Big Prices Causing Big Problems

Logan Sudholz, Journalism Student

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Obesity is defined as the condition of being grossly fat or overweight. Today, our country suffers from unhealthy eating habits due to the thought of significantly high prices placed on healthy and organic food options. These high prices influence consumers to reach for the cheaper and more convenient choice: junk food.

Within the last 20 years, obesity among adults living in the United States has risen significantly. According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics, over one-third of U.S. adults, 20 years of age and older, are obese. Over thirty nine percent of children and teens are also considered obese. Obesity increases the risk of several diseases and health conditions such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, and cancer (breast, endometrial, and colon). It is extremely important that individuals are aware of the foods they are putting in their bodies.

Mrs. Nace, the food prep teacher at Pennridge High School, implements a healthy diet for her students every day. “I always promote cooking from scratch, rather than eating out or buying already prepped or prepared foods out of convenience. Most packaged and prepared foods contain preservatives, added sugars, etc.,” she stated. “If you plan ahead, i.e. plan meals in which you can incorporate the same foods in several different recipes throughout the week, you can buy in bulk which in turn lowers the cost. Healthy food keeps you feeling full longer, than unhealthy, therefore you eat less. Unhealthy food is known to increase your appetite which in turn makes you eat more therefore you buy more. So even though the initial price may seem cheaper, in the end you may be actually buying more.”

Julia Johnson, a senior said, “I find it hard to eat healthy mainly because of the convenience of unhealthy food like McDonalds”. “I can see why someone would rather pay 3 dollars for breakfast than 12 for a fruit bowl.” Although, many nutritional foods may seem overpriced, eating healthy does not have to be expensive. First, you should consider the foods you have on hand. Look for vegetables, proteins, or fruits that may go bad soon if unused. Then, plan accordingly to use them! In addition, optimize your choices of local farms and farmers markets. Buying local produce and going to farmer markets allows you to support local farms, and practice a healthier lifestyle, while usually paying a lower price. Finally, consider the fact that eating a healthy diet is what is best for your body. While it may seem more expensive to eat healthy, the later implications of eating a poor diet could be far more costly.