Why do we eat? Obviously, there’s the physical need to turn calories from food into energy. But that’s not the only reason. Sometimes we eat when we’re hungry, but many times, eating has little to do with actual hunger. We eat because our friends or family are eating. Eating together is a social occasion. We eat because we’re sad or because we’re celebrating. We eat because we’re bored or lonely or anxious.
In other words, we eat out of habit just as much as we eat to satisfy a physical need. And many young Americans have unhealthy nutrition habits, eating too many fatty, high-calorie foods and not enough of a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables. The bad news is these less healthy habits have a direct effect on our overall health turning today’s youth into overweight, sedentary couch potatoes.
Less healthy habits can be replaced by better habits. Our diets—the foods we choose to eat—should always be enjoyable, not an exercise in sacrifice. Healthier people eat a wide variety of foods—and enjoy it. Healthier people also balance their food consumption with physical activity. The two go hand in hand. Diet alone doesn’t make one healthy; it’s the combination of eating the right foods and performing enjoyable activities that strengthens muscles and endurance. The benefits of healthy nutritional habits can last a lifetime. Research continues to show