Sugar – What are the Negative Side Effects?

Sugar SucroseWhat is sugar?
Sugar is a kind of carbohydrate. There are two main types of simple sugars: glucose and fructose. The two main types of sugar are white and brown sugar. White sugar is commonly known as “table sugar,” which is used in most households to make food.Brown sugar has some surface molasses syrup.


Types of sugar:   raw sugar, brown sugar, refined sugar (castor sugar), white sugar,  liquid sugar, glucose syrup, treacle (unprocessed sugar), sugar crystals and powdered sugar

Brown sugar is used for foods that are thicker and denser such as cookies, cakes and pies.

Sugar in all foods

Sugar is often added to sauces, casseroles, salad dressings, gravies, fruit glazes, and in  many baked foods

Sugar is also used to enhance the taste of food and is found as an ingredient in an abundance of foods. These foods include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Breakfast  – waffles, pancakes, cereal, pastries, scones, granola
  • Lunch – soups, juices, sodas, bread, and yogurt
  • Dinnerdinner rolls,  mashed potatoes, stews, pastas, casseroles


What is glucose and why do we need it?

Blood glucose levelsThe human body breaks down the carbohydrates we eat to create glucose. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Sugar can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.

Glucose processThe quick absorption of sugar creates energy boosts. Glucose is turned into glycogen and stored in the liver. The liver has the capacity to store only 100 grams of glucose in the form of glycogen. Excess glycogen will be stored as fat in the adipose tissues of the body.

How much sugar do we need?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently drafted new guidelines on sugar intake. The World Health Organization states that “sugars should be less than 10% of the total energy intake per day….Five percent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).” These new guidelines were based on results from numerous scientific studies on sugar.

Sugar in DrinksHow much sugar do we consume?
Sugar and foods with sugar are made readily available for purchase in grocery stores, local businesses and schools. Fast food restaurants sell many food items that contain white and brown sugar. Public schools have vending machines that dispense snacks and carbonated beverages. The Western diet is composed of countless low-cost, high processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. Many of these carbonated beverages contain more than 40 grams of sugar in one serving, which is more than the recommended daily intake of sugar.

Child eating Frosted FlakesOne serving of frosted flakes cereal has roughly 38.7 grams of sugar, and one box of 8 chocolate chip cookies has over 39 grams of sugar. An article written by Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt, and Claire Brindis from the University of California, San Francisco titled The Toxic Truth about Sugar states that “Currently, each US citizen consumes an average of 216 liters of soda per year, of which 58% contains sugar…” Excessive amounts of sugar will lead to weight gain, and an increase in the likelihood of acquiring diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

Sugar AddictionWhat are the negative side effects of sugar?
Consuming white sugar has its benefits such as giving your body the energy it needs and maintaining a healthy look for the skin. However, consuming sugar has its negative side effects. Sugar, not derived from natural sources, has no nutritional value or healthy fats. The consequences of eating too much white sugar are provided, but are not limited, in the following:

  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Hepatic Dysfunction
  • Type 2 Diabetes

What are Diabetes Symptoms?

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetis a metabolic illness. With Type 2 Diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin isn’t being used properly in the body. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Health Library writes that over 23 million people in the United States have Type 2 Diabetes. The illness can cause nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage, eye damage and many other life threatening complications.


What can you do to reduce your sugar intake?
Sugar has many dangerous consequences. It’s important to understand the risks associated with the consumption of sugar and make positive lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of acquiring a metabolic illness. The Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute provides tips for reducing excess sugar intake in the following:-Read food labels and choose less sweet alternatives.

  • Reduce the amount of sugar added to drinks, porridges, cakes, puddings, desserts, etc…
  • Spice up dishes with ginger, pimento, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and other spices.
  • Use more fruits and less sugar in cakes. Dried fruits such as raisins and prunes give a sweet “bite”.
  • Use dried or fresh fruits in cereals and porridges e.g, raisins or ripe banana
  • Don’t over-do your intake of sweet fruit juices. Use smaller amounts and dilute the water or vegetable juice.


World Health Organization
University of California, San Francisco
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Health Library
Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute 





Hang Pham, MBHA Health EducatorThis article is written by Hang Pham. Hang Pham is a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator. Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam. She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website

The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.




Demystifying Acupuncture – Part 1: Yin and Yang — The Wisdom of Your Body


Yin Yang

Yin Yang

The Ancient Practice of Acupuncture
The ancient practice of acupuncture is deeply rooted in the mysticism of eastern philosophy and spirituality. Much of the power of this healing system does in fact stem from the elegant intertwining of art and poetry with anatomical fact and medical science. Many of the concepts used to explain how acupuncture works, such as the dynamic interplay of the “feminine” and “masculine” forces of Yin and Yang, or the movement of vital energy known as Qi (pronounce “chee”), can be difficult to comprehend at first. However, with a little time and patience it is possible to delve below the surface and discover a deeper understanding of acupuncture in practice. In a series of articles we will discuss acupuncture from several perspectives to gain insight into how it can help each of us attain and maintain optimal health, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

The Two Primary Forces in Nature
One of the most fundamental concepts in ancient Chinese philosophy is the balance of Yin and Yang, the two primary forces found in nature and within our bodies as well. Originally, these two terms referred to the shady (Yin) and sunny (Yang) sides of a hill. The classic symbol for Yin and Yang is the familiar circle comprised of half black and half white, separated by a sinuous line, with each half containing a small dot of the opposite color (the black side contains a small white dot and visa-versa). Essentially, Yin and Yang are two sides of the same thing, and such are equal yet opposite. For example, Yin represents nighttime, cold, rest, water, while Yang represents daytime, heat, activity, fire. The key point here is that Yin and Yang are not absolute states, but rather represent a relationship between different states of being. Just as nighttime turns into daytime, and back again, Yin turns into Yang and returns to Yin in an ongoing, endless cycle. This process occurs in our bodies as well: we eat food (substance, or Yin), which we digest and assimilate (activity, or Yang) to build muscles, bone, nerves and other tissues (Yin) that enable us to perform activities such as thinking, walking, talking (Yang).

Restoring the Inherent Physiological Balance of Yin and Yang
When the twin forces of Yin and Yang are in balance, then nature follows its course and we experience good health. One of the fundamental applications of acupuncture is to help restore and maintain the inherent balance of Yin and Yang so that all aspects of our body/mind/spirit continue to operate at an optimal level. As you are most likely aware from your own experience, the body has an intrinsic ability to restore the balance of Yin and Yang. Returning to the previous example, when our stomach is empty (lack of Yin), eventually it starts to rumble (Yang) and we, becoming hungry, go search for food (Yin). Once we eat, the Yang (activity) of the stomach is satisfied as it digests and moves the food down to the intestines for absorption. As another example, when we exercise and generate heat (a Yang phenomenon), our body cools itself by mobilizing water (Yin, through perspiration). One of the principles evident in this last example is that Yin and Yang also consume each other; in this case, the Yang heat consumes the Yin fluids. Assuming we eventually drink more fluid, the balance is restored and our body functions normally, maintaining the Yin/Yang balance.

The Mental, Emotional, and Psychological Function of Yin and Yang 
Thus far we have explored a few examples of Yin and Yang in terms of normal, healthy physiological function. We can also discuss these forces in terms of mental/emotional/psychological activity. As noted previously, thinking in general is considered more Yang in nature, while sleeping or some forms of quiet meditation would be more Yin in nature, although as one can see everything happens on a continuum, with Yang phenomena being defined relative to a more Yin phenomena. In the above example, thinking and meditating both involve mental activity, with the former being relatively more “active” than the latter. Certain emotional states show more Yang or Yin characteristics as well. We can all remember times of intense anger, which can be a very Yang, outward-directed emotional state, as compared to sadness or perhaps depression, where our spirit deflates or submerges, moving in an inward or Yin orientation. In a healthy person the Yin and Yang return to a balanced state, which doesn’t mean that the person never feels emotions, but rather that they avoid painful or dangerous extremes, much like a swing that moves in a gentle arc instead of careening from the highs of one emotion to the lows of its opposite.

Treating Yin and Yang Imbalance
With this background information on the nature of Yin and Yang as we experience it in human form in the context of normal health, the next matter is to explore situations where the Yin and Yang forces become imbalanced, creating disease, and to examine how acupuncture can help remedy these dis-harmonies and restore good health. As a first example, consider a person who is overweight; although weight gain may be caused by many factors, in general we can deduce a state of excess Yin. Some ways to approach this matter include: decreasing the consumption of Yin (eating less overall or perhaps eating smaller meals several times a day), promoting the discharge of the excessive Yin (through increased sweating, urination, bowel movements) and increasing the consumption of Yin (by increasing Yang, such as through increased exercise). As you can see from this example, some of the ways to correct the Yin/Yang imbalance involve changes in behavior, such as changing one’s diet or increasing the level of exercise. In general, for almost all imbalances or “diseases,” the first level of intervention should include lifestyle and behavior adjustments. Of course, in many situations other approaches are necessary to correct the Yin/Yang imbalance more fully. Going back to this example of weight reduction, the next level of intervention might include acupuncture treatment, along with further lifestyle counseling and nutritional and/or herbal supplementation. Here we will focus on how acupuncture can be employed to help correct this (and other) Yin/Yang imbalances.



Acupuncture Treatment for Yin and Yang Imbalance
In the above example our goal is to restore the Yin/Yang imbalance by moving and consuming the excess Yin, as well as limiting the generation of additional “excess” Yin. In terms of acupuncture treatment, our selection of treatment points depends on the specific circumstances of the patient in question. If the problem involves an excessive appetite (excessive intake of Yin), we would treat points that reduce appetite, including points on the ear that send messages to the hypothalamus (a control center in the brain) to control cravings. The appetite problem itself might stem from erratic blood sugar (glucose) levels, so in addition to reducing the patient’s dietary intake of simple sugars (refined breads, sweets/candies), we would treat points that help regulate blood sugar, such as points relating to the liver and pancreas. At the same time we would want to determine if the patient is eating excessively due to stress, anxiety, depression or some other mental-emotional imbalance. In that case we will focus the treatment to include points that assist in alleviating these conditions along with appetite control in general. Under conditions of excessive, chronic stress, the adrenal glands can become weak and under-produce hormones relating to water metabolism and stress adaptation. In this circumstance the body starts to move fat deposits into the abdomen, and the patient may appear overweight. The treatment here would need to include points to support the healthy function of the adrenal glands in addition to the other points mentioned above.

Determining a Change of Lifestyle and Plan for Future
After addressing appetite control/food intake, the next objective is to move and eliminate the excess weight/Yin already present. As before, here we need to determine what factors are involved in the inability to decrease the excess Yin. In some cases, the patient may have problems with elimination, such as constipation, that in itself will result in increased weight. Thus the logical treatment is to enhance elimination with acupuncture treatment, perhaps in concert with dietary intake of fiber-rich foods, extra fiber itself, or even gentle laxatives when necessary. Note that constipation can be due to a lack of Yin (such as intestinal dryness) or a lack of Yang (such as weakness in the intestinal musculature), such that our treatment principle changes a little accordingly, even though we are still seeking to eliminate Yin through the bowel movements. We previously discussed utilizing exercise to “burn” the excess Yin by increasing Yang (heat). We can also utilize acupuncture treatment to improve metabolism, such as by enhancing the function of the thyroid gland. In fact, part of our diagnosis should include checking the function of this gland, as a weak thyroid gland (a very Yang organ, since it is involved with metabolism) can lead to weight gain and coldness (another sign of too much Yin).

As you can see from the preceding discussion, the deceptively simple concept of Yin and Yang forces in nature can be the foundation for an elegant, holistic approach to restoring health and promoting wellness. The basic process we used to analyze this sample patient with a weight management problem can be used with almost any condition. In this discussion we examined health and disease exclusively through the lens of Yin and Yang theory, while in practice we usually incorporate additional perspectives, including the concept of Qi and the Five Elements, as well as various hands-on systems of assessment such as Hara (abdominal) diagnosis, which are all explained in separate articles of this series. The Yin/Yang theory is the oldest and most wide-reaching of all the concepts in this ages-old medical system, and thus is a perfect start for our continuing journey of exploration and discovery.


This article was written by Daniel Bagdadi, L.Ac., M.S.  For more information about the Alliance,contact us or visit Our Mission page on this blog.



30 Ways to Lose Weight Fast and Permanently

How can you lose weight fast and keep it off?  The majority of people in the United States are overweight, but how do you eat healthy, stay physically fit, and lose weight permanently? There are plenty of weight-loss diets out there, but what really works?

30 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

How do you lose weight? Everybody knows losing weight means cutting and burning calories, but here are 30 lifestyle changes to keep it off.

Everyone knows that the secret is cutting calories and burning calories but it also takes a change of lifestyle.  Losing weight and staying fit is not something that you can accomplish  sitting in front of the TV eating popcorn every night, but you can be successful if you are determined, disciplined and follow a plan to achieve your goal. Here are 30 great tips for changing your routine, in order to lose weight and keep it off permanently.

Exercise Pushup

Every weight-loss program should include physical fitness. Find a way to engage in physical fitness that is fun for you!

  1. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day, or if you are on a tight schedule, exercise several times during the day — for example, three 10-minute exercise sessions.
  2. Eat small meals often. Rather than eating one large meal and skipping meals, eat three healthy meals during the day, especially breakfast. Studies show that skipping meals causes can lead to overeating or snacking unhealthy foods later in the day.
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables. If your main entree is grilled, skinless chicken, and make the fruits and vegetables the largest portions on your plate and cut down on other foods.
  4. Weigh yourself every day. If you are conscious of your weight and the progress you are making, you are more likely to be successful.


    Keep track of what you eat and how much exercise you are doing and soon you will be aware of the cause of  weight loss or weight gain.

  5. Keep a journal, or food diary with you at all times.  Purchase a small notebook that is easy to carry in a suit pocket or purse. Practice being conscious of what you eat and recognizing particular situations or times of day when you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods. A food diary can help you make life changes.
  6. Remove unhealthy snacks from the house. This would include all fried foods, packaged snack items such as chips, pretzels, greasy pizza, buttery popcorn, etc, and sugary treats such as sugary sodas, candy bars, snack cakes, caramel corn, cookies, and ice creams or frozen treats. These foods are high in trans fats and have been found to trigger and increase the risk of many health problems and diseases.
  7. Store healthy snacks. After removing all unhealthy snacks from your home, be sure to fill your cupboard and refrigerator with healthy snacks.  The best snacks are organic fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, 100% juices, low-fat dairy products such as low-fat yogurt.
  8. Keep active with friends or family members, and plan physical activities together.  Have a physical fitness buddy to go bike riding with, play soccer, tennis, go to the gym, go dancing, etc. Choose activities several days a week that keep you moving rather than video-games or or movies.

    Cooking at home

    Cooking food at home is fun, helps to burn calories (rather than sitting around at a restaurant) and lessens the chance of making unwise choices. Be sure to have healthy foods in your refrigerator and eliminate packaged, high-fat or trans fat foods.

  9. Eat at home often rather than eating out at restaurants or fast food chains. When you eat at home you can control what food is available and eliminate unhealthy choices. Many restaurants typically provide more food than needed. If you have to eat at a restaurant, decide how much food you will eat and ask for a take-home box before eating. Box up the extra portions of food before eating your portion.
  10. Don’t use serving bowls. When preparing your food, put it on the plate instead of putting serving bowls on the table. Always serve yourself a little bit less than what you expect to eat. Bring the prepared plate to the table. Put away extra food that is left in the pot or pan before sitting down at the table.
  11. Fill up healthy. Always fill up on healthy foods throughout the day that are low in calories, such as celery, or fruit, so that when you are invited to eat a dessert or snack you won’t be as tempted or hungry.
  12. Make active choices to accomplish everyday chores.  Instead of going through a drive-through pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions, walk inside the store. Use a bike to visit a friend, instead of a car. Get down on your hands and knees and pull the weeds or scrub the floor, instead of using garden extension tools or a long-handled easy-clean mop. Walk the dog regularly.
  13. Never eat in front of TV.  Television viewing strongly affects how much and what people eat. People tend to continue to eat while watching.
  14. Vary your activities regularly in order to avoid exercise burnout. Walk, swim, dance, and engage in sports.
  15. Never eat from containers such as an ice cream carton, a Tupperware container, a package of cookies, or a bag of chips.  Instead, put the portion on your plate, and then put the container of food away. When you can see how much you’ve eaten on your plate you are less likely to eat more.
  16. De-stress before eating.  Engage in relaxation techniques before eating because stress causes people to eat more. Praying or saying grace before eating is not unwise. It helps to relax, surrender and let go of worries and eliminate stress. Other options are deep breathing exercises, meditation, stretching exercises, reading something amusing or humorous,  listening to relaxing music, and even chatting with friends and family about uplifting or inspirational thoughts or experiences.

    High fiber foods

    Starting the day with high fiber foods helps to reduce weight. What is high fiber? Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as oatmeal.

  17. Start with high-fiber or bran foods, such as oatmeal or high-fiber breads or bran cereals.  Studies show that people that start the morning with a high-fiber diet are less likely to gain weight.
  18. Buy a pedometer and add an extra 2,000 steps a day. On average, sedentary people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day.
  19. Walk 30-minutes a day. Walk to the store, walk down the street and give a basket of fruit to a neighbor. Walk the dog. Studies show that those who regularly engage in walking are more healthy and physically fit.
  20. Plan a week’s groceries. To prevent impulse buying, always plan a week ahead and make a detailed grocery list.  Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry and have skipped a meal.  Last-minute trips to the grocery store can result in buying snack foods or tempting foods on display in the bakery, snack aisle, or deli section, that are not on your healthy foods list.
  21. Have a craving plan. If you feel hungry and are feeling a craving for an unhealthy food, then do something active.  Drink a full glass of water, call a friend, write in your journal, paint a picture, clean the house, engage in sports, read a book, or do something that does not trigger thoughts of eating. Keeping your mind and body active will help to eliminate cravings.
  22. Reward yourself. If you have lost weight, reward yourself with nonfood rewards, such as going on that vacation you’ve dreamed of, buying new clothes, getting a new haircut or purchasing something for your home. Spend time listening to your heart and finding out how to truly love yourself.
  23. Find an on-line buddy. Studies show that online weight-loss partnering results in more successfully achieving weight-loss goals.

    Couple wearing blue

    Studies on the effects of color and color therapy show that blue can be an appetite suppressant whereas red tends to increases the appetite.

  24. Choose blue.  Wear the color blue more often and decorate your home with it. The color blue is an appetite suppressant, whereas the colors red, yellow, and orange have been found to increase the appetite.
  25. Use small plates. Get rid of large dinner plates and buy small plates. You are more likely to pile on the food if your plates are over-sized.
  26. Throw out large clothes. When you have lost weight, give away or throw out clothes that are too large for you. Keep only the clothes that fit or are “snug” on you. If you always keep large, over-sized clothes you will be less likely to lose weight.
  27. Use a mirror. If you eat in a dining room area, keep a mirror hanging on the wall opposite where you sit.  If you watch yourself in the mirror while eating, you are less likely to overeat.
  28. Read labels. When buying foods in the grocery store, read the labels.  Do not buy foods that are high in trans fats or are high in cholesterol, salt, or sugar.  Do not buy foods that have added corn syrup, food coloring, or food additives.
  29. Season smartly. Use salsa to season foods or spices such as curry, turmeric, pepper, basil, etc., instead of heavy, high-fat sauces such as gravy or butter.
  30. Increase calcium. Calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and breaks down fat.






Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.




Stop Childhood Obesity!

Stop Childhood Obesity

Has childhood obesity improved? What are the current statistics? How do we stop? Click, copy, download, and share.

Is childhood obesity improving?  What do recent research studies tell us about obesity in children? What can parents do to help?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, obesity is defined as a condition characterized by “the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
  • In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese
  • Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat
  • Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.

Recent childhood obesity research is encouraging.  A  recent long-term, nine year study conducted from 2003 – 2011, focused on poor, preschool children, ages three – four years of age.  Two cities were targeted in the United States – New York and Los Angeles.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention childhood obesity study showed that a decrease in childhood obesity occurred in New York during the nine year period from about 19%- 16% of the preschoolers.  But in Los Angeles obesity rose from 17% – more than 21% over the nine-year period,, then dropped to 20%.    Why would there be an increase in childhood obesity in Los Angeles and a decrease in New York?

Overweight ChildrenOne reason researchers believe there is such a difference is that statistics show that throughout the United States obesity rates are much higher in Mexican-American children than in African-American or Caucasian children, and there are more Mexican-American children in California.  Children in the study were enrolled in WIC (Women Infant Children) program, providing food vouchers and services to needy families.  The number of children enrolled in the program varied each year with as many as 67,000 in New York City and 150,000 in Los Angeles.  Other studies in Philadelphia, Anchorage, and Kearney, Nebraska also reported decreases in childhood obesity.

4 children obesity
Obesity can result in serious health problems and increase the risk of chronic or fatal health conditions as a child or an adult, including

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • stroke
  • several types of cancer
  • osteoarthritis
  • bone and joint problems
  • sleep apnea
  • social and psychological problems
  • metabolic syndrome
  • high blood pressure

Healthy childrenParents and schools need to play an active role in educating children about the serious consequences and dangers of childhood obesity.  Parents must determine if their child is overweight and promote a healthy lifestyle.  Teach children the importance of a daily exercise routine.  Provide fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and remove packaged foods from the home that are high in trans fats, cholesterol, and sugar.

Together we can educate and awaken awareness on childhood obesity prevention.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – “Obesity Prevalence Among Low-Income, Preschool-Aged Children — New York City and Los Angeles County, 2003–2011”
Stanford Hospital – “Health Effects of Obesity”
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute – “What Are the Health Risks of Obesity?”
Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America


Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.
 Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

Healthy Holiday Tips

Healthy Holiday Tips

Click to enlarge photo, and copy and share with friends. Holiday times are often times of stress upon the body, mind and spirit. Here are a few tips to help us maintain a healthy, happy, body.

Feeling stressed? For some this is a wonderful season of great joy and celebration, but for others it can be a challenging time of managing the temptation of overindulgence.  Often weight gain, fatigue, stress and communication challenges occur which lead us to unhealthy bodies, minds, and spirits.

How can we maintain optimum health while still enjoying these festivities with our families and friends?

Here are some great tips as a gift to you from the Alliance:

 1. Don’t skip meals beforehand
2. Keep plate sizes and portions small
3. Drink mostly water & limit alcoholic drinks
4. Make time for daily exercise routines
5. Eat 70% vegetables, and 30% other foods
6. Skip dressings, butter & gravy
7. Eat slowly and thoughtfully
8. Give away leftover dishes
9. Avoid stressful topics of conversation
10. Schedule time alone to rest and recharge
11. Keep up your spiritual disciplines
12. Avoid long hours watching TV or chatting
13. Trust and act on your inner guidance
14. Go for a walk after dinner
15. Be thankful and see lessons and blessings
16. Remember that you are lovable and valuable

AND of course, after the day is over, the melodic symphony of  sounds of family and friends has disappeared, the smells of baked goods has left the building, you’ve changed your clothes, washed your face, and everything is tidied up and put out of sight,…… join us folks here at the Alliance and tell us how you are doing.

We are and will always be your health and wellness friends.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!
~MBHA Staff and Volunteers