It has been projected that by 2019, almost 75% of Americans will be overweight or obese. How can a projection like this be made? By powerful, undeniable trends. And the United States has developed two strong trends that are not only making us fatter, but hungrier at the same time.
Trend 1) The Chef as Rockstar.
Notice how cooking shows are popping up by the dozens weekly? How could you not? Names like Paula Deen and Rachel Ray are nearly as well known as Britney Spears. We commit hours a day admiring food—almost idolizing it. This has started a trend of wanting our meals to be elaborate. We no longer view them as just sustenance, but we put them on a pedestal and have lost site of their simple function—to fuel our bodies. It can be hard, after spending a few hours creating a decadent dish to stop and ask yourself “what is this food doing for my body?” when you’re too busy taking pictures of it to Tweet.
Trend 2) Fast Food.
Ironically, the two trends are opposite. Those of us who aren’t putting food on a pedestal are picking it up in paper bags. The irony about fast food is that, while the idea behind it is “I’m saving time by not cooking, thereby having time to do other things” is that fast food actually exhausts you and slows your body down, making you less likely to get things accomplished. Another major problem is that it is nearly void of nutrition, leaving you feeling unsatisfied after a 700 calorie cheeseburger.
75% by 2019. That’s a LOT of growth (pun intended) in a little bit of time. In order to stop these trends, we need to go back to the basics and regard our food as fuel for our bodies, and nothing else. Sure make it pretty, make it tasty, but don’t forget what it’s for.