Too Much Food - Too Much Bad Food!

Obesity has been linked to everything from the decline of the family dinner to the popularity of computers and video games to supersize portions of fast food.   But it all comes down to a simple calculation.  The primary reason America is fat is that we eat far too much food compared to our activity level.  Most people are digging their graves with their teeth.   And get little to no exercise on a daily, regular  basis.  People on average consume 3,800 calories per day of food and we only need half that amount say leading nutrition and food scientists at New York University.

Food consumption data records show a 500-calorie-per person daily increase between 1984 and 2000.  And a 236-calorie-per-person-per-day increase between 1987 and 1995.  Even that small increase translates into an average 24-pound weight gain per person EVERY YEAR!!!  And the most dangerous factor is that this increase is predominantly in added fats, refined grains and massive amounts of added sugar found in processed foods. 
Hard to believe but Americans consume the equivalent of 20 to 33 teaspoons of sugar per person per day!!!  About 30% of that is in soft drinks, but sugar is also the main additive in all kinds of foods such as pizza, bread, hot dogs, soup, crackers, spaghetti sauce, deli meats, canned vegetables, flavored yogurt, ketchup, salad dressing and mayonnaise.

...Ralph Nader, New York Times interview.

When McDonald's first opened, its original burger, fries and 12-ounce Coke provided 590 calories.  Today, a supersize Extra Value Meal with a Quarter Pounder and Cheese, supersize fries and a supersize drink is 1, 550 calories.   According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, many fast-food chains encourage customers to order "supersize" items, pointing out that they get more value for their dollar.   At the Cinnabon pastry chain, for example, a 3-ounce Cinnabon costs about $2, but for only 50 cents more, the customer can feast on an 8-ounce version.

What's not advertised however, is the fact that this bargain raises caloric intake from 300 to 670 calories.  Not only are Americans eating more at meals that are bad for them, they're eating more meals.  Snacking has become a national pastime.  Snacking has increased so much, children eat about five meals a day now and adults eat 4-1/2.  A quarter of children's calories now come from snacks and the typical snack is no longer an apple.  These are often potato chips or tortilla chips.  And these are doubly dangerous, as they are crammed with highly dangerous hydrogenated oils and fats, which clog arteries. 

Today, food is literally coming at us in waves.  
Go back just 20 years and you would never find more than a candy counter in a drugstore.  Now there are aisles and aisles of food, food, and food.  If you see a gas station that doesn't have a good store attached, people are afraid to use it.   There a food courts in shopping malls.   And in the schools, it's worse.  There are vending machine sand soft-drink machines that pay the schools to install them!!!   And what are all these eating venues selling?  The same foods--candy, soft drinks, salty snacks, pastries, ice cream, cookies, nachos, pizza, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and other fried foods.  These are some of the food companies' most profitable items, and they receive the lions' share of the $11 billion the industry spent on propaganda---flashy MTV style advertising, in 1997 alone.  Scientists are not sure whether it's the sedentary nature of television viewing, food consumption in front of the TV, food advertising --or all of them, --that promote obesity.  A study in a recent issue of Lancet the esteemed medical journal showed that US Children see about 10 food commercials during every hour of TV they watch.

Our children's' stomachs have become brainwashed into eating and eating obesity-creating junk food that is full of fat, sugar, colorings and preservatives.   It's a time bomb of immense proportions.  For more on Kid's Health visit our
Kid's Corner.

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