I want to talk about the most important thing in my life — my next meal.

I’m writing about my love for fried chicken in bed and late-night peanut butter binges because I’m afraid of what’s to come for not only my eating habits but all of America’s.

Things have gotten worse since graduating college and starting a full-time job, and I don’t see myself eating less food any time soon.

So, I’m bringing up the topic as a way to start a conversation: How can I fix this?

I’ve found myself ordering Mexican food or pizzas three-five times a week (about two-three times more than when I was in college).

When I make chili or spaghetti at home, I continue eating until I’m so full I don’t feel well.

“How can I make myself eat less?” I recently asked my sister.

She responded by telling me it’s a “me” problem, that if I want to eat less ... it’s up to me.

And for a couple seconds, I agreed that it was a “me” problem.

But really, it’s an “us” problem — the majority of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s right — about 72 percent of adults aged 20 and over were at least overweight in 2015-16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Maybe the issue hits harder for me because I was obese six years ago at 5’5” and 180 pounds. I was the one eating frosting out of the bowl every chance I got and chowing on fried chicken in bed.

If I hadn’t made some changes then, I’m sure things would be a lot worse than they are now.

But things get different after college. There’s less time.

I tell myself to eat healthier, to make more meals at home with fresh foods, but food goes bad quick, and I’m not about to go grocery shopping more than two-three times a week.

Even when I do have time, I often don’t have the energy or motivation to make these dinners.

I don’t even have a child, so I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to live a healthy lifestyle with that sort of responsibility.

It sounds like I’m whining, like I’m asking for pity. But I’m asking us to look at the numbers — if 72 percent of us are overweight or obese, there’s something wrong in our society.

This column isn’t about how we look. It’s about a problem we should fix before it gets worse, because excess weight can lead to a number of health risks, including type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes, the National Institutes of Health says.

And even if you don’t care about your health — because we all have to die somehow, right? — I know you care about money. And being overweight costs us tons.

The estimated medical cost for obesity in 2008 dollars was $147 billion, the CDC says.

But it’ll be OK. Let’s all eat like there’s no tomorrow this Thanksgiving.

I know I will.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_PutnamCo.


A real time look at local businesses social media postings.

Recommended for you

Load comments