Fast Food Nation: A Generation Later
In the time it will take you to read this, two more Americans will have died from cancer. In your lifetime, one in three people will contract some form of cancer. One in four will die from the disease. Within the next five years, cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States.
Since 1950, overall cancer incidence has increased 44%. Breast and male colon cancer has increased a staggering 60%. Prostate, testicular and kidney cancers have multiplied by 100%! Others, such as malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma and some types of lymphomas have also jumped 100% since 1950. Excluding the incalculable psychological impact, the cost of cancer is now estimated to be $110 billion, or approximately 2% of the entire American GNP (gross national product).
Between 1950-1960, 33% of U.S. adults were considered somewhat overweight (BMI 25-29) and just 9.7% were clinically obese (BMI of 30+). In 1950, obesity was not recognized as a disease, so no statistics were even gathered on extremely obese individuals with a BMI of 40 or more. McDonald’s opened their first franchise restaurant in 1955.
Fast forward to 2008: 68% of American adults are now overweight and 35.7%, more than one-third of this nation, is considered clinically obese. Despite the most advanced health care system in the world, Americans die younger than most countries, primarily due to health and fitness related issues.
Most heartbreaking, 17% of all children, ages 2-19, are now considered clinically obese, more than triple the rate of one single generation ago. The numbers continue to rise. When children are overweight, their obesity in adulthood is likely to be much more severe. The effects on their growth, development, and long term health are being played out before our very eyes.
We as a nation are eating ourselves to death. We can toss the blame at purveyors of cheap, highly processed “foods”, but the real answer is much closer to home. We, and we alone, are responsible for what goes on the end of our forks.
Most people will spring clean their homes. Why not “spring clean” your cabinets and refrigerators? Toss highly processed partial foods, refined sugars and fats. Replace them with nourishing whole foods, the way nature intended for them to be consumed. Eat like your life depends upon it; because it does!
Fast food has been the American health downgrade since it’s boom in the 1950′s. Stay healthy, eat right, feel great and live like there’s no tomorrow!
Share your favorite ways to keep you and your family healthy!