To be healthy, one must take control of their diet. It’s a proven fact that fast food and health problems are linked but the real culprit is the consumer’s inability to take control of his or her own eating habits. Online there is lots of evidence backed up by study after study that fast food not only contributes to obesity and diabetes in children and in teens, but is an alarming health problem.
While the facts are alarming they are not surprising. One can only look to the advertising gimmicks the fast food chains put out to snare and to tempt the taste buds of hungry and often unwary youngsters. The whoppers and the multi-layered sandwiches topped with several different kinds of cheese and bacon and gravy and containing enough calories to sustain one for a whole day is proof enough that kids and grownups alike are overeating.
Although it is not their fault. If there is a fault it is in the demand of a consuming world that demands and gets what it wants. What it wants is tasty food that is easy on the pocketbook and is fast and quick. They don’t want to wait around. After all they must be at work in half an hour and to have to wait around for their morning coffee and sausage and egg biscuits is out of the question.
The businesses that cater to this type of thinking know what they are doing. If, as an example, Speedway should insist that their early morning customers eat breakfast at home and eat healthier, they would lose money. They would not only stop buying their breakfast but would not buy their gas there either. Pretty soon they would be out of business.
What’s the answer? The answer is more responsible consumers. The answer is not more and more food but more and more education not on how the fast food industry is causing health problems but on how to resist these harmful temptations. It is educating ourselves and our children to the dangers of consuming more calories than our bodies can and how to get plenty of exercise.
The lure of fast food is in its ability to satisfy a hunger and to satisfy it fast. You could almost say it is addictive. You stop by a fast food joint on your way home and gorge yourself with a tasty burger and fries and a cola and the immediate relief of the hunger registers with your bodily messaging system a good feeling. An added bonus is there is no dinner to prepare and there’s no dishes to wash. The next time you are hungry you remember and want a repeat.
In times past, the good old days were not really so good, but they kept most people trim. People still were hungry and had to eat, but meals were usually served at certain set times and the food was wholesome but oftentimes boring. It satisfied hunger but did not give rise to excessive cravings as the food of today does.
Besides, most teenagers could only afford to eat at home or take their lunch with them. In between meals they often were employed in activities that burned off more calories than work now days burn off. So, what do we do? A once in a while stop off at a fast food place is nothing to worry over but making it a two or three times weekly, or even far worse, almost a daily event, is a big whopping mistake.
One way to not overeat is to eat slowly. Take small bites and chew your food properly and give your stomach a break. Put time in between the bites and make your meal last at least twenty minutes or more. Drink lots of water and leave off the soft drink. It is full of calories and is not health promoting at all.
Give your body time to know that you are no longer hungry. If you consume your food too fast you overeat because if you eat fast and eat until you no longer feel hungry, you have overeaten. The incentive for leaving the table still feeling hungry is not having to later put up with the symptoms of overeating. You know the feeling: it’s like having the after Thanksgiving dinner blahs after every meal.
Fast food with the large amount of calories is enticing, but don’t blame the supplier, they are in business to make money. They do this by giving customers what they want. If fast food is less demanded, then there will be less of it.
Collins, Karen RD, “Are You Supersizing Yourself with Fast Food”? Jan.12, 2006 MSNBC