Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In America Overeating is the Norm

To most people today double burgers and extra large fries are considered a “normal” order at their favorite fast food restaurant but it wasn’t always this way. Over the years America has become the leading country for obesity and it’s no coincidence that the amount of food available to us has also increased.

We have become the nation that “super sizes” our meals the most and people of all ages are paying for it with their health. It’s not easy to eat healthy, especially with all of the temptations that we face on a daily basis. Cookies as large as dinner plates, gourmet ice cream shops in every mall, fast food establishments at every turn……. It’s no wonder that we eat the wrong foods so often. Our hectic schedules don’t help much either and it’s much easier to make a quick pit stop at the drive thru than it is to cook a wholesome meal in our own kitchen.

But regardless of the reasons, Americans eat more food than any other country in the world. The switch from more moderate portions to today’s mega sized meals began in the 1980’s. 20 years ago the average bagel was about 3 inches in diameter and contained about 140 calories. Today a 6 inch bagel is more the norm and contains about 350 calories. Another big difference is the size of the soft drinks that we consume. Do you realize that a large drink at McDonalds is 30 ounces? I remember a time when a 12 ounce drink came with your meal and it seemed to be plenty.

While we all know that eating more healthy food would be a wise choice, it’s also a matter of how much we choose to eat. Yes, a fruit salad is a better choice for lunch than a cheeseburger but if you go for the burger, is it necessary to eat a double or triple? Do you really need the fries and a coke large enough for 3 people? Fast food franchises try to give us more than the “other guy” to keep our business but in the end we are paying the price in a much bigger way.

Overeating is not only responsible for obesity but may also to lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleeping disorders, breathing problems, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, bone and joint problems and more. We are the “heaviest” nation in the world for a reason and unless we want to retain this title we need to reevaluate not only what we eat but how much.

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