I recently was reading the local paper at my parents house (see below) and read a very disturbing article on the increase in children with Type II Diabetes. As a student and future practitioner in the field of nutrition, this issue is at the forefront of my concerns with the “average” American diet/lifestyle.
Another alarming note from the article was that the child who was struggling with Type II Diabetes was also in a family that was on food stamps, or the SNAP program as it is now known. It has been shown that, unfortunately, a lot of people on SNAP benefits also suffer from obesity related diseases. This is mainly from the fact that they purchase a great deal of highly processed, ready to eat, convenience foods (which may seem to be lower in cost). A very common argument I have heard while working and studying in the fitness and health industry is “eating healthy is expensive”, or any given variation of that statement.
While there is some validity to the previous statement, I see it as more of a common excuse. Because of this, I have decided that in about two weeks, I will go grocery shopping with $30.00 (average SNAP benefit money per person in Wisconsin) in my pocket. I will buy my weeks worth of groceries with that $30, and document the entire process. I will also try to document meal prep time (this is also a huge deterrent to eating “healthy”), total calories and macro nutrients per meal, and any weight changes throughout the week.
I am not going to do this as any sort of “dig” or “rip” on people receiving SNAP benefits, rather I am doing this to see if it even IS possible, and to hopefully show that maybe with just a little bit of proper education, people on a tight budget can eat healthier for cheaper, and also reduce the risk for obesity and obesity related diseases that are plaguing this country.
Article that inspired this “challenge” –