With finals week upon us I feel as though my friends and I are changing our diets.  First of all we are eating more often.  From my understanding this is because we’re eating to make us feel better, to procrastinate, and to power our minds throughout the long hours of the night.  I am victim to this change but I find it ironic because would we all feel better if we kept eating healthy? If we endured all of the work and continued to eat healthy not just for the sake of our waistlines but for the sake of our minds.  I always remember being told bananas help you think, blueberries support creativity, and peppermint is thought provoking.  Some of my friends follow these ideas by eating a banana the morning before their exam, as if that will cancel out all of the coffee, junk food, and fast food that they have had in the past 24 hours.  It is ideal to think that our diets could be maintained throughout periods of stress so we could be physically healthy during exams.  But this does not seem to happen.  From my understanding stress eating does not end after you graduate, I have seen all of my grown relatives stress eat.  So it’s hard to be optimistic about the situation. 
                It would be interesting to see the connection between the stress eating trend and the economic state of our country.  Could it be possible that because of our current economic down turn our chances of fighting obesity has gone out the window?  With this theory the government should not be supporting programs to improve the country’s health.  They should work on repairing the economic state of the country which will place less stress on the general population.  This in turn could ameliorate eating habits throughout the country.  While there are many other factors that influence obesity I wonder if this is one that has ever been considered.

                Marion Nestle addresses this idea in her post Will better access to healthy foods reduce obesity?  She explains that access, cost, skills, equipment, transportation, quality, marketing, and peer pressure are the factors that influence childhood obesity.  While I understand these aspects that she presents she does not include the emotional environment or the stress that these children are in during their everyday lives.   These aspects are connected to socio-economic status, if a child is facing challenges of finding food or eating often then the amount that they eat when they do have it as a resource will be unlimited.  This post connects economic standing of families or children on an individual level.  So it would make sense to connect a nationwide economic down turn to people’s diets.  Nestle points out that the price and accessibility of healthy food needs to be fix, we cannot only address issues of availability of quality jobs.  With high inflation it will not necessarily matter if people have jobs, because they still will not be able to afford healthy food. 

                Nestle also comments that “Fast food, snacks, and sodas are cheap.  Fruits and vegetables are not.”  I do not agree with this, I think that produce is actually less expensive.  At the same time people may believe that produce is less filling and does not have as long of a shelf life than processed foods.  This presents a difficult conundrum connecting food to time and personally ability to prepare it. 

 

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