The true cost of unhealthy eating

A ferocious hunger gripped me as I looked inside of my bag for the salad I brought to work.

Damn! I had forgotten it on the kitchen table.

I work at a TV station, which requires more time out in the field doing interviews and covering events and less time sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen three steps away from a vending machine.

Since I started the paleo diet, I continued my healthy eating at work, packing a lunch, usually salad topped with homemade chicken salad and some almonds and spanish peanuts as a snack throughout the day. I noticed how much energy I had, how, even when I was hungry, I could still go, go, go. I was less cranky, more focused. My mind seemed less clouded.

Before I started the paleo diet, I would sit at a desk after lunch and get that”2:30 feeling” that is advertised on 5 hour energy drink commercials. My eyes would droop, my mind would wander, the front of my face would feel numb with sleepiness.

Unfortunately, the day I forgot my salad, the photographer and I stopped at Krystals on the way to an interview. I devoured three Krystal “chicks” which are chicken sandwich sliders. I thought the chicken was grilled, but it was fried. The sandwich was more bread and mayo than anything else.

I had instant satisfaction after I ate the “chicks.” Tummy full, I felt high off of my first bite of bread in several months.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks; That 2:30 feeling. I fought to stay awake on the thirty minute drive to the interview. My mind seemed unclear, my thoughts would start and then trickle away into drowsiness. This was a feeling I hadn’t felt since the start of my diet.

I felt disgusting. This “food” I ate could hardly be called fuel. Yet people eat it everyday.

“Every day, 2.2 million Americans complain of being tired,” according to WebMD.

This is why.

Combined with alcohol and tobacco usage and not enough sleep, diet not only affects your waist size, it affects your mood.

It is a shackle that gratifies you instantly, addicts you, then abuses you.

“At least one-quarter of American adults eat fast food everyday,” Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, said in an interview with CBS.

 “In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music – combined,” he writes in Fast Food Nation.

Americans like it fast, easy and fried. But it is killing us.

About one-third of U.S. adults are overweight. But more shocking is that approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese, according the CDC.

An adult can make the choice to consume foods that are blatantly bad for them. But now, the younger generation is suffering because of the choice of the parents.

A study done by The New England Journal of Medicine reports that for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents.

A McDonalds value menu cheeseburger may only cost $1. But  this is the true cost of unhealthy eating.

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2 Comments

Filed under Alcohol, Feature, Features, Food, Health, News, Opinion, Paleo Diet, People, Personal

2 responses to “The true cost of unhealthy eating

  1. Awesome post and so true on many levels. The calorie count at some of these fast food places, borders on the obscene. I try to stick with Subway and Taco Bell as my fast food lunch time joints. Taco Bell isn’t great for you, but can be a smarter alternative, with the Fresco stuff.

  2. I’ve generally given up eating fast food. I’ll eat it once a month or so as I have a weak spot for hardees but always notice how crappy I feel afterwards. It’s the classic example of short term gain being long term pain. You feel great at first but then your system reacts negatively to unnatural foods making you unhealthier in the process.

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