By: Max Escajadillo
The United States has become the most obese country in the world. From 1980 to 2000 obesity percentages have doubled, with 35.7% of adults and 17% of youth being obese. How did this number double only in 20 years? Some of it has to do with how America eats.
American conglomerates such as Kraft, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, and a few others, sell products that make up 60% of the American diet. However, many of these products contain ingredients that only a chemist could understand. Ingredients such as sugars, salts, trans fats, food colorings, and preservatives are labeled as fructose, sucralose, hydrogenated oil, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, dodium nitrates, blue, green, red, and yellow, and MSG. These ingredients have been known to cause harmful side effects if consumed in large amounts. Excess fructose and sucralose sugars cause people to develop triglycerides or diabetes. Hydrogenated oils (trans fats) cause obesity and increase chances of metabolic syndrome. Sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate have been known to cause thyroid damage, and MSG is known to interfere with brain chemistry, causing headaches and drowsiness.
The American diet has to improve if the United States no longer wants to be recognized as one of the most obese countries in the world. But first Americans must stop food conglomerates from lobbying Congress. America has tried to change the way the food system works by voting, but conglomerates have spent millions to oppose laws they don’t like. What many Americans want is to be informed about what they are consuming and whether it is healthy or not, but food conglomerates oppose this for their own profit.