Causes of Weight Gain: What Woes Are The Biggest?
With an unstable economy, unemployment at an all time high, and Americans feeling frazzled with their financial situations, the last thing any of us are worrying about is eating healthy.
With all of this stress, anxiety is on the rise and many of us are seeking out the comfort foods that give us the most solace. Some of the biggest grocery store chains are reporting that some food items have increased dramatically in sales since the recession first struck big. Alcohol sales are up, as well as dry dessert mixes for cookies and cakes. Even though most of us have cut back on eating out, it doesn’t mean that many of us aren’t still self-medicating with our favorite high-calorie foods. Here are some of the biggest woes that are the biggest causes of weight gain right now.
Less Green In the Bank, Less Green in the Fridge
With many people struggling to pay their bills, the last thing anyone is worried about is nutrition. A lack of green in the bank means that a lot of people are eating less “green” when it comes to their diet.
Major grocery store chains report that while sales in fresh vegetables have declined, sales of canned vegetables have gone up. Even though canned vegetables are more appealing to your wallet, and are shelf stable, many of your favorite cans are loaded with MSG, and high contents of sodium. This dash to get these convenient cans is one of the biggest causes of weight gain today.
When you cook canned veggies, you also cook out a lot of their nutritional value. Excessive heat causes vegetables to lose essential vitamins and minerals they otherwise wouldn’t if they were cooked fresh. Even though the “fresh” option seems less cost-effective, the rewards to your health will certainly be worth the extra change in the long run.
Instead of buying your fresh veggies a few days in advance, try to wait until the day you start cooking to purchase them. This way, you are getting the freshest veggies with the highest content of nutritional value.
Another option that won’t weigh down your wallet: visit a local farmer’s market and buy your produce there. With farmers struggling in this down economy, most of them will work with you on your purchase, and you are certain to get fresh fruits and vegetables that are free of processing, but still packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
An Increase in Anxiety, An Increase in Calories
Stress is on the rise, and so is calorie intake. In a report conducted by the American Medical Association last year, dietary patterns that promote low carbohydrates and fats, with few essential nutrients, and little fiber are marketed toward lower-income families to combat the financial crisis.
Higher levels of stress in this income bracket promote less healthy cooking, and promote more focus on meals that are quick, cheap and easy.
With this increase in anxiety and a decrease in available time and planning, the fast food market is one of the biggest causes of weight gain. Affordability and convenience all contribute to the success of this business, especially since so many of us don’t want to worry about cooking meals on top of all of our other stresses.
The price may be right, but the nutritional value is all wrong. By eating just one meal on some of these fast food menus, you're already at your recommended caloric intake for the day.