Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Pediasure and the Illusion of Healthy Nutrition for Our Children
Recently I observed some kids having a snack drinking a bottle of Pediasure which brought back memories of when I used to work in the hospital and patients were given the adult version of Pediasure (Ensure) to assist in their recovery. One would think that this stuff must be good for you if they exclusively serve it to hospital patients, right? I call major stinking bullshit on this. Anyone can read the ingredients of these products and quickly get an idea that 1) there’s a lot of sugar (which is listed as the second ingredient) and 2) what are all these big and fancy words? These products contain synthetic isolates of nutrients made in a lab and nowhere in Nature. This means that Man tried to be like God and make a new and improved version of food. This might work if we were simply robots and a mechanical approach to our function was the answer but obviously we as Humans are much more than machines that require isolates of nutrition. The food we eat, the whole foods as they come from Nature, are complexes of nutrients that work synergistically to sustain our life experience. For example, Vitamin C is not one nutrient called ascorbic acid; it’s actually a complex called a fruit such as an orange. It was thought that it was a single ingredient that was responsible for a particular effect; but it is now known that each ingredient works with the greater whole. Our bodies will do what they can with synthetic isolates but over time there’s just so much it can withstand and when physical and mental symptoms manifest, it’s the body crying out for help.
With children, their bodies are growing and very resilient to consuming poor quality food. Of course it won’t kill them right away and yes, their bodies will do its best with the poor quality nutrition but the point is if more parents were aware of how they can help their kids by simply making more conscious choices in their children’s diets, most would change. But then again, this may force them to rethink about their own beliefs on what is healthy and many may not have the health reserves to do so. In fact, most parents who feed Pediasure to their kids already think they are doing their kids a service by giving them this stuff because it’s “recommended by pediatricians”. This is where conditioning from advertisements, marketing, and corporate alliances and sponsorships educate the public and influence their choices with regards to health. From the evidence of the rise in childhood obesity, food allergies, autism, juvenile diabetes, and ADHD, there may be a link to the processed food that is marketed to our kids and these conditions.
Below is the actual ingredient list for their chocolate flavor drink:
WATER, SUGAR (SUCROSE), CORN MALTODEXTRIN, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER OIL, SOY OIL, COCOA POWDER (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES; LESS THAN 0.5% OF: SHORT-CHAIN FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, CELLULOSE GEL, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, SALT (SODIUM CHLORIDE), CHOLINE CHLORIDE, SOY LECITHIN, MONOGLYCERIDES, C. COHNII OIL, ASCORBIC ACID, CELLULOSE GUM, CARRAGEENAN, m-INOSITOL, TURMERIC, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, TAURINE, FERROUS SULFATE, dl-ALPHA-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, L-CARNITINE, ZINC SULFATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, NIACINAMIDE, FD&C RED#3, MANGANESE SULFATE, THIAMINE CHLORIDE HYDROCHLORIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, CUPRIC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, BIOTIN, SODIUM SELENATE, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, PHYLLOQUINONE, CYANOCOBALAMIN, AND VITAMIN D3.
CONTAINS SOY AND MILK INGREDIENTS.
Pediasure contains milk concentrates and soy protein isolates which are cheap forms of protein. It also contains synthetic vitamins and minerals along with other preservatives and food colorings. And let us not forget the cheap fats such as soy oil and safflower oil which by the way tend to go rancid which would explain the preservatives. What ever happened to giving our kids whole foods? Most kids are already desensitized to the natural sweetness of ripe produce and the wholesomeness of a home-made, prepared meal because 1) growing up with processed food and 2) that’s what the mother ate while pregnant and that’s what the parents still eat, and 3) from the billions of dollars spent on advertising targeting children – the minds are held captive as slaves to society’s beliefs. For most of us in these modern times we grew up eating processed food and fast food and we seem to be okay, right? But the truth is that for many of us we didn’t start to change our diet and nutrition habits until we started to feel unhealthy, overweight, sick, or depressed.
So why should we have our kids repeat the cycle? If we start being more aware and challenge rather than passively accept our beliefs on health, don’t you think our kids wouldn’t be too far behind following us? Just because you grew up believing something to be true does not mean it is true for you as an adult. And the same goes for your children. We always have a choice when it comes to matters of our life experience and thus our health.