration day” that they do every week- lunch was cheap pizza, frozen mango, iceberg/romain with fake ranch dressing, and boxed cake mix cupcakes. And the kids could eat as many cupcakes as they wanted! It was breaking my heart. I am thinking of trying to get involved in a local WAPF chapter and really want to try and help educate kids in school. They didn’t do anything wrong, and we are literally killing them!!
I have to admit it took me awhile to see why I was so tired, even after eat a “healthy” meal! I was using Smart Balance and Earth Balance until I read Sarah’s article. I shop at Whole Foods for my grass-fed meats and milk and per the Weston Price Shopping Guide 2011, I get as many foods from the best and good catagories as much as possible. Wegman’s is good too. I used to feel sluggish when I ate eggs fried in butter. Then I changed what kind of eggs I bought and the kind of butter used and I feel way better! Even though I can’t get raw milk in NJ I get the best milk available in Whole Foods, preferably unhomogenized, low-temp pasteurized, and ta-da! no more lactose issues! So, what people find to be extraordinary is nothing more than a return to good, old-fashioned wisdom: eat from the land and be healthy; eat modern, man-made concoctions and face an early grave! Even on my severely restrictive budget I’m managing to get the best to keep my health up. Read https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/eating-healthy-on-tight-budget/ and you’ll keep your mind and body sane!
Hi Sarah I work for Whole Foods Market, and I actually worked for the Health Starts Here Initiative and man was I sorely disappointed, so much so that I was glad when it disbanded our “team” (only to build a Wellness Team, again sorely disappointing). We are the only store in the country and in the chain that is leading this charge for wellness. What I don’t understand and what no one seems to want to answer for me is, “why is Whole Foods throwing the baby out with the bath water”? And I would explain my standpoint, and usually I got dumbfounded looks about my succinct and cogent points about the beauty of fat and cholesterol and they would cow tow to the China Study Research and Joel Furham’s supposed research. Man, I have seen him on PBS doing the pledge drive and I would be scared to buy anything from him. He looks so adrenal deprived he looks like a skeleton, but I digress. But unfortunately these are the people “hand picked” by our CEO John Mackey that have a seat on our CMO Board (Chief Medical Officer), yup, we have one of those. They are pushing such a vegan agenda it drives me crazy!! I am on my last legs there myself…..I think the nail in the coffin was when I saw John Mackey when he came here to Boston last year, he said, qoute “All oils are repulsive”…..now mind you he himself looked like a withered old man, whom I thought at first glance was ill…..you would think living in Austin Texas there he would be in the sun some more, actually I think he is, he just can’t convert vitamin D in his skin.
I am so saddened by the lack of common sense……all WFM is doing is perpetuating the old crash diet with ‘lots of veggies and no fat’ and look where that got us….
I have tried to tell as many people in the company that will listen, but the tide has turned…..
Thank you for this forum and I can’t wait to see you all in November in Dallas!!!
Emily Golden (@MindfulMeals)
Whole Foods “Helps” With Childhood Obesity Initiative – The Healthy Home Economist http://fb.me/13p9rJHVF
Jake from Boulder
I’m going to be the voice of dissent amongst this crowd. I agree with you, Sarah, that these kids need healthy fats in their diets and a quality protein once a day wouldn’t hurt, either. But what would these kids be eating if this program weren’t around? Britnee mentioned boxed breakfast cereal (usually the sugary kind) of course with conventional milk or they might have doughnuts, pancakes with maple-flavored corn syrup or worse yet fast food. A whole wheat bagel and some fresh fruit is a far cry from healthy but its better than the alternative. It’ll take some time before more people and big companies/organizations wake up to the truth about nutrition, but until then I firmly believe we need to be supporting their efforts instead of trying to throw a monkey wrench in the gears.
Jake from Boulder
Maybe a bagel, fruit AND eggs would be a good compromise, both logistically and philosophically.
They weren’t whole wheat bagels. They were white flour bagels!!!
Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama
There’s a reason our standard breakfast is bacon and eggs! If the kids don’t want that (or I don’t), smoothies with raw egg yolks and plain full-fat yogurt are served. Occasionally if I’m lazy, raw milk ice cream or almond flour cakes or cookies are available. Sad that these desserts are so much more nourishing than typical breakfast foods…certainly enough that in a pinch I don’t worry about it!
I love these posts Sarah. As I was reading this one today I had a thought… is it better for a child to have bagels and fruit for breakfast, or none at all?
That is basically choosing to shoot yourself in one foot or the other. No good choice. Both are bad.
How many eggs do you recommend that children eat every morning? Also, is toast with real butter served with the eggs o.k. in the morning or is that too many carbs?
They can have as much eggs as they please. I’ve heard Sally Fallon state that it is even better to add extra egg yolks to the whole eggs as too much protein is not good either. In other words, if they desire scrambled eggs, use one or two whole eggs and add extra egg yolks to it as the children please. Toast is fine with plenty of butter as long as the toast is from properly prepared grains.
Toast is great .. just be sure to get a quality traditional loaf and use plenty of butter! 🙂
1 or 2 eggs is plenty. Don’t force the issue as you don’t want to turn off your kids to this wonderful perfect food. If they refuse eggs for breakfast, just do toast with lots of butter and put a hard boiled egg in their school lunch for a snack instead.