I don’t think many of you will argue with me that our nation needs a serious health makeover. I’m encouraged that this year alone, we’ve seen more healthy options in our foods at the store, along with significant changes at the supermarket in terms of health food affordability. Yet, we still have a long way to go. Michelle Obama has been a huge part of helping our schools lunches become healthier, making Americans aware of added sugars in the diet, along with helping food companies eliminate trans fats from foods. Even Walmart began carrying more organic produce, due to the influence of Obama. Sadly, however, it’s not enough. With the recent talk of a new nutrition label coming out next year, I thought exploring some reasons our nation needs a health makeover would be important. Change is often scary, yet when it comes to our health in this nation, change looks like the only thing that might end up saving us from becoming the most unhealthy nation for the rest of time.
1. Highest Obesity
The top reason our nation needs a health makeover is we’re the number one country highest in obesity. With more money than most countries, more resources, and more opportunities to find healthy diets than most, this is inexcusable. Our nation needs a serious health makeover if only for the reason we’re eating ourselves to death. Obesity is more than just being overweight. It’s also not a stereotype, or a criticism, but instead, a true disease that can cause death if prolonged or taken too far. Organ failure can result from obesity, along with heart disease and other serious life-threatening issues.
2. Less Active
Americans are much less active today than ever before. This is another reason we need a serious health makeover, if you ask me. Sitting is being called the new smoking, due to the unhealthy effects if has on our health, and our weight. Years ago, people were often on their feet all day except for when sleeping or eating. Now, it’s rare when Americans don't sit for hours at a time during waking hours of the day, whether at work or at home. Over time, this contributes to heart disease, weight gain, and even depression.
This issue might not be something you’ve thought about, but one I feel is very important that contributes to our state of health as a nation. Most Americans are significantly unaware of where the foods that they eat each day come from. The chips, the meat, the cookies, the protein bars, and even the yogurt or vegetables are all good examples here. Do you really know what you’re eating, or where it came from? Do you know how long it took to get that food from its original state to the form it’s in when it makes it to your mouth? I think being more aware of where our food comes from, such as our meat, eggs, vegetables, etc., can help us not only appreciate them more, but also help us choose healthier choices. I’m willing to bet if everyone who ate conventional sources of animal products saw what happened to them from start to finish, that they’d switch to organic. Or, if we also saw how processed snacks and fast foods are made in a lab, and the incredible amounts of steps they go through just to make it to our mouths, we’d be more willing to buy whole foods. Being unaware of our food choices is one of the biggest problems we have as a country, yet one everyone can fix just by learning where their food comes from.
4. Too Busy
Have you ever stopped and looked at how busy our nation is? Stop where you’re at tomorrow, and look how hurried, rushed, and frazzled most people are. This is one reason most people turn to convenient foods, or unhealthy options. They’re simply too busy to think about other things besides work, money, family, friends, stressful issues, and more. All the while, ironically, almost all of them are on a diet, or wish they were healthier. Our busy lifestyle needs to take a backseat to health, and is one sign we desperately need an intervention.
5. Government Incentives
Another reason I believe our nation is in serious need of a health makeover is the influence certain government groups and agencies have over our health as a whole. For instance, the meat industry and the dairy industry are completely marketed and emphasized by government groups, with incentive for profit for these two sources of animal foods. Most conventional farming sources are highly promoted for profit, yet all the while, they're making many of us sick. It’s also taking over land throughout the country, and reducing the health benefits of vegetables and plant crops. These animals are fed cheap sources of GMO corn and soy, to fatten them up quicker, while we not only end up eating those, but end up getting low quality meat as a result. It’s time we go back to the way Americans used to eat, from organic sources of meat, preferably grass-fed, the way nature intended. It’s also important to choose organic dairy, which is free of artificial insemination, antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and cheap feed like GMO corn and soy as well. We are what we eat, and if we’re eating those things, we can’t expect our health to be in its best shape.
6. Sugar Addiction
America, and even other countries of the world influenced by American food culture, are addicted to sugar. We thrive on sugar like cocaine, and all the while, we are suffering diabetes, food addictions, eating disorders, and depression as likely results. I spent 18 years of my life addicted to sugar, so I speak from experience. I had acne, weight gain, epileptic seizures, and depression for 10 of those years as well. Guess what went away when I gave up sugar for good? All of it! Sugar is by far the most toxic food you can put in your body, as far as I’m concerned. Our country lives off high sugar foods because they reduce stress, induce temporary pleasure, and quite frankly, because they’re just addictive. Food companies add sugar to everything, and it’s usually well disguised. Companies rarely put the word sugar on a label anymore. You’ll see corn syrup, cane juice, evaporated cane syrup or juice, coconut sugar, coconut syrup, dextrose, sucrose, maple syrup, rice syrup, tapioca syrup, and a host of other names sugar is found under. Reducing our overall sugar consumption is something I hope to see for the future of our nation. I think so many issues could be resolved, just from this one change.
7. Prescription Drugs
I’m not criticizing anyone who uses prescription drugs, but I do believe our country relies on them too often. Why not try natural treatments or possible dietary theories, before turning to a chemical drug? Our country’s reliance on prescription drugs has gotten out of hand, and sadly, the medical world is profiting from it, along with the government. This twisted cycle is just one reason our nation is in a serious need of a health makeover more than ever.
So you tell me, what do you think is one sign our nation needs a healthy makeover? I’m sure you have reasons to add of your own, and I would love to know about any you’ve experienced firsthand.