I am still getting the IDEA Fitness Journal, and one of their things is a sort of "fitness in the news" roundup. Last issue, they covered a poll published in ShopSmart magazine that asked "more than 1000" women about habits and feelings about healthy eating. The illuminating responses were:
- 13% said ... I'm not sure which foods are healthy
- 18% said ... Healthy foods don't satisfy my appetite
- 20% said ... Unhealthy habits are too hard to change
- 25% said ... My family prefers less healthy meals
- 29% said ... I don't have time to prepare healthy meals
- 33% said ... It's hard to find healthy options when eating out
- 39% said ... Life is too short; I want to enjoy what I eat
- 47% said ... Social settings are too tempting
- 57% said ... Eating healthful foods is too expensive.
One can see from this that more than one answer per respondent was allowed, so almost certainly, all those who said "too expensive" also made one of the other excuses.
I presume there was no option stating "I don't care enough about it to change what I'm doing," because 100% should have checked that box.
What are the real answers, if you are merciless like me?
I'm not sure which foods are healthy. Because I can't read, even though whoops, here I am reading this magazine and taking this poll. All that nutrition information on the package is just too challenging for poor little me, and look; there aren't ANY labels on these fresh food items!
Healthy foods don't satisfy my appetite. Or I imagine that they wouldn't, because the only "healthy" foods I've ever tried were salads, and a bowl of lettuce just isn't a meal to me.
Unhealthy habits are too hard to change. Or so I imagine that they would be, because I haven't actually really tried to change my unhealthy habits; it's easier to just stick with what I'm doing.
My family prefers less healthy meals. Also it's just a lot easier to go through the drive-thru or to heat up a frozen dinner than it is to microwave some vegetables and serve them with some quickly broiled well-seasoned meat.
I don't have time to prepare healthy meals. Also it is just easier to stand in the line at Starbucks for twelve minutes to get my double caramel macchiato and a scone than to take two minutes at home to assemble a serving of oatmeal to cook at the office.
It's hard to find healthy options when eating out. Because, you know, I can't read; didn't you see where I said that before? You don't pay attention. Those calorie counts on the menus nowadays are in such small print, anyway.
Life is too short; I want to enjoy what I eat. And you can't convince me that this so-called healthy food actually tastes good. After all these years eating processed American food, I can't taste anything but salt and sugar anyway.
Social settings are too tempting. And obviously, all social encounters have to involve putting something in my mouth, don't they? Oops, that didn't sound right. Anyway you know what I mean, life isn't worth living if every time you're out with friends you have to say "I can't eat that" or "I can't drink that." Everybody knows healthy eating is all about deprivation.
Eating healthful foods is too expensive. That frozen pizza is sooooo much cheaper than a package of chicken. Oh wait, it's not. But produce really is too expensive! Just look at this imported out-of-season box of strawberries!
I call bullshit on all of this. I spend a LOT of money on food, but the healthiest foods I buy are by no means the most expensive. I'll bet I don't spend more than people who stock up on manufactured, packaged food items and then supplement by eating out.
The bottom line on educating people about healthy eating is this: once people CARE, they will find the information for themselves. It's out there. It's unavoidable, really, unless you are working pretty hard to avoid it.
But if a person isn't yet to the point that they CARE, they will choose any of the above, or any of a dozen other lame excuses, to cover up the fact that they ... don't care.
Anyone who thinks healthful eating is "too expensive" should take a look at how much a month of the three most commonly-prescribed cardiovascular disease medications, plus diabetes meds, costs. Except - of course - they don't CARE, because that's what health insurance is for!
Eating a natural, high-quality, whole-foods diet is the best health insurance you can have.
Yeah, you have to pay "out of pocket." But consider this: if you're not overweight, and you don't have high blood pressure, and you don't have high cholesterol, and you don't have Type II diabetes ... your insurance premiums will be a lot lower. Probably would make the whole thing a wash, wouldn't it?