Remember back in January when I was planning on starting a 6-post series on the economics of exercise?
If not, you’re certainly forgiven. And likely not alone.
But before I dive back into the series full bore, I want to share a video with you that really lays out some of the crazy numbers associated with obesity in this country.
Did you catch some of those number? Here are a few that stood out to me:
- 32.9% of obese Americans have less than a high school diploma
- $1.28 billion in government subsidies to junk food ingredients in 2011
- $635 million in government subsidies to apple growers since 1995
It’s no wonder that so many obese and unhealthy people in our country are low income, since our government supports the commodity food growers so much more than the healthy food growers. These subsidies drive down the price of overly processed foods, so those on a tight budget are more able to afford them. The problem is, these cheaper foods have almost no nutrients in them to fuel your body, so you end up eating more calories to try and meet your nutrient needs. If we started to look at food from a nutrient standpoint instead of from a caloric standpoint, the fast food meals would no longer be the cheaper option.
Not even close.
When it is all said and done, we as a country need to do everything we can to get our health crisis in order. Everyone needs to pitch in. Consumers need to demand healthier, less processed food options. The government needs to support local farmers instead of gigantic, mega-farm corporations. Access to healthy foods in many of our urban food deserts needs to be improved.
And we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to lead healthier lives, no mater the cost.
Because every day we wait to take action, the price tag, and our waist line, continues to grow.