bite my words

Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Why ditching juice boxes won’t end the obesity epidemic

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Oh goody, yet another news article perpetuates myths and biases. This article is advocating for parents not to send their kids to school with sugary beverages. I want to be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that message. It’s a good message. However, I have two issues with the article.

My first issue is the photo chosen to accompany the article. Is it really necessary to show an headless obese torso? Why must the media persist in showing images of overweight people as though they are not worthy of having faces? What exactly is the value in using a photo like this? Is the reader supposed to be repulsed into reducing their sugary beverage consumption? I think it’s an offensive message and that a more appropriate photo could have been chosen.

My second issue is with the tenuous connection drawn between sugary drinks and obesity. Also, the article refers to “sugary drinks” such as pop and “juice drink”. What about actual fruit juice? This has more sugar than pop and should be identified in the article. Yes, we know that beverages are an unnecessary source of calories in our diets and are a great target when trying to reduce total calorie consumption. However, they are not the reason for the obesity epidemic, despite what articles like this would have you believe. The reason obesity is so pervasive in our society is because there is no one culprit.

Sure, think twice before sending your kids to school with sugary drinks, but don’t think that this is going to be sufficient to end the obesity epidemic.

Author: diana chard

I'm a registered dietitian living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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