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The Standard American Diet and Some of the Dangers of Unhealthy Eating

Updated on December 10, 2020
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Where The Motivation For This Article Came From

The American diet or the standard American diet is one of those diets that is known to be extremely unhealthy. I believe that the average American diet must also change and that has to change soon otherwise we will see an increase in the number of overweight, obese, and sick people. I got an idea about an article like this because of a website called The Economic Collapse Blog. Well, the truth is that there is a crisis regarding the diet of the average person in America. Before we go any further into this, let me say that I am not a nutritionist and that this is just one perspective. But it is important to raise awareness of the dangers associated with unhealthy eating. I’m not suggesting that somehow my diet is perfect but at least I attempt to the best of my ability to eat as nutritiously as I can.

When I was younger, I was fortunate because my mother always fed me the healthy, nutritious food. But many of you in this country are not so lucky. The change in diet has to start with you. You have to be the disciplined person to change your diet.

An Example of Where White Sugar is Used

Strawberries seen on a bunch of white, refined sugar.
Strawberries seen on a bunch of white, refined sugar. | Source

Sugar: One Of The Main Ingredients Of The Standard American Diet That Is VERY Bad!

The average American has an obsession with sweet, sugary soft drinks. Just go to your local grocery store and take a look at the food items that are in the shopping carts of many of these people. You will see huge 2 liter bottles of Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew, and other soft drinks loaded into the carts. The danger of drinking soft drinks is too numerous to mention here but soft drinks are just empty calories. Look at all that sugar that the average American consumes every year! And this contributes to a major obesity problem. The United States has a larger obesity problem than any other nation in the world. Sugar is also one of the main causes of people becoming overweight or obese. It is said that the average person in the United States consumes about 600 12 ounce soda cans in one year! That would be equal to 50 soda cans per month.

Why Are People In The US Becoming So Overweight And Obese? What Can We Do About This?

It isn’t a surprise why this is happening. This is happening because of all these unhealthy diets. Well, that is one of the major factors associated with being overweight or obese. It starts in the household. If the parents feed their children the food that is high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, then the children are going to grow up eating that way unless they decide to change their eating habits. I know that some will say that their kids are getting fatter because of the unhealthy school lunches. While that may be a reason for childhood obesity problems, that is only part of the problem when addressing the obesity issue. Parents have to be honest with themselves and admit that the way their son or daughter eats is really, really unhealthy. Parents are contributing to this problem but some of them would rather be in denial than accept that it also their fault for their child’s obesity problem. These habits will lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and a host of other health problems. In addition to these health problems, a diet that is high in fat will make you feel so bloated, heavy and sluggish that you will feel fatigued and sleepy.

Which choice will you make? Are you going to continue to sabotage your health by consuming food that is high in saturated fat, salt, sugar and low in fiber? If so, you have just increased your chances of an early death dramatically. But if you are concerned about your health, then stop eating all that unhealthy food and change your diet as soon as you can. But you need to be mindful and aware that changing your diet takes discipline. Your health is too important for you to be cheap with it and play around. As my brother always likes to say, “You can’t be cheap when it comes to your health.” Those are some really wise words and it is time that the American public woke up out of their sleep and realized that it their diet that is killing them slowly but surely.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Disease

Let’s add some additional perspective on this topic so you don’t just get one side of the story. The standard American diet leads to tons of chronic disease among the US population. The web site says that if we follow four simple lifestyle factors, we can greatly reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For instance, these four factors are:

  • Not smoking

  • Not being obese

  • Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day and

  • Eating healthier which for the purposes of that site is defined as eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and eating less meat.


A Few Examples Of Unhealthy Food include French Fries, Margarine, & Vegetable Shortening

What are some examples of this kind of unhealthy food? One example of an unhealthy kind of food consumed here in America is French fries. It is estimated that there are 14.5 grams of artery clogging trans-fat in a medium sized order of French fries. That’s a ton of fat to consume every day. Margarine and vegetable shortening is another example of an unhealthy kind of food. These two products are said to contain about 30 to 40 percent trans-fat. If you needed any more reasons of why to not eat food that is so unhealthy, it is because an unhealthy diet also can make you moody, irritated, and angry and it won’t help you to live a long and healthy life. Most of all, unhealthy food is so toxic to the body that it actually gives you negative energy. So today is the day to change your diet and get started on the path to living a longer, healthier, and more vibrant lifestyle.

This video tells us that over 63% of the Western world consumes processed food which is a big part of the American diet

Four Major Consequences Of An Unhealthy Diet

Having stated this, what are some of the other effects of an unhealthy diet? There are many but for the sake of this written piece, we will address four major negative consequences of an unhealthy diet.

  1. Deficiency in essential nutrients- an unhealthy diet leads to not having enough of the key essential nutrients that are needed for a healthy, vibrant, functioning body. The standard American diet often lacks in key nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin D, calcium, and dietary fiber (What Are The Effects of An Unhealthy Diet?, 2016). Low levels of calcium can cause bones to become weak and break apart. A diet low in potassium can lead to getting weaker muscles and feeling more tired. A diet low in fiber can lead to constipation and increase our risk of colon cancer which is obviously not cool!
  2. The Increase of Chronic Diseases- According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published in 2010, a diet high in fat, salt, and sugar increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attacks), hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis (What Are The Effects of An Unhealthy Diet?, 2016). As a side note, if you get sicker, this leads to a massive increase in your medical expenses so beware!
  3. Massive Weight Gain- Another major effect of an unhealthy diet is massive weight gain. The CDC defines being overweight as having a body mass index or BMI of 25 or higher (What Are The Effects of An Unhealthy Diet?, 2016). Some factors that can contribute to this massive weight gain are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, eating too many foods that are fried, and consuming too much soda or beer. Not getting enough exercise and staying sedentary can also lead to getting massive weight gain.
  4. The Big Effect of Unhealthy Eating- The big effect of this unhealthy eating habit leads to a BMI of 30 or higher which puts a person in the category of obese. According to the CDC, 35% of the population in the US is now obese (What Are The Effects of An Unhealthy Diet?, 2016). Obesity can also increase a person’s risk of other health conditions of which I did not even know until now. Some of these other health conditions are:
  • Strokes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Infertility

So there you have it. An unhealthy diet is too dangerous to have and I am optimistic that this written piece will raise awareness of the dangers of the standard American diet and unhealthy eating.

Works Cited

What Are The Effects of An Unhealthy Diet? (2016, August 25). Retrieved from

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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