Staying healthy and trim is simple; most of us know the Dos and Don’ts:
- Do eat mostly plants, get enough sleep, exercise briefly every day, meditate, and have loving relationships.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol, eat much meat or processed food, smoke, get overwhelmed by stress, or get angry often.
Follow the dos and you’ll greatly improve your chances of avoiding the three most prevalent and expensive chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer and diabetes. You’ll reduce your likelihood of depression. You’ll look and feel younger. You may even ward off dementia.
Seems simple, right? So why isn’t everyone doing it?
Industry marketing is a major reason why Americans make poor lifestyle decisions, and why so many of us are fat, sick or both.
Fast food companies spend $4.6 billion a year on marketing. Soda companies spend $7.2 billion a year. Alcohol – certainly a junk food – spends $2.05 billion. That’s a total of $13.8 billion convincing us to eat and drink badly.
Meanwhile, US schools spend just $8 billion a year on textbooks. It’s no wonder we as a country are so miseducated about health.
We get far more messages to eat junk food than real food. And most messages target children, especially minority children.
When was the last time you saw an advertisement for broccoli? How many of us have parents who follow all the “dos”? When was the last time your doctor recommend you become vegan, despite the fact that vegans are the only lifestyle group that enjoys, on average, a healthy BMI (see point 5 here)?
Meanwhile, consider how many times today you’ve seen the golden arches or come across an alcohol advertisement.
As a result, people who eat healthy are considered extreme, while people who routinely damage their health are considered normal.
Food and alcohol companies have successfully convinced us that “food is fun.” We have Ice cream or alcohol for celebrations; we reward ourselves with yummy desserts. Anyone abstaining from junk foods, meat, alcohol, and processed foods is derided as a health nut or an extremist.
Challenge this toxic food culture by rebelling.
It’s time to tune out all the marketing messages and become a rebel. Don’t be afraid to offend people by insisting on eating healthy, plant-based foods. Pass on the burgers and bacon. Spend less on alcohol, meat, and processed foods and more on fresh fruits and vegetables.