Is Eating Healthy Really an Option?

by Faetitia Desamours on April 30, 2014

Obesity is a growing issue in our society that is completely preventable. Or is it? See obesity is an issue that to me I think goes beyond exercise.  Although, exercise is definitely something that is important in preventing obesity I believe that the kinds of food people are eating and have access to is even more important. It is easy to sit here and make a list of healthy food people should eat in order to make healthier choices. From fresh fruits and vegetables, to lean meats, fish, protein and other organic produces, all these are foods that can be considered healthy but what many people overlook is the cost. For example, to make a salad for a family of four  that can serve as a meal you need lettuce, tomato, green peppers, cucumbers, croutons and if you want protein, which you should include, chicken costs about 18 dollars at Stop&Shop. Now to someone who is middle-class and has steady income that does not sound like much at all, however to a lower class working family that is a lot of money to spend on just one meal that probably will not keep them full for long. It is cheaper and more convenient for them to eat at a fast food place such as McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, where meals cost about 5 dollars for a vast amount of food and where burgers cost as low as 99 cents!

Money plays a big role in the issue with obesity and it is something that is often times ignored. Many can say that those who do need assistance with food will usually have food stamps so essentially it is up to them to decide to make healthy choices, but unfortunately that is not always the case. It is important to understand that it is not about where you are getting the money from; it is about how to stretch every dollar for a certain period of time. That is the dilemma low income families face when it comes to deciding whether or not to make healthy choices. By no means am I saying that all healthy choices cost money. Choosing to walk instead of taking the bus, going for a jog instead of watching TV, playing sports rather than being sedimentary, and replacing sugary drinks with water, these are all examples of healthy choices that can be made at little to no cost. What  I am saying is that food is a big factor in whether or not these things can actually work in preventing obesity overall.

Many nutritionists stated that what you eat is what actually helps you lose the weight and exercise just helps you tone your body and also helps you keep the weight off.  Together these two are a perfect formula for combating obesity and all other health issues for that matter. However, without one or the other the equation is not complete. Michelle Obama’s attempt to provide healthier school lunches has drastically helped reduce obesity rates in young school children and that in itself proves that eating healthier foods is the key. Unfortunately, doing so costs money and many people cannot afford to make such choices due to socioeconomic class. So the real question is, is it really a choice or is it a mere illusion that eating healthy can actually be done? To some it is very feasible and it is just a matter of having the willpower to make changes, to others it is simply a goal that is often times restricted due to monetary difficulties.

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