America: Make Breakfast Great Again
A standard American breakfast includes sugary cereals, fruit juices, and toast. In fact, the first cereal plants started commercial manufacturing during the 1950s. Cereals were made from equal parts of sugar and corn flour. The sweet taste of cereals and the positive marketing of these sugary foods made them one of the most famous breakfast staples on any American table. In fact, 90% of Americans have cereals in their cupboard.
The thing is that Americans have enjoyed eating cereals for many decades, and it is only recently that this industry has been placed under the spotlight as America wants to figure out why there is an increasing rate of obesity in the country. Can it be attributed to cereals? Probably so…
Sugary Cereal is Killing Breakfast in America
Cereals may be marketed as whole grains, but they are far from that. A single cereal contains modified food starch, similar to corn syrup. When you say whole grain, it is defined as natural food and not something that is processed to give it a long or indefinite shelf life. It also contains sugar, salt, and additives like tripotassium phosphate–a type of preservative. Marketing it as whole grain is a form of corporate dishonesty. Having said this, cereals are lacking many forms of nutritional value.
Cereals are devoid of any fiber and contain simple sugar. The sugar enters immediately into the bloodstream once you eat cereal. This promotes the body to release a hormone called insulin that delivers the pure sugar to the cells. However, the sugar is then stored as fat and, but at some point, too much sugar will strain the entire system. This results in metabolic diseases like diabetes.
But even if cereals do not have a lot of free sugar in them, they can still wreak havoc on the entire body as they are made from refined grains, which are converted into simple sugar. This requires the same insulin response that overburdens the endocrine system through time.
We Have Been Eating Cereals for A Long Time, Why Are We Now Concerned?
Sugar and refined carbohydrates are now dubbed as toxic the same way as cigarettes were categorized. According to journalists, Michael Moss and Gary Taubes, there has been mounting evidence that shows that sugar and carbohydrates are the biggest culprits in the ballooning waistline of many Americans.
But if cereals have been around for more than a few decades, then why is America experiencing rapid obesity only now? According to Harry Balzer, a market analyst at NPD Group, cereals were not an everyday affair. A few decades back, it was eaten only on Sundays when women went to church early and did not have time to make breakfast. Today, it seems that people don’t have enough time to prepare their meals, so they rely heavily on cereals and other processed junk labeled as breakfast foods.
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, but America needs to start looking for ways to create more convenient and healthy options. Without this push from consumers and brands, the obesity problem in America will continue to rise.
Inspired by www.washingtonpost.com