The American Diet Kills

Chloe Devitis, Asst. Op Ed Editor

     The American people have been struggling with widespread obesity and health complications for decades. Most of us know that America ranks number one on the charts for highest rate of obesity, but why is it not getting better? It might be difficult to change, but it all starts with a healthy diet.

     The current problem is that American companies are exploiting unhealthy Americans and reeling them into ridiculous weight loss strategies such as diet pills and frozen meal plans. Many Americans have also been tricked into thinking that obesity is mostly their own fault, and is due to how they do not exercise enough. The obesity is not the epidemic itself, but rather the result of a bigger problem: completely false narratives on how to live a healthy lifestyle in America.

     An article from states, “Americans are the biggest consumer of weight loss products (80%) in the world, yet still lead the world in obesity and unhealthy lifestyle.” It does not stop there. They also state that overweight and obesity rates have tripled within the American youth since 1970.

     Weight loss products are a huge waste of money considering people are completely able to lose weight without them. We should not be encouraging the consumption of pills and weight loss meal plans because these tend to only be a temporary addition on people’s lives rather than making positive changes that you can realistically apply throughout your whole life.

     Even at the doctor’s office, advertisements and brochures for services that “freeze” fat away are displayed. I thought that doctors were supposed to provide healthy options. Freezing fat away does not reduce the chances of overweight people developing a diet-related disease.

     People also shorten their lifespan while living on unhealthy foods. Diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer are the most common causes of death in the world, and they are all directly related to diet. People who eat better and exercise more, on average, do not see these kinds of diseases arising unless they are genetic.

     The American diet should not be overlooked. The average American tends to replace healthy options with sugary food products instead. It is especially difficult trying to keep a healthy and nutritional diet on a college campus. I know that I have found myself taking a few too many desserts at Scranton Commons or buying that lemon pound cake that just always calls out to me from Starbucks.

     So what can we do? The first thing we should try and do is alter our own diet before we encourage others to do the same. Even if you consider yourself a healthy person, it is still important to think about the food you eat. I’m not saying to completely remove junk food from your diet, but maybe save the junk food for special occasions or limit it to one day a week.

Chloe is a senior Anthropology and German major . She is the BU Democrats Communications Coordinator and German Club Secretary. She is a staff writer for The Voice