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For the Love of Poor Health

This might sound like a strange title. However, a great number of people seem to like having poor health because their habits are well known to be quite unhealthy. This is particularly true in highly developed countries like the United States.

In particular, the eating habits are what is questionable. People in developed countries tend to put convenience over health when it comes to eating. The American public eats a huge amount of pre-cooked, pre-made, packaged foods that they can simply pop into the microwave to heat up. These foods contain a large amount of preservatives and other ingredients that the consumers are rarely even aware of. The consumer also has no control over what is in those foods.

To compound the issue, it is undeniable that American’s and those in other advanced countries eat a lot of food from fast food restaurants. This isn’t a slap at those establishments because they are what they are; places of convenience. However, though not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, evidence points to food from fast-food establishments contributing enormously to the decline in the health of people.

For example, in the US, a huge number of people every year suffer from heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Not everyone who has one of these conditions dies from it, at least not initially, yet these are among the top killers in the US today. The US also has the distinction of having among the highest incidence rates for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke in the world. Although the numbers have increased, the US has had among the highest rates for many decades.

In contrast, as late as the 1960’s, Japan had among the lowest incident rates for these maladies. The most important mainstay of the Japanese diet at that time was fish, which was heavily consumed by nearly everyone. Occasionally, fish was even eaten for all three daily meals. In the 1970’s, Japan’s incidence of all three of these causes of death began to increase. Today, the per capita numbers are almost identical to those in the US. What changed?

It is likely that there are several things that contributed to this and researchers didn’t have an answer for some time. Then they figured out that there was a major event that occurred in 1971. That was when the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Japan. The restaurant was immediately a success and many other fast-food chains opened restaurants in Japan soon afterward. Today, there are over 3,800 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan and countless other fast-food places.

There is no conclusive proof of a connection between eating food from fast-food restaurants and a decline of health, however, the circumstantial evidence is certainly there. The decline in the health of the Japanese people began at the time fast-foods were introduced and the overall health of the people has gotten worse as the popularity of fast-foods has increased. This leads to a few obvious questions for everyone.

  • Question of

    How often do you eat food from any fast-food restaurant?

    • Almost daily
    • Several times per week
    • Once per week to a couple of times per month
    • Less than once a month
    • Rarely or never
  • Question of

    How often do you eat a pre-made, pre-cooked, or packaged food?

    • Almost daily
    • Several times per week
    • Once per week to a couple of times per month
    • Less than once a month
    • Rarely or never
  • Question of

    How would you characterize your health?

    • Excellent
    • Good
    • Fair
    • Poor
    • Very poor

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What do you think?

15 Points
Legend

Written by Rex Trulove

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11 Comments

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  1. I went from healthy, a vegetarian back to not so good, why? Time. I work so much I am tired. Food is food when I am starving, If I eat I have to cook it and I can say after working 8-10 hours painting a house I will stop for burger.

    1
    • Two points here. First, the diets that are the most doomed to failure are the ones that people try to follow rigidly. Eating a burger and fries occasionally is probably not going to do much harm.

      Second, despite all the hype, a vegetarian or vegan diet isn’t necessarily healthy, particularly if the person isn’t taking supplements daily. It isn’t just the vitamins and minerals that a supplement can help with. It is also the protein. Nearly all fruits and vegetables are high in carbohydrates and low in protein. High carb diets are strongly linked to weight gain and most Americans eat twice as many carbs as they should. That is why so many vegetarians and vegans are overweight. Excess carbs easily turn to body fat.

      Meat, on the other hand, is very high in protein and low in carbs. For the average American, the need is to eat much more protein and far fewer carbs.

      From that aspect, the burger adds protein to your diet, though that isn’t the healthiest way to do it. LOL

      1
    • That is a good thing. I didn’t even touch on the exercise, either, but so many people don’t realize that we’re really talking about activity…any activity. Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym and working out. People would be surprised at how many calories they burn if they spend an hour a day gardening.

  2. You are right. So many do not even consider their diet bit wonder why they are unhealthy. Convenience is at the top of so many people’s list, ahead of their health. I splurge every now and again but all in moderation. Usually don’t eat enough, that is my problem. And when I do I am careful to avoid certain foods.

    1
    • It sort of reminds me of an incident that happened when I managed a pizza parlor. Two ladies came in; one slender and the other a little on the thick side, though not greatly so. The slender woman ordered a mini cheese pizza and a glass of water. The other ordered a salad, poured a gob of ranch dressing on it, and ordered a glass of wine. She then commented wistfully to her slender friend, “I just don’t know how you do it. You maintain a skinny figure even though you eat pizza. All I eat is salad and I still gain weight!”

      I never sat down to figure out how many calories there were in the large amount of ranch dressing and the wine she drank, which ended up as two glasses of wine, but I suspect that it was quite a bit more calories than in the mini pizza and water. It was one of those ‘duh’ moments.

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