Health…perception or reality

Posted: July 10, 2013 in Inspirational
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

It has a been a little while since I put out a perspective style article, and my reflective mood dictated that this day is perfect for writing one. The weather has been really nasty here in NY the past few days, and I had to pick something up at the nearby mall. I was extremely parched upon arrival and headed over to Panera where one of my ex-students work. Yes, I was going to work a free drink out the trip. I just wanted some water (which I got), but I took a minute to sit down.

I generally enjoy observing the world around me and overheard various comments and saw a few families sitting together in the booths. I heard one particular family discussing the “healthy meal” that the youngest daughter was eating. They were about a row away from me. You should have heard them touting it like they had just turned her into a gluten-free vegan who performs feats of strength. It made me realize that for those who are outside the fitness community, healthy eating can be personified by a good ad campaign, and they will happily accept it as fact. In truth, the grilled cheese that their kid was eating contains dairy, and the cheese inside of the buttered bread is closer to Vaseline in chemical structure than a protein pill. The yogurt side that the kids get serves up a lovely dose of casein, which is known to pair immaculately well with carcinogens and speed up the cancer process.

Now I’m not here to pick on Panera, it’s a situation that occurs all over America on a daily basis. There are people who buy into the ads that McDonald’s has such awesome fries because of the “high quality” GMO potatoes they use to make them. Nevermind the deadly toxin acrylamide that was mentioned in our last blog. I’ve even overheard a co-worker tell someone to feed their kids huge bottles of vitamin water to combat the illness that the child was going through. There is about two pennies worth of biologically unavailable synthetic nutrients in that drink. The sugar content is through the roof. The bottlers, Coke, even admitted misleading the public with their “vitamins + water = health+ line.

The tough part is, what do we do? I stepped in when my coworker was spouting her mouth, but that was because I knew both parties involved. I usually keep to myself though, which leads to guilt. Did I miss a chance to educate someone? They probably would have passed me off as some overconfident health nut who is losing his mind. I determined that this is a no win. I live with the understanding that I could have helped someone, but recognize that it is not acceptable in the social sphere.

Isn’t society an odd thing? We give unskilled workers cigarette breaks so they can blow smoke in the faces of passing customers, but we would be looked as insane for propagating healthy choices. My one solace in that as a parent, I can pass along the positive habits that I worked a lifetime to develop to my young one. Perhaps when she is older, things will have evolved enough for her to promote health without feeling out of place, but I doubt it. I hope these random musings kept you interested. Until next time, stay fit, and be well.

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