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The Sweet Truth about Your Health Concerns

Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND

Growing up in the South, homemade desserts were a part of life. My Mom made fabulous baked goods like sticky buns and desserts like angel food cake or pecan pie on birthdays. My passion for food and baking comes from watching her and experiencing how cooking food for your family and friends is about relationships and love. Portions were not obscene. A cookie didn’t resemble a small pizza.

Fast-forward and portion sizes have puffed up, the number of calories we eat everyday has shot up and many of us face health concerns. Do you? The media likes to make scapegoats out of a single food or food ingredient such as sugar. Working in this arena, I see it everyday. It’s so hard to know sound science from pseudo science. Plus, state governments attempt to add taxes to your food as a way to force change in the weight issue facing our country. But does it?

Solid evidence continues to show that soda taxes raise revenue but are unlikely to affect soda consumption or weight loss substantially. The USDA and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data both show a decline in the amount of added sugar consumed since 1999 while obesity and diabetes rates have continued to rise.

Healthy options are available if we make the decision to choose them. Education and empowerment are the ticket for changing health concerns. Instead of taxing beverages and food as an answer for obesity, how about taking a stand against ‘sitting disease’ the norm in most offices? And find smart and creative ways to cut back on excess calories eaten from nutritional vacant foods that affect our daily lives and the scale. Small and simple changes over time can have a large impact on health concerns and weight.

Award winning registered dietitian nutritionist, Dr. Susan Mitchell is host of the podcast Breaking Down Nutrition: Your Digest for What Works, What Doesn’t. She also shares her passion for nutrition at where you’ll find the food you love, how to be fit for life and fabulous everyday. 

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