Can American’s afford to be healthy?

At Tongue-In-Cheek this past Saturday Chuck examined class, the Keebler Elves, and health care. Americans are more likely to choose non-organic processed foods for their low cost and quick preparation time. “It’s been said many times: If we are what we eat, Americans are cheap and easy.”, said Chuck. Oddly enough Americans would rather pay big bucks to fix the health issues caused by poor food choices than shell out a little more at the cash register Chuck goes on to say. Chucks says it all boils down to the “haves” exploiting the “have-nots”.

from Tongue-In-Cheek:

Think of it this way: the “investor class” owns Mrs. Butterworth. They sell a nice looking bottle of syrup with a wholesome image, and if you don’t have a Master’s Degree in nutrition or biochemistry, and your favorite news source sells advertising to the food industry, you’re unlikely to realize that Mrs. Butterworth is in cahoots with the Keebler Elves to make sure you don’t see your grandchildren graduate from high school.

An educated consumer, that is given the truth about products, should be allowed to make any choices they wish. If you know the effects of what you put in your body and still choose to eat, drink, or smoke it then so be it. My vice is coffee, delicious delicious coffee. Choosing to eat healthy is not as easy as just making the choice.

Being healthy doesn’t come cheap. Aside from exercise, which you really don’t need that gym membership to do, living healthy can come at a steep price.

Eating organically is expensive. If I get groceries at Whole Foods (which is not always more expensive than Shaws or Hannaford) I leave with probably two bags around $100 bucks. A trip to Shaws will get me maybe twice as much for around the same price. My wife and I have discussed many times how a family living on a tight budget could eat healthy. Short answer is that they probably can’t, at least not without a lot of thought and planning.

Not to mention that lower income people are statistically more likely to engage in “risky behavior” like smoking and drinking, lead more stressful lives, and live in areas more prone to crime, pollution, etc. The situation gets complex rather quickly.

In the long run, prevention programs, education and outreach, more economic opportunities will alleviate some of these problems, hopefully lowering health care costs overall. Again there is something to be said for personal choice. Even if we spend on all the things I mentioned above, ultimately your personal choice is all that’s left.