Americans are notoriously bad about their diets.
IF we weren’t, our health issues would not be news’ fodder.
We have, as a nation, high incidences of obesity, heart attacks, high cholesterol, strokes, and diabetes.
Poor choices leads to poor health.
We are literally killing ourselves with our overindulgence and for some, poor food choices.
We also allow corporate America to dictate what we put into our bodies. How many of us have watched a show (even late at night) and the tantalizing hamburger commercial (insert your own food weakness here) pops up…instant craving.
Some of the worst foods are also the cheapest, thanks to farm subsidies that artificially depress the price of corn, which is processed into a wide array of products. Even Americans who can physically access grocery stores that carry fresh and healthy food often can’t afford it. And with Congressional Republicans trying to cut $4bn from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP, also known as “food stamps”) which benefits the poorest Americans, the ability to pay a little more to buy vegetables and brown rice instead of frozen pizza – not to mention the time to prepare a wholesome meal – is simply out of reach for too many of us.
…[e]ven outside of low-income households, eating nutritiously can be a challenge. The explosion of chain restaurants has put many smaller places out of business, hurting local cultures and erasing eating traditions. The US is a big place, and McDonald’s is hardly the heart and soul of our food culture; but the more that TGI Friday’s replaces local haunts or makes their businesses unsustainable, the more homogenous our plates look. Chain restaurants have the added benefit of ordering enormous quantities of meal ingredients wholesale, which means they’re able to produce bigger portions for less money. Several centuries of large-scale immigration to the United States shaped our cultural identity as a land of plenty, and that ethos remains woven into our politics, our values and our eating habits. We gravitate toward these large-plate, low-cost restaurants because they hit a sweet spot in our cultural values: bigger, more, for less.
I am just as guilty. Heart Disease and diabetes runs on both sides of my family. Because of my poor choices, I am now paying for it with my health.
It’s a wake up call.
I often chose to ignore it in the past but can no longer afford to do so. Time for a change. Time to grow up and face the music. Time to make wiser decisions since this is the only life I have and I don’t plan on checking out any time soon…