7 Bad Eating Habits You Should Change Immediately
People are obsessed with dieting and weight loss! Don't believe
me? Just tune-in to any source of advertising...you're instantly
bombarded with the latest diet schemes and "Hollywood" food
Here in America, we have built a thriving industry trying to
control our weight and treat the consequences of over-indulgence.
The cost of weight loss and obesity related health care
treatments is staggering...Americans alone spend around $114
billion every year! And even with all this interest in losing
weight, we continue to pack on the pounds like never before...
- A whopping 64 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or
obese...up about eight percent from earlier estimates.
- Among children and teens ages 6-19, 15 percent or almost nine
million are overweight...triple the rate in 1980!
- Nearly one-third of all adults are now classified as obese.
For Americans, modern life may be getting TOO easy. Our cushy
lifestyle means we expend less energy and consequently need fewer
calories to sustain our normal body weight.
Think about it for a moment...
Entertainment no longer requires energy expenditure. In fact,
it's usually quite the opposite. We now entertain ourselves in
the comfort of our own home while watching TV and munching on our
favorite snack. Whether it's television, computers, remote
controls, or automobiles, we are moving less and burning fewer
calories. Common activities that were once a part of our normal
routine have disappeared...activities like climbing stairs,
pushing a lawn mower or walking to get somewhere.
And please do not misunderstand me...I appreciate comfortable
living just as much as the next person. But, here is the
With all of our modern day conveniences and "cushy" style of
living we have not adjusted our caloric intake to compensate for
our decreased caloric expenditure. We consume more calorie rich
and nutrient deficient foods than ever before. Consider a few of
the following examples comparing what we eat "today" vs the
1970's (U.S. Department of Agriculture survey):
- We are currently eating more grain products, but almost all of
them are refined grains (white bread, etc.). Grain consumption
has jumped 45 percent since the 1970's, from 138 pounds of grains
per person per year to 200 pounds! Only 2 percent of the wheat
flour is consumed as whole wheat.
- Our consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased, but
only because French fries and potato chips are included as
vegetables. Potato products account for almost a third of our
- We're drinking less milk, but we've more than doubled our
cheese intake. Cheese now outranks meat as the number one source
of saturated fat in our diets.
- We've cut back on red meat, but have more than made up for the
loss by increasing our intake of chicken (battered and fried), so
that overall, we're eating 13 pounds more meat today than we did
back in the 1970's.
- We're drinking three times more carbonated soft drinks than
milk, compared to the 1970's, when milk consumption was twice
that of pop.
- We use 25 percent less butter, but pour twice as much vegetable
oil on our food and salads, so our total added fat intake has
increased 32 percent.
- Sugar consumption has been another cause of our expanding
waistlines. Sugar intake is simply off the charts. People are
consuming roughly twice the amount of sugar they need each day,
about 20 teaspoons on a 2000 calorie/day diet. The added sugar is
found mostly in junk foods, such as pop, cake, and cookies. In
1978, the government found that sugars constituted only 11
percent of the average person's calories. Now, this number has
ballooned to 16 percent for the average American adult and as
much as 20 percent for American teenagers!
Unfortunately, it would seem that the days of wholesome and
nutritious family dinners are being replaced by fast food and
eating on-the-run. We have gradually come to accept that it's
"OK" to sacrifice healthy foods for the sake of convenience and
that larger serving portions equate to better value.
It's time recognize that we are consuming too many calories and
time to start doing something about it! Each of us can decide
TODAY that healthy eating and exercise habits WILL become a
normal part of our life!
We can begin by exploring our values, thoughts and habits...
slowly and deliberately weed-out the unhealthy habits and
activities and start living a more productive and rewarding life.
And remember, it has taken a long time to develop bad habits, so
be patient as you work toward your goal!
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.
About the Author
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News
where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on
many medical, health and lifestyle topics.