Around 70% of the deaths in our nation are from chronic diseases, many of which can be affected by the food we eat. Over 80% of our healthcare costs are spent on treatment for chronic diseases. There is definitely a rise in health awareness in recent times—just take a look at store shelves and social media accounts in 2017, and you will see a healthier agenda. It is evident that the demand for healthier options is rising. Big grocery chains such as Smith’s and Walmart are introducing more organic and natural options. This change means good things are ahead! Here are three things you can do to be part of the change:
Recently, I went to the grocery store in search of some decent, natural ice cream—one without ingredients like trans fats, oils, soy and even high fructose corn syrup (which is illegal in many countries). I found a pint of Simple Truth ice cream, made by Smith’s very own organic brand— Simple Truth. It was organic, had real ingredients, and it cost $3.49. I was super excited to find out a big time store like Smith’s is currently using their resources to produce organic food at a better price—a price even lower than similar non-organic products. Be part of the change by looking for these healthier options and, when affordable, choosing natural, organic foods.
As consumers, when we buy healthy products—whether it’s because we are truly health conscious, or because we think we are being “cool” or “trendy”—big retailers have an economical interest. Their job is to give you more of what you buy. More healthy products are being introduced to the market daily at an affordable price—because we are buying them! Pat yourself on the back for being a catalyst for change!
I think it is safe to say that eating better will help us prevent chronic diseases, and, by doing so, will lower our health care costs. Lower health care costs = money spent on other areas within personal, family and even federal budgets—but more importantly, increased awareness leads to prevention of some chronic diseases.
Though political opinions may differ when it comes to national healthcare, I think we can be united on a few core things: Everyone wants to enjoy good health. Everyone can benefit by healthy food becoming more affordable and accessible. Everyone will benefit by increased knowledge about nutrition.
National healthcare policies do not address our day-to-day choices and habits. So how do we become part of the solution? By increasing knowledge and demand. The increased demand for healthy food will create a much better environment for good habits. Healthier restaurants, fast food establishments, and health products will facilitate our goal of a healthier lifestyle.
The changes we are seeing are a small step that shows we are ready to make an even bigger impact on the future of healthcare. Keep learning and making better choices! The future will be a much healthier one.
Charles Abouo is a professional basketball player in France and is a former BYU student-athlete. He is a certified personal trainer, and developed a passion for health and wellness while majoring in exercise and wellness at BYU. The 2012 BYU graduate played basketball at BYU from 2008-12. He currently plays for ASC Denain Voltaire in France. His hobbies include traveling, reading, writing, anything food, learning new cultures, and spending time with his friends and family.