Obesity on Main Street, USA

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The food offerings at Disney World were a real eye opener as to why we have a health care crisis in America. Everything was highly processed, fiber-less, calorie dense foods with lots of simple carbs and bad fats. The only vegetables allowed on the park grounds seemed to be the one sheet of lettuce per cheeseburger. Then there was the “unlimited refills” sodapop mugs you can buy that are a true American invention. Drink all the high fructose corn syrup you want ALL DAY LONG! You could easily consume 2500 calories of sugar on a hot day, yum! Move over moderation, make room for gluttony! We wring our hands wondering why we spend more than ever on health care but the population gets sicker and sicker. The answer is can be found on Main Street.

Nowhere epitomizes “Main Street, USA” more than Disneyland and Disney World where people from all over America visit to celebrate the magic of Disney. After 4 days here, its 100% clear to me why our health care costs in America are soaring while the population is unhealthier than ever. The food available at Disney caters to what people on Main Street want to eat – donuts, corn dogs, french fries, ice cream, chocolate dipped pretzels, and hamburgers. All highly processed foods with zero fiber. Vegetables not allowed.

Contrary to popular belief, I am not a nutritional Nazi. I am not strict all the time but I do have rules. When I eat something bad, I want it to be something that I REALLY enjoy. I have a saying, a cheat for a treat is fine if its “worth the calories”. If its unhealthy, its got to be something I really love. Unfortunately, the kind of nutritional trash available at Disney I find disgusting. I would much rather eat my yummy spinach and egg white scramble than soggy old fries or a 30 minute old hockey puck burger with a dry, crumbly bun. The one thing I found at Disney World worth the calories was a huge donut with thick, gooey cream cheese frosting. It was probably 1200 calories but it was SO worth its empty calories and artificial flavors and colors.

The bad thing is that there are simply no healthy options, at all. Nothing! You are forced to eat nutritional trash.

Looking at the crowds at Disney World, there were a LOT of miserable people. People so obese that walking was a chore, you could see it on their faces. I would guess that 10% were obese enough that walking was very difficult or impossible. 50% probably have been told by their doctors that they need to lose 20-30lbs. Other than my husband and myself, the only other men appeared to lift and watch their nutrition were the handful of “Crossfit Dads” pushing strollers.

One thing is clear to me, the healthcare crisis is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. We will be paying the healthcare costs for the horrible way people are eating today for decades to come. Its like global warming, by the time you realize its a big problem, the solution becomes exponentially costly.