I think until basic nutrition is not taught in schools, obesity as a public health issue will never go away.

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Agreed. Bring back home ec, and add nutrition and cooking together. And the financial budgeting piece too. We are unhealthy financially too.


This is one very small piece in a very large puzzle.


A lack of information is not the problem. Decades of behavior change research would indicate that knowing what you should do is meaningless unless you are motivated to do it. The government doesn’t even fund general nutrition education anymore because blanket education in a vacuum has repeatedly been shown to have little to no impact on actual eating habits. Read up on the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change and the Theory of Planned Behavior.


It’s a pretty multifaceted issue. Why are Americans getting unhealthier? 1) Cost. Fresh produce, whole grains, and quality food in general is expensive. It requires time to prepare, which can also cut into your income, especially if you work multiple jobs and don’t have time to make 3 meals a day. 2) Convenience. As mentioned above, meals take a decent amount of time to prepare. Some people never learn to cook for themselves, although it is a very useful skill. Some people travel a lot for work, so end up eating at restaurants which embellish their food with extra salt or sugar. 3) Availability. Not all grocery stores in the US are homogenous in terms of products offered. Some have very limited selections of fresh or frozen produce, but lots of canned or processed vegetables high in sodium and lower in fibre. These are much cheaper than fresh or frozen vegetables to transport, since a lot of consumer goods in the middle of the country rely on long-haul trucks and trains to get food from one place to another rather than fancy (expensive) refrigerated trucks with CO2 added to keep the produce fresh. 4) Sedentary behavior. Humans sit down more than ever, and our lifestyles encourage this. We drive everywhere instead of walking because our infrastructure layout requires us to drive to our workplace as it’s simply too far away to travel on foot. We sit for an 8 hour shift at a desk or cubicle, then sit on a sofa or at a desk watching TV or using a computer. Then we go to sleep and do it again. 5) Taste. We love sugar! We’re wired to love sugar! In the past, we might gorge ourselves on fruit when it’s available for a month or two, but we had to wait for it the entire year, or maybe tuck it away for winter. Our brain hasn’t yet made the distinction between an apple and a Snicker’s bar, our brains just understand “Sugar! I know what this is! Fruit! Eat more while it’s available!” Even though you can stop at any corner store in the country and get as many Snicker’s bars as you want. 6) Corporate Fuckery. Corporations know we love sugar. They also know corn syrup is dirt cheap, as the production of corn is subsidized by the government and farmers want to offload it to whoever will pay. So they put it into food, knowing we’ll love the way it tastes and impulsively buy more of it. It’s in everything. Adult males should have no more than 35g of sugar daily. Adult females should have even less, 25g. Most processed food allows that much or more in a *single* serving size, which most people don’t pay attention to, they just eat until they’re satisfied.


Nutrition was taught to me in school… it’s not like that really did much good, tbh.