All across the country, HealthCorps is schooling teens on nutrition, but in a very good way. Considering a national study called The Sugar Gap Study that gave America an F on its nutrition report card, we decided it is time to partner with HealthCorps and close the gap on America’s nutrition know-how: only one out of ten Americans are aware of the hidden sugars in the foods we eat. You know that eating sugar is bad, and it’s easy to identify the obvious culprits such as candy, cookies and other sweets. But there’s also something you’ve heard me talk about called the Hidden Sugar Effect, where certain foods turn into sugar when you eat them. You can’t see the sugar in these foods (for example, in a bagel), but your body can. And these hidden sugars have an impact on skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes in America.
For these reasons, Atkins has partnered with HealthCorps, a national non-profit founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, to empower teens to develop good nutrition habits, make smart food choices and learn about the Hidden Sugar Effect. So far we have taught more than 1,000 students at high schools across the country using an interactive curriculum that features three key lessons:
“Sugar Goggles” – The virtual reality experience that lets students make food choices and shows how the body responds; low-sugar foods give steady energy and high-sugar foods cause spikes and crashes
- “Think Before You Drink” – Students line up beverages from highest to lowest in sugar – it’s not as easy as it sounds
- “Understanding Diabetes” – Kids role play food in the body to see how diabetes happens
Students have rave reviews for the program so far:
“Instead of the Xbox, I would definitely have the Sugar Goggles,” said Sharpstown High School Student Carlos Sanchez in Houston, Texas.
“It was actually cool. I was kind of flying and picking up which ones are better,” said Sharpstown High School Student Jhoan Castano in Houston, Texas. “I learned that it’s better if you eat healthy ‘cause you got more power.”
“I never knew cheese was healthy,” said a Ginn Academy student in Cleveland, Ohio. “Like, I thought cheese was always bad for you, so I never use it a lot, but now I’ll start using it a lot.”
“If you don’t take care of your body, it’ll break down and once you get older, you won’t be able to do anything like walk and be on this earth and this earth is an amazing thing to be on,” said a Ginn Academy student in Cleveland, Ohio.
With HealthCorps, we are reaching teens with the important message about hidden sugars, what they are, how to identify them, tips to reduce them and some good eat this/eat that comparisons. And this is knowledge teens can use for a lifetime.
For more information, you can go to HiddenSugar.com.