May 5 2014
Dr. Gennean Bolen
As Americans we strongly believe in having the right to do what we please. After all, this is a free country. So if we want to smoke around our kids, build a fast food diet, or just be plain lazy we can go right ahead and do it and who will tell us otherwise? No one. We can continue to slowly kill ourselves through all of our bad habits and ignorance in health and then pass on this gift onto our children. Something needs be done soon before it is too. Americans should take better care of their health by developing better eating habits, focusing on future health issues, and by not being so lazy.
It is no secret that America is look at as a fat country. If other countries were to compare themselves with us they might represent the USA with a big Mcdonalds symbol or something similar. And for good reason. With fast food being so convenient and just about anywhere it is so easy to a busy American to just use that drive though and the Burger King and pick up some food. There is no second guessing something easy that tastes good. Say an American doesn’t eat so much fast food and shops for themselves. Just look at the prices of junk or processed food in comparison to organic and healthier food. How can it be possible to sell something with added chemicals cheaper than something off the earth? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States over the past 20 years . Similarly, in 1990, no state had obesity rates higher than 15%. By 2005, only 6 states had an obesity rate less than 20%. Obesity has been directly linked to hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Each year, over 300,000 adults in the U.S. will die from obesity related causes. Menifield, Charles E, PhDView Profile; Doty, Nicole, MPH; Fletcher, Audwin, PhD, APRN, CFNP-BC. ABNF Journal19.3 (Summer 2008): 83-8. although It is understandable that lower income families don’t have the funds to buy all the organic food. In 2011, the low-income threshold for a family of four with two children was $45,622. Between 2007 and 2011, the share of working families who are low income increased from 28 percent to 32.1 percent (annie e. casey 2014). In 2011, the top 20 percent of working families received 10.1 times the total income received by the bottom 20 percent of working families, up from 9.5 in 2007. The same goes for busy families who are just looking to eat whatever is easiest. Is America targeting certain families? Is there more money in junk than in organic food? Or is it just the ignorance of a people not concerned about future health.
Issues in health later on in the future seem to be at the bottom of the charts when it comes to what Americans worry about. It is all about the here and now that’s important. That is until someone comes down with a life altering health issue. "We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem,". New cancer cases will rise from an estimated 14 million annually in 2012 to 22 million within two decades. Over the same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from 8.2 million a year to 13 million "More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally." By Tim Hume and Jen Christensen, CNN feb (2014). It seems as though the only time health is important is when life is at stake. The crazy thing is, life was at stake and being damaged from the day any harmful substance was consumed or a bad habit was formed. Today’s youth has a mindset of live fast die young but it is not entirely their fault for having this thought process. It’s the fault of the generation before them. Our youths parents or anyone who the they look up to is to blame because chances are that generation had bad health habits and passed it down whether they knew it or not. Today’s children have lost the ability to pretend and imagine. This is most definitely to no fault of their own. Children do not have to create their own fantasy worlds because they have an iPad, a big screen TV or a Wii to do it for them. Taylor Finn, Iowa State Daily (2014). What we do know will affect us later on in life and in some cases might even effect someone else. Forming unhealthy habits doesn’t stop at diet choice, ignorance, or lack of caring. Finding an easier way for things causes a bigger issue. And that issue is Laziness.
Too much of our lives too easy. In fact, everything is made to be easier or shrouded with the word “convenience”. Americans can just go to a drive through for food or even order food and there is no need to even get out of the house. Media has taken over the life of Americans as well. Americans of all ages these days cannot stray too far away from their home for fear of their smart phone dying or there not being any Wi-Fi. Youth spend their days behind tablets, televisions, and smart phones rather than using imagination outside or being active. Videogames can be looked at as a way to pass the time but for our youth it could possibly be causing them to be desensitized to the world and can hinder their ability to use their own imagination for entertainment. America is focused on the easy way out of things rather than taking the time out to educate themselves about lifestyle, diet, and exercise. If it requires activity outside of the normal sedentary house life it is almost shunned and thought of as nonsense.
Without the will to understand and learn about what a good diet is, how to make changes to avoid future health issues, and how to get away from the normal lazy lifestyle America will continue its downward spiral in to cancers, a poisoned youth, and obesity. Simple things like looking at the ingredients of food normally consumed, or getting out once in while just walk for a half hour can be enough to chance a lifestyle. We as Americans need to find a way for lower income families to be able to purchase food healthier to themselves and more importantly their kids. Many families are very busy and have no time to think of the issues of grab and go foods and should consider creating a plan to eat better while on the move. Most important is America’s youth. Higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased BMI and considered a contributing factor of childhood obesity. From 1989 to 2008, there has been a significant increase in total per capita consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, from 130 to 212 kilocalories (kcal) per day, in children 6–11 years of age. Placing an emphasis on reducing the empty energy intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing the intake of nutrient-dense beverages, such as low-fat milk, is an essential component to decreasing the prevalence of obesity in children. Higher levels of education and positive parental behaviors, such as parent support and limiting weekly fast-food intake, are associated with lower intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity (2013) Why should our youth suffer from the actions of the current generation when simple changes can make a difference In our future.
1 .Low-Income Working Families: The Growing Economic Gap, by the Working Poor Families Project, supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce, and C.S. Mott foundations (2013) 2. By Tim Hume and Jen Christensen, CNN feb 2014
3. Taylor finn, iowa state daily april 29 2014
4. Menifield, Charles E, PhDView Profile; Doty, Nicole, MPH; Fletcher, Audwin, PhD, APRN, CFNP-BC. ABNF Journal19.3 (Summer 2008): 83-8. 5. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity Issue: Volume 20(5), October 2013, p 396–400