Is There a Future in Malnutrition?

I see eyebrows raised and question marks everywhere. Malnutrition isn’t a joke. It’s a reality and it’s a mainstay of our economy. First, we need to define “malnutrition”.

First and foremost, malnutrition can be a lack of nutrition resulting in emaciated limbs and distended bellies. That’s where relief agencies come in. The Red Cross, ADRA, and other organizations all have their roles in relief work. It can range from emergency services that are acute or long-range services for chronic aid. ADRA even teaches people how to grow crops and preserve the harvest.

There are other forms of malnutrition. Some are self-induced as in anorexia and bulimia. Others are surgically induced with the gastric bypass or the lap band. The latter is considered less drastic than gastric bypass because it can be reversed. Gastric bypass is essentially signing on for a lifetime of chronic malnutrition. However, the stomach can be stretched over time and the weight that was lost regained. It isn’t an easy fix and can’t be undertaken lightly.

Obesity is a form of being malnourished. It’s easy to gain weight these days with shelves full of tempting foods with nothing but empty calories. The worse conditions in the world get, the more people turn to “comfort foods” and those contain little nutrition but plenty of fat and other ingredients that are addictive. There are additives in foods that actually make the consumer overeat and then crave that product. It’s a dirty little secret of the food industry that keeps the people coming back for more.

The “nutrition manufacturers” have a gold mine at their disposal. They manufacture supplements and “super foods” that are supposed to mimic the vitamins and minerals in nature but they fall short. There are so many trace elements that get lost in the translation but people are willing to spend money to have expensive urine instead of eating the foods that will give them what their bodies need and, yes, crave.

My generation was fairly active as children but the last couple of generations have been exposed to more prepared foods and activities that have the potential of keeping them on the couch. The lack of exercise and the increase in tasty snacks has resulted in putting on pounds.

Now, I wasn’t exempt, myself. I was a junk food junkie until a few years ago. I’d like to say I’ve eaten good food most of my life but that wouldn’t be true. I was a vegetarian but that doesn’t equate with healthy nutrition. If I didn’t have at least one fried food a day, I felt deprived. I loved cheese, eggs, chips—all the things that would pack on the fat. My metabolism burned up everything until I got to that point in life where it slowed down and that’s when it began. I have no idea how much I weighed at my heaviest because I refused to get on the scale. Then the “healthy choice” and “fat free” foods found their way to my table. I caved in to the hype and found they only reduced my bank account.

This was taken in June, 2001, at my DD’s graduation:

Puffy and Sluggish

I was a pushover for anything that was advertised to help me trim my waistline (which had long since disappeared) or make me lose 15 lubs by Christmas. I thought about trying to gain more weight so I would be a candidate for weight loss surgery but I got past the maximum age to be considered. I bought exercise equipment, magazines, DVDs. In the early days, I had records that would skip with my floor-shaking gyrations.

There wasn’t a diet I didn’t read about and many I tried. I quit eating after a certain time in the afternoon. I went on a low protein diet. I reset my appestat and had such success that my weight-challenged sister bought the book, too. My one criteria regarding diets were that they had to work with my vegetarian lifestyle. The problem was, when I quit doing what given me results, the weight came back and brought friends.

Thankfully, I never got to the point many get to now. Jazzy Power Chairs is a thriving business for the ones who are too large to walk comfortably but still small enough they aren’t bed bound. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are raking in the money. Turn on the TV any time of the day or night and see infomercials for exercise programs and equipment. Malnutrition is a thriving business.

There are other problems that come along with malnutrition. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease—the list can go on and on. Since many of them are solved with a switch to raw whole foods, it might be safe to say that diseases are caused by a poor diet.

Doctors and hospitals rely on the sick to make a living so there is no real focus on improvement. If there were, would people take advantage of it? I doubt it. Cooked foods are an entrenched way of life. “Healthcare” is a misnomer. It should be known as “sickcare”. Medical schools, by and large, don’t teach much in the area of preventive health. Well people aren’t a good source of revenue.

I found out just this past week that a friend has prostate cancer. He’s been a vegetarian/vegan as long as I’ve known him. His wife cooks with a lot of whole grains, beans and soy. They also regularly drink fresh carrot and other veggie juices. Can it be they are nutritionally deficient? Or can the sugars in the concentrated juices be feeding the cancer?

It’s entirely possible that the answers to many diseases and certainly malnutrition lie in the produce section of your local supermarket. People are willing to take untold quantities of pills and potions and go under the knife with hardly a question but suggest they eat more raw fruit and greens and I’m met with disbelief. Man’s remedies are better? I don’t think so. God has packed His creation with all we need for optimal health if we will take advantage of it. Making the decision to try it is the hard thing. Adding more raw food to an existing program can’t hurt and it can certainly help.

If you’re willing to take the plunge, make your way to the best forum on the World Wide Web. You’ll be welcomed by a wonderful group of people and the support is incredible.

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