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“True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington” ~ Anonymous
The UK National Health Service defines a healthy balanced diet as “eating the right amount of food for how active you are” and “eating a range of foods.” As evident in the obesity epidemic in the United States and frequent health studies, most Americans have bad eating habits.
Although people still can’t get enough of sweets, fats, convenience foods, and refined grains, a 2012 report has shown that Americans are now eating 25% more fresh fruits and 54% more fresh vegetables. It’s a small positive shift but at least all those awareness movement and education are effective after all.
The study found that the major contributing factor of this positive shift is the declining visits to restaurants and fastfood chains. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that Americans are eating more home-cooked meals with their families and fewer in restaurants.
Although the dwindling economy is partly to blame, USDA report said it is more influenced by “an increase in consumer focus on nutrition in selecting foods, changes in the quality of foods available and greater nutritional available to consumers.” To up their game, restaurants and even some fastfood chains have added nutritious food in their menu.
However, home-cooking is still the best option. When people cook meals, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, and less fat even if they’re not trying to lose weight, says Julia Wolfson, MPP. In order to create a bigger change, more vegetables and fruits should be introduced at home. But eating-in is already a big step.