A few nights ago when I went down to get some snacks from my dorm’s mini late night shop, I decided that I would get some fruit rather than the cookies or the cinnamon buns that I usually get. What I noticed was that the price of the cup of fruits was considerably higher than the processed junk food, which came in a greater quantity. Let’s be serious, it’s not like I had some sort of revelation by noticing that the fatty foods were much cheaper than the healthy foods. Ever since we were in middle school, the chocolate bars in the vending machine have usually cost less than the healthy pack of pretzels. The water and soda bottles cost about the same amount, and being a kid I would go for the soda, because it made more sense to me to pay $1.25 for the Coca Cola rather than the water.
We’re constantly being pressured to eat leaner and healthier. Which in some ways is a good thing, because the highly processed, energy dense foods that we are consuming high quantities of now can cause high blood pressure, cholesterol, and an increased risk of heart disease. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is expensive. As much as some people may like to eat organic and have a gym membership, not all families can afford that. Many of these families live very fast paced lives, so even if they choose to stay away from the fast food restaurants, after a long day at work they may decide to just pop in a pre-packaged meal into the microwave, which they don’t realize is also lacking in important nutrients. Being in college, we are very fortunate to have the recreational facilities open to us, but the question that we must face now is how do we educate more people about the health risks that come with eating certain foods and how do we make living a healthier lifestyle more affordable?