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The not-so-sweet side of obesity

Dear Editors,

On June 27, 2005,USA Todaysounded the obesity alarm. Requiring larger belt sizes costs Americans about $36.5 billion per year. This equates to the amount of money needed to fund 730,000 more public school teachers or to simply pay current teachers what they deserve. Instead, obese consumers blindly give it to drug companies in an attempt to treat (mask) the deadly symptoms of being overweight – diabetes, heart disease and cancer. As I point out in my book,Health Myths Exposed, masking symptoms is suicide in slow motion.

U.S. health officials could reverse the death sentence and the exorbitant spending by educating consumers on the cause of obesity – sugar. Instead, they mandate prescription-drug addiction for obese and misinformed Americans. Don’t be a lamb. Re-think your use (and your child’s use) of sugar.

The term sugar refers to sucrose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and milk sugars, such as lactose and maltose. Unlike natural sugars consumed via whole fruits, these quickly absorbed flavors are forging an emotional addiction between you and them. The strength of the sugar addiction is akin to that seen with heroin and morphine. It makes you feel good artificially. It is no wonder that street heroin is often laced with sugar (sucrose). Food and soda companies profit immensely from this dependence. And drug companies too, thanks to the negative consequence of “artificial feel good.”

Once the addiction sets in, sugar consumption increases exponentially along with fat gain. This is no coincidence or statistical association. It’s the reason. Sugar is the cog in your metabolic wheel. Rather than burn (via thermogenesis) excess calories consumed, the dysfunctional metabolism tells your brain to eat, eat, eat and your body to store, store, store. Don’t believe me? Find an obese person and challenge them to avoid sugars for a single day. It won’t happen.

Over time, sugar-induced fat gain leads to the aforementioned “sugar-eating illnesses” like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Despite its alarming consequence to wealth and health, officials ignore and even work to silence the sugar threat. Some ghastly examples exist.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that sugar is the No. 1 contributing factor to obesity. Furious over the claim, the sugar industry threatened to “challenge” the $460 million funding given to the WHO by the United States for making this “dubious” claim. Reacting to the financial threat, the WHO remained silent on the dangers of sugar. The world remained ignorant of the growing health threat of sugar addiction.

Don’t count on the American Heart Association (AHA) to sound the alarm. Perform a quick search for “sugar” at www.americanheart.org and you get their recipe for Sugar-Dusted Mocha Brownies. Those at risk for heart disease will remain ignorant of the growing health threat due to sugar addiction.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has exercised a perverse display of power. A chief ADA researcher claimed, “Sugar has nothing to do with diabetes.” This statement was based on wealth not health. Prior to the statement, the ADA formed a three-year, multi-million dollar alliance with Cadbury Schweppes America’s Beverage – a major manufacturer of soda and candy. Diabetics will remain ignorant of the growing health threat of sugar addiction.

Don’t be fooled; avoid sugar at all costs – break the sugar addiction. Doing so will normalize blood glucose levels. Anita Manning, writing forUSA Today on June 14 reported, “Early, intensive treatment to keep blood sugar levels close to normal in people with diabetes can cut their risk of cardiovascular disease by about 50 percent and the risk of heart attack and stroke by 57 percent, much better results than those achieved by any cholesterol or blood pressure drug.” Imagine what quitting sugar would do for longevity of those who are not diabetic.

To avoid prescription-drug servitude and illness, break the sugar addiction. Doing so is the best thing you could do for your finances and health.

Breaking an addiction dictates that you have a replacement. Only a few acceptable alternatives to sugar exist. They are stevia, xylitol or agave. High-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose (Splenda™), monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrolyzed vegetable proteins do not count. Read food labels and discard products with these ingredients. Stop lapping up sodas, fruit juice and ice cream cones and trash the “low-carb” sugar-ladened nutrition bar. Think before you eat.

Once the sugar addiction is broken, plan on looking and feeling five to10 years younger. The death threat and medical bills due to obesity will vanish. Corporate drug pushers will be forced to take huge pay cuts.

– Shane Ellison, Durango

Bring Kyrgystan to Durango

To the Editors:

The month of July for me means not only the hottest month of the year, but also the busiest time as well, as I am finishing up placing foreign exchange students with local families. This is the toughest part of my job. Finding a few opened-minded and open-hearted families is difficult, but very rewarding.

A few months ago, my last year’s crew left after their year in America to go back to their countries. These boys and girls had come as strangers but left as “sons” and “daughters” of local families. They grew so much, their confidence in speaking English had blossomed, and the memories and friendships they took home was going to last a lifetime. Watching the progress of the foreign exchange for the fifth consecutive year makes me think all this work is worth it!!! I have just played a small part in someone’s life changing for the better.

Next year, though, will be unique. Durango and Pagosa Springs have opened their arms to four scholarship students from the former Soviet Union, three of whom have already been placed with local families. These students have been selected by the U.S. Education Agency as most likely to succeed. Besides attending local high schools and participating with their host families, the students will be required to give back to the community by volunteering and actively learning about the democratic process in the U.S.

A 16-year-old boy from Kyrgyztan will fit beautifully with an athletic family (soccer, skiing, fishing, running, tennis), a family that may be curious about his not-so-known culture, a family that is involved in our community, and/or a family who would like to give an opportunity to this young man to experience an academic year in America. Families come in all shapes and sizes and are only required to provide a warm and supportive environment for the student and a safe place to live and study. Students are medically insured and have personal spending money.

As a local coordinator for PAX (Program of Academic Exchange, www.pax.org ) I would love to hear from you! (769-0350, my name is Natasha). I can tell you more about this opportunity and answer any of your questions about hosting. Originally from Russia and as a former foreign exchange student, I believe with all my heart in the great value of this program. After all, teen-agers of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and why not invest in a better tomorrow by hosting a foreign exchange student today?

– Natasha Galston, via e-mail


So much for the culture of life

To the editors, Is there such a thing as coincidence? Is it a coincidence that the Colorado Springs Air Force Academy, which has been plagued with charges of rape, sexual assault and harassment, is also charged with religious harassment by Evangelicals?

Many Christians love suffering, and there is plenty of that going on around the hard-core extremes. I wish they were aware of how many of the flock they turn away, simply because of their arrogant tactics. The far-right core of Christianity speaks loudly about how they are discriminated against and not tolerated. Meanwhile, they push for a legal system that forces women and children into poverty, despair and abuse. Evangelicals are pushing for laws to deny women reproductive choice, with no tolerance of respect for women. They will not honor others’ relationships with God. They advocate forcing unwilling women into a motherhood of unfunded mandates. As usual, kids get screwed the most. The results are a shambles of a foster-home care system, extreme poverty, homelessness, hunger, elevated rates of suicide, children in the streets, anger, despair, abuse, children shooting others, and so on. So much for the culture of life.

We seem to have a cult of arrogance and lust for control. The end result of this cult is power, greed and rage. Does this cult also promote more births of babies, as many in this system profit from warehousing bodies in the prison industry? Who profits from low-wage, desperate workers that bring outrageous corporate profits? We all know who profits from a handy supply of cannon fodder. Capitalism believers push increased birth rates to support our present lifestyles of consumerism. In light of our depleted resources, is this what we wish to inflict on our progeny? How long will we wait for the scales to fall from the eyes of a stiff-necked people?

– Kassandra Johnson, Durango

Heartfelt thanks from Mild to Wild

Dear Editors,

All of us at Mild to Wild would like to thank the Durango community, friends, local businesses and churches, lodging establishments, colleagues and our past customers for the outpouring of care and support we have received over the recent weeks. We are sincerely saddened and devastated by this unfortunate tragedy. The community has provided unbelievable support. We feel so fortunate to live and work in Durango and be part of the community. Thank you.

– Alex and Molly Mickel, and the Mild to Wild Staff


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