Sugar Linked To $1 Trillion In U.S. Healthcare Spending

Sugar addiction concept as a human head made of white granulated refined sweet cubes as a health care symbol for being addicted to sweeteners and the medical issues pertaining to processed food.

An article in Forbes magazine in 2013 highlighted the Credit Suisse report on sugar which is worth highlighting.

30% – 40% of healthcare expenditures in the USA go to help address issues that are closely tied to the excess consumption of sugar.” Credit Suisse Report

Assuming a U.S. National Healthcare Expenditure of $3 trillion per year – and further assuming we simply take 33% (the lower end of the Credit Suisse range), the calculation is easy. Basically, the U.S. healthcare system spends about $1 trillion per year (and possibly more) fighting the effects of excess sugar consumption.

The health effects around that excessive consumption of sugar include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Other known risks – mostly around being overweight and/or obese – include osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. A broader summary list of findings in the 40 page report include these:

The 2012 Global Burden of Disease report highlighted obesity as a more significant health crisis globally than hunger and/or malnourishment.

More than half a billion adults (over age 20) worldwide are obese.

The world average daily intake of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is now 70 grams (17 teaspoons).

A scientific statement issued by the American heart Association in 2009 recommends that women take no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day and men no more than nine.

A single, 12 ounce can of regular soda has about 8 teaspoons of sugar.

While the toxic health effects of sugar are generally well known, there is mounting evidence to suggest that sugar has addictive properties as well.

“Sugar may not pose the clear addictive characteristics of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin, but to us it does meet the criteria for being a potentially addictive substance.” Credit Suisse


Mind and Modernity

An article in the Los Angeles Times today really got my attention. I am a supporter of “Lifestyle Medicine” and I saw this article that discussed how air pollution, Western Diet and digital screens may influence how are brains work. Do you think? To me, that is obvious. It seems researchers are exploring how all kinds of 21st century conveniences are changing the way our brains work. For better and for worse.

Environmental pollutants — such as car emissions, as well as pesticides among people in farming communities — could also be affecting brain health, some studies suggest. But researchers’ understanding of how they do so, and how significant the effects, is incomplete.  Exposure builds up over decades, these pollutants might contribute to cognitive decline as more and more of us live longer.

What I do know is that STRESS is one of the biggest ways we can damage our brain and risk early cognitive decline. The stress hormone, cortisol, tends to suppress the brain’s ability to engage in systematic thought.

How to Not Get Sick While Traveling

ROMEWant to know how to not get sick while traveling? I have been in 10 cities and 5 countries in the last two weeks and of course there is exposure to all kinds of things that could make me sick! How do I stay healthy while traveling? The thing to realize is traveling also takes us away from many of the things that keep us healthy such as fresh, well-balanced meals, regular exercise and good quality sleep. Here are my TOP TEN TIPS on how to not get sick while traveling.

  1. Take a Probiotic every day

This is probably my most important habit while traveling. I often double dose when I am away in a foreign country. It can protect from traveler’s diarrhea as well as boost your immune system. About 70 percent of our immune system is in our gut! Make sure your probiotic contains lactobacilli and bifidobacteria with a total of at least 30 billion units. CLICK HERE for my recommendations.

  1. Dose up on Vitamin D

I take 10,000 IU of Vitamin D for 5 consecutive days at the start of traveling to give my immune system a boost.

  1. Take Magnesium before bed

Magnesium acts like a natural relaxant and taking 400 mg of magnesium citrate for the first two nights of travel may not only help you fall asleep but also acts as a laxative by pulling water into the intestines. It really helps to keep you regular!

  1. Take your supplements

Boost your cellular defenses with a high quality nutritional supplement. CLICK HERE to learn what I use and recommend.

  1. Get good quality sleep

Sleep is so important for cellular health and repair and regeneration. Sleep deprivation will  affect your immune system.

  1. Drink lots of water and stick to carbonated water and/or intact seal.

Drinking water is a big must while you travel because it flushes your body of toxins, helps your digestion (which is associated with your immune system) and keeps you hydrated. Keep water with you throughout the day and chug a glass before you head out in the morning and before you go to bed. Drink only bottled water with an intact seal. Carbonated water is popular in Europe. Carbonation kills intestinal pathogens by reducing the water’s PH level.

  1. Don’t Brush your teeth with tap water

Tie a ribbon around the faucet as a reminder!

  1. Keep healthy snacks around

I don’t travel without some sort of nut mix and protein bars. This gives my immunity a boost and keeps me less tempted to eat something unhealthy on the go when hunger creeps up.

  1. Exercise as much as you can

Exercise boosts your immune system as well as your mood so you can make healthier choices.

  1. Wash your hands (a lot) and carry hand sanitiser

Your skin is your first line of defense and your hands specifically are always touching things and then touching your own face, mouth, or eyes.

Enjoy staying healthy while traveling!