This morning, as I lay in bed losing my fight to continue sleeping, I listened to the morning news. A recent report shows that over 60% of Americans are overweight. That’s a staggering number and a wake up call. Even more staggering is how fast this has happened. It’s shocking. Look at this animated map showing the weight trend in America from 1985-2007.
I’m always telling my girls that life is about choices. The choices we make determine our quality of life. A choice we make every day is what we put in our mouths to nourish our body. And it’s known all over the world that we are what we eat. I’ve seen this trend in my own life. Over the years, I’ve been slowly adding more weight. Being a photographer keeps me very active and I’ve started working out two years ago, but honestly, it’s a losing battle when most of my day is spent in front of a computer.
My wife is a health educator— we know what we should be eating. What we choose to eat is a different story. I try to make healthy choices, but it also comes down to convenience and cost. Buying vegetables and fruits from the local markets is frustrating because they seem to spoil within days. There are high end stores with organic produce and healthy super foods, but the cost is prohibitive for feeding a family. If we can raise awareness, then perhaps our collective buying power can start changing this trend away from over processed, highly refined, nutrient depleted fast food to healthy, rich and nourishing super foods that are affordable.
What started all of this for me was stumbling on this movie trailer. I highly recommend you watch Food Matters. Even the trailer will raise an eyebrow.
Things in our country need to change. 50 million Americans have no health care. We spend more on health care than any other industrialized nation and have less to show for it. Most people who see a doctor visit the hospital during an emergency visit, the most expensive way to visit a hospital. Something as simple as changing the food you eat can prevent if not eliminate much of the burden on our health care system.
So, what works? Individual accountability, preventative education and lifestyle. I love to cook. My wife jokes it’s the reason she married me! Thanksgiving is here next week (my personal favorite holiday). Here are two great sites to start you on your way. If you have suggestions or comments, please let me know. We can do this together. Bon Appetit!