For my final post in The Coronavirus Diaries, I discuss how the disease shows us that Americans aren’t healthy.
Americans Aren’t Healthy: Disturbing Facts
American society is full of fat children, teenagers, and adults who have multiple aliments due to their weight and poor eating habits. Let’s review some of those aliments:
- 88 million Americans have prediabetes, according to the CDC. Meaning if these individuals do not get their unhealthy lifestyle under control, they can become Type 2 Diabetic.
- Over 34 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes.
- Heart Disease, usually caused by poor eating habits and/or smoking, kills nearly 650,000 Americans each year.
- When it comes to overweight and obesity, 2016 stats shows over 70% of Americans adults with that condition.
- Obesity is a problem in children as young as 2 years old, as the CDC reports about 14% of kids age 2 to 5 are overweight or obese. The rates increase when you review other age ranges.
These sobering facts shows me that Americans aren’t healthy, and appear to be getting worse.
Why Americans Aren’t Healthy
In my opinion, there are three reasons why:
- Poor eating habits / ignorance about nutrition
- Lack of exercise
- The love of convenience
Poor Eating Habits / Ignorance About Nutrition
Americans love their fast food. Over 33% of Americans eat it every day. And some eat it multiple times a day. It’s not uncommon for someone to eat each one of daily meals and snacks from various fast food restaurants.
As of result of eating like this, we suffer from several harmful effects. Yet, most Americans know fast food is bad for them. However, these people don’t know how much fat and sodium and sugar are in their breakfast biscuit or $5 meal deal.
However, if Americans do cook for themselves, they choose high-carb options like rice or pasta because they are 1) inexpensive and 2) filling. Yet, these foods spike insulin, which, over time, can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.
Lack Of Exercise
Americans don’t exercise these days. About 53% of American adults exercise daily. Yet, if you look at the number of those adults who do any type of strength training, the number plummets to 23%!
Most Americans have office jobs and sit down for several hours a day. Add in a typical commute to and from work, and relaxing at home, and most Americans probably spend 8+ hours sitting. We don’t like to walk to the store, or even walk in the parking to go inside the store.
The Love Of Convenience
Americans love the ease of convenience. If we can outsource the work to someone else, we will, no matter the cost. That’s why Uber and Lyft are so popular. You order a car to pick you up, not having to handle the driving or parking.
Apps like Grubhub and Postmates has someone pick up your takeout order and bring it to your location if you don’t feel like putting on pants.
Finally, if we do cook, we order a meal-delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron because it provides instructions on how to cook the meal, and the ingredients are already prepared and/or measured.
These Lifestyle Habits Makes The Coronavirus Worse
Medical data now shows that if you have any of the following, the Coronavirus will affect you worse:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Various lung conditions
- Liver disease
As a result, many Americans who get the disease have a harder time recovering, or need extensive treatment (like using a ventilator), because of their pre-existing conditions. Yet, if a person who doesn’t have any of those chronic diseases were to contract the Coronavirus, some may not have any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms.
That’s why when people in their 30’s and 40’s die from the disease, it was due to underlying health conditions which weakened the body over time. Millions of Americans walk around with high level of inflammation, which is how the body destroys harmful agents. However, bad lifestyle choices and/or eating habits can cause inflammation. Thus, your body doesn’t have a chance to recover and it becomes more susceptible to disease.
Some people believe China created the Coronavirus as a biological weapon. Let’s run with that theory for a moment. If they did, and they created a bio-weapon that affects the chronically sick more than the healthy, then that’s pretty ingenious. As I’ve show in this post, millions of Americans aren’t healthy. However, millions of Chinese people are unhealthy too.
Whatever the case, the disease is here to stay. Just like the flu, I expect the world to have Coronavirus season. Yes, there will be a vaccine, but there will always be a population of people who will not take it. Just look at the flu shot. According to the CDC, for the 2017-2018 flu season, about 155 million flu shots were distributed. However, there’s probably close to 330 million Americans, so about 47% of those citizens got the shot.
What Americans should do instead of wait for a vaccine is clean up their eating habits and exercise. Give up the fast food and the sweets and the smoking and the soda and all of that junk. Go back to cooking at home using real food, walking around your neighborhood, lifting heavy objects, and drinking more water.
Take it from me: At my highest weight, I was 286 pounds and my body hurt. I decided to get healthy and gave up my bad eating habits. About 2.5 years later, I’m around 182 pounds (due to strength training), I can run, I can exercise without issue, and I don’t get sick as much as I used to!
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