“MOST AMERICANS ARE EATING BETTER…,” REALLY?

healthy_fast_food_lAs important as a bed side manner may be, it doesn’t add to the quality or duration of life if the patient isn’t willing to listen and modify their attitude and behaviors. I preface this so the reader can prepare for a certain bluntness this article may convey.

The title of this post is based on a new study showing Americans were eating healthier in 2012 than in 1999. This article quoted, “Poor diets dropped from 56% to 46% during that period.”

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So why aren’t Americans getting healthier? Simple, statistics are frequently designed to add “credibility” to research, NOT REALITY! For instance, in this case, improvements in poor dieting was based on people “claiming” to have eaten more whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and fish while cutting back on sugar-sweetened drinks. On the surface this 10% improvement appears to be a statistically significant gain. When we look at the overall health of the individual during this same 13 year period, we find a continuing INCREASE in dietary factors causing disease. This statement appears to conflict with the improved dietary statistic?

Let’s add another confusing statistic to the equation. During this same period, the percentage of Americans eating an “ideal” diet INCREASED BY 114%.

Like a magician, I will reveal the secret to these two statistical ILLUSIONS:

  1. Just because people claimed to have “added” healthier choices to their diet doesn’t mean their diets were healthy! For example, if a person simply added a piece of fruit to a diet based on fast foods and chemically laden processed ingredients this study would have placed this individual in the “healthier eating” category making this individual part of the 10% improvement. Can you see the deception?

  2. 114% is quite an improvement until one realizes this number was based on the actual percentage of Americans that ate an “ideal” diet. The actual percentage of Americans that consumed these foods rose from 0.7% to 1.5%. This means that 98.5% of Americans DID NOT eat an ideal diet (defined in this article as, “fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and less meat, salt and saturated fat.”) If only 1.5% of the population ate an “ideal diet” would you really expect to see an overall improvement in health?

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Sometimes COMMON SENSE supersedes ivy league peer review research. Since the rate of American illnesses continues to rise, common sense dictates the problem isn’t improving (regardless of statistical data!) The consumer should consider using this same common sense approach when undergoing a physical examination and blood panel testing for themselves. If the exam is unremarkable and the blood panel numbers are within normal values, this does NOT DEFINE GOOD HEALTH! A person in good health will also:

FEEL GOOD!

.

If a person does not feel good,” they should NEVER let physical examinations and blood panels undermine their innate intelligence (intuition.) They should keep searching with or without their doctor’s help until reasonable answers are discovered.

As you can see, the ILLUSION that most Americans are eating “healthier” is based on the limited definition used in this study. In reality, most Americans continue to become more UNhealthy as the result of a lifestyle that promotes DISEASE. To truly address this problem, the consumer must be willing to change their ATTITUDE and BEHAVIOR. A game plan must be created to address the various components necessary to live a healthy life. Although food selection is important, it is only ONE COMPONENT.

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Most Americans are NOT eating better (qualifying the term “better” with marked improvement in overall health.) Fast food consumption continues to increase resulting in more medications prescribed today than ever before. Don’t get “sucked in” to studies or blood panels and assume the “authorities” know best. It is best to use “authorities” as resource TOOLS. Use multiple resources to gain a better perspective to help you become the BOSS of your body. It is up to you to dictate the rules you know you need to live by to achieve the quality of life you choose.

I like to end these posts with an offer to any reader that doesn’t know where to start and needs help beginning the process. I will gladly offer assistance to help guide you in a healthier direction” (WITHOUT REQUIRING ANY COMPENSATION.) As a doctor I spent over 20 years helping people HELP THEMSELVES. This is the key to SELF EMPOWERMENT and successful outcomes. Without self empowerment our future generations just may find themselves in this postition:

 

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WE MUST NEVER ALLOW POOR FOOD CHOICES TO CONTROL US AND BECOME ALL CONSUMING!

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58 comments

  1. true for everywhere I guess

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately. It doesn’t mean, however, we need to continue to follow this destructive model. People need to be made aware just how dangerous this path is!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. honestly saying many do know about the havoc it may cause but still continue doing the same.. I being one of them :-p

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The reality of the “havoc” doesn’t become real until symptoms of disease become apparent. The wise person can see the dangers BEFORE they develop; the typical person must experience the PAIN OF DISEASE before they alter their behavior. I challenge you to become the WISE PERSON so you can avoid the eventual pain the other option offers!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I will try harder from now on…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You know how to make me smile! πŸ™‚

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Another very good post! I really liked the part about common sense and trusting your intuition; very practical.

    PS. LOVED the picture of the baby at the end!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. I have always found it interesting that people like to be told they are healthy regardless of how they feel. To assume objective findings bare no relationship to subjective feelings is a part of health care often ignored. Feeling GOOD (rather than “not feeling bad”) is NOT the same thing. So many people have no idea what it feels like to actually FEEL GOOD!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We really do need to use our own common sense! Another great article

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you completely.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think people also don’t think about portion sizes/caloric content. A friend of mine has recently gone full vegan and is hoping to lose weight. However, the pictures he posts online are full of healthy but high calorie foods such as avocados and nuts. It may be healthy, but eating like this won’t result in weight loss. And an unhealthy weight will still be unhealthy regardless of the goodness of foods contributing to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. Real foods with quality nutrition is a great foundation to build upon. Understanding basal metabolism and determining ones level of physical activities helps to establish a true caloric requirement. The final layer including vitamins and other micronutrients helps keep the body running efficiently and effectively.

      In most cases, too much of anything (including healthy foods) creates imbalances resulting in systemic compromise (ultimately.)

      Like

  5. It is true most people wont stop with the fast food until they are dealing with illness. Im one of them. There were times in my life where I ate fast food more than anything else. I was in great shape physically I was active and strong so I thought I was healthy. Taco bell, burger king, pizza you name it I ate it. Soda, candy, donuts everything I now look at and think ‘Gross!’ Its been years since Ive allowed that awful addiction get the best of me. Addiction or just not wanting to pay attention or give a care. I prefer now my knowing better be first on my list. I dont even think of any of that as food now its all just chemicals. I was lucky that Fibromyalgia was my eye opener. It has taught me how to take much better care of my body on the inside where it counts. If fast food lovers could just take a week off from eating it they would feel a difference. Its the only way to believe that its really bad for you. My joints my fatigue my over all well being is much better not eating any fast food. Its just not worth ruining your good health over. Again Im glad to be following your blog Doctor Jonathan! you always give me reason to put good thought into the subject at hand and I love that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking time to explain your past. Many readers will likely be able to relate to your story. It will also help motivate people to consider changing this damaging behavior and seek an alternative path toward achieving a healthier outcome. I’m so glad you learned from your own personal experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well you are welcome I can only hope to inspire and ty for giving me the chance to look back myself and realize just what a big deal it really is to have come as far as I have! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve spent a lot of time around teens and 20-somethings and I’m always amazed at how many of them do not cook, and are not much interested in learning. It says so much about what/how they are eating. I think we are going in the wrong direction, in so many ways.

    An important post. πŸ’™

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see the same scenario as you’ve described. Families (with both parents working full time) often “grab food” on the run just to eat SOMETHING. The critical role and value that food plays has been discarded. Introduce symptoms and the individual becomes slightly more aware. Introduce serious chronic diseases, and awareness sharpens. Unfortunately, awareness has not been enough to transition lifestyles from destructive to desirable. Instead, there is a belief that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases are “normal” developments with age. Unfortunately, unhealthy living produces enormous wealth and profit for the food industry. Convincing the consumer it is their responsibility is a challenging task.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful and generous offer you are making at the end of this post, Jonathan! I hope a lot of people take you up on it. It took me more than a year to really turn my diet around just because of the amount of LEARNING I had to do involving what I ate and drank. Some of the misinformation out there works against health and healthy weight loss; so I think there is a battle just to get the correct information to begin with.

    I stand in admiration of your work here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will have to send the admiration right back to you. Anyone willing to take the time to learn fact from fiction and apply these standards to their lives as well as their families is a person deserving of a standing ovation! Keep up the good work and always experience joy and happiness in the process (even if it requires placing “happy faces” on brussel sprouts. πŸ™‚ )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Jonathan!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am not in full agreement with you on this one. I have only been writing in the ‘health’ arena for just over six years, but I absolutely can attest to an increase in interest in eating healthier in that period. I think you need to remember the contribution of the millennials to the situation. They are younger and very health conscious. They aren’t into fast foods like we older folks were/are. While it may be correct that fast food revenues are rising, fast food offerings have improved to include salads and chicken and fish dishes. We still have along way to go, but I think we are making headway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to see some good old fashioned (healthy) disagreement. I actually hope you’re right. I have based my conclusions on (1) the significant rise in childhood obesity across every age group (up to 18 years of age, (2) the growing cases of type II diabetes from adolescents through adulthood, (3) the increased findings of cardiac disease including more children being placed on blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication, (4) increased rates of sedentary lifestyles for children and adults, (5) minimal family support for children resulting from a lack of awareness (in many cases.) Naturally, there are certain socioeconomic classes that have made some headway, but when looking at this problem from a global perspective, I have not seen any trends showing a healthier more functional population at large. This, however, has not interfered with my desire to share information to help people find alternative pathways toward achieving healthier outcomes. Like you, I believe, our world will be better off as we begin to implement a game plan especially if it starts with our children.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We certainly agree on the fact that it is a giant problem with no easy answers. Keep up the good work.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You as well, Tony. Your posts help people understand what health is really about. Living the lifestyle yourself adds that much more credibility.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Health Mastery Movement · · Reply

    This article speaks volumes. And that first quote in the picture couldn’t be anymore true. There’s a lot to think about here. Thanks for voicing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this article. Helping people to understand their role in their own health sometimes conflicts with current paradigms. Hopefully, these articles give people a chance to reconsider whether the current path they’re following will really get them to their desired destination.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for not sugar coating things and telling it like it is. I think when it comes to our health, bedside manner does not do anyone any favours. I enjoy numbers and graphs and that last illustration of the fast food revenue was very telling. The statisticians can try and manipulate the numbers, but raw data does not lie and if one can interpret correctly, they will find correlations and causations everywhere.
    Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pam. Sometimes it simply takes repetition of concepts for people to accept the need for change. For many, there is FEAR; in reality it is more frightful following the same destructive path.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve said, too, that people can start with an incremental change that gives them a solid foothold in the right direction. Then contunue to build with confidence. As well as I eat, I can still do this! I am adding ground flaxseed to smoothies, and trying those mediterrean recipes with seafood and plants. But, I could not have sustained a radical overhaul 10 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your approach, Karen. Rome was not built in a day. Patience and commitment (to oneself) slowly builds the lifestyle modifications we need to incorporate in our lives. Gradual change also adds to the success that these changes will remain LONG TERM! The other important factor to help modify one’s behavior comes from discovering joy in life. When our focus can shift from FOOD (a material “thing”) to PASSIONS IN LIFE (non material EXPERIENCES) the void that food temporarily fills is no longer needed. Our “addiction” shifts from FOOD to LIVING LIFE! Now that’s an addiction I would love to get people “hooked on!”

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful post, Jonathan. Once again, your passion and sincerity to help other people is so apparent.
    I attended a seminar recently on psychogenic stress vs somatic stress and how foods impact this. It was full of interesting information, and one of the speaker’s opening remarks was to always dispute the interpretation of data… that information is highly perishable like food; that it must be updated and interpreted continually, similarly to what you are saying here.

    He covered many fascinating things and spoke a lot about feedback systems. He said our inability to predict is what drives the fast food industry. The more familiar something is to us, the more we turn to it; the more likely it is to predict, in effect, and that fast food turns flavors into a familiar taste associated with pleasure which keeps us going back. And by using toys, they get the pleasure association with the fast food ingrained in kids. I won’t go on about it, but he laid out the case with facts and evidence of quite a diabolical, calculated industry, as you well know.

    Thanks for another great post. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll bet that was a fascinating seminar! Personally, I do not look at the food industry as evil, but rather as a business operating under very loose ethical and moral guidelines. There job is to MAKE MONEY! It requires selling product. The cheaper the cost of the product, the more profit will be made. It becomes the consumer’s responsibility (once they become aware of these facts) to decide whether their food purchases are going to simply be based on taste, quality or a combination of both. For many, they have chosen taste over quality believing they are saving money in the process. What they don’t realize is the “financial savings” are a myth! If you add the damage to one’s health and the medical costs used to maintain chronic disease, the financial outlay exceeds the cost of a healthy diet. Where is the financial benefit when we include in the equation the physical, mental and emotional damage our S.A.D nutrition plan causes?

      Like

  13. Once again,an excellent post. Isn’t it sad that so many people only think to change their lifestyle when something drastic happens to them health-wise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very sad. People prefer to pretend they will never be the victims of their own destructive lifestyles. Hopefully, as people read these articles (that many of us write,) they will become enlightened and eventually take ACTION!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Well, this particular American is eating healthier – part of that thanks to you and other bloggers who keep me motivated to want to eat better and exercise more! Of course, a sample size of one does not a study make.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. When the participant in the study is Sarah Ferguson, the sample size becomes irrelevant! I would be willing to bet on you and the success you will continue achieving over time. We writers may provide awareness, but motivation to sustain a healthier lifestyle comes from within the individual. It takes commitment, perseverance and a belief in self value. You strike me as possessing all three! Besides, I have Choppy and Schooner as spies to keep me well informed! πŸ™‚

    Like

  16. What a great post Dr. Jonathan.
    A female friend of mine married an American guy and moved to Utah where her husband lives. She was shocked to see one of her step sons drinks 7 cans of sugary fizzy drink PER DAY and none of his children drink tea. When she told me about it, I was in shock too. Your article brought up an issue that reminds me of her new American family.

    Vivienne X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish it shocked us here in the United States. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D) is destroying the health and quality of so many people’s lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Fully agree on common sense. Unfortunately the more educated we get, we tend to lose common sense and I get so frustrated dealing with people like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So understandable!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Another excellent post….I have tried to change my entire way of eating…by using the 3 or less method is a good way for me to stay on track….3 or less ingredients in anything I put in my mouth…I don’t always stay true but for the most I am able to keep at it….know that doesn’t mean I can’t combine the 3 or less ingredients to make a large fruit salad, or green salad to say…but each ingredient I add must be 3 or less to it…LOl its kind of fun and amazing how better food taste when its natural on ridden with chemicals including sugar!!! I also use the nothing white in my diet, with the exception of cauliflower…like I said I try to keep it natural and real as much as possible….have a great day….I added this one and the last one to my Facebook page….happy weekend to you and yours Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your approach. It’s a good general rule to follow.
      Thank you for adding these to your facebook page. After all, the goal is to help as many people as possible. You’re the BEST!
      Hope you and the husband have a wonderful week.

      Like

      1. Just wanted you to know that your post on my Facebook page, easch had over 6 likes….and some with great post comments….so you are spreading the good word through out my Facebook pages, some of those reached Caracas South America….just want you to know….xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Since you’re doing such a great job helping spread the word, I’m thinking of putting you in charge of writing the posts as well! (LOL) Thank you again for recognizing the value in my work and helping me help others rediscover the quality of life they deserve.

          Like

          1. Oh my you wouldn’t want to do that…it I could never do your post justice…they would be full of my important opinions…LOL you are helping a lot, and I mean a lot of people….you are definitely getting feathers in your angel wings everyday….kat

            Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you very much!

    Like

  20. How can any study or publication seriously think they conducted credible research. Most people will be too embarrassed to admit they eat poorly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The goal is not seeking the TRUTH; the goal is to attain some form of documentation one can hold high in the air justifying any conclusion that fits its paradigm. Research is as much a tool for marketing and advertising as it is for scientifically quantifying an outcome.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, this sounds too much like politics to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for the very clear discussion of misleading diet stats (and for sharing such memorable and appropriate quotes). Another way that cheery stats can be misleading comes from the tendency of people to say what they think is “good” rather than fess up to what is true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As much as I believe in the need for research, I also understand the reality of how it is often misused. The more exposure to these realities I can share, the better informed the consumer can become. The goal is to help empower people to feel more comfortable choosing the best options available regarding their own health care, rather than relying on any one doctor to decide for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. this report is very informative, we must never allow poor food choice to control us. our future generation may just find themselves in this postuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lucy. I like the way you think.

      Like

  23. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. J L Hunt · · Reply

    Excellent post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much.

      Like

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