Fast Food Challenge

After spending a wonderful weekend in the Dallas area surrounded by family, I found myself driving down I-35. The trip seemed to be a constant battle. Why? Well, other than the battle going on between me and some dumb driver who kept speeding up to pass and promptly scooting in front of me and slowing down. With each sign announcing a Taco Bell or McDonald’s up ahead I had to make a concientious effort to drive on by.

When I was younger, I naively scoffed at how someone could be so addicted to an item that you must first purchase. As a 6 year old addiction seemed to be an easy fix. If you stopped purchasing the item then you wouldn’t use it. Well I’ve thought about it and I think my constant cravings for fast food are nothing less than an addiction. So I’m breaking my addiction. I refuse to eat fast food for a full month. If I do give into my cravings, I’m required to add another week onto my sentence.

I’m hoping that after a month without fast food ignoring the cravings will become easier. A study by Temple University shows that someone who consumes at least one fast food meal a week is on average 1 and 1/2 pounds heavier than someone who abstains. While I’m not extemely overweight or unfit, I’m more worried about the lifelong repercussions my addiction might have. My family history shows I’m more likely to contract diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure which can all be avoided with a healthy diet.

Another thing that really pushed me along this path to ditch the fast food, is a map Richard recently emailed me. The link he sent me shows an interactive map compiled by the Centers for Disease Control that combines maps from 1985-2010 that depict the percentage of a state’s population that is overweight. In 1985 not one single state had above a 15-percent obesity rate. In 2010 every state was above a 20-percent obesity rate. If you’d like to look at the interactive map and see how the nation’s obesity rate has changed over the years, click either image.

Click either of the images to view obesity percentages from 1985 – 2010

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