By Jordan DesJardins
Earlier this week in class we discussed the matter of healthcare and our social status. Generally speaking, healthcare is generally better for those with a better financial and social status. But what about trying to be healthy even when you aren’t sick? Is that a privilege of social status as well?
The United States is fighting a losing battle against a major health crisis; obesity. In a world where there are people starving every day with next to nothing to eat, there are plenty of American’s gorging themselves on junk food out of boredom. We are living in a country where we worship things like “Epic Meal Time” (although that series is based in Canada) and have foods like the “Double Down” (a sandwich that has replaced the bread with fried chicken breasts, filled with bacon and cheese). While I can’t vouch for everyone, that scares the hell out of me. But the real question we have to ask is, whose fault is it?
Recently, I’ve been trying to get into a healthier physical shape with a combination of diet and exercise, cutting junk food and fast food from my diet and working out when I can. Luckily I have the option of the free gym here on CCP Campus, but what about everyone who doesn’t? I looked into signing up for a gym membership recently and no matter what gym I went to, they wanted an atrociously large sum of money just to sign up to go there, not to mention the monthly membership fees. Should it be a privilege of social status and financial standing to be able to get into shape? The cheapest gym I could find to sign up for was Planet Fitness, who wanted $80 to sign up on top of a $20 a month membership fee. While I make a modest living working for my job, I’m still a broke-ass college student, and don’t really have that kind of extra money just sitting around when I have bills to pay.
The real problem lyes in the food we’re eating. I tried to shop healthy the last time I went to the grocery store, buying lots of fresh fruits and veggies and dropping junk food to try and have a properly balanced diet, and my bill ended up being almost double the usual amount! I think that explains a lot about the health condition of the country. If someone doesn’t have a lot of money and needs to eat, are they going to get the $4.99 salad or the $.99 double cheeseburger from McDonalds? We eat what we can afford, and what has been made available and affordable to the majority of us as a nation is killing us slowly with obesity.
Are there alternatives? Sure! You could always go the old fashioned route and just exercise by jogging or doing sit ups, push ups and crunches! If you can afford it, spend that little extra on the healthy alternative, it could very well save your life later.