Dr. Oz is back, but not in his usual blue scrubs. Instead, he's dressed in pink— in honor of Jessica Seinfeld's book Deceptively Delicious—to talk about what our kids are eating.
He says there's a very good biological reason why it's so hard to get kids to eat their vegetables. In fact, they are hardwired to not like them. Dr. Oz says when our prehistoric ancestors searched for food, their children were most susceptible to poisons, which often taste bitter. So instead of liking something bitter—like broccoli—children tend to crave sweet and bland foods like dairy or chicken nuggets.
Children also have a biological reason not to like certain foods. Flavorful fruits and veggies may actually taste differently to kids than they do to adults. "An older adult has 3,000 taste buds," Dr. Oz says. "A kid has 10,000."
Dr. Oz says we run into problems when we don't allow our taste buds to mature. "That's the big challenge we have in America—we've infantilized our taste buds. When a 3-year-old wants hot dogs, a burger, fries, a shake, cola, that's not abnormal. When a 30-year-old wants those foods, we're in trouble."
This natural craving for fatty blandness and sweetness is part of why there are so many "white kids" in America, Dr. Oz says. "You know what a 'white kid' is? It's not the skin color, it's kids that only eat white—white flour, white bread, white rice, white sugar," Dr. Oz says. "They only eat white foods, because white foods are seen as being safe to them visually, emotionally, from a taste perspective."