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Take responsibility for your eating habits - value your health

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Take responsibility for your eating habits - value your health

Unhealthy eating habits are causing more Canadians to become obese. Skipping meals, eating fast food, and eating processed foods are just some of the reasons.

Not another study on the impact of unhealthy eating habits! Globally, 1 billion people are obese (that’s now easily calculated as 1 out of 7). Obesity causes more than 2.6 million deaths a year from various diseases, so knock us over the head with another study. Maybe we’ll listen this time.

A recent study blames obesity on the usual suspects:

  • eating too much fast food
  • consuming too many processed foods
  • dining out
  • skipping meals
  • not eating enough fruits and vegetables

Canadians love going out to eat. We spend 30 percent of our weekly food budget on restaurant food. But eating fast foods and processed foods ups the amount of fat we consume. More than 25 percent of Canadians aged 31 to 50 exceed the safe limit of calories derived from fats.

We’ll pay for our unhealthy eating habits one way or another—either personally or financially, or both. Personally, we’re setting ourselves up for cardiovascular diseases; type 2 diabetes; liver diseases; and breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

Financially, health care costs for obese individuals are approximately 42 percent higher than for people of normal weight, taxing an already overburdened medical system. The total cost of obesity in the United States is estimated at $139 billion a year!

To get this epidemic under control, researchers suggest governments could try

  • placing higher taxes on fatty foods
  • subsidizing healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables
  • subsiding healthy meal plans at schools and universities
  • restricting junk food sales in schools
  • adding warning labels to junk food, similar to warnings on cigarette packages
  • implementing educational programs to promote healthy eating and exercise

But ultimately, healthy eating starts with the choices we make each day, and healthy choices depend on the value we place on our health.

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