Tori Lewis was on a vacation with her friends.  The weather was beautiful, and the scenery was glorious, but there was something on her mind that made her unable to enjoy it. The idea plaguing her was her weight. Tori weighed 300 pounds and felt so uncomfortable she refused to go to the beach with her friends.

One day Tori decided, enough was enough and she couldn’t keep living like this. Like many others, Tori said she gained weight during college. She stopped paying attention to her weight and just ate and drank. Each year she gained more weight and it made her feel worse. She thought drinking and eating more food was supposed to make her happy, but it didn’t. So, she started the ketogenic diet which is a low carb, high fat and protein diet. She started by eliminating sugar and simple carbs and by adding healthy fats, such as avocado and olive oil. At first, she said it was hard for her, but eventually she was about to rewire her brain and overcome the temptation for processed food. Over a 9 month span she lost 120 pounds by simply watching what she ate. She says she feels better physically and mentally and goes to the beach without being embarrassed. What we should take from this story is that a healthy diet is important and can change one’s entire body, both physically and mentally.

American is a great country. We have good education, technology and currency. Do you want to know what’s not so great? Our obesity-rate. We are one of the world’s fattest countries, numbering 9 according to and positioned number one among the top 10 industrialized nations. A gap 7.5 percent higher than the next country is what separates the USA from the closest country fat index on the list. There are multiple reasons we lead the obesity trend.  According to Public, reason number one is the US eats bigger portions. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says the U.S. Portion size has doubled within the last 20 years. A regular cheeseburger that used to be 4.5 ounces 20 years ago is now 8 ounces. A medium bag of popcorn back then was 5 cups is now regularly served at 11 cups.  The U.S. portion size compared to European countries is bigger and this habit stands out as the most likely reason why we’re heavier than they are. In a research study conducted by Dr. Lisa R. Young and Dr. Marion, Nestle’s soda from McDonald’s serves larger portions in its U.S. restaurants within its meals than they do serving the portions abroad.  Fast food franchise servings sold with their meals in countries such England, Ireland, and Italy are drinking our large drink as the largest found on their menu, whereas we have an additional extra-large drink option every day. Even the fries sizing were different at home compared to those abroad. In the U.S. large orders of fries contain 610 calories compared to England’s 446 calorie servings.  That is a 164 caloric difference.

There are many reasons why the portions are marketed differently.  One reason is because the U.S. has an abundance of food compared to other nations. Another reason at home and abroad marketing is different is because Europeans desire their food to be fresh as opposed to processed, an opinion different because processed food is marketed to Americans because of their acceptance of it, rather than being opposed to it.  One other reason for oversees corporate sizing difference between industrialized nations abroad and the U.S according to the information provided by Public is that Americans appear to have a misunderstanding of nutrition.  Public health resources say Americans received their meal standards passed down through generations and it’s their idea of what a healthy meal is more than basing food on nutritional analysis. The ideal healthy American dinner during the 1900’s was a piece of meat with gravy, a starch food, and vegetables. This is because they did not know what calories where and believed exercise could burn off everything. The FDA did not make it mandatory for companies to use the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) passes in 1990. It requires all packaged foods to bear nutrition labeling and all health claims for foods to be consistent with the terms defined by the Secretary of HHS. Once the FDA step in that’s when American started to take health more seriously.

Why is a healthy diet important? There are many reasons found on It also helps with weight loss introducing diets just like the one Tori switched to.  Switching your diet can help you shed pounds, prevent diabetes, reduce heart disease, and reduce the risk of cancer. Medical studies have shown that obesity is linked to particular types of cancer.  Medical experts say eating processed foods and high fatty food increases your chances of cancer and reducing them helps your overall heart health and stroke prevention. Eating food that gives you vitamin E means help to prevent blood clots which in turn reduce heart attacks. Lastly, a healthy diet can improve your mood and overall happiness.  Research has found that a diet with a glycemic load increases symptoms of depression and fatigue. A diet of high glycemic is soft drinks and white flour foods, while a low glycemic food loads would be vegetables, whole fruit, and whole grains. These foods are not only good for you but increase your overall mood by giving you the energy to function at your best.

Is it possible to learn about nutrition and a healthy diet on your own? Or does hiring a dietician whose costly expertise stands in the way of anyone who doesn’t have the money to seek sound nutritional advice. Well, there are many ways to watch your diet without seeking a ‘professional’s help. Start by reading nutrition label facts found on the back of the foods you eat. It shows the serving size that’s recommended, calories, protein, total fats, and proteins.  Second, cut down on the saturated fat and sugar intake. Instead of eating cake go for a healthier dessert, like fruit. A third suggestion may be easier for some than others, is to cut down on the fast food and make more homemade meals. Just because advertisements claim a fast food item is healthy doesn’t mean it is. Most fast food salads are not as fresh as produce in its raw form and still have a high amount of sodium, preservatives, and additives. Lastly, cut down on the red meat because it’s high in saturated fat which is known to raise blood cholesterol. In closing, nutrition is a big part of a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. If you stay focused on your diet, not only will you live a healthy and happy lifestyle, but a long one too?

Work Cited20160427-pac-man by Lisa R. Toung Phd, February 2002  By Meghan Holohan November 6 2018

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