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Flora Troy
English 7x
Persuasive Essay: Healthy Eating

As of 2010, more than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. Simple obesity in children ages three to fifteen is connected with family and environmental factors, including incorrect eating habits. In most cases, children have a bad role model for their eating habits that leads them down the wrong path. There is something not right here. If America is supposed to be a free country, why are so many imprisoned by the weight on their shoulders? It is not only hurting the victims of obesity, but the country as well. There are reports that obesity in America is now adding an astounding $190 billion to the annual national healthcare cost, now exceeding smoking as public health enemy number one when it comes to cost. The world needs to make a change. 
One might object that the food with all of the fat, sodium, sugar, and bad things in it tastes better. Or, once someone is on a path that has run out of forks in the road, they cannot do anything about it, except to head deeper and deeper into the forest. On the contrary, if the latter if the case, then they need to hike off trail until they meet another trail that meets their need and heads where they want to go. That hike will be the tougher journey, but at the end of the better path is paradise, and they are free to live their life. So, if you notice that the forest is on the path ahead, make the change. 
When food is put in the body that one knows is good for them, the body reacts like it just ate sunshine. Also, if somebody is feeling sick, eating a grilled chicken with vegetables is much better than another pint of ice cream. The occasional sweet is fine, anything in moderation is alright. However, too much of one thing is not good for you. Eating healthy is a hard thing to do, even for people who are not overweight or obese. The thing to remember is what the consequences are, life is on the line. 
Healthy food is medicine, while the other food is poison. The body can only handle so much poison before it begins to shut down. One in five deaths are related to excess weight. That is about 300,000 deaths a year. Being overweight can compromise health, shorten lives, and cause death. If one is overweight, the probabilities of developing some of the following diseases significantly increase. Some of the most common weight related diseases are, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol levels, cancer, back pain, skin infections, ulcers, and gallstones. About 
65 million adults and over 10 million children suffer from obesity. Along with that, the people that are overweight or obese have a better chance of getting other sicknesses because their immune system is down. Someone needs to stop these deaths. 
The mind and the body are very closely related. In addition to being bad for the heart, carrying excess weight may impair cognitive functions such as memory and attention. Losing weight, therefore, may help improve these mental functions. Also, as proven in The Biggest Loser, most weight problems revolve around a mental issue or some hardship that got that person into the bad state in the first place. One needs to genuinely want to change and have good motivation in order to really make the difference. This quote by Marianne Williamson sums it up: “Neither poor diet or lack of exercise are the cause of your excess weight. Mind is cause; body is effect. The cause of excess weight is in the mind.” Mental change comes first, then the physical change. 
There are a multitude of ways that we can solve this problem. First, people need to cook. This way, they can learn what really goes in and can manage portion size, allergies, dislikes, or any other problems. Sadly, there are five main reasons why people will not cook. Number one, "I can't cook." Yes they can; all they have to do is follow a tested recipe from places like Epicurious, Food Network, Martha Stewart, etc. and it is easy to make a great meal. If you are worried your egg technique or knife skills are not up to par? Just watch videos online and you have a great chef standing in the kitchen with you. Start simply, go slowly, and be okay with the occasional mess up. Number two, "I don't want to." You probably do not want to wash your dog or pay taxes, but cooking is a way of contributing to life and to your well being and the ones you love. Number three, "I don't have the time." The truth is, none of us do. We have school, work, and we need to sleep, eat, chill, or whatever. But take two or three hours of the 168 we get a week and make a stew or casserole to store for dinner for the week. This will actually save you time if you are really hungry one night and you don't want to wait for the delivery person to come just scoop and heat. Cooking becomes a habit very quickly when you have some staples in your pantry. Number four, "It is too expensive." Yes, most of it is too expensive. But when you find the jackpot of cheap, good ingredients, it is much better than that one dollar burger. There is a lack of vitamins and nutrients if you eat that drive thru meal every meal of every day. Number five, "I have better things to do." If you never want to feel the joy of showing what you made to friends and family, then go ahead and keep thinking that way. Or the personal pride of, "I made something amazing out of something so simple." That powerful feeling is one that you can only understand with the experience. 
Another way to decrease obesity is that everyone should be educated, then they can make the choice themselves. Also, if good role models for kids like pop stars, movie stars, or someone else kids admire, promoted genuine desire for healthy eating, the kids can have a positive future. The future of the world lies in the kid's hands. Lastly, support groups for those already diagnosed can reverse wrong turns and involve parents in their child's eating habits to enforce it in the home. These groups would help through education, motivation, celebration, and rededication to make the change. Some already exist, one including MEND. In addition to real people helping, there is always the alternative of online help programs. These websites help track what people are eating, and how much they are exercising. Overall, there is a big problem, and the world needs to work together to make that change.  

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    January 2014