I was listening to the radio in my car yesterday and there was an interview with a doctor about vaccines and immunisation. You’re probably aware that this is a pretty hot topic in today’s world. People can get really fired up about it with extremes in thought about the benefits of immunisation versus the potential dangers. Now, I’m not going to use this space to discuss those viewpoints, but what got me thinking from listening to this interview was what this doctor was saying about a time when he took a family to court because they refused to get their child immunised against Hepatitis B. The reason he did this was because the mother was a carrier of the disease and therefore the newborn baby was also at risk. The outcome of the court case was that the court ruled in favour of the baby being immunised, as Hepatitis B is a disease that is preventable through the administration of a vaccine. The child was at risk because of the mother’s status as a carrier. Fair point. (See Box 1 in this article for more details: https://www.racgp.org.au/…/november/vaccination-and-the-law/).
And then this got me thinking. If a court can rule that a parent must immunise their child against a preventable disease, what about all the children that are being fed unhealthy food that will also cause preventable diseases – things like tooth decay, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity? These diseases are all preventable with correct and healthy diet, yet parents are allowed to give their children Coca-Cola, feed them McDonalds and KFC, and let them suck on ice creams and lollypops. The supermarkets are full of foods that, when consumed as part of a regular diet, will cause all sorts of health issues – and not only in children! And even though these foods are labelled by health authorities as ‘discretionary foods’ (i.e. not necessary for a healthy diet), take a look in children’s lunchboxes at school and you will see that they are eating them everyday. (For more info about 'discretionary foods', see the Australian Government's eatforhealth webpage: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/…/discretionary-food-and-dr…).
It appears that convenience overrules common sense.
So, it leads me to think, is there any chance that a child fed a diet of unhealthy food may one day sue their parents for contributing to their heart condition or obesity because they were brought up on a diet of saturated fat and sugar? Interestingly, this viewpoint appeared in a blog on HuffPost in 2007, so it’s not a new idea (see https://www.huffpost.com/…/lawsuits-id-like-to-see-p_1_b_72…).
Yes, I’m being a little controversial, but I think it’s important to note that as individuals we have a lot to answer for when there are so many people, young and old, suffering from preventable ‘lifestyle’ diseases. Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for what we, and our children, are consuming on a daily basis. If you eat crap, you’ll feel crap. It’s that simple! And if you keep eating crap, you’ll get really, really sick. If you expect the medical system to ‘fix’ you, then you are deluded because they will generally give you pills/medication, rather than work on fixing the root cause – which is what you are eating and drinking. The truth is that only you are responsible for your health (and the health of your children) and only you can do anything to fix it. Hmmm, now that's a tough nugget to chew on!
It is recommended that we eat a diet of whole grains, lots of vegetables, some fruit and good quality protein such as fish, white meat, beans and legumes. These are the recommendations that are continuously being made by leading health authorities and food researchers. It sounds pretty simple, and the truth is, it is simple. But it doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially when faced with the temptations delivered through advertising, fast food outlets, and already established poor eating habits... and I can totally relate to this.
Over the last twenty years, I have been on a journey to better health through improved eating habits. It's not always been a straight road, but I think I've learned lots of tricks along the way to make it easier, and I'd love to share them with you too.
If you are interested in learning more about incorporating whole foods into your daily diet (and getting your kids to eat them too), I'd love to hear from you. Please post your questions below. I look forward to supporting you on your journey to better health.