Our diets are important. They sustain us, they keep us healthy, and they help us feel mentally well too. Yet, as a species, humans are known to have an incredibly poor relationship with food, particularly in more recent years.
The way we interact with food has become so temperamental that approximately 11 million people die a year due to poor diets. This is more than the global deaths caused by smoking. Nearly every country around the world fell short when the results of this 2017 study were analysed. However, it was also evident that Western cultures suffered more than Eastern ones. For example, vegetable intake in Asia was as it should be, while in Western countries it was well below average.
Is Fast Food Culture To Blame?
Due to the increase in obese adults and children, officials around the world are trying to understand how our relationship with food has become so warped, and how we can improve it. Naturally, fast food culture has been blamed for the issue.
Although it’s true that over half the percentage of the US and UK are obese, and that calorie intakes have soared, not everything is down to the fast food industry. It’s easy to see why they’ve been given the blame, as they advertise across all mediums, promote unhealthy food, and make it cheap to consume. Nonetheless, while influence has naturally played a part, so too has our ignorance at recognising that the issue needs addressing. Quite simply, we’ve not held ourselves accountable.
How To Repair the Damage
Tackling the issue of diets isn’t an easy one, nor is it one that happens overnight. However, while there’s not a quick solution globally, there is in terms of helping yourself out. One of the main ways to add some stability to your relationship with food is to better understand what goes into the food we add. By knowing the ingredients and nutritional value, we can make better choices in the long run.
One of the ways you can do this is just being more mindful when you shop, taking the time to read the ingredients list and making a judgement, and by taking a nutrition course. The latter option may sound more extreme, but it’s the better way to ensure you fully understand the effects food has on your physical and mental health. In addition to this, not only do you learn more in order to benefit yourself, but you’ll have the knowledge to go and help ours, thus helping to tackle the global reach of the issue.
What Does the Future Hold For Poor Diets?
At this moment in time, the globe is in a state of influx — on the one hand we’re all acutely aware of how important our health is, but on the other we also have the body positivity movement. Both of them deserve a voice, but both can be utilised to create extremes that are harder to follow and understand.