Protecting our children. And not just from predators.

How about protecting them from their top killers?

Asked yesterday about the horribly sickening story this past week at Penn State, President Obama said that hopefully it would help people get their priorities in order; particularly as it relates our number one responsibility in life — that of protecting our children. This message has been repeated thousands of time in the media in the past few days. Namely that the sad situation at State College, PA is not about football; it’s all about doing the right thing for our children.

The pied piper of the 21st century; any guesses about what's driving that high cholesterol in kids?

What about protecting them from disease? A few thoughts come to mind. It’s fairly safe to say that all parents want to protect their children from sexual predators. Further, they want to protect them from all bodily harm and that includes harm that results from disease. We know that parents everywhere truly want to do the right thing, but the health of our children is getting worse every year.

Just this week, there was news about about new medical recommendations to begin cholesterol screening for all children between 9 and 11. From the guidelines written by the NHLBI and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the “the screening should then be repeated at 17 and 21 years of age.” (reported by Forbes; link to article below.). The article continued:

“Previous targeted screening missed more than 50 percent of children with high cholesterol,” McBride told ABC News. “Atherosclerosis begins very early in life, even in infancy for children with genetic cholesterol problems. So increased screening is a necessary step.”

Yes, atherosclerosis does begin very early in life, and it’s not just because of genetics. It’s much more than likely driven by the extremely high cholesterol diet that Americans everywhere are feeding their children. And because of that same toxic diet, type 2 diabetes is also beginning much earlier in life. And adults are making sick jokes about it. Seth Myers on SNL (11-12-11) mentioned that Burger King was now giving away free crowns for the kids, joking that they could now be the “King or Queen of Diabetes.”

Sick humor to be sure, but clearly indicative of the fact that everyone really knows what is causing the majority of health problems for our kids.

They know it’s the food, but reminiscent of the behavior of the Catholic Church and Penn State, millions of parents and institutions are pretending that the problem doesn’t exist. Or that there would be too many problems if they tried to fix it. And millions of kids are suffering as a result.

They’re becoming obese & developing type 2 diabetes in record numbers, testing for high cholesterol, reaching puberty way too early, and laying the foundation for all kinds of cancer later in their lives. The innocent children are paying the price of our greedy, profit-driven “system” that controls our food supply AND the information that we hear about food.

Whose fault is it? In my opinion, culpable parties include all of those parents or groups that know, or suspect, that food is the main problem — but are not taking any action to correct it. Those groups include:

  • The federal government (The USDA, FDA, etc.)
  • The food companies that market unhealthy products to kids
  • The restaurant chains that are so famous for unhealthy foods
  • Academia, particularly the schools of nutrition who fail to tell us the whole truth about our food and its ability to promote health or cause disease
  • The schools of medicine and the AMA

In speaking with Dr. Campbell last week about this topic, he told me that he remains the only nutritional scientist in the United States willing to tell the complete truth about our food — the ONLY ONE! There are many other scientists who know that his findings are based on good science and that they are true. But taking a stand would not be good for their careers. 

Ever since the Penn State story broke and the media started talking about the fact that the primary scandal was not that young boys had been violated, but rather the massive cover-up that had been in place for decades. And the same thing is happening when it comes to our food.

Although it is unanimous that our primary responsibility as adults is protecting our children, that responsibility strangely does not seem to include seeking the truth when it comes to protecting protecting them from their #1 killers — the diseases that are driven by what they eat. Maybe this Penn State scandal will be a wake-up call in ALL things that affect the welfare of our children.

Coincidentally, during the past week, I posted two blogs that are particularly relevant to this topic today. The first was a hard look at the kids menus across our great land; Deadliest oxymoron on Earth — Healthy Kids Menu. The second was a review of exactly what medical doctors learn about nutrition in med school and what they do with that limited knowledge on behalf of their patients; M.D.’s nutritional knowledge. A review.

Finally, a call to action. We all agree that protecting our children from sexual predators is essential in our roles as parents; to protect them from danger that could harm them or lead to a lifetime of mental health issues.

So, why can’t we agree to take the same unanimous action to protect the physical health of our children — by simply teaching them the diet-style that will promote vibrant health for their entire lives? Until we take that action and challenge the huge interconnected “system” that controls what we eat; we are all complicit in the horrors of health that our children are destined to endure.

Taking action now will prevent them from experiencing the horrors of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. As a parent, it is your responsibility to truly learn what is best for your children. And while our government and many of our health institutions are not making your jobs any easier, The lives of all the children are depending on it.

This heart-warming video has been seen over 11 million times; maybe it will help people everywhere “see” some very important things differently. 

Need some help? Start with Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Disease Proof Your Child and Dr. Colin Campbell’s The China Study. For a concise description of the “big picture” challenge that we face, our book has been called the Reader’s Digest on this crucial topic; Healthy Eating – Healthy World. All can be found through Amazon at our online store.

J. Morris Hicks, author and activist. Working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page.

And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

Controversy Over Cholesterol Testing for Children – Forbes.

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Children, Food Policy, Social Challenges. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Protecting our children. And not just from predators.

  1. Leo M. Schwaiger says:

    Another great article. Children should be tested early because of the food the average person eats. An article stated that they would like to get to the age of eight as the goal to begin giving statins to the children. Are they concerned about their health or how to make more money on tests and drugs? Some time ago a doctor in England was complimented because he suggested that statins be given out with the burgers in fast food restaurants. People can’t see the forests for the trees. Constantly treating the symptoms without getting rid of the causes. That’s because they are interested in “managing” conditions without losing income rather than improving someone’s health so they can reduce or eliminate medications and/or their side effects.

  2. Timothy Morris says:

    I take exception to the negative comments re Whole Foods. If there were enough of us vegans to support a quality market that would be great. Meanwhile, they are the only local source of many vegan and otherwise health alternative food products. Our relatively small city of Ann Arbor, Michigan is fortunate to have two Whole Foods, a Trader Joe and the excellent Peoples Food Coop to supply the choices we want and need.

    Timothy Morris

    • jmorrishicks says:

      I agree with you Timothy; it’s not the fault of the grocers. We are fortunate to have access to fresh foods of all varieties 365 days a year. Successful businesses must deliver what the market demands. And Whole Foods is actually trying to drive that demand to more health-promoting plant-based foods.

  3. Jane Timmons says:

    Don’t give up. I’m an elementary teacher, and our children want to learn about food and nutrition. AND, they’re willing to try new things with our encouragement and our assurance that they don’t have to change all at once. Really. They’re just like most of us when we were first “blinded”.
    Faith, Patience and Persistence,

  4. This is the best blog you have written…powerful and to the point but unfortunately who is listening? Not my idiot son and daughter because they both
    eat SAD, and so will their children. And isn’t this true for all of America?

    I have another gripe and that is the hypocrisy of the Whole Foods empire. I walked through the store last Sunday and what a joke that was. Where is the Vegan (plant based foods) featured. Yes, they do have produce but I was overwhelmed by all the animal products they sell. And now they are going to conduct wellness classes. How do you sell a steak and then have a class on broccoli?

    I give up-it’s never going to happen-the changing of the world.

    Eat more broccoli!

  5. cacatua21 says:

    Very good analogy between the the Penn State cover-up and what goes on in the food industry today!

  6. Jean Myers says:

    Thank you for this powerful blog!

  7. Les Sukenik says:

    One of your best blogs! I could not agree more that all parents need to help educate themselves and their children on the benefits of a whole foods lifestyle. I try to relay to my children the importance in making smart educated decisions on what and how we eat but they just will not listen. We really need a wake up call to change the tide! Keep up your wonderful commentaries!

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