"Children in US Hungry. Epidemic." Misdiagnosis?

This is a bit off topic, but they are marketing, and it’s the wrong thing. Bad.

Huffington Post leads today with:

Number Of US Children Going Hungry Soars

She links to “Missing more than a mealin the Washington Post, where there are links to many more stories of growing numbers of children and teens feeling hungry much of the time. See also here.

All of these appear to focus on scarcity of food. Or not enough access to food.

But this is probably not the real problem.

(See the lady leaving the food center with a bag full of boxed stuff – see anything fresh looking? Here – have a big bag of cookies on your way out.)

That’s why people feel so hungry. And are so overweight. The culprit is eating mostly nutritionless food. The body needs nutrition, not food-like substances it just piles on because it can’t do anything else with it. Hunger is the only way the body has to call out: I need nutrients!

Check out the other image: How much nutrition is in the giant cola bottles on the table beside the mother and child?

Dr. Heidi, my nutrition professor friend, made my day worse. Here’s what she said – from my notes…

Most of America’s children and teens eat cereals and packaged snacks every day. But there is little nutrition in either the cereals or snacks. They’re mostly sugar. That’s why, no matter how much a person eats of that stuff (and pizza), they feel hungry shortly after. No nutrition. Read the labels – mostly sugar.

Then, off they go to McDonald’s to get some cheap protein – say Chicken McNuggets. Little do they realize that those are not protein – but 56% corn (a carb) – and low grade industrial corn at that. With almost no nutritive value.

So then a mom buys juices, that should be good, right? Not. All the vitamins and enzymes have been boiled out of conventional juices in bottles, cartons or cans. The first ingredient (what it’s got most of, in it) in almost all of them is either sugar or artificial sweeteners. The latter are known to be potentially poisonous to us.

Then there’s the microwave secret.

To save time, Moms and kids throw whatever into the microwave. Fast. But. Anything microwaved has no nutrition left. The microwave distorts the food molecules.

It’s not for nothing the makers of these things don’t call them ‘Radar Range’ anymore. Bad PR. Who would use them if they knew the radiation destroys the food molecules they are about to eat? More nutritionless food down the hatch.

How about eat fruits and veggies? That beats anything in boxes, cans or crinkly bags or wrappers. Yes, right. BUT if they’re the conventional stuff, the fruits and veggies have little nutrition because of how they’re grown. Instead, you get a dose of pesticides.

Bottom line. It is not the lack of food that is causing the hunger and obesity in children and teenagers (and many adults). It’s the lack of nutrition in the food we eat.

Which big food provides. Which so many Americans demand and consume like crazy.

Nutritionless is food cheaper to make, has longer shelf life and it’s fast for everybody. And we buy more and more of it because we’re hungry all the time. And away we go to become a nation of FATAFATs.

Child hunger and obesity: Not a crisis of lack of food. Our crisis is a crisis of choice.

“To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle.” Confucius

Maybe they’re right – it’s just in our nature to destroy ourselves for short term gains and desires. Sigh.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • oooh don't get me started. I volunteer in the lunchroom at my kids' school. The "cafeteria" is a reheat-ateria- all processed food. If a kid can manage to wolf down most of his food in the first 15 minutes, he is rewarded with seconds; including dessert. They took out a second recess, and replaced it with an occasional "fitness walk" which means the kids walk around the perimeter of the playground. Are kids are taught to eat quickly with no thought about what they are eating.

  • I absolutely agree with the lack of nutrition out there these days. It is so sad to see what young people are eating and drinking these days. We need to educate about reading food labels. And where is the FDA and FTC in all of this? They really want to regulate the companies that are making a concerted effort to produce quality products, but not the companies that are churning out junk. OUr health system will not be able to handle the sickness that is ahead, unless there are changes in what we eat.

  • I agree with what you are saying, but I am not sure how a food bank would be able to supply people with organic fruits and veggies. I think it would be quite expensive. I recently volunteered at a food bank where the shelves are stocked with "non-perishables; e.g. canned and boxed food. These places are run by volunteers and stocked through donations.

    It's a sad situation, but I can't think of a viable solution.

  • At a recent company meeting (where they introduced a very *nutritional dense delicious 'Chew') they told us that the Doctors without Borders have been making statements that it is not starvation but lack of nutrients that is the problem.

    So glad we are able to help in many orphanages around the world.

    *ask me!

  • Hi Marti —

    Yes, it is more expensive to buy better food. But it only seems expensive because we've been eating nutritionless fast food in the US for so long. It's cheap because there's so little of value in it.

    If folks are going to food centers, it means they don't have jobs. How are they, with all that boxed & canned nutritionless food, going to build up the energy and attitude they need to go back to school to learn new skills? When they have no nutrition in their bodies and brains?

    For anyone interested in their health and energy, I think it's pay some now or pay way more later.

    Americans are fat and getting fatter and slower. We don't need a third power coming after us. We're destroying ourselves – our bodies, our minds and our performance – with our short sightedness and fixation on immediate fixes.

    Even children are becoming obese and have no energy.

    How can we remain the most creative country in the world when everyone's too tired to do anything more than watch others?

    Gandhi said it – we must be the change we want to see in the world.

    That's why I eat the way I do. And preach it. Of course it's more effort. Anything worth doing requires more effort. What's new?

    It's about making eating healthy a priority, that's all.

    It either is or it isn't. But cost is really not the consideration, I don't think, is it?

    Don't we all know people who are paying way more "later" right now? Their health failed at 45 or 37 or 63? Often, just the drugs are $2,000/mo, not covered.

    Even if they're covered by insurance, we ALL pay for everybody's health insurance. THAT is what is expensive right now.

    I'd rather use the insurance premium money I do not pay to buy better food. That's what I've done for 30 years.

    It's really about values and priorities, don't you think?

    Some will some won't, yes, I know. I'd love to reform big food and fast food. But as long as so many people eat it and feed it to their children, it will not go away.

    This is a free country and people have the right to live sickly short lives. And have fun eating pizza, ice cream and sugar laden cereals, cakes, donuts and such.

    But for me, I have no intention of becoming dependent on others for the quality of my life – like government programs. Plus I want to live a really long time – like to 120 at least, and be in splendid health.

    Just think Marti – maybe one reader will start eating right as a result of these discussions.

    Perhaps fewer folks would need to go to food centers if they had their old energy back and could then get it up to do – or learn – something useful that others would pay for – again.


    I am reminded of JFK's question: ask not what your country can do for you: Ask what you can do for your country. He suggested people start walking.

    My vote: Start buying grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, organic veggies, and stop buying boxed & canned & junk "foods". In no time flat big food will change its ways. Or else American lawns and yards by the millions will be sprouting their own veggies.

  • Jack LaLanne, a ninety-two year-old fitness guru who looks fifty and is in better shape than most athletes, summed up his philosophy in one simple phrase.

    Follow Nature's Laws.

    What does this mean? It means this: Avoid foods that are processed, demineralized and unnatural. Avoid foods that come in a bag, box, or wrapper. Avoid food that is laced with sugar and preservatives.

    In other words, if you can’t go outside and hunt it down – it’s unnatural. If you can’t pick it from a tree or pull it from the ground – it’s unnatural.

    It's unnatural food that is causing us to be hungry, fat and diseased.

  • Hi from the UK!
    Great article and I agree with the giste of everyone's sentiments.
    Here in the UK we have been struggling with this for the last few years.
    One of our TV chefs, Jamie Oliver, highlighted the problem and the ensuing PR made schools and education boards re-think their food policies and then the government got involved and now food education is very good in primary schools and kids are pushing mums,(sorry Moms!), for fresh cooked food.
    The cost is a problem, but if you teach moms how to grow vegetables and how to cook them, then the "extras" to the hot dog sausages etc , would be free!

  • Kim as you know I'm all about real food. I've followed Dr. Heidi's wonderful work for several years. Real food has transformed the overall health for me and my family.

    One question for you though,
    What do you donate to your local food shelf to help feed families?

    Is your food shelf set up different than most? Can they stock and store fruits, veggies and meats?

    I do help with food drives and try to find the very best foods to give such as Tuna and whole grains. I realize this isn't enough. Some people don't know how to cook real natural grains compared to Minute Rice.

    I still do what I can to help and I help by sharing Dr. Heidi's work with others.

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