We love it, we need it, but we apparently don’t know how to properly eat it. Americans have a complex, sometimes dangerous, relationship with food. The hot button issue of health and nutrition is receiving more and more attention as obesity in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate, but the question of how to fix this issue still remains.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an alarming 33.1 percent of people are overweight and 35.7 percent are obese nationally. To see how obesity in America has been on the rise, The Journal of the American Medical Association traced the trends in obesity. In 1962, 46 percent of Americans were considered overweight, obese, or extremely obese. Compare that to 2010’s rate of 75 percent and we can see the dramatic and alarming rise in obesity.
Here in Pennsylvania, we are ranked as the 20th fattest state in the country, as stated in a study in “F As In Fat: How Obesity Threatens Our Future”. According to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, if there is no nutritional change in the American diet, Pennsylvania could be facing a 57 percent obesity rate by 2030.
The issue of obesity raises even more concern in the Neighborhood Health and Nutrition Project (NHNP) boundaries, which is a predominantly African-American area. According to the NIDDK, 76.7 percent of African-Americans nationally are considered overweight or obese.
The danger? Obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and multiple other health problems.
So how do we fix this problem?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it comes down to an understanding of the food groups and including a variety of healthy foods in your diet. That all sounds good, but what about those of us who don’t want to sacrifice our favorite foods and don’t have the cash flow for the expensive, organic foods?
Well, the guys over at Greatist say eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. And if it’s taste you’re worried about, head over to Roost to get healthy recipes for some of your favorites (even cheesecake). If you’re looking for healthy alternatives to your favorite foods, Sodium Girl might have just what you’re looking for.
Taking the journey towards healthier eating may not be as terrifying as we all think. So put down the burger and pick up some kale as we work to make America a healthier place.