Every day Americans are bombarded with advertisements about how to stay thin, look great, drop ten pounds in a week. The problem with these is that it encourages people to be “healthy” in very unhealthy ways. This is especially a challenge for teenage girls because we are told by the commercial industry that the only way others will see us as beautiful is to be dangerously thin. That mindset among many along with the fast food fad that our country has, makes for a very unhealthy nation.
People need to be encouraged to eat healthy and exercise in a healthy way as the correct way to stay fit and in shape. If people were encouraged to exercise regularly in order to make their body healthy, instead of strictly to lose weight, it would help people avoid eating disorders, which plague so many young men and women in America. Eating healthy is an important step to becoming healthy, but without exercise, good health would never be achieved. People need to push their bodies in order to make them stronger and better. But in order to do so in a positive way, people need to stop thinking of exercise as a way to just be thin. Being thin isn’t necessarily the same as being healthy, although being overweight isn’t healthy either. There needs to be a happy medium where people want to stay thin because they want their bodies to be as healthy and strong as possible.
To compliment the exercise, people also need to nourish their bodies with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Most people don’t have the time or resources to get healthy foods, so they turn to fast food as an easy solution. For many, choosing between multiple meals that are unhealthy or a single meal that is good for you when both are the same price is an easy choice when money is a problem. People want to keep their family fed over feeding them the best foods for them because staying full is more important than staying healthy. But if healthy foods were a realistic option for most people, the country would be a much healthier one. Healthy foods motivate people. They give them energy and the drive to better themselves. The problem with the country’s poor eating habits isn’t because of lack of desire, but because of lack of opportunity to eat well.
This country isn’t unhealthy strictly because of choice. There are a lot of other determining factors as to why we as a nation are so unhealthy, like how people perceive health and the beauty that comes with it and the few opportunities people actually have to be healthy. Being unhealthy isn’t just a choice. Sometimes it is necessary to keep your family full and fed. And sometimes it’s because of how we are shown health from the big corporations and commercial industries that so many people look up to.
Written by Julie Campbell, WLLC 2015-2016