Overfed Yet Undernourished

Posted On Sunday, 16 August 2015
Overfed Yet Undernourished
Does being overfed and still undernourished sound like an oxymoron to you?

If so, you are not alone.

You could be overfed with nourishing food which is one step better, but sadly, many feed themselves more calories than needed with man-made nutrient-empty food. This past 4th of July holiday, I was once again discouraged with what I saw and heard from a community of well-educated American parents.

While walking through a grocery store, I couldn't help but notice baskets being filled with stacks of pure white deli potato salad, deli-made BBQ chicken wings, bags and bags of chips, stacks of packaged hot dogs and processed cheese slices, pounds of hamburger meat, bleached white buns, boxes of cookies and crackers, dyed popsicles, sodas, colorful energy drinks, ice cream, bags of candy, a few stalks of corn (yeah!) and some iceberg lettuce.

One cart was completely packed with cases of soda. (I should have taken a photo; I bet you've seen this with your own eyes.)

You say, "Okay, it's a holiday, so what?" I say, this grocery spree is repeated throughout the year.


Research suggests that the top 10 food items Americans buy at the grocery store are:

  1. Carbonated Beverages
  2. Milk
  3. Bread
  4. Beer
  5. Salty Snacks
  6. Cheese
  7. Frozen dinners
  8. Cereal
  9. Wine
  10. Cigarettes... still


These facts about what Americans are eating are startling:

Hamburgers: 3 a week per person, adds up to 13 billion a year
Hot Dogs: 50 per person a year
French Fries: 3 pounds per person a year (totals 2 million tons yearly)
Cookies: 7.5 billion a year
Pizza: 94% eat it regularly adding up to 3 billion sold annually
Soda: at least one soda a day
Chicken Tenders: are 7th on most consumed food list
Ice Cream: 48 pints a year
Donuts: 10 million made per year
Potato Chips: 1.2 billion pounds per year

That's not all folks.

What I heard was also discouraging. At gatherings, moms and dads chatted about what they love to eat and feed their growing children. They delighted in sharing the family foods they frequently prepare and serve: pancakes and waffles with lots of syrups, mac and cheese with bacon, pepperoni and/or cheese pizza, peanut butter and mayo sandwiches, peanut butter and butter sandwiches (both on white bread)... I could hardly keep a straight face.

Do they ever serve salads and fresh fruit? Yes.

But, as you can see, the imbalance of nourishing to high-caloric, high-sodium and sweet food was glaring. It really made me wonder, is anyone listening to all the available truth about food messaging? Does everyone think they can get away with eating what they want, when they want?

Health statistics say otherwise; they are increasingly sickening.

Nine out of ten Americans are short of key nutrients in their diet (PRnewswire, 1-11-11). These related disease stats result not only from nutrition deficiency, but also overeating, especially of nutrient empty food. Heart disease is #1 killer, one in two men and one in three women diagnosed with cancer, 29.1 million Americans have Type II Diabetes, two in three adults are overweight or obese.

This is the short list. Are you convinced?

We invite you to listen to our "Overfed Yet Undernourished" podcast (and others) for inspiration and delicious solutions to being well-fed and nourished. Please, help you and your family enjoy a healthy, productive life together by eating nutritious foods.

We do this for the health of your family,

Ellen Briggs (Host, Family Food Kitchen, Thursday, 11am ET, RadioMD.com)

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