By Nathan Smith
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? A tough question for foodies, but mine would be a greasy cheeseburger. I am a huge fan and apparently, the First Lady and I share a common love.
Recently, ABC News reported that Michelle Obama went to a popular Washington, D.C., burger joint and ate a 1700-calorie meal. Slow news day? Whether or not you think the nation’s leading health advocate chowing down once and awhile is news, it made me think about one thing we seem to lack here in the U.S. and Texas – moderation.
Texas ranks 12, up one from last year, on the fattest states list, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A report from the Huffington Post put the U.S. at number eight in the world for obese adults.
I was recently talking with a friend who is visiting Florence, Italy. She mentioned the portion sizes are much smaller than what we are used to. After all, everything is bigger in Texas.
There are plenty of critics who single out one type of food or product. Some point at fast food restaurants, some shake their fists at high-fructose corn syrup. Others say our food is not safe or “toxic” – all of them miss the point. The fact is too much of anything can be toxic.
Do we really care that Michelle Obama ate a cheeseburger, fries and a shake? I doubt it. She has a healthy lifestyle, meaning, a healthy way of life. The occasional burger here and there is nothing to throw a fit over.
We live in a world of instant gratification, where the consumer drives demand and we demand food – and lots of it. It’s hard to blame restaurants for making what people like to eat. We know that within 10 minutes of becoming “hungry” we can find anything and have it in hand and on its way to digestion in record speed. Convenience is a diet killer but I would argue that it’s our own fault. When was the last time someone forced you to make the trip to the McDonald’s drive through?
Pick up any health magazine or talk to a trainer and the first thing they will say is a balanced diet with regular exercise is the key to staying healthy.
The American Heart Association also stands behind balancing greens and goodies. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. and the major culprit is obesity caused by poor diet.
Texans love food and I would venture to say we have some of the best food in the country, produced by hard-working people who care about you and your family. Choices abound here in the land of plenty so look for some healthy ones.