THE BLOG
05/09/2014 10:40 am ET Updated Jul 09, 2014

Fed Up : Sugar and the Thing About Skinny-Fat People, Even You Model Types

Emma Kim via Getty Images

Skinny might just be the new fat, according to Katie Couric, the executive producer on Stephanie Soechtig's new health documentary Fed Up. Together they take an elaborate look at sugar, one the better-known causes of the American obesity epidemic, and finally offer something new to the conversation: Skinny is not a sign of health, so back off of judging fat people.

"Skinny people -- even the supermodel types -- can be superfat. Everyone expects an overweight person to have lots of fat, but it can be shock when a thin person has as much internal body fat as an obese, or even morbidly obese person," according to health researcher Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at the Imperial College at the University of London.

"Thin on the outside, obese on the inside" is a relatively new discovery about how fat operates in the body, because all too often doctors and civilians alike attach thinness to wellness. This is one of the reasons the food industry has been effective in the defense of the Western diet. By simply shoving a thin person into the conversation, food companies are able to place blame on those who struggle with their weight and avoid discussing how foods are made -- but that's about to come to an end.

New technology is emerging to help us understand why exactly kids are now battling adult disease and illness, regardless of weight. The DXA, a revolutionary body composition machine, is showing us new ways to understand fat in the body, and it's proving something astonishing: Everyone is dying -- well, most of us are -- and if you're not fat on the outside, you're probably depressed, riddled in hives or are on your way to a heart attack, or if you're like me, a stroke. Wait, what? Yes. And furthermore, sugar is the underling cause.

During the 1970s, when the war on fat began (and agro-business was on the rise), food companies started cutting fat from foods and replacing it with sugar. The more fat removed, the more sugar added. When you buy "less fat," "low fat," or "zero fat," you can assume your eating double, triple or quadruple doses of sugar, added for "taste." What's worse, food labeling is manipulated to trick you, so you have no idea how much sugar you're actually consuming -- and it's hiding "healthy" food too: low-fat yogurt, instant oatmeal, zero-fat creamers, "heart healthy" breakfast cereals and even "vegan" meal options. If you read a label and find words that end in "ose," it's a synonym for sugar, and quite frankly, it will kill you, but first make you a demented.

The brain is highly susceptible to the food you eat, and the consumption of excess sugar spikes your neurotransmitter dopamine and stimulates craving, just like heroine would, while decaying your liver, taxes your adrenal glands and sets you up for that stroke I mentioned earlier -- and remember, this it true even if you're thin.

Sugar is more addictive then cocaine, but unlike cocaine, sugar is in almost every food pimped to the American public through commercial advertisements, print media and even in school lunches (fast food companies cut deals with middle and high schools across the country), and activates the reward center of the brain, exactly like a drug would. This yields a dependent, depressed, tired society, beginning with children.

But don't we need sugar to survive? Yes, we do. Sugar is metabolized and stored as energy, and we need that fuel to survive, but lucky there is a quick solution: healthy, seasonal fruits. One week off sugar and a ripe, juicy orange will taste a bit like an orange-flavored penny juicy from the bodega (or something you consider a sugary treat). While your body can't tell the difference between any sugar, be it raw, honey, a pixy stick or a gummy worm and will spike your blood glucose level, the healthy way to consume required amounts of sugar is an occasional fruit snack, and that way you also get a bit of vitamin C, the fiber that is necessary for healthy digestion, not to mention your body is built to effectively process it.

All the synonyms for sugar are foreign to your body, so your body is confused when the body attempts to break them down. It then gets clogged in the liver, your body's second largest detox organ, and can lead to liver disease. Once your liver is burdened with excess fat, it starts to leak out of your skin. Adult acne, hives, or other inflammatory issues begin to present themselves, often being labeled a mysterious "auto-immune disease." Do yourself a favor and cut the sugar.

These days, the conversation is moving away from blaming "fat" people for abusing food and refocusing on the way food is made. The entire country has been on a sugar high for most of our lives, and the body needs a break. Begin to pile on more alkalizing foods, like veggies and leafy greens, fruits and fresh juice and start a loving and mindful relationship with food. You deserve it, or at least your body does.

If you're interested in going sugar-free, I always advise my clients to give this a try:

1. READ THE LABEL CAREFULLY, and avoid foods with 15-20g or more a day (4-5 teaspoons).
2. Eat foods with less then five or less identifiable ingredients on the label.
3. Avoid anything that has an advertisement on the television and drink or juice.
4. Consume dandelion tea or add it to salads to help detox the liver daily.
5. Eat fruit to incorporate a healthy way to give your body fuel.
6. Avoid drinking alcohol, and if it's impossible never add soda, juice or a Red Bull, or leave it at a shot.
7. Go easy on yourself; small changes yield huge results.

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