Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

Water for $1.50 or Soda for $1? Which would you choose to stay healthy?

diet-sodasObesity is unfortunately too common in this country.

The treatment of eating less and moving more should not be a mystery, yet the data shows that about 1/3 of patients are obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher) and another 1/3 are overweight (body mass index of 25 to 30).

It is difficult to make healthier better choices when fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s, offer bottled water for $1.50 (plain bottled water) and soda, with its sweet sugary decadence, fizzy bubbles, and coloring for $1! They also give you a larger volume of soda compared to the water. In essence, individuals are paying more to be healthier! This does not make sense but is a unfortunate reality.

The other challenge is that portion sizes are far larger than they were thirty years ago. A soda today is three times the size of a soda when I was growing up. As a child, getting a glass bottle of Coca-Cola was a rare treat. It also was only about 6 ounces. Today, a personalized plastic bottle of soda is 20 ounces! A muffin and coffee today at your local coffeehouse is far larger as well. The upshot is we are eating a lot more, we don’t know we are because the “normal” portion sizes have grown and are distorted, and we are not exercising more as a nation. Go on, take this very simple quiz and see if you are surprised or shocked not only how much larger portions are per sitting, but also how much physical activity you need to do to lose weight.

Needless to say, I don’t have hours in the day to be physically active.

Patients and staff often look at me and ask, how do you stay so thin? Or why don’t you have a weight problem? When I tell them I will drink diet soda, in the rare times I do, they looked stunned.

You don’t need to, doctor.

I say. Yes I do. The world is trying to give me too much food. I don’t have enough time to exercise it all off. I need to eat less.

Best analogy. You use dandruff shampoo? But you don’t have dandruff!




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