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…as well as unfortunate point…
Yep. Sad but true. I have to drive a bit to get to my Whole Foods and local food co-op but it’s always worth it.
As a teacher I must say that I’m often horrified over what these cafeterias are serving our kids. I always, always packed my daughters lunch.
What’s worse, these schools receive the approval from the A.D.A. (American Dietician Association.) It just doesn’t make sense! Are the children’s health and best interest placed FIRST in the selections they’re offered? Pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers and fries? You were wise to pack your child’s lunch.
Agreed there should be more healthier opinions within walking distance.
Unfortunately, it is up to the consumer. If the demand for healthier options exceeds the demand for unhealthy fast food options, quality food will become more readily available. Until the consumer truly understands how important this choice in life is, the fast food industry will continue to grow and prosper. People like VALUE. Until they realize LOW MONETARY COST resulting in disease and early death does NOT EQUAL VALUE they will continue to demand fast food!
Nice post, Jonathan. Here are a couple of points I think worth making. First, those junk food joints are a reflection of what people want. If there were no market for junk food, people couldn’t sell it. Second, Walmart is now a source of organic produce at lower prices than Whole Foods. So, we have options if we look for them.
Tony, unfortunately you’re right. If the demand for fast food didn’t exist, the industry would not be as prevalent as it is. In addition, until people become willing to prepare most of their meals at home, health risks and complications will continue to grow.
As far as Whole Foods vs Walmart (and other grocery chains,) I was attempting to compare the largest “healthy” grocery chain against the largest “unhealthy” fast food chains. Both types of chains offer FAST “sit down” food options that could satisfy lunch or dinner. Standard grocery stores (in general) do NOT OFFER on site tables to sit at while eating prepared selections. Keeping these parameters in mind, I was attempting to show the convenience in the quantity of fast food restaurants as well as their proximity to populated areas.
Our culture refuses to consider the serious ramifications fast food and its convenience plays in our lives. Reality ONLY becomes apparent when the pain of disease and dysfunction is diagnosed. What will it take for people to care enough for themselves to consider a lifestyle that provides the quality of life they seek? Why must we CHOOSE PAIN (NEGATIVE reinforcement) when we can CHOOSE pleasure (POSITIVE reinforcement) as motivation?
Thanks for your comment, Jonathan. I think short-sighted convenience is a big consideration. People don’t think it through. They value a ‘fast’ meal the same as a good nutritious one without realizing that they are moving their personal health lower. Look at smokers. I can’t understand how anyone who can read would be willing to smoke. Yet I see people puffing away on cigarettes every day. One of the most useful concepts I know is that ‘everything we eat becomes a part of us.’ Once you appreciate that, you can be on your way to a healthier life.
Well said, Tony. Have a great week!
One last observation on this. I think that many people choose what they eat strictly on how it tastes. They give no attention to the significance of this food in their body. We need to raise our consciousness on how we think about eating.
You’re spot on. When people decide on dining they typically ask, “what are you in the mood for?” NOT, “I’ve been eating carbs all day, lets go to a nice steakhouse of seafood restaurant for dinner!”
I still believe the answers BEGIN with our children. They must be taught (as part of a school curriculum) the essentials of healthy living. It must be part of an education process from elementary school through high school. It must also be part of their grading system. Without violating freedom of choice, the grading system should be based on knowledge, not performance.
Same thing here. Even most gyms I can think of in my city, Montreal, it’s more or less the same situation!
Thank you for adding your city to your comment. How sad is it to know that fast food dominance has become a world wide phenomenon? This is a dangerous precedent and one the consumer is unlikely to truly recognize as a serious health threat. The cost of denial (physical, mental and financial) will continue to destroy many lives. At what point shall we accept responsibility for these foolish decisions? Does the experience only become REAL after we suffer serious health complications?
I completely agree with you, Sir! I think, a step in the right direction might be to better educate people on it. By educate, I mean through the actual school system. There is little to no health and/or nutrition talks at the high school level, and there is optional courses starting at college level at least in Canada. Which, by the way, I find are minimal on content and often outdated! Also, people don’t realize that fast food is way more expensive than making healthy lifestyle adjustments. I have experimented, extensively, on that matter on a few separate occasions. Conclusion, after both short and long term trials, fast food ended up costing me way more.
I couldn’t agree more! I have written articles discussing the need to incorporate “REAL HEALTH” into the school system. It should be required from K-12th grade. Attempting to correct this problem with adults already suffering food addiction and depression will unlikely lead to a successful solution.
Financial cost is a two headed sword. $1.00 menus at fast food restaurants are difficult to compete with IF we leave out the cost of medications, surgeries and loss of quality living these foods typically contribute to. It comes down to VALUE. How much do we VALUE our health and our lives when we decide which products we are willing to consume!
From my gym I could take a photo of a Asian restaurant and an Indian place. Not bad, depending on what you order. But within walking distance there are at least a dozen fast food joints. I think Whole Foods is overrated and somewhat less relevant now that many supermarket chains are offering healthy/organic foods for a lot less cash.
Thanks for the very poignant post.
Hi Chris. My mention of Whole Foods was only meant as a “large chain” known for better options compared to “large chain” fast food options. General grocery stores have better quality food options as well and prices typically below Whole Foods. The point I was trying to make was intended to show the ratio of POOR CHOICES (fast food) to BETTER CHOICES (ex. Whole Foods) as well as the distance one needed to travel to obtain their products. In a country experiencing serious health problems we need to consider the consequences that “convenience” causes. In general, the consumer does NOT take this threat seriously and is sacrificing their quality of life (especially as they age) without fully comprehending the manifestation of diseases that follow.
Years ago I posted a picture of a gym that had closed. The signs for the gym were still up, but the signs for the new business replacing the gym were up as well – it was turning into a doughnut shop.
I understand the concept of wanting to own a business with financial opportunities. I don’t understand how a person with quality character, integrity and morals IGNORES the fact that the products they serve the public HARMS THEM. Should we license mobile alcohol stands and place them outside A.A. meetings to satisfy an existing demand just because there’s potential profit?
Lol, good post!
An ironic reality!
Tragedy, thought you both looked like gym junkies! Sort of voids the workout if you snack at any of those afterwards …
Maybe I wasn’t as clear as I thought I was. I attempted to point out the irony of all these fast food restaurants within walking distance of a gym where people are looking (often) to lose weight and become healthy. I thought it sad the closest (Largest) Health Food Chain was 10 miles away.
The American consumer will commonly choose convenience over quality. They have lost touch with understanding the detriment these establishments contribute to. The physical distance might be convenient, but the diabetes, cardiac disease, gall bladder disease, liver disease, intestinal disease, etc… (which these restaurants contribute to) wind up being anything but convenient!
No I did get that point – that’s why I said “tragedy”! Because people are lazy and will cross the road and ruin the impact of their gym workout.
I misread your comment as, “it’s a tragedy you both look like gym junkies, yet snack at one of those places after your workout. Sort of voids the workout.”
My fault for misunderstanding. Thanks for the clarification.
I think its great you are gym junkies! And would not believe even for a millisecond that either of you snacked at junk food shops, but do know the average person is lazy and would just cross the street. SO for those people it is a real trap!
Hi! I just found your blog and I love it. You have a follower in me!
You know, I live in Mexico, but I can still relate to your post. My country has the second-highest obesity levels, only behind the USA. There are many gyms in my hometown, but it’s all the same. There’s fast food places right across the street, and taco stands. What’s the point of spending an hour on the treadmill if people can gorge on quesadillas as soon as they step out of the gym? Pointless.
-Fabi at Wonder Fabi
I just visited your blog site and I would like to thank you for honestly sharing your story. I don’t know what the final straw was that made you decide sedentary living was over, but I am glad you understood the importance in abandoning this lifestyle. You look marvelous, and most importantly, are certainly healthier. With a family of three children, you have become a wonderful role model.
Stay focused on maintaining a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE; the successful weight loss simply becomes the END RESULT.
I look forward to seeing the changes you continue to implement to achieving a healthier happier YOU! If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Keep that beautiful smile on your face! 🙂
That is our society.
It will be nice when your sentence, “That is our society,” can be stated in past tense!
Fast food is everywhere! Agree!
…and continuing to grow in popularity resulting in increasing consumption…
Ignoring our obesity epidemic is unlikely to make it “go away!”
You made a very good point! Sad reality, but that’s what’s happening these days 😦 Nicely written doc 🙂
First, congratulations on your chosen profession. I didn’t begin my journey on becoming a doctor until I was 29 years old.
Identifying a reality is one thing; accepting it is another. I truly believe (in time) people will begin to realize how they short change themselves living a lifestyle that damages the mind and body. Helping them see and create alternative plans of action will open new doors with opportunities far exceeding anything they currently imagine. This is my mission; this is my PASSION!
Enjoy life ALWAYS! 🙂
Absolutely true! It’s great to know someone follow their passion, irrespective of the age! I believe that medical field is for people who are immensely passionate about it, and that’s the reason why I followed this path & hope to be the best possible doctor I can:) You’re doing an amazing job, good luck 🙂
Those who pursue a career from the heart most often provide the BEST service possible. To make an impact on a life that leaves a lasting impression, is truly a blessing. This is the gift YOU receive as a doctor. I hope you become the recipient of many GIFTS!
Don’t only focus on the end result (the credentials;) enjoy the entire journey.
Sure, it’s the journey which is more beautiful ❤
[…] via MY FELLOW READERS, I REST MY CASE! — All About Healthy Choices […]
this makes me laugh…I have a jack in the box directly in front of my gym and I have to drive by at least another 6 to 7 eateries….LOL no its not really funny…but it does have a bit of humor…LOL and for me I have to drive over 150 miles to the nearest Whole Foods…bummer….our grocery store has a decent health food section and has lots of organics so that’s something…plus we have in the winter vegetable stands along the road…so we have that…but crazy how many fast food places are around gyms….kat
It’s like making any alcoholic walk past bar after bar to get to where they want to go. We have a massive health crisis in this country. So what do we do? We build a “windfall profit” (fast food restaurants) at the expense of the consumer and ignore the unnecessary PAIN so many will suffer. Maybe these establishments should consider setting up cigarette vending machines inside to boost profits even higher?
Shhhhh don’t give them any ideas…..they will…
What a sad concept to believe. Unfortunately, you’re probably right.
Great post. It’s worse still for city people who do not have cars for driving those 10.4 miles in 19 minutes. Even IF there is an appropriate bus route, getting the food home safely is a huge hassle. People wind up with either fast food or whatever overpriced and overprocessed crud is offered by a convenience store.
I agree with you. The word convenience is truly an oxymoron. The belief that fast food is “convenient” is questionable when health complications resulting from these products “inconveniently” manifest. Hospital visits, lost work, pain, depression…. not so convenient in the long term!
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