© Jacquelyn Johnston, M.Ed. Diabesity Coach
Did you see that a heart-warming news clip on TV today? The Children’s Bridge Foundation in Canada brought 10-year-old Vietnamese orphan Son Phan here for “extreme” health care three years ago.
The Children’s Hospital in Boston has been treating him to remove a football-sized tumour on his face. Son Phan has already had 23 operations, and is hoping to return to Vietnam in January looking much better, and ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year in February.
The Canadian Foundation has been hosting Son for three years, and the child, who came with no English now speaks it as if the manor born. He just adores hockey, favouring the Pittsburgh Penguins.
When he returns to Vietnam he will have had the benefit of Canadian hosting as well as the generous services offered free by the surgeons at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass.
Son’s 24th operation will be on Christmas Eve, but when interviewed he said he was looking forward to it just before boarding the plane for Boston. A stunning example of the resilience of children. In tandem with that, a perfect example of how things get done when we share a friendly professional handshake across the border. I love those stories.
Many health issues in both our countries could be solved with cross-border cooperation: the climate crisis, the obesity crisis and the diabesity one, to cite a few. Did you know that kids have been getting it at record rates?
As the holiday season approaches its highest point we see the ads get over the top. Our malls look like fairyland, there’s obviously going to be a white Christmas in many cities, and sugary treats abound. In fact, it looks like the season of downing as much sugar as possible. Our kids are facing a future with diabetes.
A friend who has a lot of official parties to attend tells me he keeps seeing the same appies at various company events. Judging by the ads we see all over the city, as well as in the media, we have been conditioned to consume enough to look like Santa Claus, drink enough to fail a breathalyzer, then sleep it off if we make it home alive.
The part that makes me wonder is this: is the Holiday Season designed to help us get diabetes overnight? Take a look at the number of sweet treats like cookies that have an extra layer of sugar sprinkles on top. The chips that turn into sugar before the meal even starts. The appies that get swiftly converted into sugar. The gravy thickened with flour.
The alcoholic drinks that wash it all down—many of them have more calories than a piece of cake. All these are just peripherals. Then comes turkey overload, potatoes, wine and Christmas pudding (I know people who serve it with ice cream) or some such dessert. Enough to confuse an already-addled brain trying to sort out where to put it all!
I wonder if we’re trying to get high blood pressure, cholesterol, liver fatigue, kidney failure and scrambled brains all in one day. And encouraging our kids to while we’re at it?
It’s been said that if North America continues to eat as it does now there will be no more well people in 50 years’ time. And that includes our kids.
Have a merry Christmas, but look after your second brain—your gut as well. My family decided several years ago that we’d have all the traditional things, but in their lighter version. If you’d like to know what that includes feel free to drop me an e-mail or make a comment. See you in the next blog.
And enjoy the first day of winter tomorrow.
Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health