We have all heard the statistics about America’s out-of-control weight problem, and how lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits are now affecting children under 10 years-old. Blame for this disturbing trend has been aimed at fast food, internet and gaming addiction, and flat-out laziness. The fact is that America’s weight problem can be attributed to a combination of values and lifestyle factors. The Center for Disease control reports that 35% of American adults and 16% of American children are obese. While more kids and adults are playing marathon video games, and fast food portions have tripled over the last 40 years, the cause of the problem is far more complex than that. For instance, WHY is fast food so popular? WHY do people choose computer games rather than traditional games? When attempting to explain why people choose to eat burgers over low fat lunch options, or preparing healthy meals for lunch at home, it’s easy to blame their choices on laziness. The core problem is the busy modern lifestyle, and how most working Americans prioritize work over everything else. Unfortunately, the importance of earning money is a priority over just about everything else, including one’s family and health. So what are the consequences of living in a society that prioritizes earning money over everything else, and jobs that often demand long hours? Instead of taking the time to exercise for 30 minutes a day or prepare low fat calorie recipes that are high in protein and fiber, people opt for fast food. Naturally, when their bodies are not getting the necessary nutrition, they are not going to have the energy to exercise after a long day at work. Unbeknownst to many hard working Americans, following a heart healthy diet is not that difficult, but it does require a little planning. The American Heart Association suggests that people limit their consumption of saturated fat to no greater than 7% of their daily caloric intake. They also encourage people to eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, because it can cut the risk of heart disease by nearly a third. There are countless healthy, low fat calorie recipes available on the web. Many are fast and simple enough to take with you for lunch every day, and others are sophisticated and tasty enough to serve for dinner guests. Preparing low fat calorie recipes might take a little more time than stopping at the drive through, but it is well worth it when it comes to improving your health and quality of life.
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