Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So Do You REALLY Want To Be Average?

During my little series on what the average American eats, I hope to have shed some light onto the fact that the average American is not eating very well.  When we consider the statistics presented by Joel Fuhrman that 60% of the average American’s diet is made up of processed food, and only 7% of that same diet consists of fruits and vegetables (only 3 ½% of that is in a fresh form), it is no surprise that the most common way Americans die is from heart disease followed by cancer, stroke and diabetes-related illnesses.  That’s pretty bleak.

Our children are the first generation not expected to live as long a life as their parents.  Think about that.  Sure, we now have the scientific technology to keep people alive longer – more so than ever before, but science can’t trump lifestyle.  We are killing ourselves faster than science can keep up, and a majority of us seem fairly passé about it.  Is that the legacy we want to pass on to our children?

It is our choice, whether or not we decide to keep going with the flow – swimming with the popular current which is carrying us through the supermarkets’ processed food isles, into the drive-thru lanes at the fast food restaurants, swinging by the pharmacy to pick up our increasingly growing list of prescription medications and depositing us into the open and welcoming arms of an early grave.
Or do we want something different?  Do we want to set the stage for a healthy and robust life – not just for ourselves, but for the children who closely watch our every move and depend on us to make decisions that can enhance or squelch their very lives?  Yes, eating healthier might cost more money.  Our citizens spend a smaller percentage of their paychecks on food than any other country in the world – we are conditioned to be cheap when it comes to our food choices. Eating healthier might cost us more time.  We also spend a smaller percentage of our time on meals than those in other countries - we are conditioned to believe that quickness and convenience are more important than most anything else in our lives, and just look at where that’s gotten us: our population’s overall health is ranked somewhere in the mid 30’s when compared with that of the rest of the world, yet we spend more per person on “health care” than any other country!

It takes changing your perspectives and attitudes about food, lifestyle choices and living well; and consciously weighing the price of the WHOLE picture.  A life lived purposefully is much more fulfilling than one squandered on convenience.  

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