Recommended Reading: The evolution of health

The world of food has changed drastically in the last 40 years. The '80s, '90s, and early '00s were about convenience. But as the health implications of nutrient-poor, calorie dense foods catch up to the masses, some argue that it's time to get back to the basics.

The Forbes article, "How Did We Get So Fat and Is There Hope," hits on some crucial points. The title of the article is blunt, yes, but it fits right in to CrossFit's M.O.

While many health-conscious individuals have made a point to just eat real food (JERF), the fitness world is sometimes in a bubble of wellness. Here, the author Jeanne Teshler breaks down the evolution of health and addresses recent changes in the food industry and the effect it has had on the population. The different sections are:

1. The first shift in diet

2. Food advertising

3. Medicine

4. Hope for the future

But if you want to skim the article...

Points worth thinking about:

  • "Judging from the poor nutritional state of our food system, it would be smart to include a pharmaceutical-style disclaimer with every processed, sugar and additive-laced, artificially colored and flavored food item: “Side effects may include: weight gain, high blood sugar, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and digestive difficulties. Serious side effects may include: diabetes, heart disease, metabolic disorders and certain forms of cancer.”
  • We've moved away from moving: Sedentary jobs, sedentary hobbies (gaming, watching TV) keep us at a lower level of activity. Add increased economic statuses and other people are hired to do the moving that was typically done individually (cleaning, lawn work, etc.)
  • Over-valuing the regimented movement we may have put in our schedule. Be honest about your level of physical activity throughout the week.

The shift in the food industry has already begun.

  • From removing trans-fats and adding calorie information to expanding menus to include salads and fruit offerings aMcDonald’s Corp. to sourcing organic, free range ingredients (Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread Company) that help reduce the number of toxins in our food chain, big players are experimenting.
  • Packaged goods companies also are getting into the healthy food game. Betty Crocker, by General Mills, has a line of gluten free baking mixes. General Mills and Kellogg Company are also touting more whole grain, gluten free, and reduced sugar options.
  • The good news: Health food is making its way to the mainstream.

This shift, may then have a positive effect on the treatment of food-induced illness. The hope is that prevention over pills will soon be the norm. As many CrossFit gyms talk about during wellness challenges, the hope is to make you healthier to avoid issues in the future.

  • Relatively speaking, however, for about $10 or $20 a month a “nuisance” condition can be controlled without too much personal effort. Behavioral changes are more difficult to manage, and fall outside the normal doctor-patient bond, so success is almost entirely dependent upon the attitude and motivation of the patient. And there’s not, yet, a pill for that.

The real solution will come:

  • When the economics of paying for a statin drug starts to equal or exceed the economics of buying a pair of walking shoes or an annual gym membership, we’ll start to see some positive leaps in population health.

"But the net net is that being healthy will, in the next decade or so, start to cost less than being unhealthy."