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Are We Hard-Wired to Over-Consume?

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Teri DluznieskiSome time ago the Washington Post Health Section included excerpts from comments made by a group of very senior level health care professionals. They are from a live round table the Post held. The topic is the global problem of non-communicable diseases, arising mainly from tobacco use, poor diet, alcohol and inactivity. A couple of comments caught my eye and fit this discussion:

* “…everybody is going to get a chronic disease if they live long enough.” (a former Dean at Hopkins School of Public Health)

* “We are hard-wired to over-consume; to look for fats and sugars and salt…” (Director of Global Health Affairs, HHS)

Wow, and OI! I am not convinced I agree with the experts opinions/ assertions.. but WOW, what a commentary it makes on the state of modern culture and society. If this is accurate and true: What have we come to, and where does this leave us?

There are numerous indigenous cultures that have high sugar environments- tropical regions etc.  Traditionally, they did not have over-consumption of their sugars and carbs. In fact, they were quite healthy in comparison to modern society.  And incidentally, when dental studies were done, in burial sites etc, it was found there was far less tooth decay than anticipated.  That called into question the whole sugar-cavity connection: calling in to question if cavities were the result of a more complex picture than simply too much sugar.

Anyway- my own thoughts.. on consumption.  I think the body has inherent wisdom and intelligence.  It does KNOW what it needs, over what it wants.  When we feed the body with what it needs- craving and hunger cease.  This is simple logic and biology.

The problem modern culture runs into (well, several problems, but one at a time:), is that collectively, we no longer KNOW what we need.  Instead, we keep seeking out what we think we WANT.  And that does not fulfill us- on any level.  Thus the hunger (physical, emotional and spiritual-energetic) craving continues.. sending us back for more of “something”..

The extreme example of this is illustrated by the book: Your Body’s Many Cries for Water (which I have not read, but am familiar with conceptually).  The idea being that very often the brain and the body mistake thirst for hunger.  The person keeps sending food, but remains “hungry.”  This is because the body was not requesting calories, but hydration.  This is worsened by living in a culture that consumes sugary drinks and caffeinated drinks that further deplete the body’s resources.

Another layer to the body losing its inherent intelligence, I think (not an expert here), is the vast number of children who are not “taught”  good nutrition growing up.  This is even further heightened by children who do not get healthy nutrition in utero.  I believe (again, not an expert), that the foods the mother eats imprint upon the infant.  High sugar diets when pregnant, or poor nutrient diets, somehow sort of “calibrate” the unborn baby with a map of what it’s own needs should be.  I would assume biologically, this would be a survival trait- increasing the chances of baby finding proper foods on its own.  I am fairly certain that babies whose mothers eat high sugar when pregnant, affects the babies desire/ need for sugar after it is born.

I will assume this then becomes a societal phenomena, as the child will have friends who are “like” them, and choose mates who are “like” them, and produce more and more children that perpetuate this ‘uninformed’ evolutionary thread.  On a positive aspect- I see more and more people who have become critically or chronically ill, for whom this becomes a wake-up call.  And based on the concept, I don’t want to die, or I don’t want to be in pain, people are choosing health and wellness and taking responsibility.  I wait for the tipping point, where the masses push back, likely with some righteous anger, against the faceless hungry corporations and marketing companies that have been selling them out.

Anyway- based on this premise- it seems that there is a perpetuating cycle- which would corroborate the experts’ perspectives.  Maybe this is what they are witnessing (?)….

Myself, I truly like and want to believe that both our bodies and our souls want true and genuine nourishment.  One way or another, we all get “there”.. since there is nowhere else to go.  Some people just take the scenic route. 🙂



I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education.  Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques.  I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.

Author of:
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book





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