Advertisements about living a Healthy Lifestyle are seemingly on repeat in the media. Children in our schools are being told time and time again that they need to eat foods that are good for them, and some school canteens have even stopped stocking items that are remotely unhealthy. You’d think that citizens of first world countries would be making the right choices in which foods to eat, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it is in fact the opposite. Obesity rates are ever increasing, and more and more people are choosing eating over exercise. But why is this happening?
The reason: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is just too damn expensive.
A 2014 study by the Australian National University had found that on average, maintaining a healthy diet costs 30 percent more than eating foods high in carbohydrates, sugar and fat. With the average price of food climbing higher than the disposable income of a low-income household, eating healthily is not an easy option anymore. This means that a low income household would have to spend around 50 percent of their weekly earnings on healthy food options just to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their family.
Another problem is the fact that there’s just not enough time in the day to cook. With more people forced to work later hours, whilst juggling around other activities like study and socialising, the easier, cheaper, and often more appealing option is to get a take-away meal. It’s cheaper these days to buy a pizza than it is to buy a salad.
So what other options do we have?
Instead of buying fruit and vegetables, a good idea is to grow your own food. I know not everyone has a backyard or spare space where they’re able to grow foods, but for those who do, it’s a fun pastime which can save you a little bit of money here and there. It’s also a great way to get your kids involved if you have any, and teaches them what foods to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. By growing your own food, you also have the added benefit of knowing what you’re putting in your mouth when you eat your lunch or dinner.
If you’re looking for another route to lose weight, then going to a gym might be a good option. If gym membership is too expensive for you, then other options are available. Walking, cycling and swimming are just some methods that can be done to maintain fitness levels. If you have no time left in the day for these activities, then my advice is to turn your social time into fitness time. Going walking or working out with a friend is much more fun than training on your own. Rather than catching up and drinking coffee, consuming alcohol, or going to a desert bar with a friend, go for a walk together instead. It’s better for you and you’ll have more fun doing so.
Of course, the cost of eating healthily isn’t the whole reason why people are living such unhealthy lifestyles, but to encourage more people to choose a healthy lifestyle over an unhealthy one, something needs to be done so that eating healthy is both an appealing and a financially stable option.