There are many causes for an unhealthy diet. The causes themselves can range from person to person, but generally there are some that are identical from one person to another. The general causes that stand out the most include personal expense, believing current eating habits is healthy enough, and knowing a change is needed but doing little to change it.
What you eat, whether you think about it or not, relies mostly on what you can afford. For example a college student like me, would find it more affordable to make some Macaroni and Cheese then go to a healthy restaurant. Also with expense, convenience can be included. Like the previous example a quick meal loaded with calories and other fats would be more convenient for a college student than making a five course meal from scratch. In the end the $0.99 macaroni would be the more economical way to go.
A big mistake a lot of people make is thinking what they currently eat is healthy enough already. They will attempt to stick to the food pyramids suggested servings, but will pay little attention to actual ingredients in the food. Two perfect examples are pasta and juice. Out of convenience, Pasta Roni is used for a quick flavorful meal. Little attention is given to the preservatives and ample amount of sodium included in each box. Fruit juice is possibly the worst culprit. You drink your juice thinking you’re getting your servings for the day. In actuality you’re getting 10% actual juice and an unhealthy overload of sugars and food colorings. It really pays to read all the nutrition facts when planning a healthy meal change.
Finally, knowing a change is needed and providing resistance is a major contributor to an unhealthy diet. For most of us having a set schedule or favorite food is hard to change. For example, the thought of having to give up Chicago Style Hot Dogs for the sake of a healthier diet would not be a sacrifice I would be willing to make. And then there those...