One of the biggest challenges in America today is having control of your health. There are so many different variables that can affect a person’s health. People who exercise on a daily basis may be considered extremely healthy, people who have good genes are also considered healthier than others. However, a lot of people neglect the most important factor when taking their health into consideration: food and diet.
In America, eating healthy is seen as an extremely challenging task for many reasons. It is much easier to get a five dollar meal from a fast food restaurant that can be prepared in three minutes, over spending ten to twelve dollars on a healthy salad. However, although healthy eating is difficult, many Americans are ready for the challenge and try to commit themselves to eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.
Every day, Americans, consumer companies and food marketers try to encourage healthy eating and different habits that go along with it. Using specific, detailed words on labels such as "More energy," or "Clearer skin" will go a long way with customers. Including a healthy recipe on the back of each label or box is a great way to encourage healthy interactions with food. Americans are more likely to eat unhealthy food while alone, primarily because when with others, they are too embarrassed and have too much pride to eat unhealthy foods. Some people will even go as far as lying about what they eat to keep a certain image. Certain people who do eat healthier tend to brag and influence other friends, family or people into doing the same. There is clearly a cultural shift taking place where education and societal pressure is leading to manufacturers creating healthier food options for consumption and hopefully a dramatic shift in how we as Americans decide what to eat.
In a study performed by SHS FOODTHINK study in 2013, over 61% of Americans stated that they were committed to healthy eating. Out of the 61%, many people focus on organic products and natural ingredients. Most consumers in America try to focus on three important factors in food: lean, high in vitamins and minerals, and no Trans fats. The uplifting, positive language used by companies on the labels of products is appealing to consumers. Marketers for these companies have focused on ways to design labels with words, sayings, or photos that will make a person feel good about their decision to purchase a certain food product or brand.
There are four main variables that play a part in America’s healthy eating. The amount of money healthy food costs, the knowledge about what is in healthy food and what is being eaten, the time it takes to prepare healthy food, and the taste of healthy food. Perhaps the most challenging aspect in getting Americans to eat healthily is money. Money plays a huge role in America when it comes down to choosing what to eat. Over sixty percent of American consumers say that high priced foods prevent them from eating healthy. For consumers with low income, students, and other lower or middle class consumers, it is nearly impossible to purchase some foods because of the cost. One of the biggest challenges food marketers face is educating these specific audiences and teaching them quick, low cost meals that are also affordable.
Eating unhealthy food can take an emotional and mental toll on one’s body. Although 61% of Americans, as stated earlier, commit to eating healthy, 61% of Americans also feel awful when eating unhealthy. Large consumer companies try to focus on the positive comments about why eating healthy is good emotionally, physically and mentally and they try to avoid discussing the equally negative impact of eating unhealthily.
Laura Holt, for Agrilicious!
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