Will Rising Gas Prices make Americans Fatter?

There is no end to the evidence that America is headed into a recession. With credit crisis around the world, and spikes in the prices of gas at the pumps, living within our means is becoming more and more difficult.

With fewer dollars to stretch throughout the month, many of us are having to choose cheaper options when buying food. Unfortunately, in many cases, cheaper is not better. Due to a pinched pocket many of us will likely have to replace healthy low carb or whole grain breads with the puffy white carb laden and nutrient devoid breads; will have to wave goodbye to the extra lean ground beef and lean cuts of meat to be replaced with the lesser quality fat-fouled meats; will sadly leave behind the whole grain pastas that are endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and suck up buying the old generic pasta again, just to save a few bucks.

Do we have to choose these lesser quality foods that will make our weight shoot up faster than the price of oil just because we have to afford gas for our cars? What options do we have?

I have been thinking about how to answer this question for myself. I believe that my health should take precedent over most other things in my life and it is times like these that a few sacrifices should be made. Here’s what I’ve decided to do in order to save some extra money so I don’t have to give up healthier food items:

  1. I will blow the dust off of my bicycle in the garage and bike to local places I need to go (this will be some good exercise too)
  2. I will take public transportation to work at least 3 times a week (this adds about an hour onto my commute, but at least I won’t have road rage from sitting in traffic)
  3. I will only eat out at a restaurant once a week (I do this only a couple of times a week right now, so this isn’t a big change)
  4. I will start buying my fruits and vegetables at the local market instead of at the big chain grocery store (this will add a second stop to my grocery shopping, but I the local fruit and veggie market is about 50% cheaper so I’ll save money)

Personally, I think this is not an unreasonable list and I can make these small changes. It just goes to show that if you keep your health at the forefront of your priorities, you will find many ways to keep you on track, even during the most trying of times.

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