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In today’s baby step edition, I would like to talk about fast food restaurants and the obesity epidemic.  I cut out an article, Let’s Make America Trim Again: A Challenge to Change Your Life,  by the You Docs, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen. They reported some pretty scary facts that really set me back.

It has been concluded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there is a definite connection between the increase in eating fast food and the increase in overweight and obesity. They found that in every age group, the obese consumed the most fast food – that would be children and adults. The article goes on to say, “From 1980 to 2015, the percentage of the U.S. population (kids and adults) who were obese jumped 16% to 34.5%.  That is the largest percentile increase of any country in the world…”  They went on to conclude, “In countries around the world that had no fast foods and very little obesity, the arrival of fast foods is right in step with the arrival of obesity.”

What about fast food is so unhealthy?  “Research indicates this is a result of huge portion sizes leading to excess calorie consumption, as well as the prevalence of foods with low to zero nutritional levels and high glycemic loads, saturated fats, unhealthy chemicals like emulsifiers and added high fructose corn syrup (yep, even in burger buns!)”

Now for the challenge.  Give up fast food.  We all know that it is not good for us and it is the biggest contributor to obesity.  Will it be easy?  NO!  Just the convenience alone has made us use fast food restaurants as our go-to when life gets hectic.  What do you replace fast food with? Food you make at home. Remember last week we talked about planning ahead and having the ingredients on hand for quick, healthy go-to meals? This is why.  When you prepare what you eat, you know that it is healthy, fresh and good for you.

I will be the first to confess that a lot of my excess weight is courtesy of fast food.  I could list my favorites and the specific dishes I ordered from them, but why torture myself.  To be honest, I used fast food because I am really lazy.  I live alone and didn’t want to go to all the trouble to dirty up my kitchen just for me a meal.  I have got to rethink my decisions and put me at the top of my priority list.  Don’t I deserve to eat good, tasty, healthy food? You bet I do and so do you.

So here is the real challenge I talked about in the title.  Give up all fast food for 30 days.  Don’t let yourself go to the drive thru even for a drink.  Be prepared at home by planning your 30 days.  Create some menus, have a few go-to meal ingredients on hand for the what-ifs. Stick to your plans to handle the activities you know are coming up.

You and I can do this.  We are capable. We are informed.  We are worth the effort.

Bye for now.


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