Cook Quickly, Eat Slowly
For many busy people home cooking means a take-out meal from the closest fast-food franchise. In fact, recent statistics show that the average American household spends about $2,500 annually at take-out establishments and restaurants, or about 71 percent of what it spends on groceries ($3,500). This percentage is even higher for householders aged 25 to 34 (81 percent) and for people who live alone (79 percent). And these numbers appear to be growing—along with our waistlines.
The sad reality is that two-thirds of American adults and one-third of the children in this country are either overweight or obese. Today, the typical baby boomer male weighs just shy of 200 pounds and the average baby boomer female weighs more than 170. That’s in part because a typical fast-food quarter-pound cheeseburger packs a hefty 500 calories, the large fries another 500, the supersized soda 300 more, and an ice cream dessert an additional 500. That’s 1,800 calories from a single meal! Couple that with the fact most people don’t exercise enough and it’s small wonder that conditions like diabetes and heart disease are on the rise, and few of us feel very good about what we see in the mirror.
I bring up these statistics for a good reason. If we continue at this sad pace, dining out more than we’re eating in and skipping the supermarket for the drive-thru, this country’s burgeoning obesity epidemic will have dire consequences, not just for our present and future health but for our health-care system as well. Doctors and hospitals simply won’t be able to handle all the new cases of prediabetes, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other obesity-related conditions. The good news? One of our most effective remedies for all of these ailments can be found in our own refrigerators, pantries, and cupboards.