The Great Nutritional Divide

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Longevity, wealth and social status have always been linked to appearance. Yes, human beings are vain.

We happen to also be walking billboards representative of our overall health. What is true in some cultures, or what was true in the past is not necessarily true nowadays. A “rotund” appearance was a sign of wealth or fertility, with baby-bearing hips (for the ladies) or a well-fed belly denoting one’s ability to afford the finer foods. Today, we find more overweight and obese people in the lower economic bracket, while the affluent folk are enjoying organic produce, fair trade coffee, fresh baked farmers market goods or free range, grass fed, beer quenched, massaged beef.

The lower income families tend to stuff themselves of cheap, processed foods, saving money in the short term while dramatically increasing their chances for future stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or anything else related to metabolic syndrome X. There is a great article I read on an airplane recently, in Newsweek, discussing this very topic. Click HERE to read the full story.

In the article, the author David Graham makes mention of the fact that it is not lack of education, rather financial priorities that dictate certain people’s choices towards food. I partially disagree with that because while you can get a burger for around a buck, you can also get some celery stalk, an avocado, a couple of tomatoes etc. Granted, it will not fill you up like a burger will, but it also yields so many more benefits to choose the non-burger options, especially when buying a combo of vegetables that can be made into a meal. So there still is a lack of education about nutrition that persists. I recently talked with someone working in catering, overweight, who wishes he knew how to eat better, and for every food option I mentioned, I was met with a rebuttal of “I don’t eat this, I don’t like that”. People, you’re adults. Be responsible, make the right choices!

There is another issue: meal times are not important to people. The article quotes statistics of people eating together, comparing European countries to America, and the perception of food, where it is an experience, a shared social activity.

Read the article, pass it on, and let me know your thoughts

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