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The Ease of Falling into Unhealthy Diet Habits

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Modern lifestyle is largely to blame for the failure by members of our society to adhere to a healthy diet. Instead, they have lapsed into a lifestyle that encourages fast food and overconsumption of sugar. Ours has become a lifestyle  entirely devoted to the pursuit of money and pleasure with complete disregard for personal health and future prospects. It is a society that is so ignorant and indifferent to the catastrophic effects of regular intake of unhealthy diets; so much that some of the negative effects have gained significance as national crises. Obesity which has increased to a point of causing panic especially among children is one such catastrophe. Obesity has been blamed for the rise in obesity-related conditions like diabetes and insulin resistance thus putting a strain on our resources (Lustig, 43). Continuous  consumption of unhealthy diet is also to blame for other conditions like strokes, which result from accumulation of cholesterol and failure to take vital nutrients like vitamins. Generally, it is easy to fall into an unhealthy diet due to the constraint of time, resources and the social setting of each individual.

A typical day in the life of a working citizen contains several activities which are always competing for the attention of that individual. Most people live in suburbs far from their offices or factories and one has to wake up early in order to make it to work on time. This individual is expected to prepare breakfast depending on the duties each spouse plays in the household. This might be compounded by children who need to be prepared for school. It is easy to just ignore the advice of professionals which calls for a balanced diet and instead partake of foods which are easy to prepare and take lesser time to consume. This is just the beginning of an ordinary day and other meals are likely to be met with the same approach where lack of time pushes these people into a culture of unhealthy living. Most people are likely to give their children money which will likely end up in the counters of fast food joints. The demand imposed by firms on their employees to deliver certain work quotas under tight deadlines makes it impossible to allocate adequate time for food preparation or even time to worry about the lifestyle they have adopted. By the time these individuals get home, they are exhausted and cannot be expected to be in the right frame of mind to worry about the eating patterns of their family.

The recession succeeded in highlighting the plight of most people within our society. This concern was financial constraint most people face due to high living standards, low wages and high debts due to many obligations. Such debts include mortgages, student loans, and credit card debts among others. But economists have made it clear that the cost of foodstuffs is unyielding and the cost of buying an adequate and balanced diet for a family is a considerable expense. Add this to the cost of cooking gas and the labor required to prepare this food and most people are likely to forego this option for cheaper junk food. Some might be willing to incur the lengthy time necessary to prepare healthy foods but face budget constraints due to low wages or lack of employment. These families or individuals will choose foods which are cheaper not knowing that such usually contain lesser nutrients. Their failure to take healthy diets is not their fault but an institutional failure which denies them this fundamental right by failing to provide them with decent incomes to cater for their needs.

            In addition, the social setting of any given society determines the attitudes and behavior of individuals. Developed societies have adapted a consumerism culture which drives people to consume more and more without any regard to the impact of their actions. A debate which has emerged in recent times is whether the impact of high fructose sugar syrup which is widely used to sweeten foods and drinks has fueled the consumerism of unhealthy food products. This sweetener has been proven to be sweeter than conventional sugar and has been accused by some lobby groups of causing addiction and hence increasing consumption of junk foods and such drinks (Lustig, 21). While many including governmental institutions have been calling for restraint in consumption of unhealthy diets, members of our society seem to be ignoring this advice and opting to continue their unhealthy eating habits without care or worry. Indulging in passive leisure is also a major cause of junk food intake as people prefer to order takeout food rather than prepare it themselves. Although some foods are packaged and advertised as healthy, the reality is very different (Beck, 1).

            It is necessary to point out that no one is singularly responsible for increased consumption of unhealthy diets. Several factors intervene to influence the attitudes and actions of members of a society. Many factors still remain important if a true understanding of the problem is to be achieved. These include advertisements, legal requirements for food processors and availability of certain food products. What is clear is the need to address this issue since an unhealthy diets lead to obesity and other health related conditions. To continue ignoring this issue is to keep compounding the problem and doing more harm to an already strained health sector which can be alleviated through prevention rather than cure.

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