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I live in Van Nuys near Panorama City. Without calling the area “ghetto,” I will call the neighborhood “not the poshest” around Los Angeles.

So why are gyms popping up everywhere? Big gyms. Luxurious gyms. Right across the street from each other.

How is this happening in neighborhood without much money?

Obviously, the gym flow is NOT driven by cash flow.

No, it’s another factor.

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It’s obesity.

No matter how poor are people in my neighborhood, they have enough money to eat unhealthy. (Actually, unhealthy is cheaper and more accessible in poor neighborhoods, but that’s another story.) …

Maybe your problem is not sugar after all.

It might be cortisol. It’s a useful hormone that helps you kick into “fight or flight” mode.

Your adrenal glands dump into your blood system during stress. Its purpose was to — occasionally — heighten blood pressure and heartbeat when in danger of a predator or war in ancient times.

Nowadays, sabre tooth tigers, Black Plague or invading mongols are not a threat. No, your problems are worse- bills, deadlines, domestic friction, rejection, loneliness, competition, low self esteem, weight gain, sickness. Plus, the world is coming to an end (again)

We have more stress points than any civilization ever, and as a result our cortisol levels are puncturing the stratosphere. Excess cortisol cues hypertension, high blood sugar, inflammation, depression, insomnia, atherosclerosis and a bunch of other cools ways to die or live in misery before dying. This is serious! There’s even a full-blown academic journal dedicated to its study: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress. …

So the food industry only provides what people want. Right? And people want, time after time, what they crave. So sugar is sinking America’s health.

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To be sure, there are many culprits — more sedentary lifestyles (read: gaming), for example. Also of surety, sugar is a huge villain.

That two of three adults are chubby? Um, yes.

Are we surprised that 30% of boys and girls under 20 are overweight in 2019 — up from 19% in 1980?

Is it any wonder that 160 million Americans are obese?

Sugary foods represent a double whammy for health. First the calories add on the fat. …


Mike Ashcraft

Organic/health food enthusiast/ bamboo kitchenware fanatic.