I just happened to see this on my blogroll and read through the show (hubby is working next to me so I had to respect the silence code...)
Gluten triggered IBS and Twisted Food Politics
Anyway the whole thing is REALLY interesting (as his things usually are), both the gluten/wheat stuff and the stuff on how all the nutritionists are paid by Big Food companies (there's a project on studying critically CSR!). But what mostly struck me was his description of a sugar binge that he had experienced with his girl and his reflections on that (he didn't let his girl dig into what the rest of the kids were eating, he said she is gluten-intolerant...haha same ol' ol', I have increasingly heard other parents having this strategy that also we adopted, and we did it for a reason, not only wanting to protect our kid from unhealthy stuff).
Anyway this is his reflection:
What struck me about that is that I’m really convinced that all of those parents want the best for their kids, and as a parent myself, I think that for most parents that’s true. But what I also was thinking about at that time is that — And I was sitting there going, OK, so what’s happening here? Do these parents just not even think about it? Or do they think about it and go: Oh, yeah. We know sugar’s not that great, but so what. It’s not the end of the world, and they’ll live. You know, just kind of discounting how significant of an issue it will be? Or do they know it’s an issue but they feel socially awkward about saying no, which I think was maybe the case for some of them? Or was it some combination of all of that? I don’t know, but it struck me that it was, I think for at least a significant portion of those people, just not really on their radar. And when their kid later, like an hour or two later, goes home and is like a complete basket case, they’re not even going to make the connection between the food that their kid was eating and the behavior later on. My wife used to run a preschool co-op, and she saw this firsthand all the time. The kids that would eat all of this sugar and flour were just wrecks later, and their parents did not understand that connection. And she struggled a lot with what was appropriate for her to talk about with them, and I just think it’s still, even with the increased awareness of food and the role of food in health, I think a lot of parents just don’t really get the connection.
I have many many many times thought about this thing. So many times that I almost went crazy for a while reflecting on it. For a while I haven't had to deal with it, maybe because we have been living in our own little bubble for almost half a year now...
But the conclusion I have made can be explained in two hypotheses (except for what Chris mentions above, that are all valid points as well): either parents act as they do because they haven't dealt with their own problematic relation to sugar, or they simply have never ever had a problematic relation to sugar and thus do not understand that others (including their own kids) can develop a problematic relation to sugar. As long as you haven't said goodbye to this harmful product you cannot pass on other values to your kids. And recognizing you yourself have a problem is the first and biggest step of them all....
Lately, I have allowed myself to have some milk in my coffee and have a milk chocolate now and then (today after the crappy lunch for example... I should really bring my own food to work... its so not worth eating there...). Still, I know the risks and so far I have been able to keep it at that. But the day I find myself binging, I'll be sure to cut it all out again, the dark chocolate included!