Student Editor: Erin O'Donnell
Is the cost of your health really not worth splurging for the care it should receive? Since the early 2000’s, childhood obesity has risen, making a large portion of children obese or overweight. Approximately 17% (12.7 million) of adolescents aged 2-19 years are overweight. While eating a large variety of healthy foods is a great diet, this can be very costly and difficult for lower income families. It’s ironic how children are encouraged to eat healthy yet the healthier items are more expensive and harder to get. Also, unhealthier items are more prominently advertised making the people who watch television, usually kids and teens, want the advertised food more.
Organic foods may have greater health benefits and may be recommended by many doctors, but the prices to buy organic versus non-organic are incomparable. Organic food, which is healthier, can be up to two times the price of cheaper unhealthier foods causing many families who have to buy lots of food to sacrifice the healthier option for a more cost effective choice that enables them to buy more. For example, non-organic yogurt averages $0.06/oz. while organic yogurt brands average $0.13/oz. When organic food is double the price per ounce of non-organic food it hinders the number of people who buy it, because many families with lower income or more children don’t have the proper living expenses to afford foods deemed “organic” causing them to overlook the health benefits. If the people that don’t buy organic foods visited comparative websites like Two Foods: Instant Food Comparison, they might be able to realize the visible health benefits that could save or cost them their health. If people took the time out of their day to consider healthier options like organic foods, they may be able to realize that splurging on healthier items could save their life for a small cost.
All over social media and television there are encouragements to eat healthy and stay away from junk food. Yet kids and teens that see ads for unhealthy foods on social media and technology are prone to want them more. People who see ads from McDonalds, Wendy’s, or Burger King may believe that the food is okay if it is advertised on channels with health programs like Michelle Obama’s plan “Let’s move!” which is seen on Nickelodeon, a popular children and teen television channel. The advertisements seen on social networks and television may make the food seem tastier or look healthy but they disregard the health effects. This causes more customers to go to the food places that create the advertisements and not know how they are affecting their bodies in the long run. If healthy companies advertised products on social media then more people would want to eat healthy.
So, while spending less money may be more practical and the ads for unhealthy foods may be appetizing, a person’s health is definitely worth splurging for the care it should receive.