Food choices can help or hinder our health. Unfortunately, a recent Zogby Poll reports that a sizeable percentage of Americans are skipping meals because of cost.
https://www.newsmax.com/us/zogby-food-inflation-prices/2021/10/22/id/1041604/. Inflation is affecting all of us. Shoppers see it clearly. Food costs have risen much higher than the reported level of inflation. The supply chain and employment issues are affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. We may not see it clearly today but wait until the holidays.
Almost 30% of those polled report that they or their families have skipped meals because their family budgets cannot afford the price of food. Nearly a third of women stated that they or their families skip meals because of food costs. One-quarter of men report the same thing.
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/washington-secrets/zogby-poll-inflation-starving-3-in-10-of-daily-meals. Just slightly over one-third of Republican and one-quarter of Democrat voters report similar experiences. Just over three out of ten Independent voters concur. The poll was conducted during the second week of October 2021 with almost 900 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.
https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0645. I research and write on health wellness daily. The term, food insecurity, is foreign to me. I delve into issues affecting longevity and occasionally some aspects of the pandemic. The broader picture of food availability has not been one that attracted my attention.
The link above is from six years ago. The pandemic, inflation, employment, and other factors in today’s economy were not significant factors of today’s food insecurity. Food insecurity is a condition in which families lack access to adequate food because of money. In 2013, just under 15% of Americans were food insecure.
I have seen how food choices affected my wife’s health several years ago during her months of chemotherapy. When her diet changed, her health nearly instantly returned to normal. So it is not only a factor of eating, but also eating nutritionally balanced meals. I have written many articles about my wife and her experiences transitioning into radiation therapy and entering the Wahls Protocol.
Dozens of papers have been written about food insecurity and health. Income is definitely a factor in many aspects of our health—most of those studies concentrated on children. Birth defects, anemia, cognitive issues, aggression, anxiety, and more were observed in families suffering from food insecurity.
https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/20/04/harvard-edcast-benefit-family-mealtime#:~:text=With%20so%20many%20families%20staying,being%20hugely%20beneficial%20for%20kids. Today, most families do not cook and eat meals as a family. The Harvard study above reports that around thirty percent of American families cook and eat at home as a family. That number, thirty percent, seemed a bit high to me. However, that is what the study reported.
For months, our lives were isolated from work, friends, social events, etc. Today, many states have nearly returned to the pre-pandemic days. I live in the Houston area. It is a different world than a year ago. I still see people wearing masks, but social distancing is not highly practiced.
Yet, as fast-food places opened for business, lines formed that made me think the pandemic increased food drive-thru and take-out. Fast-food places are not known for their heart-healthy menus. They are known for super-sizing their high sugar items, though.
https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=display/ReleaseDetails/i/2836. Over half the parents today feel that they do not possess the cooking skills of their parents. That is another component of food insecurity. Nutrition is another. It is like Alice in Wonderland when she comes to a fork in the road. If you do not know your destination, any road will get you there.
If you are not aware of the nutritional aspect of your food choices, then your health destination can be far different than you think. We often see headlines about homelessness and mental health, crime and mental health, and other factors and mental health. However, nutritional balance is a key to achieving and maintaining mental health to know and make decisions for better overall health.
One book I refer to often in my research is Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD. Food choices – those high in carbohydrates – affect the brain. As a result, dementia, ADHD, epilepsy, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more are likely results of years of eating the wrong foods.
Yes, food insecurity is a concern for many Americans – more than just six years ago. As the price of food increases, our buying and eating decisions change. I can attest to that from a different perspective. Having been blessed with a mild case of COVID-19 last month, I ate less and lost weight.
In recovery, I ate more: more bread, ice cream, and other high-calorie comfort foods. As a result, I gained the weight I lost and added more. Unfortunately, we can get locked into a comfort food mindset and stay there too long because the stresses in our lives – pandemic, employment, finances, personal relationships, food insecurity, and more force us into the comfort zone of eating foods that can have long-term health consequences.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com