Ashley Koff, RD

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What is wrong with the American diet is that, we are no longer consuming food as it's found in nature. We're consuming a lot of things from a chemistry lab. The real issue though is that, we're allowing people to think that just because they can put something into the body that that is nourishing their body.

Calories are extremely available in this country, and nutrients are really not. This is all really a crisis of nutrient intake going into the body. So the hunger, the child that is able to avoid hunger and not die from severe hunger, severe malnutrition actually goes on later in life to be at a greater risk for obesity and the disease is related to obesity.

So what we're really understanding is again, it's the lack of nutrients going into the body. So I believe fundamentally, the biggest issue with obesity is that children from a very a young age, and in fact their parents are predisposing them by not eating quality nutrients. We're just not building healthy foundations.

We are telling people that, as something that you an entire meal, a soda, a burger, fries, for a $99, we're telling them that that is actually a meal. We will not solve this problem by looking at any one group, and just saying that it's their responsibility. So when people make the argument that it is the Corporate America's responsibility, and they should change their marketing, and they should get rid of ads, and all these things, and blame it exclusively on them, and on the flip side when Corporate America others blame the individual and say it's your responsibility, everyone is failing.

We've been teaching nutrition in a way it does not align with the body's physiology. So, you know things like telling people how many calories you need to consume in the day, or things like telling people how many grams of something you should have. It doesn't work because it really, actually doesn't work in the body.

You do need to focus on education and experience. When children experience good quality food, and they get to taste it, and they get to interact, and when they learn how something grows that is the best thing that can happen. The second best thing or concurrently, simultaneously, if it happens that they see their parents doing what their parents are telling them they should be doing, and when they see their physicians doing what the physicians are telling them they should be doing.

So when we lead by example, when everybody chooses to lead by example, and if everybody comes together and says we all need to take responsibility for this, then I think we can really change the problem.

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