Obesity in America: What is healthy?

For years, the food industry has been finding ways to produce cheaper food faster, but little do average American consumers know what is actually on their plates.

“I generally know very little about the food industry, but as I took the Nutrition and Wellness class, it has helped me to gain some knowledge. I believe that food corporations can be trusted for the most part. I think that organizations, such as the FDA, do supply the consumers with logical sense, but I also feel as though they do not tell us as consumers every detail as it could scare society,” sophomore Hunter Gray said.

The food industry is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA. The FDA supposedly ensures the safety of food and drug consumption. The FDA, however, is controlled by several leaders of the agricultural pesticide company, Monsanto.

“The FDA cannot be trusted. Former Monstanto employees run the FDA. Monsanto is in control of all our seeds, and they are a chemical company. They make our seeds for corn, wheat, soybeans, and more. A few decades ago, Monsanto developed a pesticide called DDT, which was a very good bug killer. It killed many insects, such as mosquitoes and bedbugs. In fact, it almost wiped bedbugs out of the United States. DDT was eventually revealed to be extremely carcinogenetic. DDT was eventually banned because of all the cancer it had caused. Now, a lot of people my age have cancer. Cancer is now an epidemic because of chemicals like DDT,” Mrs. Julia Bowling, FACS teacher, said.

Today, society has been made to believe that massive amounts of protein are necessary for good health. It is believed by many that protein is the most important nutrient a person needs. A documentary called “Food Choices” shows this belief to be false.

“There is no single important food group or nutrient. We need all six to be healthy. They all work together. So, if one nutrient is missing, a person is not healthy. People today believe protein is extremely important, but it is not more important than the other five,” Mrs. Bowling said.

Another important factor that the average American proves to struggle with is appropriate portion sizes. Today, statistics show American adults consume 31 percent more calories than they did 40 years ago.

“I think people should pay more attention to serving size. When it comes to snacks, usually you just dump some chips in a bowl, but there is a healthy amount you should eat. People should be more educated to pay attention to the amount they eat,” sophomore Veda Craig said.

Some ways for a consumer to eat healthier is to incorporate more fruits, vegetables or wholesome foods into their diet.

“Anyone can chose to eat healthier. Although foods such as vegetables, fruits or foods without preservatives often tend to be more expensive than the unhealthier options, there are still other ways to find affordable food that is both more vitamin dense and healthier for consumers,” sophomore Abbi Sheets said.

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