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Look to your left, then look to your right, chances are one of those two imaginary friends of yours will be obese in 2030.
From the Washington Post*:
Changes over the past century in the way food is made and marketed have contributed to the creation of an “obesogenic” environment in which personal willpower and efforts to maintain a healthful weight are largely impossible.
I’m going to skip over commenting about the obvious pun the reporter made there, except for that previous clause.
Basically, all the bright packaging, flashy commercials, and high salt and fat content used to make food more appealing to the masses has subverted our ability to eat healthy. I don’t quit buy that. No doubt all of those factors play a huge role, but education and availability can trump them.
Food deserts a a prime example. These are places where residents can only get low nutritional value food. They are located mainly in urban areas where people do most of their shopping at corner stores or convince stores. There are movements afoot to remedy that.
Detroit, once the capitol of industry and factories in the country, is one of the leaders in eliminating food deserts. It might seem surprising, but considering how much cheap, deserted property there is in the city, maybe it shouldn’t be.
To me, what is more shocking is this fact: rural residents are less likely to get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables than city-dwellers. Here in Illinois, only 17 percent of people living in the country are eating enough fruits and veggies, compared to 20 percent of those in cities.
All that says to me is that we need to focus on getting everyone to be more conscious about what they eat and where it comes from. This isn’t just about taste, obesity is one of the main driving factors behind higher healthcare cost. Get people to eat healthy, and watch as your insurance premiums drop. Maybe you could buy a shovel with that money and start your own garden.
*The article is based on a report in the British medical journal “The Lancet.”