Unhealthy eating has become a widespread habit.
While it initially appears to be less expensive than healthier food, what many people have yet to understand is that an unhealthy diet is actually more expensive down the road. It is a fact that a lot of people believe that eating healthy on a regular basis is costly. At first glance, consuming junk food may appear to be generally cheaper than whole foods. Looking deeper though, unhealthy eating can cost you a fortune.
How unhealthy eating leads to long-term problems
At the register, unhealthy food items may be less expensive, but when you take a look at the big picture, you will find that it will actually cost you more. Not just pocket-wise but also in terms of your health.
In the short-term, an unhealthy diet causes depression, stress and fatigue that result to less than productive routines. When it comes to long term health, sticking to unhealthy eating habits contribute to a range of more serious conditions such as obesity. What’s more, obesity causes problems that extend beyond health.
A diet consisting of less than healthy food options is one of today’s leading causes of chronic diseases such as obesity.
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the rate of obesity in the United States has soared to 28.0% in 2015 from 25.5% in 2008. Moreover, a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that in 2011 to 2014 more than one-third, 36.5%, of American adults are suffering from obesity. As most people know, obesity is caused by eating an unhealthy processed foods diet.
The true cost of unhealthy eating
In its report, Gallup additionally states that overweight adults accumulate nearly $400 more per person every year in healthcare costs. Every adult individual with obesity can bring up costs to an astounding $1,580 each year. When added up, American adults who are overweight and obese raise the costs to $142 billion each year in incremental healthcare costs.
Meanwhile, the Stateofobesity.org reports that the costs of obesity range from $147 billion to almost $210 billion each year. Another aspect hugely impacted by obesity is job absenteeism, which is said to cost around $4.3 billion a year. With lower productivity, employers lose $506 per obese worker per year.
Summing it up
With all these figures, it can be concluded that while unhealthy eating can seem to be harmless at the outset, it is in fact a catalyst for a host of problems. And it does not help to know that many children of obese adults are reportedly headed in the same direction. But, these can, however, be reversed with the community-based programs targeted at correcting dietary habits and increasing physical activity. With discipline and restraint, the course may well be headed for improvement.
For now, the most ideal thing to do is to gradually move away from unhealthy eating habits. Start with preparing healthy meals for the family and teaching children the value of good eating habits. Show them that this will not just nourish them, but also contribute to their mental and physical development. It may be important to note that choosing to eat healthy more often means an increase in grocery bills. While that may be a distressing fact, it is actually more important to remember that the long-term impact of unhealthy eating is even more expensive and more worrying. Just keep in mind that eating right is far better for you and your family’s long-term physical and mental well-being as well as for your pocketbook.