With regard to Amanda O’Brien’s column “Is cheap food an obesity culprit?” published in The Telegram, May 29, we would like to voice our opinion on the subject area.
The article supports the belief that cheap “junk” food is a major cause of obesity.
We strongly disagree with the author’s viewpoint and we believe there are more important causes leading to Canadians becoming more obese; specifically, that health is not their main priority.
The unhealthy food choices that people are making does contribute to obesity, and, in our opinion, these choices are not determined by the label price.
People eat “junk food” for simply one reason: it tastes good.
People might try to rationalize that their unhealthy food choices are due to the high cost of healthy food, when in fact they are pushing the reality into their subconscious in order to avoid feeling guilty.
The initial article states our society is spending a smaller portion of income on food.
This is because our priorities have changed.
Decades ago, people worked to provide food and shelter to the family.
Today in society, the majority of our income goes to unnecessary expenses for our personal enjoyment.
Too much money is being wasted on alcohol, cigarettes, soft drinks and eating out.
It is very expensive to eat out compared to cooking at home.
Considering the cheap price of eating at fast-food establishments, it is still cheaper to buy nutritious groceries and prepare a meal yourself.
It is evident that people do not have time, and/or do not enjoy cooking. Before someone says they don’t have money to eat healthy, they should look at how much they spend in food establishments as well as on other unnecessary goods.
We do acknowledge the availability of junk food has increased, but that doesn’t mean we have to eat it.
In addition, we encourage people to visit a local supermarket to compare prices of junk food and healthy food and you will realize it is not overly expensive to purchase healthier food choices.
The process of weight loss takes time and commitment.
It can also be a fairly challenging transition to one’s lifestyle since they must understand the process of macronutrient distribution, carb cycling, the importance of nutrient density/food volume, and the thermic effect of food if they want to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.
Therefore, if people want to reduce the fast growing obesity rates, they need to change their mindsets and start eating healthier foods.
This also requires one to reduce their consumption of fatty, sugary and salty foods.
If we want to lower obesity rates, our health must be one of our top priorities.
Unfortunately, it is not.
It is close to the bottom, and it shows through our growing number of health issues, waist circumferences and long lineups at fast food restaurants.
Once people commit to putting the time and effort into changing their lifestyle to a healthier one, we will see obesity rates decline.
Mark Richards and Danielle Gosse
Fourth year kinesiology students