CANDY CRISIS : THE FOOD PROBLEM

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Google Images Photo

Samuel Mills, Staff Writer

According to procon.org, the United States has the twelfth highest obesity rate in the world. Considering that there are around two hundred countries on the globe, this fact could be concerning. Over one in three adults in the United States (36.2%) are obese, and even more are overweight or borderline obese. The root (canal) of this problem can be several different factors: poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and related health issues are all possible causes of obesity. However, the people of the United States have an additional disadvantage. The sugar content of many American foods is abnormally high when compared to the foods of other countries.

Many common foods in the United States are incredibly unhealthy. Fast food meals and processed snacks can make people put on weight in record time. These foods are all cheap, common, and widely advertised, making them hard to avoid. For reference, Vietnam, the world’s least obese country (only 2.1% of adults), has a much healthier typical diet. According to ethnomed.org, the average “[Vietnamese meals] emphasize rice, vegetables and fish,” a stark contrast from the microwave meals and sugary sodas seen in the states. When comparing the most common treats and dishes of the two countries, it is not hard to figure out why they differ so greatly in obesity rates.

The foods that Americans are routinely exposed to are filled with much more grease, fat, and sugar. With that being the case, is it even possible to avoid obesity? How can people choose the right foods when there are so many wrong choices? Maintaining a healthy body in the U.S. is feasible, but it is usually not easy. People who want to lose weight or bulk up have to avoid the temptation of processed foods and seek out the healthy ones. They may want to buy their own fresh ingredients and cook them themselves, although that requires culinary skill and practice. Healthier foods can also be expensive or harder to access depending on region (e.g. trying to find healthy, fresh seafood in a midwestern grocery store). Some people may even consult a professional for guidance, like a nutritionist or dietician. Of course, dieting is not the only component of a healthy life. Exercise and self-care are also important parts of the equation. Developing a habit of choosing healthy meals, getting the proper amount of exercise, and taking time to consider mental and emotional health can make all the difference between fitness and unhealthiness. Ignoring commercialized foods is difficult, but doing so may lead to a healthier, longer life and a decreased national obesity rate.