Bad Eating Habits
Judging from the tidal waves of low-fat foods washing up on supermarket shelves and the proliferation of health clubs popping up in cities, one would think that America has become the land of the lean and the home of the fit. However, this is not the case at all. The obesity problem is rising to epidemic proportion. It is beginning to spawn health problems and is even growing everyday. There are more and more people who are acquiring bad eating habits because of a lot of factors. The problem has gone to alarming proportions and it is time that experts on nutrition join hands to look more closely at the causes of these bad eating habits.
People need to be more conscious about their increasing weight. As one eats, one becomes aware of how he/she feels when satisfied. When one is full and stuffed, one must decide to stop eating whenever he/she hits the full mark. People hear a lot of advises and one very good advice is “If you eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied, then your body will reach its optimal weight. ” However, this might be easily said than done for the statistics of overweight people continue to rise.
Because of rising health costs, food experts say that we are essentially subsidizing the food industry to peddle junk food to kids. This is not that easy though since regulation is not an ideal solution. Multi-national corporations like Unilever, Pepsi and Coke had all voluntarily changed their products and practices to respond to clamor for growing health concerns. There was the pressure on them to do their own regulation in coming up with better, healthier foods. It was even revealed that Unilever was asked to reduce trans-fatty acids in their products. Unilever’s response was dramatic.
It eliminated them altogether (World Economic Forum). However, Dr. Marion Nestle feels that poor nutrition is the ultimate reason for obesity. Diets lacking calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients tremendously affect the weight gain or loss of a teen’s fat cells. Dr. Bedell, agrees with the findings. ” Any family below the poverty level has an incredible amount of outside stress,” she said. ” If there’s no education of nutrition, it’s a matter of surviving emotionally and physically. ” (Gard MC, 1996). Concern is expressed over the person’s tendency to eat between meals.
However, the choice of foods is much more important than the time or place or eating. Fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole grain products are needed to complement the foods high in energy value and protein that adolescents commonly choose. Similarly, a special concern in cultures today is the amount of fat in the diet. This person in study who has a low budgeted food is not exempted. She virtually lives on fast-food meals, which contributes to the increased fat levels in their diet. The average adolescent, though, does not worry about getting enough protein.
What is of more concern is the vast number of adolescents who consume large quantities of fast foods such as French fries and burgers, that are not only high in protein but high in fat (Drake, 2006). To illustrate this further, statistics show the fact that the average teenager watches approximately 22,000 commercials – 5,000 of them for food products, the majority of which are high-sugar, high-calorie, and low-nutrition items. Research indicates that 67 percent of Saturday morning commercials are for sugared cereals, candy bars, and other sweets. Only 3 percent of TV food ads are for fruits and vegetables (Medical News Today).
Considering that some members of the average family watch more than seven hours of TV per day, it is not surprising that contemporary research indicates that human development and behavior are affected by television to a degree far exceeding earlier judgments (Robinson, T. , 1999). Promoting healthy diet and exercise remains one of the most challenging goals in today’s modern world.
Drake, L. (26 April 2006). The USDA Food Guide Pyramid: New and Improved? Gard MC, Freeman CP, (1996), The dismantling of a myth: a review of eating disorders and socioeconomic status.
Int J Eat Disord (1996), 20(1):1-12. Medical News Today, (13 May 2004). 10% of the world’s children are overweight or obese and the figures are rising Article Retrieved Feb. 12, 2006 at: http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/medicalnews. php? newsid=8277
Reducing the Size of the Obesity Problem, World Economic Forum, Jan. 24, 2004, Retrieved Feb. 12, 2007 at: http://www. weforum. org/site/knowledgenavigator. nsf/Content/_S10222? open&industry_id=
Robinson, T. Reducing children’s television viewing to prevent obesity: A randomized controlled trial, Journal of the American Medical Association 1999: 282: 1581-1587