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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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America, You Have Serious Diet Issues, Too    

By Achelle Vinzon
4157 Views | 14 Comments | 6/29/2013 3:28:01 PM

Obesity is a growing problem everywhere, but nowhere any more than in America.

But Americans already know that. The whole world knows it. As a serious public health issue, the American diet has been talked about countless times everywhere, by health experts, the media, and the public all over the world. The great U.S of A acknowledges the problem; obese Americans acknowledge the problem; diabetic Americans acknowledge the problem. You get the point. Americans get the point, too, but the problem persists.

Supersized meals; deep fried, sugar-loaded desserts (seriously?); processed/fast foods; and just plain over-indulgence. Americans have never been known for their moderation. And then there’s the issue of food waste in America which is no less disturbing; but that’s an entirely different matter.

Ironically, the United States also produces innumerable so-called fitness and diet experts who develop and promote one diet and/or fitness fad after another. Actually, these two, separate phenomena are just two aspects of the same problem; in fact, they feed off of each other. The unhealthy eating habits of Americans are supposedly addressed by the creation of these fitness and diet fads; and these fitness and diet fads, given the nature of fads, do not really address, much less solve, these diet, fitness, and health problems.

But let’s go back to the American diet. Here are the plain and simple facts on the state of the American diet: sugar and fat consumption is too high, while fruit and vegetable intake is inadequate.

Here are some statistics provided by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (Source: http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/):

NUTRITION

• Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat.
• Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils.
• About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.
• Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1,200mg per day could save up to $20 billion a year in medical costs.
• Food available for consumption increased in all major food categories from 1970 to 2008. Average daily calories per person in the marketplace increased approximately 600 calories.
• Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants has more than doubled.
• More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.
• In recent years, nearly 15% of American households have been unable to acquire adequate food to help meet their needs.2 In 2008, an estimated 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children, experienced food insecurity (limited availability to safe and nutritionally adequate foods) multiple times throughout the year.
The obesity problem is not restricted to adults; the alarming increase in the number of obese children is fast catching up to the alarming increase in the number of obese adults. Naturally, some of the major and chronic diseases associated with obesity which used to be only common among adults have also become common among children.

Here are some more statistics from the same website:

OBESITY

• Data from 2009-2010 indicates that over 78 million U.S. adults and about 12.5 million (16.9%) children and adolescents are obese.
• Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese.
• Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

How do these serious American health and diet concerns relate to relationships between foreign men and Chinese women?

While not many foreign men here on CLM are obese, and those who are obese are not all Americans, it is very likely that the Chinese women here will be encountering (if they haven’t already) American men who do suffer from these health and diet problems. Especially if a Chinese woman will be moving to the United States to be with her American husband and the two of them will be starting a family, she should be forewarned of the prevalence of these issues in the U.S. so she can be forearmed, and so that she will know to be more watchful of her husband and child’s/children’s eating habits. Chinese women have a great opportunity here to make a difference in their partner’s health, if they will end up with American husbands. But given that the Chinese diet also has a tendency to be unhealthy, women of China would do well to follow John’s wife’s footsteps and learn more about healthy eating, whether these women and their future American husbands will be eating mostly Chinese or American food, or both.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 14) 1 2 More...
#2013-06-29 19:46:47 by Tyler72 @Tyler72

One of the biggest culprits of the obesity "epidemic" and having a lot of diabetes links etc is MSG. Its being hidden in so many foods these days even though there is a lot of nonhuman based research linking it to obesity in rats and other species.. In fact when obese rats ate needed for various studies, msg injections are how they fatten them up. At the same time big food. Ompanies are sponsoring their own studies to make claims that its safe so the FDA allows it...bush even signed a law that says if, later, we discover the food industry has been pumping our food full of chemicals it KNEW were bad, we still cant sue them.. They learned from big tobacco's lawsuits.. Americans are beginning to learn that its so bad for us, and so now the food companies are finding sneaky ways of hiding it, for example, its known that MSG is the product of two different chemcals combined and those chemicals can be added in multiple ways to a recipie... So the food companies put the two things in allowing them to combine later in the food. Creating high volumes of MSG but now they dont need to say MSG on the label. Its a blatent means of hiding bad things in our food.

I recently read an artical that said 80% of processed, prepackaged foods in our major grocery stores have chemicals and preservatives in them that have been banned in Europe and/or Great Britain... Its all pretty scary..

That said, however, it is all about choices. We still have a very safe food supply here compared to many places around the world. And if you are willing to pay a bit more and do more of your own cooking, read those labels on the back of the food packages (they can try to be sneaky and use names that people wont know, but they absolutely cant lie and you can always look up the chemical names on the internet via smartphone right there in the store), you can be very healthy and very fit. You have to make the effort though. I just joined a new gym near my work, and their are tons of ridiculously fit people there. Im talking about olympic athlete fit with negative body fat percentages, LOL, is that possible? They must get nose bleeds at night!

When you come to the USA if you actually travel around enough to observe different socioeconomic strata and different geographic populations you will see weight and fitness varies a lot by which demographic slice you are observing.. More educated, urban, educated populations are generally a lot more fit that country wallmart folk who dont have the education to really understand nutrition etc.. You will see a mix of body types from the super athletic, to average to the loch ness monster.. And you will see when you are in line at the grocery store that the fat people generally have fat kids, its a sad cycle and you notice the fat family and look down at their cart and immediately see why. They will have a cart full of soda and sweets, cans of chef boyardie, potato chips etc, no green veggies, no chicken breasts.. They will have a pile of frozen pizzas though!

Also due to farming and various food subsities, it is cheaper to eat a greasy meat burger at fast (convenient) food locations than it is to get a salad, if you even have that option, when we all kn it should be much more expensive to raise cattle than it is to keep us in lettuce and carrots etc..

As i said, its about choices here.. You can stay skinny here but you really must make an active choice to be fit and healthy and then make the effort to educate yourself on foods and follow through. If you just eat whatever is fast and yummy and then sit in your car for an hours commute to sit for 8 hours at a desk then drive home, veg out on couch watching three hours of tv, sleep, rinse and repeat you will quickly be a huge, out of shape, chemical filled, heart attack waddling around on two ham sized legs... Its up to you.

#2013-06-29 19:58:42 by Tyler72 @Tyler72

By the way if you marry an American man who can afford to travel to China and get you through the visa process, you absolutely will NOT be in the demographic slice who lacks access to healthy nutrition, etc as mentioned in the original blog post. Much of those statistics refer to the very poor, urban groups of people who live in what are called "food deserts" or extremely poor inner city areas where all of the good grocery stores have moved out because its not profitable enough to operate a nice grocery there, and / or its not safe enough to maintain a good facility.

If you find an educated guy here with a good job whomcan afford to bring you home, i dont mean he has to be rich, just moderately educated and with any decent job, then you will have tho oportunity to eat healthily if you choose too.

Lol, you will of course also have easy access to all the bad stuff too, and its cheap, convenient and tastes quite good! Studies even show much of it is highly addictive just like nicotine or drugs.. So its on you to make your own decisions... Or help your husband make his decisions, LOL...

#2013-06-30 13:36:27 by anonymous6737 @anonymous6737

是,所以还是要想清楚后作选择。

#2013-06-30 18:03:10 by aussieghump @aussieghump

Poland, Sudan, Brazil, et al ........ all have serious issues with diet if taken as a snapshot of selective cuisines and dishes.

Some things to remember is that 'traditional foods' are often rooted in 'traditional times' and that these have changed significantly in all cultures in the last 50 years. For the previous centuries there have not been the extent of those changes.

Some issues that lead to the build-up in troubles.
1) With so many labour-saving devices (cars, other vehicles, remote controls) we are all able to travel greater distances with less energy expenditure. We walk less, stand less, move less and do less physical work than in the past.

2) labour saving foods that are convenient but contain high levels of processed components, fats and carbohydrates as well as reservations and additives have become 'normal' rather than exceptional. Raw foods that contain more fibre and make the body work harder for sustenance are reduced and high instant 'energy' foods are common. There is some evidence that the body's chemical structure is changing to accommodate this...obesity may be our bodies response to these changes - not necessarily laziness or poor choices.

3) traditional foods are usually locally grown and sourced, from the effort of the farm/environment...they were not chosen by health. The advent of transport gives us more choice and exotic foods - our 'prehistoric metabolism' is probably still matching the 'high carbohydrate/high protein/high energy is good' selection of th past few hundred generations of our ancestors.

4) the basic assumption is that food selection and what the body does with energy is a 'conscious choice' but in fact it is a biochemical response to external stimuli...I don't decide whether the energy from my salad gets stored as fat tissue on my waist or gets used on my daily walk!

5) most of the time we have no ability to know what is added to our foods - 'fresh vegetables' are covered in waxes, ripen in controlled environments and get manipulated severely. Simple foods have preservatives and coatings to keep them dry/mould free etc. Sauces and flavours are added, nitrates and salts...all ingredients of even unpackaged and unprocessed foods - it is a business of based on poor information

6) every 3 years we get conflicting stories about what is good, bad or indifferent...countries cannot agree, government departments can't agree, doctors can't agree, nutritionists can't agree but everyone can write a recipe book or fitness book or diet regime that only confuses and confounds the problem.

So thanks for the bad news - but enough already....most of it it heresay and unsubstantiated conjecture! Like we saw last time you took on China's culinary exploits with such a narrow span!

#2013-06-30 21:03:34 by stoken @stoken

@Tyler, I live in a rural part of the Missouri Ozarks and go to Walmart occasionally. The people you describe are actually usually town people from my own observations in this area. If you notice a rural person not buying veggies or fruits often it's because they have a garden and fruit trees at home or access to them. Small towns usually sell fresh produce on the square at least one day a week in season and people will buy there what they didn't grow themselves. They can and freeze this stuff to go through the winter. I raise and process almost all my own meat also as do many of my neighbors and what isn't raised is either bought fresh from a processor or hunted in season.

Many rural people are well educated and at the least fairly intelligent. If they weren't it it would be very difficult to get by in life here. Of course as always there are exceptions but by and large these are the people I know as my neighbors.

In the cold season I cut, split and haul firewood to fuel two wood furnaces to keep my shop and home heated. I have a gas furnace and central air also but do this to keep my woods healthy and out of a stubborn refusal to pay high fuel prices. Many of my neighbors also heat with wood they cut while working a minimum of a 40 hour week at their jobs. We are up early and work late to do things like this while also tending to livestock, gardens, lawns etc. I don't know anyone here that is a member of a gym, possibly because of a lack of time to go to one or maybe just not having the energy to do so.

I'm by no means a health fanatic and have some habits that aren't great. I like sweets for a snack but usually make my own. I love ice cream and have a freezer for making my own, but you will see me in the grocery buying it when it's on sale. I keep a loaf of bread in the freezer for fast sandwiches but almost always have fresh bread from the bread machine in my bread drawer. I do keep a few fast things in the freezer for days when I have little time to cook but usually just put something in the slow cooker or frozen leftovers from previous meals set aside for that purpose.

It's a thirty mile drive to Walmart or any fast food places and I work at home in the shop usually so it minimizes any possible temptation there might be for quick satisfaction. Many here don't care for it simply because they eat better and tastier food at home.

Some are large here but it's either a health disorder or just plain big from hard work and good food. Go to any church dinner or local cookout here and you are guaranteed a fine meal of fresh food and intelligent company that won't be surpassed anywhere else. I will step out and venture to guess that this is true of many rural areas of our country.

#2013-07-02 00:27:32 by Tyler72 @Tyler72

@stoken lol sorry Stoken, i dont mean to offend, i have farm folk family and yes the men there are all pretty lean from the very hard physical labor they do on the farm, many of the women around there are still waaay to big for me though and Im not referring to just strong from work. i myself used to bail hay in the summer for extra cash trying stand on a moving wagon and slinging n stacking 40 pound bails will definitely get you ready for football season when you head back in the fall. Thats not really the group Im referring to though.. Maybe I dont know the proper term for them with out getting offensive and just saying White Tr@$h.. Though they dont have to be white to fit into the groups Im referring to. Again sorry if I lumped you in with them by accident.

#2013-07-02 18:51:54 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@aussieghump I must admit, I'm surprised by the hostility. But in any case, I actually agree with all the points you made. I also agree that most of the information made available to consumers are, like you said, "hearsay and unsubstantiated conjecture" especially given what you said in point number 6; that doesn't make these problems less real, unfortunately.

#2013-07-02 19:34:35 by stoken @stoken

@Tyler :-) Well, I sure can't deny that group of people exists, particularly with all the famous Walmart photo shoots online! I wasn't offended though, just pointing out that they aren't a majority here by any means, so no apology necessary but thanks anyway.

Bucking hay is a tough way to remain poor! I did it also until we had to put up some wet alfalfa with rock salt between the layers. Those heavy bales about destroyed my back. That was the last time!

#2013-07-03 18:59:50 by aussieghump @aussieghump

@AchelleVinzons
Maybe you have become too attuned to 'hostility' after your first attempt at culinary critiquing...if you want to stir up a hornet's nest, you have to expect a few stings! But it doesn't mean that everything you see is trying to attack you!

One of the first lessons of China is you can say what you like but 'don't criticise my children'! You cannot have a logical argument with a Chinese person who has 'lost face'!

Like I said, I see little value in continuing to try to 'balance' the equation by highlighting relentless examples of poor cuisine around the world! - it is possible to find isolated examples in every culture, ethnic group and kitchen around the world!

For the record, my own country... Australia

Bardie Grubs - larvae of moths like a catapillar - bite sized sources of fat for the Original Aboriginals.

Meat pies - sugar pastry with an inside of fatty cow offcuts

Chico Rolls and deep-fried Dim Sims - deep fried tubes of meat and cabbage, and whatever else we can find...dripping lard

Dripping Sandwiches - fat from cooked meat, salt and white bread

TimTams - each triple-dipped chocotate biscuit is 19g, 17g of that is fat

Custard Slice - a sugar pastry sandwich over sweetened custard with a sugar icing cover

lamingtons - squares of cake, soaked in chocolate icing and dusted in coconut

Pavlova - a sugar merange base, bucketload of cream and a few sliced strawberries to top it off - instant Donny Osmand smile.


Any readers from Brazil, France, UK, Bosnia, Sudan, Malaysia, Spain, South Africa, Poland, Uzbekistan and everywhere else you haven't critiqued are free to add their own!

#2013-07-04 17:08:07 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@aussieghump Of course I expect to get stung, more than a few times actually. It's part of putting one's thoughts out there. Merely stating an observation regarding your first comment. Once again, you made very valid points here, and I do appreciate the fact that a healthy (pun intended) conversation can still be had. Even mockery is welcome.

We have our own pet peeves, interests, etc. Just because two people can't agree doesn't mean one of them is right and the other wrong. Sometimes, it really is just a difference in opinions and points of view. I do respect yours. I have actually read most of your blogs and found them interesting and insightful.

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