I usually don’t use my blog for very opinionated, emotional posts. I like my blog to be about fashion and beauty and giving advice to my readers, but I feel like it is my job as a female, and frankly an American, to address this situation.
Recently my food coach suggested I watch the documentary Fed Up as a jumpstart to my new healthy lifestyle. While I’m not one to sit down and willingly watch documentaries, I figured it couldn’t hurt. Throughout the documentary there are various interviews with three adolescents (the documentary was mainly about childhood obesity). One of the children interviewed was a twelve year old girl named Maggie. At one point in the film she started to cry during her interview explaining how frustrating it was to try and lose weight because, while she’s eating better and exercising more, she is only going up in weight not losing weight. She then said “I just wish there was a pill I could take to make me thin.”
Hearing this come out of this young girl’s mouth made me want to cry. Being a female and growing up in a world where so much pressure is put on a female individual to look right, it broke my heart knowing that an innocent twelve year old is already feeling these pressures. Being 21 and thinking of my future, I would never want my child to feel this way about themselves and feel helpless as if there was no solution.
And that’s exactly how she felt – helpless, confused, and frustrated with herself. And the worst part is that there are many more alike her that feel the exact same way.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been in that position where I’ve wanted nothing more than to be thinner or prettier, I feel like every female has been in that position at some point in their lives. And while we all feel these pressures coming from men,as well as the beautiful, flawless models who grace any advertisement space available, the blame also belongs to the food industry for all of their false advertising.
This brings me to my main argument.
Obesity has become the number one form of malnutrition in the US, and why you ask? Because the food industry is allowed to soil our foods with toxins such as processed sugar, hydrogenated oils, food dyes, and chemicals. And while it is true that a woman is beautiful no matter her size or shape, it starts to become an issue when many of these additives in our foods are linked to heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks, and even breast cancer.
It is also an issue when a young girl is crying out of frustration saying that she would rather take a pill to make her thin at this point because she is seeing no results in eating healthier. This is probably because while she thinks she is eating healthier, she probably isn’t. The so called “reduced-fat”,”low-calorie”, “no sugar added” products you see at the grocery store are FILLED with processed sugars and artificial sweeteners which your body automatically turns into fat because it can’t use it fast enough.
Let me put it into perspective for you. In America, people have to pay for their own health insurance, while in other countries the government pays for health insurance. In America, food brands like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Quaker, and Betty Crocker (as well as many others) fill their products with ingredients that can be harmful as well as a cause of large weight gains. In other countries, these brands reformulate their products without additives. These additives are not allowed in other countries due to the risk that it can make people ill. Basically, the food industry isn’t interested in keeping Americans healthy, they are simply interested in making the most money possible no matter the lives it costs.
The fact is, people aren’t very aware of how harmful food products can be. And how can they when there are advertisements everywhere for all of these processed foods? I don’t remember the last time I saw a commercial on TV for how great and beneficial eating whole fruits and vegetables are. Yet, you see commercials for Cheetos, Lunchables, Eggo Waffles, and Oreos on every channel. Not to mention the billboards and bus signs for the bigwigs like McDonald’s.
You may be asking “who am I to address a situation like this?” And for the most part you’re right, I’m just one person. I can’t change the food industry with one post, but I feel like it’s my duty to raise awareness about the situation. To me, it’s not fair that children are being told they’re a statistic at age 12. It’s not fair that when they go to school, they are only offered pizza, burgers, and french fries for lunch because it’s the cheapest option. It’s not fair that anywhere you go nowadays there is a candy counter at checkout just taunting you to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s not fair that newborn babies are likely to be born with a sugar addiction nowadays. It’s not fair that whole ingredients, fruits, and vegetables are set at more expensive prices than fast food, leaving impoverished families with no choice. And it’s not fair that the food industry has taken advantage of Americans like this.
So what I’m asking is that if you agree with me, take a stand against this problem. Help raise awareness of the situation. You may not think it’s a big problem, but when you watch a kid get bullied in school because of their weight, or a close family member get hospitalized because of a heart attack, it becomes a big problem. Don’t let the food industry control our society like this.
Attached is the link to the documentary Fed Up. I highly suggest watching this if you’re interested in learning the facts. I also recommend checking out Food Babe’s blog. I will be writing more health and fitness posts to show that eating healthy and cooking from scratch isn’t as bad as it seems. I really hope you all take the time to share this post or comment back with your thoughts because, as you can see from the length and emotion of the post, I really am passionate about it and it is something I believe is important to address.