Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Why do Americans eat junk food?

I had heard this before, but Food, Inc. developed the theme with a brief look at the eating habits of one lower income family. "I can't afford good food," says the mother. It would be far better for her family--and especially her diabetic husband--if they were to eat vegetables, but a small helping of vegetables would cost more than a hamburger at a fast food restaurant. So fast food it is . . . as the family suffers the consequences of obesity and diabetes.

Reader's Digest featured a brief "Best of the Blogs" article in its October issue called Why That Salad Costs More than a Big Mac.

Look where federal food subsidies go--and then compare them to government dietary guidelines (which have problems themselves, but . . .)
Meanwhile, the government is proposing to take over our healthcare system. Who can afford healthcare nowadays, right?

But the largest factor in medical costs today? --The result of lousy nutrition.

So the federal government subsidizes not just poor nutrition, but actually debilitating nutrition . . . so that . . . what? It can subsidize the resulting necessary medical expenses?

Does this make sense?

Life Extension Magazine, October 2010 said,
Similar to the deferred effects of cigarette smoking, medical costs associated with obesity-related diseases are mostly postponed. This means that society has only begun to pay the enormous healthcare expenses that will accrue as overweight individuals succumb to cancer, vascular occlusion, kidney failure, diabetes, arthritis, early senility, and other illnesses.

The federal government’s meager steps to combat this calamity have failed. The evidence can be seen by the fact that nearly three times more Americans are obese today compared to 1960. A more startling statistic is that six times more Americans are morbidly obese (body mass index 40 and above) than in 1960.

Obese individuals (body mass index 30 and above) now comprise over one-third of the American population. Another one-third is overweight (body mass index of 25-29). The majority of Americans are thus destined to suffer higher incidences of degenerative diseases than this nation’s healthcare system can afford.
There's more, but I'll stop here.

Maybe those of us who can afford to eat properly ought to eat properly, despite government incentives to eat poorly. After all, it wasn't that long ago the average American family spent 30 percent or more of its income simply to eat. Few of us would need to approach anything close to that number to eat only healthy foods and all organic all the time.

But let us not "even" go that far. What if we "simply" modulate our intake of the truly awful "foods" (y'know, like soda pop, white-flour-and-sugar based sweets, French fries, potato chips and other similar deep-fried snacks), and what if we determined to eat at least half a pound a day, per person, of the cruciferous and deep green leafy vegetables? Those few changes might create a revolution in our personal health statistics.
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