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  • Writer's pictureKimmer Collison-Ris, MSN, FNP-BC, MS CAM

Why are we overweight?

We are all struggling with our weight.

We can't seem to lose it easily--even when we try. Its also hard to regularly eat unprocessed and affordable whole foods. Even we we have it, we may not want to eat it.

The challenge is the fact that our tastes have been significantly altered by the "modern chemical" diet. This was intentional. This is the result of the food industry's chemistry applications.

I used to see slender physically fit health care providers and professionals, but in today's society, that seems to be the exception to the rule. My colleagues and I are no healthier than the average person.

Many of us live off of diet cokes, Venti designer drinks laden with corn syrup, and live on genetically modified protein bars. Bread has more chemicals than I can name. Its fluffier too because the gluten has been chemically altered. The grains have been sprayed down with pesticides 3 days before harvest. With no where to go, those chemicals are encased in your fat. If you don't have enough to hold the toxic load, our body makes more fat.

Our poor diet prevents our body from being able to adequately turn these toxic franken-fats and sugars into water soluble versions to be excreted in the urine, sweat, and feces. Bad diet means no nutrients to perform the chemistry of toxic elimination.

Big food companies have strategically altered our convenience foods and made them extremely cheap. Dessert was once considered a rare treat, now its normal to have an indulgence 1-2 times per day.

Also, we don't often become full. These foods are designed that way. These chemical food substitutes leave us wanting more. We now eat bigger portions at all times of the day. Ignoring the body's rhythm to stop hours before bed. We can't help it. Our lives our busy.

The chemical alterations that are now apart of most packaged foods are near impossible to avoid. Our neighborhoods and communities have an abundance of fast food and minimarts. In the Pacific Northwest we have access to fresh drinking water, but it doesn't always taste great.

Many of us can taste the water treatment and its just not interesting enough. We don't drink until we become thirsty, usually that's when we are down about 1-2 quarts of water. We tend to be consistently poorly hydrated. That makes our cells less efficient.

I know many families that only drink soda at their meals or cups of hormone laden milk or milk substitutes throughout the day. Some milk has added sugar now.

Hormones + sugar + excess calories + chemicals = toxic overload --->leading to obesity.

Our bodies have expanded beyond healthy limits. We can't keep up with the toxic overload.

There is no magic pill or injection to fix this (despite what pharmacy commercials suggest).

Even though the U.S. has an abundance of food, our taste buds have been trained to desire sweet, salty, and creamy laboratory fats verses naturally crisp fresh vegetables and fruits.

Ever tried to go a day and only eat fresh whole non-processed foods? Not easy.

When we look at obesity challenges, it really comes down to more than a quick cleanse.

You can't just push out toxins in a day or weekend and return to the same eating habits. It doesn't work on your already tired detox organs. It'll make you sick. You'll only drop water and sludge briefly. And you'll return to craving your sweets and treats and to the state of under hydration.

In order to address obesity globally, we need to restrict big corporate food companies.

We have to reign in their prolific production of cheap nutrient poor, chemically altered, junk foods. These companies sicken the poor the most. They compete with fresh local foods. They attract our young with clever packaging. They entice the busy worker. Their cheap products are everywhere. Its normal to consume these food substitutes.

So how do we address this addictive challenge that is before us? 

Ultra processed food suppliers have got us hooked. They lie on the packaging saying that it's healthy and natural .  Yet we are learning these franken-foods negatively impact our mood, energy, behavior, and mental clarity. We feel it. We can see it in our kids.

Until we can limit and prohibit the ultra-processing of cheap knockoffs offered as "food" we will still have the challenge of poor nutrition.

Not everyone who is overweight is "heavy". There are slender people who live on fake foods that are full of fat and toxins, and their insides are also full of toxic fatty tissue.

They may look "thin" but they likely have poor eating habits making them look lean. But internally, they are burdened by toxins. You can see it in the circles under their eyes, in their fatigue, in their poor sleep, in their low or anxious moods; and in their distraction and poor focus. They typically can't function without caffeine and they can't calm down without a chemical substance.

There are overweight and obese individuals that may not overeat but eat the wrong kinds of foods that keep them obese and toxically overloaded. No amount of exercise can correct that. In fact, strenuous exercise elevates cortisol which makes us gain weight and keeps us grumpy. This added to our stressful lifestyle prevents us from losing weight.

Our kids are one of the unhealthiest generations to date, because of the poor quality and chemical composition of our foods. They have the most stress and they are the least active. The have less meaningful connections. Less downtime. And more mental health challenges.

All of this leads to persistent overweight.

We must reverse obesity, because it is unhealthy. We need to fuel our bodies properly to help it offload the toxins we absorb daily through the air, water, soil, and our foods. Our body is challenged to remove toxins with our modern environment, consuming chemically rich foods adds to this challenge. It contributes to our poor health, our high blood pressure, our tiredness, and our mental health.

We need to advocate to change the content and quality of our foods. We need to reign in these big corporations that keep us hooked. Unless we do that, it won't matter if we provide less expensive, healthier alternatives.  If we are hooked on junk. We will seek out the junk.

Cravings for processed drinks, sugary treats, and processed foods are addictions and are especially challenging. None of us are free from impact.

The food industry knows this. They place specific sweeteners, flavors, and additives in our foods so we will want them. Crave them. Consume them-- every day. Never satisfied.

When we try to limit or stop, we crave them still. This is an addiction. Its driving our poor health. Its causing obesity. Its adding to our mental health issues. It has to be addressed. Its a challenge to pivot and relearn how to eat, live, rest, and detox.

This is what is making us overweight.

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