Chiropractor Leads Teens Through Grocery Store Teaching About Healthy Eating
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 04:20 PM

Too many teens are eating highly processed junk food and drinking sugary drinks. It's no surprise that a diet high in fat and calories leads to excess weight. In Michigan, nearly one out of every three children ages 10-17 is considered obese.  "This is just not acceptable," said Shelby Township chiropractor Dr. Chad McKernan.

Since knowledge is power, McKernan is working with area schools and community organizations in an effort to teach teens and adults how to navigate a grocery store to find healthy choices.  On Dec. 11, McKernan led the "Shop With A Doc" event at Walmart in Sterling Heights. During the roughly two-hour field trip, 26 sophomores from Fraser High School toured the store's grocery department.

"The healthier choices are found on the outside perimeter of the store," McKernan said. "That's where you will find the fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy, lean meats.”  The products found on the inner aisles may be full of "toxic food additives," McKernan said, and should be avoided when possible. McKernan said shoppers should limit or stay away from pasteurized dairy, refined grains and sweeteners, most vegetable oils, fruit juice, soft drinks and iodized salt.

Sugar should also be avoided, but that might not be as easy as it may seem. Sugar is everywhere, from mayonnaise to lunch meats. As a result, Americans consume an average of 120 pounds per year per person. In the early 1900s, the typical family took in just five pounds a year. "Our bodies can't adapt to that much sugar," McKernan said.

For many teens, chips and soda are too often staples in their diets. Recognizing this, McKernan offered healthier choices including Zevia, a soft drink that's sweetened using a natural sugar called Stevia; and chips made from natural potatoes (instead of genetically modified potato products) and seasoned with sea salt.

Super foods that McKernan recommended include coconut, olive oil, avocados, certain greens such as kale and collards, wild fish, broccoli, nuts, berries, eggs and game meats. Drink plenty of water and eat to live, McKernan instructed. "Here is the beauty of nutrition: Eat whenever you are hungry and eat until you are full," he said.

Matt Fishburn, a physical education and health teacher at Fraser High School, said the tour was a useful way to demonstrate how to purchase food. "It was great practice for them to walk through the store and look for the good and the bad," he said. 

Twenty-six students from Fraser High School toured the grocery department at the Walmart in Sterling Heights along with Shelby Township chiropractor Dr. Chad McKernan.