Healthy Eating

One morning, I am sitting in my office sipping hot chocolate with whipping cream. Next to it is a chocolate chip muffin and butter. A dietician drops by for some business. She looks at my hot chocolate and muffin. Her eyes almost pop out. “Dr. B., do you know March is a nutrition month?”

No I didn’t know. Anyway, so what?

“Dr. B., do you know what David Suzuki wrote recently in the Medicine Hat News? He says that the number of overfed people on earth is now equal to those who are hungry. About 55 percent of our population is overweight. Food today is more about convenience, brand recognition and entertainment than it is about nourishment.”

Food processing companies spend more on advertising than any other industry. Half of that is for candy, sweetened breakfast cereal and fast food – a large portion of which targets children.

“Dr. B., in your millennium column you said we should take care of ELMOS (exercise, laughter, meditation, organic healthy food, stress relief)! Don’t you follow your own advice?”

Well, here is an outspoken dietician. But she is right. Our good intentions do not always translate into compliance. Here are some examples.

I wish I could do everything that will keep me healthy. I wish my family and my co-workers will eat and do everything that is right and healthy. I wish every restaurant I go to have the right kind of healthy food that tastes just right and fill me up, so I don’t have to order more or eat my children’s leftovers.

I wish I could stop telling the waiter that dessert is not good for me but it is all right for my children. After all they haven’t been out for a meal with their dad for sometime. And when the dessert comes then why do I stretch my arm with a spoon and ask, “Can I try some, son?”

I wish each morning I don’t have to stand in front of the mirror in my birthday suite, pinch my waistline and then step on a scale which never tells the truth anyway! “Waiting for a miracle, eh?” asks my wife.

Enough of this. So I call Marian Ho, Manager, Dietetics at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. Marian gives me a newsletter from the Dieticians of Canada. It says that taste, health, convenience and food as entertainment score as the top four nutrition trends in Canada.

Ninety-three per cent of Canadians say taste is an important factor. Eighty-nine percent rank nutrition and health as the next most important factor when choosing foods. Upto 58 percent of women decide what they will be serving for dinner the same day or at the last minute, usually on their way home from work.

Such trends are hard to change. Recognizing this, Dieticians of Canada has chosen “Great Food Fast” as the theme for the “March 2000 National Nutrition Month Campaign”. Their newest cookbook, “Great Food Fast” has over 125 recipes to help us follow the food guide and plan balanced meals. The book costs $19.95 and can be purchased from a bookstore after March 1st 2000.

Well, I better order my copy. But buying a book is not enough unless I do something about it. Only then the mirror and the scale will tell the truth!

Start reading the preview of my book A Doctor's Journey for free on Amazon. Available on Kindle for $2.99!

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