Leading a Healthy Lifestyle is Becoming a Privilege

“New Year, new me”a phrase used by many to promote a healthier lifestyle in the new year;however, this goal is often unachievable because of the obstructive pricing of healthy food in America. The United States economy is going through a period of inflation causing prices of consumer goods such as food to increase–healthy foods in particular are soaring in price, opposing the less nutrient rich foods being the only affordable option. 

With food prices increasing, those in lower-income situations do not have access to healthy food, causing deficits in their levels of nutrients. Unhealthy food can result in overall physical and mental health issues such as depleting high energy levels, high blood pressure, tooth decay and more. Unhealthy food elevates the chances of obesity which are already at an all time high in America. Another factor of increased obesity in America is the availability of high-calorie, large portions of food at lower prices than nutritious food. The link between poverty and obesity is strengthening as the wealth gap between the upper income families and lower income families widens. 

Not only is a healthy lifestyle unachievable, but so is accessing basic dietary needs for those who are intolerant or allergic to certain food products. Affording alternatives to products with dairy or gluten for those unable to consume it can be high in cost. Availability is another key concern for those already living in impoverished areas with higher quality supermarkets selling most to all of the products deemed healthy. These high quality supermarkets are not usually found in impoverished areas; therefore, lowering the availability of these products to those who struggle to even afford unhealthy foods. 

Many social media websites such as TikTok have trends that glorify aesthetic ways to organize household items. Specifically, videos showing organized fridges filled with an exorbitant amount of food without sharing the costs, merely the calories is a growing trend online. Although these videos can benefit those in financially stable households, it can be mentally depleting to those in lower income situations that cannot afford the standard healthy food in America. This trend also exemplifies the ideals of food waste, when food is put in containers with the sole purpose of gaining popularity online.

Fitness is an important factor to living a long healthy life, for maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and overall mental health. Personal fitness along with nutritional food, work together for the goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and the correct balance of both is necessary; furthermore, food gives our bodies the required nutrients to workout beneficially and therefore gain muscle. Similar to food, exercise empowers the body through improving mental and physical health. Although access to physical activity might seem as simple as going for a run or doing some push ups in your room, for those who work multiple jobs to make ends meet, budgeting time into an already stressful schedule to be healthy is difficult to juggle while concurrently struggling to make enough money to buy food for the week. 

Following a healthy lifestyle is beneficial to all parts of one’s life, but factors of economic standing and fluctuation cause many to consume an inadequate amount of nutrients. If the U.S. wants to progress as a functioning society, change is crucial for healthy food to be made more affordable and available to everyone.