Well it’s official. Living in America as an American can be unhealthy for you. According to today’s New York Times “a growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.” This should be another reason the FDA and our Government need to commit to fighting obesity the same way they did to fighting smoking.
“There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations,” said Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin. Let’s see could it be the super sized portions or the fact that we just don’t get enough exercise ? While the reasons are many and changing behavior is often complex if we are going to get a handle on rising healthcare costs somehow we need a mass communication to show what being unhealthy can really mean for “quality of life”.
One thing Americans don’t like is loosing their quality of life but unhealthy living could mean that you’re too tired to go for a walk or hike and don’t have the energy to cook more healthy meals instead of processed foods. In the U.S. today, 78 million adults are considered “obese” – more than the populations of California, Texas and New York combined. This is twice as many adults in 2013 as there were obese in 1980, and today 112,000+ deaths a year in the U.S. are associated with obesity.
Regulating fast food and limiting sugar in products is not the answer in my opinion. It has to start with a massive education program that communicates the dangers of a high sugar and high salt diets. We also have to communicate that, as we get older, we cannot eat the same way as when we were younger. How many times have you seen aging celebrities and said “boy, have they added weight?”.
I love to eat a good steak or and have a good pizza but I understand that if I don’t ride my bike to get a good workout that I would probably be less healthy. I limit my portion sizes, try to eat healthy and every once in a while I do treat myself but I will not let the American lifestyle detract from my years because the best is yet to come.