A while back, my husband cut a Pickles cartoon from the newspaper for me. When Opal Pickles tells her husband, Earl, he’s addicted to sweets, he says, “Sure, they make my life worth living, but I’m not addicted to them.” Sound familiar? We’re all so good at rationalizing.
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report stated that half of Americans drink a sugary beverage every day and one in 20 swigs more than four cans of soda per day. According to an AP article, the study did not include diet sodas, sweetened teas, flavored milks and 100-percent fruit juice. Add ingestion of those substances to the CDC’s figures, plus candies, pastries, and other carb-laden products, and it’s obvious we have a serious problem in our country.
Sharon Hersh writes about the prevalence of addiction in her book The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help Is Not Enough (Waterbrook Press). “The reality of addiction in our culture is evidenced by the number of books that come off the press every year on this subject. The difficulty of finding ‘the answer’ to this agonizing problem is further shown by the statistics and stories of addicts that do not seem to be diminished by all of these books.” Her short list of examples includes three books related to diet.
Several years ago, our local newspaper ran an article under the heading High-Glycemic Foods Can Create a Cycle of Eating. “We’re talking about the paradoxical nature of sugar—and of that whole delicious family of simple and readily digested carbohydrates that make up a hefty proportion of American diets.
“You eat them; they make you hungry. Hungrier, some scientists contend, than you were before you wolfed down those cookies. Or that candy bar. Or those crackers made of refined white flour. Or that 16-ounce bottle of soda. Or those slices of white bread. Or potatoes. Yes, we’re even talking baked russet potatoes here.”
The article quoted Robert Murray, director of the Center for Nutrition and Wellness at the Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio: “Obesity has to do with a sense of satiety. I think simple sugars are a big driver for a sense of hunger within two hours.”
Keep that in mind when you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal. Thank God for all the wonderful choices we have in America, land of options! Then choose to nourish and satiate your body with protein (yay for turkey!) and vegetables. If you still have room for more, or as you nibble throughout the day, pick health-enhancing foods, and go easy on the baked goods.
Praising God from whom all blessings flow and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, Becky
p.s. Sharon Hersh’s answer to the addiction dilemma? Let God take over. “In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” Romans 2:4 (The Message)
I recommend her book. She writes from the perspective of an alcoholic and a licensed professional counselor.