How To Build An Awareness Of Eating Habits

9 min readApr 29, 2019
Stephreyn85 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t watch TV. Well, I don’t watch commercial TV unless I need to check the local weather for the news. I avoid commercial TV because I see food commercials. Pizza. Crackers. Chips. Restaurants with appealing meals with giant portions. Oh, and the soda pop. I have kids and I don’t want them to see how the commercials glorify eating, as if without consequence.

Everything we do has consequences, and what we eat and when is the big one. Eating is about self-preservation to be sure, but in this country at least, it’s far more. Eating is recreation in pie eating contests. Where we eat is about status in the fancy restaurants. Eating is about satisfaction. We even give human attributes to hot dogs, fruit, candy, and cereal. Isn’t that a sign of mental illness? You know, to convince people to eat food that is advertised with human attributes?

Who knew anyone could be so happy eating a Twinkie, Froot Loops, french fries or a massive meal at the Olive Garden? Who knew that a giant Slurpee could bring so much joy in life? Who knew that all of this could come back to haunt us?

According to the CDC:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of US adults in 2015~2016. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data briefCdc-pdf PDF-603KB]
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death. [Read guidelinesExternal]
  • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2008 US dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read paperExternal]

Obesity is so prevalent in the United States, that it’s almost the new normal. I can recall watching the extras DVD of the movie, Herbie The Love Bug. The movie was released in 1968, and the extras DVD had a segment that featured a contest where a prize was awarded to the best dressed VW Bug. The winner would receive a new VW Bug made to look exactly like Herbie.

As I looked at the crowds in the contest video, I slowly noticed that most of the people there were skinny. And I mean skinny like I was when I was…