We Are What We Eat: American Diet
In comparison to other countries, the American diet remains undoubtedly too low in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, yet is entirely too high in calories, fats, added sugars, sodium, and grains. The array of healthy food choices available in America essentially supports ideal dietary health; however lacking proper nutritional knowledge while living a lifestyle full of time constraints prevents many Americans from maintaining a healthy diet. Learning to choose nutritious foods that accommodate individual eating preferences such as convenience and appeal is essential in fixing the American diet with increased longevity.
Food appeal is an important factor teens and young adults consider when choosing which types of food they intake. Food appeal is defined as taste, appearance, and preference, and according to Stewart Tinsley, “food appeal has a strong effect on [young adults] food choices” (Tinsley 227). In addition, Tinsley identifies “taste as the most important factor teens and adults consider when choosing food” (Tinsley 230). Evidently, appealing food strongly influences young Americans in selecting digestible foods, regardless if their choice is unhealthy. This concept of choice is problematic for many young Americans who are unaware that choosing foods which do not necessarily comply with nutritional standards remains unbeneficial in strengthening their long term health. Instead of choosing foods primarily upon appeal alone for instant gratification, young Americans should strive to consume healthier foods which will ultimately promote a longer, healthier life.
In addition to food appeal, lacking proper knowledge in regards to nutrition affect food choices for Americans as well. Stephenson Kennedy’s studies suggest that individuals with supplementary information about nutrition are inclined to “eat healthier diets than those who are less well informed” (Kennedy 339). By using a corroborated measure of nutritional knowledge, researchers have proven that knowledge clearly accompanies healthy eating habits. Stephenson Kennedy conducted that Americans who were aware of simple nutrition facts were nearly “25 times more likely to meet fruit, vegetable, and fat intake recommendations than those in lowest quintile” (Kennedy 344). This remains significantly important in shaping the American diet for increased longevity since many Americans who are reportedly unaware of nutrition could establish a healthier diet by frequently acquainting themselves with nutritional knowledge. Americans can gradually build their overall knowledge concerning nutrition by reading and heeding nutrition labels, and gain a full understanding of which foods are healthier to consume.
Culturally comparing America’s nourishment to other countries illuminates the convenience factor of the American diet, which is a pitfall preventing many Americans from managing a healthy diet. Paralleling America’s food consumption to European cuisine...