This week, the results of a 27-year global study were released that attributed one in five deaths globally per year to poor nutrition and the lack of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can read the published results here https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)30041-8/fulltextor NPR’s analysis here: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/04/03/709507504/bad-diets-are-responsible-for-more-deaths-than-smoking-global-study-finds .
As parents, this tells us many things, the least of which is, we should be offering our children fruit and whole grains in some form every single day, multiple times a day. Especially with picky eaters, variety is key, make sure there are fruit choices. And I don’t mean you are buying organic blueberries every week – bananas and some small varieties of apples are very affordable in most supermarkets. Whole grains can be snuck into a child’s diet in many forms, like corn tortilla’s and some healthy brands of crackers. I have even been known to mix pastas on my kids – they don’t like a plate full of whole wheat pasta, but if I make it only a third of the dish, it’s easier to mix in and hide the color and flavor. There are whole wheat and whole grain burger buns – I will often substitute them instead of the regular burger buns, especially now that A. my kids are older and have greatly expanded palates and B. they taste much better than they did just a few years ago.
I link to the NPR article because of a second study it links to – one from the University of Guelph that found that if everyone on the globe suddenly began eating healthy diets, there wouldn’t be enough to go around. This combined with the fact that our current government is trying to make it even more difficult for our most disadvantaged citizens to be able to afford any food at all, really has me feeling grateful that I can afford the types and quantities of food my family needs to be healthy. I literally owe it to my fellow citizens to stay as healthy as I can afford to because the cost of global malnutrition in dollars is $3.5 trillion dollars annually. Citizens of Earth must band together to address these staggering numbers or we are going to continue to lose people and pay for it too.