The unhealthy diet and lifestyle that is implicated in America's obesity epidemic.
Cheeseburgers, french fries, super-sized sodas, deep-dish pizza - all of these foods are part of the Western Diet, or the Standard American Diet, which is strongly implicated as one of the primary causes of the current American obesity epidemic and the rise in weight-related conditions like heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
This style of eating, also referred to as the Meat-Sweet Diet or the Western Pattern Diet, is highly criticized by professionals in the medical and health communities for its reliance on processed foods, refined starches, fried foods, red meat and sugar. Moreover,the negative health consequences associated with the Western Diet are worsened by the lack of portion control coupled with the trademark Western sedentary lifestyle.
As other countries become more "Americanized," or Westernized, researchers are seeing similar trends in their health outlooks. From increases in diabetes and heart disease to higher incidences of being overweight, the unhealthy effects of the Western Diet is not just exclusive to the United States anymore.
- Has led to great awareness of the connection between diet and health
- Health effects of Western Diet have illuminated the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle
- Leads to numerous negative health effects
- Diet contains a lack of vegetables and fruit
- Lifestyle is sedentary
- High dependence on processed, refined, unnatural foods
- High incidence of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other diseases
- Influencing unhealthy dietary trends globally
- Contributing factor to obesity epidemic in adults and children
The Western Diet is known for its lack of fresh fruit and vegetables and its strong reliance on fast-food, high sugar beverages, high-fat dairy, refined carbohydrates and red meat.
A typical day on the Western Diet may look like this:
Breakfast may consist of a stack of white flour pancakes with a side of sausage, with whole milk and syrup.
Lunch might be a fast-food cheeseburger, french fries and a high-sugar soda.
Dinner might be fried chicken or meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Desserts and snacks include potato chips, cookies, ice cream, candy bars and other processed snack foods.
While these foods can be eaten as part of a healthy diet in moderation, the Western Diet is characterized by its extremely large portion sizes, often large enough to feed two or more individuals.
The ingredients commonly found in these foods include high fructose corn syrup, trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils, sugar, bleached, enriched flours, food dyes, artificial flavors and many other chemical additives that strip foods of any and all nutritional value.EXERCISE
Given the reliance on automobiles and sedentary office jobs, there is little exercise associated with the Western Diet. Not to mention a lack of interest nor desire to exercise regularly due to the poor dietary choices.CONCLUSION
Characterized by its emphasis on fast-food, red meat, fried foods and highly refined and processed foods, maintaining the Western Diet for any extended period of time is a recipe for obesity, heart disease, diabetes and numerous other health conditions.
While the The Western Diet started in the United States, its way of eating and its health effects are not limited to just Americans. As more and more countries begin to adopt the American way of eating, including its massive portion sizes and lack of exercise, their rates of weight-related health conditions start to soar.
Health professionals strongly encourage that the Western Diet be replaced with smaller portion sizes, more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, less meat-based meals and more fish, poultry and vegetarian-style meals. It is also advised that adults engage in at least 30 minutes of heart-rate-increasing exercise daily.Common Misspellings
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