Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I love: Weight of the Nation

There are a few things I have come across recently that I thought, "Oh my gosh, this is so great that I HAVE to share!" So I am starting a new series called "Things That I Love".  And here is the first installment into this series.

I have been watching a lot of documentaries with my Netflix subscription, and the last one I viewed was called "Weight of the Nation", shown on HBO. Only after I saw it did I find the videos on the Internet, so you can view them as well for free!

I found the entire series very informative, but the best part, the most educational part was part three.  America has an obesity problem, and more recently we have a huge problem (no pun intended) with childhood obesity.  Adults may be obese, but where does that begin? Do we wake up one day in our 20s and suddenly find ourselves fat and out of shape? Most likely not, the habits we practice in adulthood we probably learned in childhood.   One of the teens in the video stated, "you don't crave broccoli, and our generation has grown up craving a Big Mac"  Well said.  And how exactly do the children get their food and their eating habits? It is from their parents.  I heard one parent say one time that she knew she had a eating healthy problem when they drove into the fast food restaurant and the child knew which meal he wanted by the number. "I want a number three meal, Mommy."

My kids drink a lot of juice, and my husband and I do drink soda, so I know we are not perfect.  I have started to limit the kid's juice consumption, and for myself I have cut down on the soda, from 1 regular soda a day to one diet soda every 2-3 days.  However, whenever my husband takes the kids to the playground he will stop at the local Starbucks and get a Frappuccino.  There was a section in  Part Three of the series that talks about the amount of sugar in a variety of drinks. The class where these sugar contents are shown is at 45:28 in the video. Here is a breakdown of some of the drinks they talked about:

Amount of sugar in drinks
12 ounces of apple juice has 10 teaspoons of sugar
12 ounces of apple juice has 10 teaspoons of sugar
12 ounces of orange juice has 8 teaspoons of sugar
12 ounces of Coca-Cola has 10 teaspoons of sugar
20 ounces of Sprite and Coca-Cola each have 17 teaspoons of sugar
Starbucks Frappuccino® has 25 teaspoons of sugar (Note: in the video they did not state the size, but it looked like a large size. It also did not state the flavor.  When I tried to look up the sugar content on Starbucks' webpage, sugar content was not listed.)

Yeah, after viewing this, I hope to show it to my husband and hope he decides to cut down on all the sugary drinks he consumes.  I feel a little better informed about how to make good changes in my diet.  I know that I will look more closely at the food and drinks we consume in this household.  Special note: if you are looking at a nutrition label and see sugar listed, divide it by 4 and that is how many teaspoons of sugar are in the item.  Good to know, right?

Even if you only have 1 hour of free time, PLEASE watch at least part three of the series.  The entire series is awesome, and you will take a lot away from it.  But for the future of our children, the facts and information presented will enlighten you and hopefully help all of us become healthier.


  1. I had some stomach issues a couple of years ago and since then I can't handle carbonated drinks and I haven't missed them at all! Since this whole gestational diabetes thing, I have been totally amazed at how very very quickly your carbs and sugar adds up!

  2. I know!! I looked at the juice box today that I gave my oldest, and it had like 22grams of sugar!! In a juice box!!! I will defiantly pay more attention to what I buy them tomorrow at the grocery store.