This is my take on Essay Topic B for ApplyTexas...
Choose an issue of importance to you-the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope-and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.
I'd really appreciate some honest feedback (: thank you!
I am what some would consider, a health freak, although I prefer to call myself a self-liberating nutritional activist. I whole-heartedly believe in whole grains and heart healthy foods, and I don't eat anything that I can't pronounce. It is so common in today's society to completely disregard or undermine the importance of food as a necessary part of life. What you eat determines so much about the way that you live. Indifference about what people put in their bodies, nutritional apathy, and general laziness are just a few examples of what are causing America to be in the top 10 most obese countries in the world. If more Americans paid attention to what is in their food, and took the time to learn, even a little bit about what a body needs to survive, high rates of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease would decrease, making a healthier society with the longevity to outlive our parents and raise future generations that will continue to do the same.
Why are over 78 million people in the U.S considered obese? In the 1950's the fast food industry was launched, in addition to packaged foods and TV dinners. Food was easy, and cheap. Because it was the newest and greatest thing for parents to spend a dollar and not have to cook, the fast food industry was widely successful and gained exponential popularity. Nobody gave it a second thought, food is food. Coincidentally, rates of heart disease and high-blood pressure also experienced growth, and since then has continued to grow. Today, there are over 12,800 McDonald's restaurants in the U.S, and the farthest away you can go without hitting a McDonald's is 145 miles. Society has been force-fed the fast food industry on a shiny silver platter and completely normalized its place in the community.
I absolutely cannot stand the idea that children are being taught to eat badly from a young age. The percentage of childhood obesity in the U.S. increased from 7% in 1980 to 20% in 2008. Childhood obesity should not even be a statistic. It is not the child's fault, because the child has never known anything than what was taught to them by their parents, and being overweight as a child is a sure set-up for disease early on in life. They don't stand a chance. Our generation may be the first generation to not outlive its parents. If society continues to grow eating the way we do, we will fail as a species.
Different foods contain different kinds of essential nutrients for growth and survival, and they can be found in fruits and vegetables that grow naturally, as we do. Not in processed food that is chemically engineered to taste like those same natural foods, without anything remotely close to the kinds of nutrients we need to grow, the kind of nutrients our bodies, tissues, cells require to function. Say a person eats a sandwich; whole wheat bread, romaine lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mayonnaise. The bread contains carbohydrates that serve as a main energy source for cells, and fiber, that helps with digestion. Lettuce contains Vitamin A that promotes good vision, and Vitamin C to aid your immune system. In addition, lettuce contains high levels of Iron, which is essential to helping red blood cells process carbohydrates, and contains a whole serving of protein, which are the basic building blocks for the body. Tomatoes contain Lycopene that is good for your skin, and Vitamin K (Potassium) that is essential to the nervous system and helps neural impulses to fire. Cheese and mayonnaise contain calcium, which is necessary to bone growth and the production of red blood cells, fats (lipids), which are non-polar energy sources for cells that help fuel metabolism. This sandwich, compared to a fast food hamburger, which contains a few of the same nutrients with lettuce and tomato, but additionally has copious amounts of sodium that stick in arteries, causing hypertension, heart attack, diabetes, you name it. Not to mention the higher levels of saturated fat, which becomes visceral fat, and eventually suffocates your organs and kills you. Our society depends on medication to remedy these conditions after they occur, but by eating a well-balanced diet, we can potentially prevent these issues all together.
Since I began to research the way that the body functions, I have changed my diet to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and zero fast food. Because of this, I feel insurmountably lighter, healthier, and happier. I believe that medicine could be significantly decreased in our society by the application of a well-balanced diet. Eating well now will save you the literal heartache later.