Below is a recap of the fascinating Donor Lightning Session, Hacking The Aging Clock: Longevity Starts in Childhood. The session featured a presentation by Eat REAL’s Chief Pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene, in conversation with Stephanie Erazo, CEO and Health Entrepreneur + Eat REAL Philanthropic Leadership Board Member.
Dr. Greene shared that many schools are food deserts today, yet we can make every school in America a food oasis. The realities of how destructive our food system is today for our children and how fast it’s making them age was shocking.
Our key takeaways:
“Every bite of food is an investment in our health or a debt.” – Dr. Alan Greene
Longevity starts in childhood
It’s key to ensure kids have access to nutritious food at school and beyond to support longevity. In the list of the top 25 foods American kids consume today, the only vegetable was french fries, and the only fruit was sugary apple juice. We have a lot of work to do. We’re not investing enough in our kids’ health.
The agriculture industry figured out how to accelerate aging in animals, and the food industry is doing the same to our kids.
By giving animals sweetened beverages, starches/refined carbohydrates, antibiotics, hormones, and a sedentary lifestyle, they mature at a much faster rate. In children today, puberty is beginning earlier and earlier largely due to our processed food diets that are high in sugar and starch. These ultra-processed foods have caused processed-food related diseases in children to double since the 90s. The food industry is speeding up our aging clocks.
It’s key to think about your weekly rhythm.
Did you know that in addition to our biological daily ‘circadian’ rhythm, we have a ‘circaseptan’ weekly rhythm? During the pandemic and shelter in place, nutritious meals and rituals like cooking together can support a healthy weekly rhythm.
Just two of the many inspiring quotes they shared:
“Limited access to healthy food is a generational curse. We have the power to break that generational curse. Healthy eating habits and education can be what we pass down.”
– Stephanie Erazo
“I firmly believe in intergenerational health. It starts with teaching kids and creating a place – school- where there are abundant healthy food options that they love.”
– Dr. Alan Greene
Please check out the full video and share it with your friends, families, colleagues, schools, and other networks.
***If you can support our #BackToSchoolHealthier campaign, please visit eatreal.org/donate or our giving guide so we can help make >600 schools become food oases this year.
Here is a link to the recap of our clubhouse conversation about the topic.