Recently, the UC Food Observer swept up with Pat to go over her research. Q: You have worked very difficult over several years to inspire positive change in human-being health. Is it possible to tell our readers a little about the nourishment politics and the problem that encouraged you to do this? What maintains you interested in your work?
A: In the 1970s to the 1990s, I was involved in research studies measuring the health ramifications of children’s diets and physical exercise levels, with particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities. Over this time period, I saw clear proof the deterioration of children’s diets, with a troubling and wide-spread changeover to convenience snack-type and foods processed food items. These food types were being distributed and sold in the very establishments where children discovered and were looked after.
They were broadly advertised and marketed to children and were changing more healthy foods. New foods were often heavily fortified, deceptively making them appear like nutritious alternatives. While I was watching these dietary changes, I also began to see the rapid, unprecedented, shocking rise in childhood obesity, with accompanying implications for health.
We learned that childhood diets seen as a excessive calories from low-nutrient foods may lead to negative population-wide health effects during youth as well as during adulthood. Our processed and snack-food rich diet was associated with a tripling in the rates of child years obesity and a fresh passion of type 2 diabetes nothing you’ve seen prior seen among children. I … Read more