Eating is one of the most important activities that people do everyday. “All humans eat to survive. They also eat to express appreciation, for a sense of belonging, as part of family customs, and for self-realization” (Rodriguez, n.d.). People eat to satisfy their hunger. The nutrients that food can provide also help people become stronger and healthier both physically and mentally.
Eating habits differ from one culture to another. Food types and cuisines also vary across countries. However, no matter how different people are when it comes to their eating habits and to the food they eat, it is essential to remember that eating will not be beneficial if this does not include healthy food products. It will also not be beneficial if people do not observe healthy eating habits.
Many people question why they need to eat healthy when they have lived their life without doing so but still remain disease-free. What these people do not realize, however, is that some diseases take time to manifest themselves and can only be seen or detected when it is too late.
There are numerous benefits of eating healthy, which include preventing the development of “heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, some forms of blindness, and birth defects” (Gilbert, Junge & Allison, 2003, p.19).
Eating healthy also improves one’s mood and outlook in life, which can in turn improve his or her relationships with the people around him or her. It can reduce one’s stress levels and can provide the energy to be able to do more things in life (Bruton, 2007). Eating healthier would also decreases the chances of becoming overweight and battling obesity, which is one of the most serious problems that the United States is facing at this time.
The number one reason as to why people prefer to practice unhealthy eating is because the food products that are healthy are not as tasty and delicious compared to the food that they normally eat.
Further, Weinstein (2004, p.98) indicates that there are three reasons why people choose to eat unhealthy foods: “(1) they are conditioned to have an emotional attachment to certain foods; (2) they are bombarded by the relentless advertising and marketing campaigns of the manufacturers of these food products; and (3) they have hormonal imbalances.” These things make it difficult for people to change their eating habits and become healthier.
Aside from the numerous diseases and illnesses that people may develop from unhealthy eating, they may also develop eating disorders that can affect their growth, development, and mental status. Anorexia is an eating disorder that the person becomes too thin but he or she still does not eat because of fear of getting fat (Medline Plus, 2009).
This is a serious eating disorder because anorexia can lead to death. Numerous fashion models have been reported to have died due to anorexia mainly because of the demands of the industry but also because they do not know how to eat properly and healthily.
Many teenagers are conscious about their bodies and how they look. They choose not to eat at all to become thinner and lose weight. What they do not know is that this will only make their health much worse. These young people need to be educated that to be able to achieve and maintain the body that they want, they would have to practice healthy eating habits and a positive lifestyle.
Another eating disorder is bulimia, which is the act of overeating and then feeling guilty about it afterwards and purging the contents of one ‘s stomach by vomiting or the use of laxatives (Medline Plus, 2009).
People who suffer from this type of eating disorder believe that purging themselves will not make them gain weight, which makes overeating acceptable. Overeating allows them to lose self-control and the act of purging is a way for them to compensate for their actions. Like anorexia, bulimia can also lead to death and serious physical and mental problems.
Binge-eating is eating in such a way that the person loses self-control and overeats. This leads to obesity. People who are unable to practice good eating habits and eat healthy food products become overweight and obese, which can lead to heart problems and diabetes. Overeating along with an unhealthy lifestyle can make a person overweight and obese.
This will make life difficult for the individual because he or she will not be able to do all the things that he or she needs to do and has greater chances of having low self-esteem and confidence because they do not feel good about themselves and how they look.