Can Only the Rich Afford to be Thin?

People who have tried the Atkins and South Beach diets have found that proteins were much more expensive than carbohydrates. Cooking the food yourself, following a menu on a day-to-day basis and the costs of foods on these diets, have raised concerns among those who have experimented with them. An expert agreed that the diets were expensive and calculated the following costs:

  • Atkins diet-$100 a week
  • South Beach Diet-$90 a week

Atkins and South Beach diet experts suggested making substitutions to keep the costs down. Some of their recommendations included:

  • Find recipes with chicken breasts instead of recipes with salmon and orange roughy.
  • Look for deep green lettuce that's on sale instead of using endive and mixed greens.
  • Substitute lean boiled ham for Canadian bacon.

Nutrition specialists recommended that regardless of what diet plan you're following, to cook meals at home instead of going out to eat. Specialist also expressed concerns that America's war on obesity might be lost for those people who can't afford expensive diets. Researchers studied the correlation between lower incomes and obesity rates and discovered that around 60.5 percent of people who earned incomes of $15,000 to $75,000 were overweight or obese, compared to those who earned incomes that exceeded $75,000. Other concerns of the experts included people with limited incomes buying unhealthy foods like chips, bulk cookies, processed foods and rice, because they were less expensive than healthier foods like fresh fruit and vegetables.

The bottom line is that 90 percent of Americans spend their incomes on processed foods and fast foods. You can develop healthy eating habits for yourself and your family without adhering to diets such as the Atkins diet and South Beach diet and without exhausting your income. If you read this past article, you will find some tips on shopping for healthy foods while keeping within your budget. In addition to eating habits, another inexpensive way to control your weight is through walking. You don't have to worry about costs and it fits conveniently into most schedules. There isn't a lot of planning required and you can start by walking around your neighborhood. I recommend starting with 30 minutes a day, then increasing your time as you become more fit.

USA Today May 2, 2004

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