To put it lightly, the United States isn’t exactly known for being the healthiest country around. We’re known for going big when it comes to food and other unhealthy activities, tending to put our health on the backburner. There’s a reason the obesity rate and other unhealthy conditions have been slowly climbing for the past few decades in America, and it all comes down to the habits that we’ve adopted without question. See what some of these unhealthy habits are. Are you guilty of any of them?
Eating In Front Of Screens
Sadly, more often than not, people find themselves sitting in front of a screen while eating, with some people even having the television on during family dinner. While this isn’t inherently unhealthy, what it does is take your attention away from your food, leading you to not realize how much you ate. If you’re mindlessly eating, you can end up overeating.
So, power down during meals to actually enjoy your food and keep an eye on how much you’re consuming.
Eating Too Much Fast Food
Considering that there are 204,529 fast-food establishments in the United States as of 2021, it’s hard to blame Americans for eating it so often. But that doesn’t make it any healthier. Americans eat more fast food than any other country in the world, with an estimated 50 million individuals eating at a fast-food restaurant each day.
A study has also shown that 8 of 10 Americans eat fast food at least once a month.
Although some countries are the same or worse, Americans certainly have a reputation for working long hours. In 2014, it was estimated that the average full-time American employee works an average of 47 hours a week! This is significantly more than some European countries that typically work around 35 hours a week and can legally decline to work any more. Working too much has been shown to have serious emotional, mental, and physical detrimental effects on the individual.
Because Americans are known to be “full speed ahead” kind of people, we don’t always prioritize eating in our busy lives. This leads many people to skip meals regularly, whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Yet, there is a correlation between skipping meals and overeating at the next meal.
Plus, if you skip one of the three core meals of the day, your energy levels may dip significantly throughout the day.
Excessive Food Portions
In most countries around the world, you can typically estimate just how much food you’re going to receive when you order a meal. However, in the United States, it’s not unusual for people’s eyes to widen when they see just how much food comes with their meal. Portions in the United States tend to be larger overall, which means that people eat more.
Furthermore, for some reason, the biggest portions always seem to come from the places with the unhealthiest food.
Insane Flavor Combinations
If there’s one thing that there’s no lack of in the United States, it’s different flavors for drinks, candy, and other sweets. Companies know that Americans love having a variety of flavors to choose from, no matter how absurd they might sound, so they release new products often. The main issue is that most of the products with all of these flavor options tend to be unhealthy such as birthday cake-flavored Oreos, Mountain Dew Major Melon, and more.
If it’s possible to be deep-fried, somewhere in the United States, there’s a booth at a state fair frying it up for their hungry customers. Although there’s a time and place for fried food worldwide, the United States takes things to a whole new level, and it’s not just chicken. Americans love their fried cookies, candy, and whatever else they can think of to make the most unhealthy dish possible.
Why do we do it? Because we can.
Although many cities in the United States are designed around cars and not pedestrians (which is a problem on its own), many Americans still drive almost everywhere they are going. In the US, it’s rare to see someone riding their bike or walking to where they are going, even if the distance is incredibly close. Driving everywhere means that you’re stationary, whereas walking or biking is not only good for the environment but for your body too!
Skipping On Water
For many Americans, having something to drink doesn’t usually mean water but either coffee, soda, tea, or some other kind of beverage. Drinking water is necessary for almost every bodily function, and unfortunately, many people forget to do so throughout the day. Not staying hydrated has countless repercussions, with a few of the immediate ones being fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and more.
So, make sure you’re drinking the recommended amount of water for your weight every day. Your body will thank you.
Free Refills and Oversized Cups of Sugary Drinks
Americans certainly love and take full advantage of the free refills offered at many establishments. Of course, this isn’t very healthy when considering many of the only drinks offered are sugary lemonade and soda. Because free refills are offered, it isn’t unusual for individuals to drink far more of an unhealthy beverage than they need, which only promotes obesity and other ailments.
Furthermore, for some reason, Americans still opt for the biggest drink when refills are available, which seems like overkill.