Healthy eating habits should be more encouraged

A healthy diet should be better promoted, especially to teens
A healthy diet should be better promoted, especially to teens
Ella Patel

There are many dietary recommendations that the average person should follow in order to live a healthy life. For instance, according to a Harvard Study, the average man should drink 13 cups (8 oz per cup) and 9 cups for a woman—this, however, varies depending on body mass. An average man needs about 2,500kcal a day and the average woman needs 2,000kcal a day.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “less than 10 percent of Americans consume a diet fully consistent with the DGA [Dietary Guidelines for Americans].”

Many Americans do not realize the amount of food or type of food that should be consumed in a day, which could lead to overeating or eating unhealthy foods. As well as this, due to aspects such as the addictive fast food industry, or popular snacks such as chips, many Americans succumb to the craving of fatty, high sodium food.

While students are educated in middle school on the importance of eating healthily, a child may not be taught to maintain healthy eating habits, unless instructed by a parent. As adolescents progress, a child will learn these unhealthy habits.

As social media becomes more prominent, people, especially teens, are shown many influencers, who create unrealistic expectations and may cause insecurities, especially body image issues. The skipping of meals has become more common in an attempt to reach these high expectations. This is not only unhealthy, but can actually cause a person to gain more weight due to lack of steady nutrition intake. A body is more likely to store food as fat if there is an inconsistent eating routine. Since the body does not know when its next meal will be, it will be more likely to store nutrition in the event that there is a gap period, causing one to gain more weight while eating less. Other methods like eating disorders can seriously affect one’s health both physically and mentally.

Eating healthy and creating healthy eating habits are so important. The education on body positivity and how to eat healthily should be more vigorously taught to young people. While fast food is either tempting, convenient, or both, people should practice preparing more healthy diets. Not only does an unhealthy diet cause weight gain and obesity, it can also increase contraction of diseases, like cardiovascular disease and cancer according to Inquiro (University of Alabama research journal).

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) are overweight. More than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity. About 1 in 11 adults (9.2%) have severe obesity.”

If eating habits do not change, the health of the American population is at risk. According to a Harvard study, to make a healthy meal, ½ of the plate should be fruits and vegetables, ¼ of the plate should be whole grains, and ¼ of the plate should be protein. While you do not have to limit all unhealthy foods from your diet, the intake of foods containing fats, salt or sugar should be limited.

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