there has been much made in the news lately about obesity and the flip side- anorexia. from models dying on the runways of the fashion world; to a family in britain being threatened with the loss of their son to the government. the world in general, and america in particular has suddenly come to the realization that its inhabitants are not healthy people. i have lived both extremes- and the problem with food is a complex one to oversimplify it.
when i was younger, i was anorexic. i didn't eat because i had a poor self image and had always been a chunky kid. it is amazing what doors open for you when you are young and pretty and thin. too bad i couldn't enjoy the attention because i was tired and didn't feel well most of the time. when i met my husband, my self image had improved but food was still the enemy. all that i had denied myself, i began to eat. i ate to insulate myself from issues i had never properly dealt with- namely the alcoholism within my family. i was absolutely miserable and i shielded myself with food- but felt guilty for every mouthful. and it wasn't just me. my room mate in college was a bulemic. it seemed like many of the women i was in college with either felt guilty about what we ate or simply didn't eat.
happily, today, i have a more healthy approach to food. i am beginning to make peace with myself and with food. what i have found as i have looked at labels and packaging is, food in america sucks. unless you slaughter your own meat or grow your own fruits, vegetables and grains- the food is more or less crap.
there is cause to become a vegan or vegetarian as our meat is filled with hormones that were fed to animals for faster growth to get them to slaughter as quickly as possible- or to get them to produce more milk. the slaughter house practices and transportation is often unsanitary and leads to outbreaks of food poisoning. the grocery shelves are full of canned and refined foods ready made for convenience but loaded with sodium and corn syrup- both contributers to poor health. not to mention the 85 preservatives with names i can't pronounce that just can't really be good for you. and- even if you can afford fresh fruits and vegetables- unless you buy organic- you get food poisoning there too. the last 3 outbreaks of food poisoning came from peanuts, lettuce and tomatoes. sigh.
so, what are consumers here to do? we who live in the land of plenty- that is in reality plenty of crap? i don't know. i buy fresh and frozen when i can- and i don't buy pre fab stuff. trying to get back to whole grains and whatnot is tough on the food budget- and we are a family of 2. it is discouraging to say the least but i just cut out as much junk food as i can and continue on my journey to where i don't feel guilty about putting food on a fork and into my face. perhaps the rising numbers of people with food issues also signifies the rise in self loathing as a nation. i don't know. we'll have to wait and see.
american obesity association
obesity in america