Posts tagged "food education"

Supplements vs. Pharmaceuticals: The Comparison


By Diane Gold

Supplements and pharmaceuticals have interesting comparisons. Because of this, supplements very often get confused with  pharmaceuticals and vice versa. Let’s break it down from the beginning. Let me say here that the pharmaceutical industry is very complex. It takes huge amounts of money to develop a drug (on average $1.5 to $2 Billion Dollars including clinical trials), and patent length allows the drug company exclusive rights to the drug to get payback for the development and then some.

Supplements are considered an addition to the diet. They are developed from already formed combinations of molecules to enhance health. They help teach nutrition.


The business model for a supplement company is that we can use supplements for a period of time and wean off once we get our food together, if medically possible.

The business model for a pharmaceutical firm is that of making the user regulate a disease on a daily basis, usually causing some addiction, rather than solving the issue with one dose. It requires a true concentration on finding a cure, rather than a daily control for companies to develop one-time fixes.

According to Dr. Jaroslav Boublik, a good friend, veteran product formulator and progressive researcher,

“A simple differentiation between supplements and pharmaceuticals that is generally correct is that supplements seek to supply something that is deficient, or which offers a benefit by consumption of additional amounts, whereas pharmaceuticals seek to treat an illness by intervening in normal or disease-state metabolism.  Even more simply put supplements seek to correct imbalances and pharmaceuticals seek to treat symptoms.”Money From Pills

We all have to ask ourselves,


“If we could have a billion dollars from finding a daily pill that would regulate a disease but not cure it; or make $50,000 and find a cure; which would we choose?”


Although the following piece from is from June, 2006, I wanted to quote it,

“What’s the difference between a nutritional supplement and a drug?

In some respects, not much. Both can have powerful pharmacological effects and cause problems if taken incorrectly. Some conventional medicines are actually derived from plants, and many supplements are sold as concentrates that are virtually indistinguishable from drugs.

“How drugs and supplements are viewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is another matter entirely. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the FDA essentially treats supplements as if they were foods. DSHEA defines nutritional supplements as products taken by mouth that contain an ingredient intended to supplement the diet.

“Those ingredients could include vitamins, minerals, or natural biological substances such as enzymes. They can come in a variety of forms, including extracts and concentrates, and as tablets, capsules, powders, or liquids.

“Drugs, on the other hand, are legally defined as substances intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease.”


Replacement of one nutrient, antioxidant or chemical is unlikely to correct the cascade of interconnected metabolic abnormalities associated with serious health problems. It can certainly have a big impact, though.


DiscoveryThe scientists who spend time researching what will do what to whom care about the outcome of their work as it will benefit humanity whether they work on drugs or supplements.

Supplement and pharmaceutical scientists both have the same passion as the other for their research.

They both love discovery.



Supplement developers are interested in alternatives to pharmaceutical answers, for the most part. This could be to avoid the exorbitant costs of drugs or to avoid side effects and addiction or to see quick results.

Those who invent supplements tend to be more personally invested in the product since they do not usually work for giant pharmaceutical companies and, many times, thought of the concept themselves.
Supplement scientists are inventing something to be ingested like food to improve nutritional intake.

Pharmaceutical scientists invent substances or parts of molecules that will improve, and can we hope cure?, a particular disease.

Those in the pharmaceutical sphere are driven by the competitive world of which drug company will get to the finish line first to be able to recuperate the $1.5 Billion dollars of out-of-pocket cost per drug, on average, for the drugs that get approval, which is maybe 7% (very rough statistics due to lack of transparency from Scott Gavura of Usually the company that is first to market gets the brand recognition like Kleenex or Xerox or Aspirin, so the pressure of the corporate scene causes developers to lose their original goal of helping humanity.


AcupunctureUsually,  supplement inventors are in the field of medicine outside the allopathic medicine sphere, meaning they are not part of the set of doctors who treat patients only when a disease shows up. They are more part of the set of doctors or medical healers who look at preventing disease from happening in the first place. They have experience treating people on a more personal level, even possibly physically touching their bodies to heal them. Even without the physical aspect, the people who recommend supplements tend to think prevention first, pharmaceuticals afterwards.


The small difference is that supplements are not regulated by our government agency, the Food And Drug Administration. Pharmaceuticals are.


Crossover PointsThe interesting thing about this, and this is the cross-over point, is that, sometimes when the pharmaceutical industry sees a very lucrative supplement, they move to get it approved as a pharmaceutical so that they can market it.

There are substances in the world made from roots, seeds, fruits, vegetables (including sea vegetables) pods, grains. They contain vitamins and minerals necessary for life. From these sources, we develop supplements. From much smaller pieces of these substances or other chemicals, we develop pharmaceuticals.

Dietary supplements (also called nutraceuticals) supplement the diet. Pharmaceuticals treat, alleviate or diagnose a particular disease.

Drug Or SupplementThe cross-over point is obvious when we see some products sold as supplements in some countries but as drugs in others. Or consider that Belladonna, when my father was alive, was only available by prescription for gastrointestinal issues and the like. Now, it is available at the homeopathic store.


It is the daily dependence model that the pharmaceutical industry sets up that has people shouting about Big Pharma. The current Big Pharma model requires people to pay money for life for a health solution that could possibly be corrected with a one-time solution if all the Big Pharma research money looked for that one-time solution which would mean the
customer pays once, rather than that the customer pays daily.

Supplements can assist us in insuring proper nutrition. They can be immensely costly as well, but not to the tune of one dose of chemotherapy, a treatment for cancer, whose bill I have witnessed at $25,000.

The financial factor is crucial since lives are changed because of availability or not, with both supplements and pharmaceuticals.

Both supplements and pharmaceuticals can have a prohibitive price tag; how can we offset this? Should pharmaceutical companies be able to refuse people treatment? Should our government? And what about supplements? This is another discussion entirely.


CureThere is, at least, one drug company working on a cancer cure using the human immunodeficiency virus as a one-time cure. They will not be able to administer or sell the drug more than once, because the body cannot accept the treatment more than once. They are considering giving up their profit for the good will it will bring their company and so that they can be first to “cure” childhood cancer. Maybe they wish to show they are benevolent after losing a patent case in India (which the court said was “evergreening,” a technique of making a tiny change to an already patented drug so as to push the expiration date of that patent back for, you guessed it, cha-ching, longer profitability) which would have taken a different cancer drug and made it too expensive for most people who need it in developing countries. With the court ruling, generic companies can now reproduce the drug to help the poor.

This drug company’s consideration of cure should be “the norm” and not the exception. And they may not go through with it.


1) Take a look at the supplements you take, if any. Decide whether these can easily be substituted for food. If yes, replace. If not, enjoy the supplements available to you. If you will not eat the food that you need, consider a supplement.

2) Take a look at the cost of your supplements in another country known for pharmaceuticals. Consider whether it would be less expensive to use that product, including shipping, than the one you use. Make sure to consider the purity and regulation of ingredients of the product you are considering. Consider what it would do to our economy should we all turn to another country for supplements. Consider what we can do to speak out about supplement and pharmaceutical pricing that would be helpful.

3) Add one nutritional food to your diet one time per week.

Add One Healthy Food



Have a question about a habit, nutrition, plant-based nutrition, tai chi, music, parenting, life? Ask here and, if we don’t know the answer, we will ask our qualified panelists and professional colleagues to help get you your answer.
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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

Supplements and pharmaceuticals have interesting comparisons. She says,

“We all want to lead healthy lives. When we feel well, our lives have the best chance of being balanced. When we are feeling poorly, everything is a mess.

“With this in mind, it is extremely important for us to be aware of ourselves, what we need nutritionally, what we need in exercise, rest, relaxation and nurturing and how we choose to proceed when we are not well. Do we see a naturopath, an allopath, a Chinese Medicine doctor or do we not have the money for any of them? Or do we do tai chi for free?

“In order to stay well, it’s important to know how to prevent disease by fortifying ourselves with food: alkaline ones, fatty acids, phytonutrients, a good balance of vitamins and minerals, etc. Supplements may be part of prevention, but good food habits are number one. And then, if we need them, we are glad there are pharmaceuticals to use. And preventive measures often avoid them.

“Supplements and pharmaceuticals both have their place. I’m glad they both exist, although I want them both to be available so that all people, not just the well-off, can maximize their health. We can make that happen together.”


About Food Education

GMO Labeling Is Here

by Diane Gold on July 5, 2016.

Our main essay is about GMO labeling and kudos to Vermont that its state law has gone into effect. Also mentioned are the increase in pricing and the increase in environmental run off due to genetically engineered sprays, required for produce of GM origin.

Also in this issue….

Dear Organic Produce Retailer

by Diane Gold on June 28, 2016.

Our main essay is a letter to my organic produce retailer describing the hoops I have to jump through just to find out what’s on my food before I buy it.

Also in this issue….

What’s On Your Produce – Part II

by Diane Gold on June 7, 2016.

Our main essay focuses on our food supply, which is our very life force and the idea that we do not consider, rebuff, teach about chemicals we place on that supply.

Also in this issue….

Secret Of Vitamin D

by Diane Gold on November 10, 2015.

Our main essay gives the secret of Vitamin D, our habits and the action steps that help us help ourselves.

Also in this issue….

Food Habits – Continually Upgrading To Good Ones

by Diane Gold on October 27, 2015.

Our main essay talks about food habits and gives action steps that help us make them what’s best for us.

Also in this issue….

Recycling Is Our Responsibility

by Diane Gold on October 13, 2015.

Our main essay talks about recycling, why we do it and whose responsibility it is.

Also in this issue….

Conventional Produce – GMOs And Pesticides

by Diane Gold on October 6, 2015.

Our main essay talks about the term “conventional produce” and how it blinds us to the GMOs that are commonly included in this category.

Also in this issue….

Good Food – The Most Potent Part Of Our Day!

by Diane Gold on September 15, 2015.

Our main essay talks about good food and gives food for thought to the reader.

Also in this issue….

Water Shortage: Our Role

by Diane Gold on March 17, 2015.

Our main essay talks about water shortage and why we are involved, no matter how much water we have.

Also in this issue….

Extinction: Are We Responsible?

by Diane Gold on February 24, 2015.

Our main essay talks about extinction and our responsibility through a guest post by Richard Oppenlander, D.D.S., researcher, lecturer and author.

Also in this issue….

Plastics In Food And Bloodstream

by Diane Gold on February 17, 2015.

Our main essay talks about plastics in food and inside our blood.

Also in this issue….

Nut Milk Made Easily

by Diane Gold on February 10, 2015.

Our main essay talks about nut milk making it ourselves. There’s a recipe that’s easy, peasy.

Also in this issue….

Olive Oil Science

by Diane Gold on February 3, 2015.

Our main essay talks about what happens to olive oil when it gets too hot. We also take a look at the qualifications of people who give the answers.

Also in this issue….

Who Pays? Our Habit Of Not Paying For Our Food

by Diane Gold on January 27, 2015.

Our main essay talks about who pays for the land, oceans, soil, water that we overuse to produce food and the species we endanger or wipe out in the process. It applies to all people who eat.

Also in this issue….

5 Ways To Improve Your Health And Mine In 2015

by Diane Gold on January 13, 2015.

Our main essay talks about 5 ways to improve your health and mine. Each of the 5 is its own one minute exercise.

Also in this issue….

Our Food Habit Of Not Asking The Right Question

by Diane Gold on October 21, 2014.

Our main essay talks about our food habit of not asking the right question. Easier than we think!

Also in this issue….

Composting: How And Why

by Diane Gold on October 7, 2014.

Our main essay talks about composting and how to proceed successfully.
Also in this issue….

Big Food And Drug Donate To Cancer Research

by Diane Gold on September 30, 2014.

Our main essay talks about donations that Big Food and Big Drug companies give to cancer research and other disease organizations so they will become beholden to them.

Also in this issue….

What’s On Your Produce?

by Diane Gold on September 23, 2014.

Our main essay talks about knowing what’s on our fruits and vegetables with some surprising information about what the National Organic Program allows.

Also in this issue….

Nutrient Composition, As Per T. Colin Campbell

by Diane Gold on September 16, 2014.

Our main essay talks about nutrient composition, the percentage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates that T. Colin Campbell, grand nutritionist, has discovered is the correct balance.

Also in this issue….

9 Ways Cacao Can Improve Our Health

by Diane Gold on September 9, 2014.

Our main essay talks about how cacao, the super food, first used by Latin Americans as early as 1400 B.C. E., benefits our health.

Also in this issue….

Turmeric In The Modern World

by Diane Gold on July 29, 2014.

Our main essay is about turmeric, its benefits and its patentability and why drug companies don’t study what they can’t patent.

Also in this issue….

What If Nike’s Logo Meant Food For The Poor?

by Diane Gold on July 22, 2014.

Our main essay focuses on a “what if” scenario. “What if” the largest multinational companies’ missions were to benefit the world’s poor with food, water, clothing, housing, health care! This article suggests a possible model for this to happen. It also offers food for thought to encourage us to innovate the solution for ourselves.on patient’s rights and how our accepting doctor’s orders is not in our best interest until we’ve researched options and been given choices.

Also in this issue….

Our Right To Freedom-What If Big Biz Sues To Repeal Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law?

by Diane Gold on June 17, 2014.

Our main essay is about how to stand up for our right to freedom using the example of the GMO labeling vote in Vermont.

Also in this issue….

Weight Loss Secret Weapon

by Diane Gold on June 3, 2014.

Our main essay is about an accidental secret weapon I found for weight loss. And it’s a super food.

Also in this issue….

Citizens For Change: No More Status Quo GMOs

by Diane Gold on May 27, 2014.

Our main essay is about taking action toward protecting our food supply from genetic modified organisms (GMOs).

Also in this issue….

Maca: Superfood For Energy And Immune System

by Diane Gold on May 6, 2014.

Our main essay in this issue is about maca, the amazing superfood grown at over 10,000 feet above sea level.

Also in this issue….

Low Vitamin D Linked To Disease In 2 Big Studies

by Diane Gold on Apr. 8, 2014.

Our main essay was written by Anahad O’Connor, our expert from The New York Times, and edited by the publisher. It is research about vitamin D and disease.

Also in this issue….

The Habit Of Eating Meat May Be Hurting Us

by Diane Gold on Mar. 11, 2014.

Our main essay is about the habit of eating meat and what consequences come from that.

Also in this issue….

Quitting A Habit!

by Diane Gold on Feb. 25, 2014.

Our main essay talks about the the term “quitting” as it applies to habit change.

Also in this issue….

Healthy Eating: Why Does The U.S. Fall Behind?

by Diane Gold on Jan. 28, 2014.

Our main essay talks about the United States is not number one in healthy eating and why.

Also in this issue….

Pesticides: Which Fruits-Veggies Have Least?

by Diane Gold on Nov. 12, 2013.

This week, our main essay talks about pesticides and includes two consumer guides to buying produce with the least amount of residue.

Also in this issue….

6 Great Reasons For Plant-Based Nutrition

by Diane Gold on Nov. 5, 2013.

This week, our main essay gives 6 valid reasons to consider plant-based nutrition.

Also in this issue….

Is Sugar Good For Our Health?

by Diane Gold on Oct. 29, 2013.

This week, our main essay talks about sugar and whether it is good for our health.

Also in this issue….

Demystifying Traditional Chinese Medicine

by Diane Gold on Sept. 16, 2013.

This week, we bring you the highlights of our interview with George Love, Doctor Of Oriental Medicine who demystifies it for all of us.

Also in this issue…

Can Gut Microbes Help With Weight Loss?

by Diane Gold on Sept. 9, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on a study about gut microorganisms as a possible technique for weight loss.

Also in this issue…

Reading Food And Supplement Labels: How Habits Form

by Diane Gold on Aug. 19, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on food and supplement labels and how we form habits as a result.

Also in this issue…

How Water Works On Habit Change

by Diane Gold on July 22, 2013.

This week, our main article talks about this simple technique that can mean the difference between habit change and frustration. And there are simple action steps to follow.

Also in this issue…

Supplements vs. Pharmaceuticals: The Comparison

by Diane Gold on July 8, 2013.

This week, our main article talks about some of the differences between supplements and pharmaceuticals, including a quote from Dr. Jaroslav Boublik.

Also in this issue…

The Supplement Game: Are You In It?

by Diane Gold on July 1, 2013.

This week, our main article talks about taking supplements at the expense of learning to eat well.

Also in this issue…

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Habits In Medical Care: Part One – What Certificate Is That?

by Diane Gold on June 3, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on habits obtained regarding medical care.

Also in this issue…

Changing Food Habits: Are You Eating GMOs, Organic Foods Or …?

by Diane Gold on May 20, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on changing our food habits as we have more knowledge of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and foods that are labeled “organic.”

Also in this issue…

Change A Habit: How The Health Care System Has Taught Us Bad Habits

by Diane Gold on Mar. 18, 2013.

This week, our main article is about how the U.S. Health Care System has led us to need to Change A Habit.

Also in this issue…

Sprouts: 7 Reasons Why. With Commentary By Jason McCobb, aka Farmer Jay

by Diane Gold on Mar. 11, 2013.

This week, our main article is about sprouting, with guidance from Farmer Jay of Farmer-Jay-Pure-Organics.

Also in this issue…

Timing Of Meals Affects Weight Loss

by Diane Gold on Feb. 11, 2013.

This week, we have an article on Timing Of Meals by Anahad O’Connor, followed by comments and action steps by me.

Also in this issue…

The Protein Myth: That We Need All The Essential Amino Acids At Every Meal

by Diane Gold on Feb. 4, 2013.

This week, we have an article about the protein myth, the fact that it’s not necessary to combine proteins to get all the amino acids in one sitting.

Also in this issue…

Turning Habits Into Health: How 1 Step At A Time Can Make The Change

by Diane Gold on Jan. 28, 2013.

This week, we talk about Turning Habits Into Health and the 1-step at a time approach to habit change.

Also in this issue…

Juicing At Home vs. Juice From The Health Food Store

by Diane Gold on Jan. 21, 2013.

This week, we talk about juicing, the pros and cons to juicing at home vs. the health food store. We also define organic vs. natural vs. vegan.

Also in this issue…

Water For Weight Loss, Emotional Eating Turned To Healthy Hydration

by Diane Gold on Jan. 14, 2013.

This week, we talk about how drinking water can temper food cravings habitually. We also consider that water is not in abundance for all people.

Also in this issue…

Food Cravings: How To Maximize Them For Our Good Health

by Diane Gold on Jan. 7, 2013.

First issue in 2013, and we are raring to go!

This week’s article talks about maximizing our food cravings so that we can be healthier.

Also in this issue…

Plant-Based Nutrition And 3 Weight Loss Factors That Come Along, Too

by Diane Gold on Dec. 31, 2012.

This week’s article talks about plant-based nutrition and 3 weight loss factors to look for.

Also in this issue…

Appetite Control: How Saving Someone Other Than Ourselves Balances Appetite

by Diane Gold on Dec. 17, 2012.

This week’s article talks about the appetite and how saving someone other than ourselves can balance our appetite.

Also in this issue…

Mushrooms For Weight Loss: Nature’s Secret Strategy In A Small Package

by Diane Gold on November 6, 2012.

This week, our main article is all about mushrooms, their nutrition and how they satisfy our appetites and heal us.

Also in this issue…

Why Green Tea Can Help With Teen Weight Loss And What’s In It

by Diane Gold on October 22, 2012.

This week’s main article is about green tea for teen weight loss. There are action steps for both daughters and moms.

Also in this issue…

Teen Weight Gain And Sugary Drinks: A Closer Look

by Diane Gold on October 8, 2012.

This week’s main article is about teen weight gain and sugary drinks. How shocking that sugary drinks are the largest single caloric food source.

Also in this issue…

Weight Loss For Teen Girls: 5 Quick Appetite Tips

by Diane Gold on September 10, 2012.

This week’s main article is for teen girls. We give 5 quick tips to pick up and use today for the growing teenage girl having a hard time with weight.

Also in this issue…

Bad Habits: How To Change A Habit

by Diane Gold on August 20, 2012.

This week’s main article is about Changing Bad Habits. We have included access to a flowchart with a step-by-step diagram.

Also in this issue…

Get Your Weight Off: 10 Surefire Tactics That Will Reduce Your Weight Now

by Diane Gold on July 23, 2012.

Our main article was written by our panelist and registered dietician, Elisa Rodriguez. Her 10 tactics are so important because they can individually be implemented without much effort. The goodness we will feel from any 1 powers up our motivation to repeat the tactic the next day.

Also in this article…

Revelations Of A Weight Warrior, Trish Carr: A Testimony For Moms And Daughters-Part III

by Diane Gold on July 5, 2012.

Here is the third part in our three-part series based on an interview with Trish Carr, Warrior Of Weight. Within this article is Trish’s quote that food is just a therapy. Anyone who finds the quote…

Also in this issue…

Revelations Of A Weight Warrior, Trish Carr: A Testimony For Moms And Daughters-Part II

by Diane Gold on July 2, 2012.

This week, we have parts two and three of our three-part series with Trish Carr, Warrior Of Weight. Here is part two where Trish gives instructions on using stir fry for snacks.

Also in this issue…

Revelations Of A Weight Warrior, Trish Carr: A Testimony For Moms And Daughters-Part I

by Diane Gold on June 25, 2012.

We have interviewed Tris Carr. This is the first of a three-part feature where she shares her insights about her ongoing journey with food, filled with strategies and tips we can all relate to.

Also in this issue…

Wheatgrass Juice: What’s So Good About It?

by Diane Gold on June 11, 2012.

Wheatgrass Juice has some amazing, healing properties. We go over 10 of them and offer 4 or 5 easy action steps to help everyone get started with making it a regular habit.

Also in this issue…

The Juice Cleanse

by Diane Gold on May 28, 2012.

Elisa Rodriguez has written a wonderful article called The Juice Cleanse. She has prepared this discussion to instruct us how to go about it with the safest result.  have added some discussion where it says Publisher’s Note.

Although not everyone will use the cleanse, the article gets us in the mood to consider the benefits of regular juicing for fun and health. There is also a blender option later on in the article.

Also in this issue…

The Food Advocate

by Diane Gold on May 19, 2012.

This is a new program for anyone to get the help needed to THRIVE with food.

Lunch Hour, The Movie: An In-Depth Look At The Lack Of Nutrition In School Food

by Diane Gold on April 16, 2012.

Our main article is a review of the worthwhile documentary, Lunch Hour, a spectacular look at our school food system with ways we can help change it.

Also in this issue…

The O Word And How Education Develops Sensitivity In Speaking About Weight Issues

by Diane Gold on February 20, 2012.

I’m really excited about this week’s main essay. It touches upon some of the most important issues for family members and friends of and those who struggle with extra body weight.

Also in this issue…

Food Education: Who’s Doing It And Who’s Responsible For It?

by Diane Gold on February 13, 2012.

This week, our main article talks about food education and school nutrition. Our kids spend the bulk of their day in school. This means the food they eat will either come from home, school or a nearby store. Florence Bernard, our education expert, gives her insights on whether or not our education system prepares our kids with nutrition knowledge.

Also this issue…

The Avocado Story And Fat Can Be Good

by Diane Gold on January 16, 2012.

Our main article comes from Anahad O’Connor and Dave Lieberman from their book, The 10 Things You Need To Eat. It talks about why avocados are healthy for you and why their fat is good fat.

Also in this issue…

New Year’s Resolutions That Work: Weight Loss, 2012

by Diane Gold on January 2, 2012.

This article recognizes why we make New Year’s resolutions and targets weight loss resolutions and why some work better than others. Giant resolutions tend to be much harder to keep since they require much more staying or maintenance power, which can be a newly learned behavior, over time.

Also in this issue…

How To Break A Food Trance

by Diane Gold on December 19, 2011.

Our featured essay is an interview with Sharon and Glenn Livingston, PhDs and experts on emotional eating. This transcription and the audio below highlights some of the most straight forward ways to combat what happens when you go into a food trance.

Also in this issue…

Food Education: Who’s Doing It And Who’s Responsible For It?


by Florence Bernard

FoodmanIn my constant endeavor to understand what is going on in schools, it has been one of my big concerns to comprehend the lack of emphasis on nutrition in schools in this country.

OK, I am French so I realize that I come from a culture where food has a different place.  But whether you almost worship quality food or you just feed yourself, the fact remains that your body needs certain nutrients, vitamins and calories to function properly.

I can’t tell you the number of headaches that get cured by a simple glass of water in schools.  Why?  Because kids either forget to drink or drink sodas all day long, which not only makes them more hyper but thirstier as well. Plus, they get a buzz at the time, don’t get any hydration and actually literally “crash” an hour later.

Needless to say, this is not a very productive way to live at school. Children who are half asleep don’t exactly perform very well.

French FriesThe choice of food is also crucial. I once had a student who stopped at a well-known fast food drive through (which I won’t name to avoid any publicity!) every morning and wondered why her daughter was complaining of stomach ache every day and systematically missed the first class.

Yes, fast food served in those places has nothing good for you!  In case you didn’t know.
[Publisher’s Note: the marketing budgets for many fast food restaurants are vast, so the information publicized focuses on the flash and bang of selling and not the side effects of eating poorly. How do these companies generate wealth when their products cause so many negative results? They have a beautiful and systematic approach to running a business. Some have the simplest, almost fool-proof business model that can be respected from a commerce perspective. Whether these organizations have thought about how their food builds a mindset that mis-educates consumers, especially children, is an interesting topic. One would think that multi-nationals who have achieved such status would take a stand and help rather than lead the public in food myths. But that is a discussion for another day.]

I am not just talking about potential weight problems here. I am talking about energy levels, performance and moods. A lot of kids stuff themselves with chips and snacks that have no real nutrition all day long. In the end, they become aggressive because they are still hungry. If they don’t know it, their bodies do and express it.

Response and concentration levels are directly linked to nutrition and yet there is barely any effort to feed children properly. School lunches are, for the most part, lacking. School dieticians just fill kids’ stomachs and send them on their merry way.

Food LessonWorse still, very little is taught about practical, everyday nutrition. Yes, in biology class, students learn about the different food groups; they learn about carbs, fats and sugars…But kids are not taught to EAT the right way.

I don’t know why there isn’t a What Should I Eat 101 course in every high school. Or even before. And if not a program for kids, there is certainly a need for parents to learn about food. Many parents think they are doing the right thing, but how should they know? They were never educated on the topic themselves.

So as a parent and to fulfill your responsibility, it is your job as a parent to make sure that you educate yourself about nutrition. And more importantly, you have to lead by example.  Kids eat what their parents give them. They crave for the treats that their parents have gotten them used to. If you start giving your kids healthy snacks when they are young, they will want healthy snacks.

Don’t listen to TV commercials. Do your own research and find out what will work for you and your family.  You don’t have to make drastic changes. That probably wouldn’t work anyway. But little by little, change your diet, change your habits and let your kids follow. You will see improvements in many areas of their lives.


After hearing about the lack of food ed in the schools, it’s important to do something. As Florence says, not listening to commercials and doing research will help.

When will we take the step to outline what needs to be taught in the schools? Almost like a project. Then conduct Food 101 in the home, and make sure your kids are proficient enough to bring up the discussion in school. That way, they can reinforce their knowledge, pass it on and develop the education process.


Please leave your comments below and follow us on twitter: @warriorsoweight.


Florence Bernard has that special way of being able to tell it like it is so that both parents and kids can benefit and follow her methods. The answer is usually in plain site.

Florence is an internationally acclaimed teacher, a parent consultant and the author of Better At School. She has developed strategies to get the best out of her students, their families and teaches them the joy of learning. You can read more about Florence on our Experts Page and get her book at: