27 Oct 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Here’s another question scenario:
If you are morbidly obese and become suddenly ill, but informed by the doctors in the emergency room that you are really nine months pregnant and ready to deliver the baby, would the excessive weight convince you to change your lifestyle and eating habits?
I would hope so. (And if you are sexually active, it would behoove you to practice safe sex.)
In the last 200 years, Americans have been consuming an increasingly high percentage of highly processed foods. This has led to many people becoming overweight, obese, and even morbidly obese. As a result, many people have become chronically ill – and, in some cases, malnourished. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but you can become malnourished even if you’re obese.
With all the success in medicine today, the statistics on human health are frightening. According to government analyses, Americans will spend one of every five dollars on healthcare in the next decade. It has been predicted that the nation’s total healthcare bill will mushroom to more than $4 trillion by the year 2015.
The health care industry has become a war zone – doctors and pharmaceutical companies fighting to get your money. But then no one would win the war if we stay healthy and don’t become gluttons for food. Being a glutton leads to obesity and, consequentially, death. It is the absence of proper nutrition that keeps us in the doctor’s office in the first place.
When refined foods are consumed, diseases are sure to arise and the percentage of obese Americans will continue to climb at an alarming rate. Nutrition must always be the major focus of one’s diet and lifestyle in order to ward off sicknesses. The food that we eat today is often loaded with fat and grease, and seems to be the staple of life. It provides comfort, some would say, during an emotional tailspin.
Obesity is now considered the second leading cause of death in North America. And at the rate we’re going, 75 percent of the population will be overweight by the year 2025. When you look at statistics, the standard American diet contributes to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Obesity is leading the way.
I’ve heard too many people say that we must die from something. If that’s the case, then suicide must be legal. Our environment and the food that we eat is killing us one bite at a time. The culprits are processed food and soft drinks. Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D, calls the latter “Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks are Harming Americans’ Health.”
Americans spent more than $54 billion dollars on soft drinks in 1997. That figure was probably tripled last year. In my opinion, liquid candy is nothing more than liquid death. We tend to pick and choose our own poison anyway. At any rate, we won’t have anyone to blame but ourselves if we continue to gorge on food and gulp down sugary soft drinks.
No one should have to grapple with obesity, the result of bad eating habits. The battle won’t be over until you make some lifestyle changes and decide what’s more important – life or death. The health care cost is not going to change anytime soon, and the only way to reverse or prevent an illness is to watch what you eat and drink.
It’s quite simple. Learn to cook food that is fresh and not processed. It’ll certainly change your life for the better. The change, however, has to start with you. The decision has to be yours and yours alone. If you eat a daily portion of leafy green vegetables, for example, you can stop cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and trim down to a comfortable weight. Eat to live; don’t live to eat.