Americans have an infatuation with fast, highly processed food that has resulted in a health care nightmare that amounts to 0 billion a year in medical costs according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Did you know that:
- Americans consume more packaged food per person than our counterparts in nearly all other countries?
- Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food?
- The average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar and upwards of 2 pounds of salt each year?
- Epidemiologic studies have shown that diets with higher levels of fat, salt and sugar lead to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity?
- Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than people that live in other developed countries
- 59 million Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is caused from excess fat in the liver. Each year 29,000 Americans die from NAFLD.
- More than 3,000 food additives are added to our food products?
But Americans don’t want to be told what they should and should not eat. I recently read an article called Cheesecake Factory On The List of Caloric Food Porn at Reuters.com. The article was about outrageously unhealthy restaurant foods. At the top of the list was The Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro Shrimp Pasta made with a butter and cream sauce, topped with battered fried shrimp. Total calories were a whopping 3,120 with 89 grams of saturated fat and 1,090 milligrams of sodium.
Other food items mentioned were the Cheesecake Factory’s Crispy Chicken Costoletta with 2,160 calories, 89 grams of saturated fat and 2,720 milligrams of sodium, and Smoothie King’s Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie which comes in at 1,460 calories, 22 teaspoons of added sugar and 29 teaspoons of naturally occurring sugar. (I’ll let you do the math on that one.)
For me the article was interesting, although not astonishing because I’ve read quite a bit about restaurant chains that strive to create dishes that could be contenders in the Unhealthiest Food of the Year contest.
The most interesting and insightful part of the Reuter’s article was the comment section, especially when we keep in mind the statistics that are cited in the bullet points at the top of this article.
There were a total of 48 comments. Here’s a few of the most ridiculous:
- OHHHHH how I LOVE food porn.. what the heck.. you can diet and get hit by a car and killed.. or EAT what you like and live forever..(well almost) NO GUARANTEE’S
- Well, I know where I’m eating tomorrow! Why can’t liberals mind their own business? I don’t think anyone isn’t going to understand that it has a lot of calories. F*** the food cops. I’ll eat it and then have a salad the next day. I’ll be fine. And, in the end, we’ll all die anyway.
- I am so tired of people/government/liberal media telling me what I can and can’t do, what to eat, what not to eat, etc. The last time I looked in the mirror, I saw and intelligent, educated adult, capable of making the decisions necessary in life to stay happy and healthy. I don’t need or want your two cents of advice or need you to enact laws to protect me, I can do that myself thank you very little.
- These food nazis need to stay out of our faces (literally). There’s not much in life to be positive and happy about these days; why not go out and splurge on a rich and fattening dinner now and then? It’s not like people are going to these places every day and eating this food! And if someone is, that’s their choice and they need to live with the consequences of those choices.
- We definitely need a ban on assault pasta!
- If I want to go to a restaurant and eat a 3000 calorie dinner, I can! These libtard “non-profit” groups are nothing more than leeches on the American taxpayers’ teet. I almost guarantee this “non-profit” is getting federal grant money to be our mommy and daddy
I could go on listing the comments, but since all but three of them were expressing similar opinions as the ones I posted here, I’ll stop. I do want to mention that the article was not suggesting legislation against these restaurants, or proposing higher taxes on ‘bad foods’ so I don’t know what some of these people are so angry about.
Join The Challenge.
If you thought this post was just a rant about the decline of our country’s health, the food industry’s – including many restaurant’s – refusal to be part of the solution, and the ridiculous people that don’t want “nobody tellin’ them what they are gonna eat”, it’s not. It’s an invitation for you to join me and my co-workers as we kick off our second annual No Fast Food For Ten Days Challenge.
It’s a love-hate program, inspired by the 100 Days of Real Food website. The challenge gives employees an opportunity to think about what they are eating each day, read labels, prepare their own meals, clean up their diets and get out of the habit of eating junk!
Last year, as much as some of my co-workers whined about the things they had to ‘give up’, overall I received so much positive feedback I decided to launch it again.
A Couple of Options
Option One – If you want to play along with us, the basic rules are as follows:
- No drive-through restaurants where someone is handing a bag to you through your car window.
- No restaurants where you walk up to the counter, place an order and someone hands a bag to you.
- No heat and eat stuff from the grocery store such as frozen pizza, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, microwave meals, toaster oven breakfast pastries, etc.
- No foods where the label has more than five ingredients (more ingredients = less nutrition). Recipes can have multiple ingredients.
- No processed grain products like white bread, white rice and white pasta. Whole wheat will work though.
The challenge starts when your feet hit the floor on Monday, January 28 and ends at midnight on Wednesday, February. Drop me a comment in the box below and I’ll include you in the e-mail list for the articles and motivational tips that I will be sending out to my co-workers next week.
Option Two – Go to 100 Days of Real Food.com and sign up for the 10 Day Pledge. Upon graduation the Leakes will send you a congratulatory silicone bracelet.
Be A Part Of The Solution
It’s really up to each of us to do what we can to take care of ourselves in the absolute best way we can. Everyday. Just because, as a society, we’ve drifted into this habit of eating over-sized portions of high calorie, low nutrient processed foods, doesn’t mean you can’t take control of your own eating habits. The positive impact that doing just that will have on your health is more powerful than you realize.
It’s not up to us to change the food industry, (or the people leaving the Food Porn commentaries – although I would love to try) but we can do something of even greater importance. Change ourselves.
Are you with me? Invite your friends to join too. Be social! Share!