The American Diet: Bad for Us and Threatening our National Security
A big topic of discussion in my undergraduate Exercise Physiology program was the American diet and how harmful it is to so many.
We looked at unbiased publications on the topic and how its not only affecting lives, but also our Country in several other ways. When Gary sent me this article headlined “America’s poor diet isn’t just bad for us. It’s now considered a threat to national security” and said he thought it would make a good topic for an article-I was thrilled because it became something really important to me. As a country, we need to do something about this. Raising awareness and educating is a big step.
Diet-related illnesses are a growing burden on the United States economy, worsening health disparities and impacting national security. Additionally, they are harming the readiness of the US military and the budgets of the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Seventy-one percent of people between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service, with obesity being the leading medical disqualifier. And the problem just keeps getting worse. Major barriers to healthy food access and proper nutrition is very common in places of poverty and those with less education. The improper diets then contribute to lower academic achievement, less work productivity, increased disease risk, increased out of pocket health related costs, and poverty. Poor nutrition is the leading cause of illnesses in the US. As Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, co-author of the paper and dean and Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University said,
“Every day, our country suffers massive health, social, and economic costs of poor diets,”
In school we listened to a great podcast on the “food pharmacy” where food is supplied to people with food related diseases and they observe their health on the food supplied diet. The outcomes are incredible (https://www.jneb.org), (https://www.npr.org). It costs us far less to consume a healthy diet then treat the food related diseases. If you’re interested in this topic and learning more I highly suggest looking into Dr. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist and professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity, and Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism who is best known for his books which explore the socio-cultural impacts of food. While it may be more expensive to purchase healthy foods at the store, they will keep you full longer, improve your quality of life, play a big role in your health and more.Next time you go to the store try to buy foods that are fresh, expire, and/or have a short ingredient list.
For nutritional help-give us a call or email info@integrateddiabetes or call US toll free: 877-735-3648 outside US: 011-1-610-642-6055 to set up an appointment with one of our dietitians, Dana or Jenny, for a customized approach to meal planning.
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