Summer Camp: Eating for Dementia

By now, the entire blogosphere has picked up on the NEJM study showing that increased levels of blood glucose are linked to an increased risk for dementia.

This study isn’t surprising to those who know how damaging glucose can be to virtually every system in the body. Reading this study, I think back to my post on the absurdity of hosting pancake breakfasts to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

With our nation’s elevated glucose levels in mind, I asked my eight year old daughter to randomly pick one of her peers from summer camp last week and mentally note what this friend ate during the day.

Here’s what a randomly selected child from my daughter’s summer camp ate one day last week:

Morning Snack

  • Nutri-Grain Apple Cinnamon bar: net carbs = 21 grams
Net Carbs: 21 grams

Net Carbs: 21 grams

Lunch

  • Lunchables Turkey and Cheese meal with Capri Sun: net carbs = 48 grams
Net Carbs: 48 grams

Net carbs = 48 grams

  • Lunchables S’Mores, twin-pack: Net carbs = 68 grams (yes, the entire twin-pack)
Net Carbs: 68 grams

Net Carbs: 68 grams

Afternoon Snack

  • Bag of Rold Gold pretzels: Net carbs = 22 grams
Net carbs = 22 grams

Net carbs = 22 grams

It’s interesting to note that the average child today requires a morning snack and an afternoon snack. The de rigueur morning and afternoon snack are the product of a high-carb, low-fat lifestyle that causes one to be hungry every couple of hours. Eating real foods at meal time makes such snacking a rarity.

Back to the random friend. The carb count for one day at camp: 159 grams

And this doesn’t include what is almost certainly a sugary, carb-laden breakfast and dinner (and possibly more snacking after arriving home).

It’s not difficult to imagine this child eating over 200 grams of carbohydrates per day.

I’m not trying to single out any one child for damagingly unhealthful eating habits. Indeed, I doubt many children similarly selected at random would eat very differently.

That’s the problem.

Our kids are eating like crap.

Snackables. Lunchables. Snack Well. Foods that aren’t foods.

It all adds up.

They may look fine today but the harm is being done.

And the net result is a nation of demented, diabetic, cardiac patients wondering why their doctors can’t make them well.

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