WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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fitness & health "it's not always that easy to give up sugar" Despite these studies, some local experts think the focus on sugar is overplayed. Dr. Cheung notes that being overweight in itself – which can be caused by eating foods such as refined grains (white bread and white rice), potatoes, red meat, and processed meat, as well as sugar – can lead to the diseases just noted. In fact, Dr. Cheung, who lives in Wellesley and collaborated with Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh to write Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life (Harper Collins, 2010), says that obesity, not sugar, is the major dietary crisis is America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults and seventeen percent of children and adolescents aged two to nineteen are obese. Linda Nikolakopoulos, a dietitian at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Center for General and Weight Loss Surgery, also believes that obesity is the major dietary cri- sis in America right now. While she definitely thinks that sugar contributes to obesity and that consumers should avoid added sugars, she says, "One food is not responsible. To blame one additive is to disregard what leads to obesity," which she says often is the trio of fat, salt, and sugar. "If we start paying closer attention to what we are eating and buying at the grocery store, we're taking a good first step. " –Dr. Lilian Cheung So, what can we do to avoid sugar? As Wellesley-based nutritionist Julie Freeman notes, "Anything is better than what people are eating now." She notes, however, that it's not always that easy to give up sugar. Like some national researchers, she believes that refined sweeteners can be addictive. She says that, along with refined carbohydrates, fat, salt, and caffeine, sugar can "create an envi- 142 WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012

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